ResourcesPress Release

Physicians for Human Rights Welcomes New Chief Operating Officer

Career international development leader and humanitarian specialist Jennifer Sime joins Physicians for Human Rights as COO

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today announced the hire of Jennifer Sime as PHR’s new Chief Operating Officer (COO). Sime will spearhead PHR’s operational excellence and help steer the organization’s overall growth plans.

Sime joins PHR from the International Rescue Committee (IRC), where she spent the last 22 years serving in Panama, Bosnia, Kosovo, and then Georgia, as country director. She also served as deputy director for programs for Catholic Relief Services in South Sudan and for the IRC in Kosovo. Sime returned to the United States in 2005 and served as the IRC’s business development director and later as vice president, U.S. Programs.

In her most recent role, Sime served as a senior vice president leading three separate departments: the Resettlement, Asylum, and Integration Department, the Awards Management Unit, and the Measurement Unit. Throughout her career, Sime’s body of work has included assignments in Guantànamo Bay, Cuba, Liberia, Pakistan, Palestine, Rwanda, and Thailand.

“I am thrilled to welcome Jennifer into PHR’s leadership. Her decades of successful experience in building and growing programs and infrastructure supports will be of great value to PHR at this time, in addition to her strong values and leadership skills,” said Donna McKay, executive director at PHR. “I am looking forward to partnering with Jennifer, who will bring her extraordinary experience and deep personal connection to and respect for human rights, formed in part by her own lived experience as an immigrant to the United States, to her role here.

“Jennifer is a seasoned leader in our sector, with a deep dedication and understanding of international humanitarian advocacy and the human rights landscape. Under Jennifer’s successful leadership, the services delivered by the U.S. Programs at the IRC more than doubled. I have complete confidence that Jennifer will make critical contributions to PHR as we strengthen and grow our global impact,” added McKay.

In her role as COO, Sime will lead PHR’s finance, administration, human resources, and information technology teams as well as strategic planning during a new phase of work. She will also oversee PHR’s efforts to deepen people-driven practices and diversity, equity, and inclusion work throughout the organization.

“Physicians for Human Rights is singularly situated to respond to the ever-changing human rights abuses and global health threats worldwide,” said Sime. “As I begin a new chapter with PHR, I am eager to bring my decades of humanitarian and development work to an organization that is committed to global human rights and the documentation of abuses in the United States and around the world. I am elated to join PHR in its efforts to mobilize its extensive network of health professionals and activists as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and leverage PHR’s expertise to advocate for science-based, rights-driven responses to this global health emergency.”

Sime earned her BA in political science at Boston University, College of Arts and Sciences, and a Masters of Arts in Latin American Studies from New York University, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.