Deputy Director, Middle East and North Africa

Human Rights Watch, To Be Determined, Lebanon

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Closing Date for Applications: 
6th September, 2019

Job Description

The Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) Division of Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking highly qualified applicants for the position of Deputy Director. This position, one of three deputies for the division, reports to the Executive Director of the division and assists the Director in setting strategic goals and priorities for the division.

Essential Responsibilities:


  • Assist the Director in developing and executing effective research, advocacy, and communications strategies for the MENA division;
  • Assist the Director in overseeing both the day-to-day and longer-term research on human rights issues in MENA. Facilitate the response to emergencies, the publication of analytical and credible reports, the development of advocacy materials, and the use of these products to generate domestic and international pressure to curb human rights violations;
  • Assist the Director in supervising the work of MENA division researchers, including supporting the advocacy and communications efforts of researchers in MENA countries;
  • Edit the high volume of work produced by researchers, including press releases, op-eds and reports on tight deadlines; and
  • Respond to and/or anticipate new events and developments in order to press human rights issues and advise HRW’s senior management in the effective response and advocacy strategy.


  • Represent HRW with international, regional, national, and local media through interviews and the writing of editorials or other advocacy materials;
  • nteract regularly with HRW staff across all departments to ensure effective coordination and delivery of program activities, in keeping with the organization’s focus, including with human resources, finance, and the security team;
  • Conduct advocacy with high-level officials from governments, armed groups, companies, and intergovernmental agencies to effect policy change;
  • Coordinate with key colleagues in allied organizations and NGOs;
  • Travel, as required, to accompany researchers on fact-finding missions and to conduct advocacy or other Human Rights Watch business; and
  • Assist the Director in achieving fundraising goals, recruiting new donors, and reporting back to donors in a timely manner.


  • Lead, motivate, and mentor direct-reports, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, providing regular and timely constructive feedback, ensuring balanced workload, providing guidance on professional growth, and monitoring staff well-being as it pertains to stress and resilience issues and self-care
  • Assist the Director in editing the high volume of program output on tight deadlines and managing staff located in multiple locations globally;
  • Assist the Director in working with HRW’s security team to protect the physical and digital security of our staff, partners and interlocutors; ensure that staff receive appropriate training in security policies and procedures, and that relevant policies and procedures are implemented effectively;
  • Assist the Director in regularly monitoring the budget and ensure that resources are allocated appropriately; and
  • Assist the Director to establish clear work plans and manageable workload for staff and communicate priorities clearly and effectively. Provide oversight and take responsibility for delegated assignments
  • Assist the Director in ensuring that the management, staffing, and culture of the division are suitably aligned with evolving goals, and strategic ambitions;
  • Assist the Director in ensuring a culture of open and direct communication and information sharing and a positive, fair, and accountable working environment both within the division and between the division and other parts of the organization;
  • Assist the Director in managing the implementation of performance management processes that measure and evaluate progress against operational goals for the division;
  • Assist the Director in creating an environment in which staff within the division feel empowered, are encouraged to speak out about their experiences, and able to learn from one another, including through staff meetings and by encouraging participation in organization wide task forces and working groups;
  • Assist the Director in ensuring consistent application of approved policies and practices across the division; and
  • Participate in trainings provided by HRW and other organizations, including on security, management, and stress and resilience.


  • Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, journalism, law, or social science is required.
  • Experience: A minimum of 8 years of relevant experience in international human rights or related work, including investigations, reporting, and advocacy, with at least five years in a management position and fundraising experience, is required.

Required Skills and Knowledge:

  • Excellent leadership skills and recognized management experience, including supervising a team of experienced professionals from diverse backgrounds, empowering staff development and developing strong and collaborative relationships with colleagues from diverse cultural, geographical, economic, political and social contexts;
  • Extensive knowledge of human rights issues in the MENA region;
  • Relevant international field experience and familiarity with human rights research methodologies;
  • A track record of working with civil society groups, including collaboration with communities facing social, cultural and/or economic exclusion;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and work quickly and effectively under pressure;
  • Ability to advocate effectively on complex international policy issues;
  • Track record of dealing with the media and cultivating relationships with journalists and experience using multimedia and social media for advocacy and outreach;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Arabic;
  • Ability to defend and explain complex issues and positions to internal and external audiences, including senior officials in governments and intergovernmental bodies;
  • Ability to think creatively, initiate projects, and follow through on plans;
  • Strong editing skills;
  • Ability to work collegially in a demanding, diverse and fast-paced environment and strong interpersonal skills to work with partner organizations, government officials, private companies and other interlocutors;
  • Capacity to appropriately plan, prioritize and manage multiple, sometimes competing, demands efficiently in a challenging, fast-paced environment.

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. HRW will pay reasonable relocation expenses and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply: Please apply immediately by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a letter of interest, resume or CV, and a brief writing sample (unedited by others), preferably as PDF files. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, please email Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.

Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. Human Rights Watch does not discriminate on the basis of ability, age, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or criminal record. We welcome all kinds of diversity. Our employees include people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide span of socio-economic backgrounds and perspectives on the world. Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer.

Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of influential governments and international institutions.

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