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Senior Director of Advocacy and Policy

MADRE is an international women's human rights organization and feminist fund that partners with community-based women's and girls’ groups in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East who face war and disaster. MADRE works towards a world in which all people enjoy the fullest range of individual and collective human rights; resources are shared equitably and sustainably; women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and people have a meaningful say in decisions that affect their lives. 

MADRE offers a comprehensive model of support to our grassroots partners using three interconnected strategies—grantmaking, organizational strengthening, and legal advocacy—to meet urgent needs and create opportunities for women and girls in marginalized communities to assert their agency and voice. 

Using these strategies, MADRE provides long-term and flexible financial and direct service support to community-based women’s and girls’ groups who are largely under the radar of traditional philanthropy and/or where conflict or disaster have rendered them difficult to fund and challenging to reach. We work at the intersection of three program areas—Ending Gender Violence, Advancing Climate Justice, and Building a Just Peace—and across five priority communities who are disproportionately marginalized: young women and girls, Indigenous women, Afro-descendant women, LGBTIQ people, and people with disabilities

The first grantmaker to hundreds of organizations across the globe, in MADRE’s nearly 40-year history, we have disbursed over $56 million in grants and in-kind support. 

The position 

MADRE is seeking a highly experienced, dynamic, creative international human rights advocate, with advanced policy and legal analytical capacity as well as leadership experience in campaigns for social justice that have grassroots impacts to fill the position of Senior Director of Advocacy and Policy. As a member of MADRE’s executive leadership team, the Senior Director of Advocacy and Policy will help to develop and implement creative strategies for achieving policy recommendations across a spectrum of MADRE’s program areas, internationally, regionally and in the specific countries in which MADRE works. The Senior Director of Advocacy and Policy will lead MADRE’s growing portfolio of advocacy and litigation strategies globally and in the US and help shape the overall vision. 

Reporting to MADRE’s Executive Director, the Senior Director of Advocacy and Policy will lead the advocacy and policy teams toward shared directions and priorities, while contributing to overall organizational priorities and strategies. The individual will be responsible for supervision of the skilled and talented advocacy and policy teams and collaborating closely with MADRE’s Senior Legal Advisor. The Senior Director of Advocacy and Policy will also provide substantive and policy advice to help inform MADRE’s work and deepen engagement in movement building with key members of the feminist human rights and social justice local to global communities.The Senior

Director of Advocacy and Policy will also be an active leader, contributor and collaborator in MADRE’s broader communications, engagement and development strategies. 

Duties and Responsibilities 

Responsibilities include but are not limited to: 

  • Involved in all aspects of MADRE’s substantive advocacy and policy work – from development of strategies to implementation of these strategies 
  • Advise on multi-polar rights issues 
  • Identify key MADRE issues suited to large-scale campaigns; with partners, design innovative campaign strategies in order to further local, national, and international policy goals and shape narratives and practices, both to prevent violations and advance gender justice ● Serve as a spokesperson for MADRE in a variety of contexts 
  • Lead the Advocacy and Policy teams in developing and implementing appropriate international justice strategies that further MADRE’s grassroots women partners’ social justice agendas; including ensuring justice for gender-based violence survivors; advancing the rights of women, including Afro-descendant, Indigenous women, women with disabilities and their communities; advancing migrant and refugee rights for women, girls and LGBTIQ people 
  • Supervise the following activities:
    • Collaborations with organizational networks to further human rights aims of MADRE’s partners 
    • Investigations and documentation of alleged gender-based violations and abuses of international human rights and criminal law committed by armed groups, government security forces, and private actors 
    • Drafting of reports, submissions and other legal advocacy documents for national, regional and international human rights mechanisms 
    • Drafting of press releases and other relevant communications materials to advance MADRE’s and its partners’ advocacy aims
    • Advocacy before national, regional and international human rights bodies for policy aims, providing legal research, writing, reporting, and guidance 
    • Timely advocacy responses to urgent partner human right situations 
    • Coordination with development and communications teams to ensure that an impact-driven and integrated advocacy approach runs throughout all of MADRE’s work 
    • Management of departmental budget and team contributions to fundraising efforts o Human rights trainings with partner organizations and allies 
    • Organizational strengthening of MADRE partners and staff by the advocacy and policy teams 
  • Represent MADRE to external partners and colleagues including, peer organizations, policymakers, donors, media and other stakeholders
  • Represent and speak on behalf of MADRE at panel events, presentations and key stakeholder meetings. 

Core Competencies & Qualifications 

  • Demonstrated commitment to women’s and LGBTIQ human rights and MADRE’s mission
  • Juris Doctorate (or masters equivalent) in law or international policy or related field
  • Excellent reputation and expert knowledge of UN human rights mechanisms and/or regional human rights mechanisms, international accountability mechanisms, and other pertinent substantive areas of work 
  • Substantial knowledge of and experience with US policy work
  • Proven ability to conduct complex human rights investigations, including expertise in monitoring and documenting sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and understanding of gender-specific protection concerns 
  • Excellent communication and written skills 
  • Excellent ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds
  • Excellent analytical capacity; solid knowledge of witness and victim protection and data protection 
  • Ability to travel internationally 
  • Minimum of 12 years’ experience in the area of gender justice, international justice or criminal processes, and experience in investigation of SGBV human rights violations. MADRE views gender justice as inclusive of peacebuilding and climate justice.
  • Experience in a conflict and disaster settings 
  • Experience mentoring and supervising advocates 
  • Experience in development/communications and non-profit management
  • Fluency in English required and either French, Spanish or Arabic a plus. 

To apply, please send a cover letter, CV and two references to: humanrightsjobs@madre.org. Please note applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

This role requires eligibility to work in the U.S. While this job may be remote from anywhere inside the US, it will require occasional in-person meetings at MADRE’s headquarters in New York. 

Salary is $150,000 

MADRE is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. People of color, people with disabilities, LGBTIQ people, and women are all especially encouraged to apply. We take pride in our pluralistic community and continue to seek excellence through diversity and inclusion.