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- Charles Spurgeon

"Not all those who wander are lost."

07 augustus 2009

Vacature: Pennoyer Fellow/Senior Associate Refugee Protection Program Human Rights First (HRF)

Closing date: 31 Dec 2009
Location: United States of America (the) - Washington, D.C.

Human Rights First was founded in 1978 to promote laws and policies that advance universal rights and freedoms. We exist to protect and defend the dignity of each individual through respect for human rights and the rule of law. Human Rights First protects people at risk: refugees who flee persecution, victims of crimes against humanity or other mass human rights violations, victims of discrimination, those whose rights are eroded in the name of national security, and human rights advocates who are targeted for defending the rights of others.
Human Rights First is practical and effective. We advocate for change at the highest levels of national and international policymaking. We seek justice through the courts. We raise awareness and understanding through the media. We build coalitions among those with divergent views. And we mobilize people to act.

Since 2007 Human Rights First has been offering two year, fully funded fellowships named in honor of Robert Pennoyer. Mr. Pennoyer has been a tireless advocate for human rights – in official capacities as well as behind the scenes - for more than 50 years. Through the generous contributions of his friends and family Human Rights First is able to offer these opportunities for talented professionals.

This year Human Rights First seeks a Pennoyer Fellow/Senior Associate in the Refugee Protection program in our Washington D.C. office (preferable). Working under the supervision of the Director of the Refugee Protection program, this person will play a key role in formulating and achieving program goals and objectives relating to international refugee advocacy, with a primary focus currently on refugees from Iraq. He or she will also help to identify emerging opportunities for engagement by the Refugee Protection program in additional international refugee issues.

Over the next year, the program’s advocacy relating to the protection of Iraqi refugees is planned to improve monitoring and other mechanisms to help protect returning refugees and displaced persons, and advance the protection of Iraqi refugees living in Jordan and Syria. Working with the Refugee Protection Program Director, the program’s advocacy counsel and others, the Pennoyer Fellow will develop and carry out projects and activities to advance the program’s objectives.

Primary Responsibilities:

- Working with the Refugee Protection Program Director and other staff, identify advocacy objectives and help design and implement results-oriented advocacy strategies to advance those objectives, including an annual plan of activities for achieving those objectives as well as an annual team and personal work plan.

- Monitor and identify new trends and developments regarding persecution in Iraq, displacement, return, human rights and protection issues in countries of first asylum.

- Design and conduct original, policy-oriented field research to advance program objectives, investigating key human rights and protection problems faced by Iraqi refugees, and, over the next year, problems facing returning refugees and internally displaced persons in Iraq.

- Analyze policies and practices related to Iraqi refugees by the U.S. government, the UNHCR and other governments and develop specific practical recommendations for these entities to improve protection and guarantee the rights of Iraqi refugees.

ANNUAL SALARY: Competitive, excellent benefits.

START DATE: Immediate hire

- Draft short policy papers, blueprints, reports and other written materials to advance advocacy objectives and educate the public and policymakers.

- Engage with U.S. government officials, congressional offices, representatives of UNHCR, IOM and other international organizations, other governments, as well as other advocacy targets, allies and/or colleagues to keep apprised of developments and advance advocacy objectives.

- Working with others at Human Rights First, develop strategies and implement plans to advance advocacy objectives, including through congressional action, administrative action and advocacy with international organizations, key governments and other targets, as well as media engagement.

- Identify and develop working relationships with a number of Iraqi human rights defenders working to advance similar objectives on behalf of refugees and IDPs, and amplify their voices through appropriate strategies.

- Serve as a public spokesperson for Human Rights First on issues related to Iraqi displacement and refugee protection to a variety of professional and general audiences, including the press; and work with the communications team to develop other media in support of the project’s advocacy objectives.

- Help to identify emerging opportunities for exploration and engagement by the Refugee Protection program.

- Assist in funding development and foundation reporting efforts.


- Advanced degree in a discipline relating to international human rights or appropriate experience in a relevant professional field that may substitute for a higher degree.

- A minimum of five years of relevant human rights and refugee protection experience.

- Expertise in the Middle East and on Iraq specifically with an understanding of the refugee, IDP and human rights issues and political dynamics in the region.

- In depth knowledge of international human rights and refugee protection standards, and human rights enforcement mechanisms.

- Strong research skills.

- Excellent communications skills and an ability to translate highly technical material for a variety of audiences.

- Willingness to travel.

- Ability to work comfortably in a variety of settings, including governmental, legal, policy, and advocacy arenas, and to achieve a supportive rapport with local human rights advocates.

- Capacity to work under pressure, to work collegially with others, and to take initiative.

- Fluency in a language other than English, especially Arabic, is highly desirable.

How to apply
- Cover letter
- Resume
- Names and contact details for three (3) references
- Writing Sample


ATTN: HR – Pennoyer Fellowship Senior Associate/RPP - CODE 045 (The position title and the code must appear in the subject of your e-mail.)


(DO NOT save your attachments as “resume.doc” or “coverletter.doc”. Give your attachments a specific name using following format: “yourname.doc” or “resume2.doc”)

All applicants will be notified of our receipt of application; only selected applicants will be contacted for phone or in-person interviews. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE.

Reference Code: RW_7TJTTU-67

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