Deputy Director
Business and Human Rights Division
Program Department
Multiple Locations Considered
Application Deadline: September 30, 2021

The Opportunity

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking experienced applicants for the position of Deputy Director in the Business and Human Rights Division to serve as a key strategist for our growing body of work on Poverty and Inequality and to work with the Director and the staff on corporate accountability. The Deputy will report to and work alongside the Director to ensure the highest standards of research and advocacy, develop and implement the division’s strategy, liaise with other parts of the organization, and help manage an increasingly growing staff focused on human rights in the global economy.

The successful candidate will be an effective leader and compelling communicator with experience on key issues related to poverty and inequality; and work on corporate accountability. They will have demonstrated experience developing and implementing strategic human rights interventions and understand how to bring innovate approaches to research, advocacy and communications to effect change.

Position Overview

The Deputy will be working with the Director to manage staff with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion; managing stress and resilience of staff; encouraging a healthy work/life balance; while building out new areas of programmatic work by helping design a strategy for human rights in the global economy with a focus on Poverty and Inequality. Currently based in the US and UK, Business and Human Rights is a diverse team of six with backgrounds in poverty and inequality, corporate accountability, and the impact of technology on the vulnerable. This position will preferably be based in New York, Washington DC, or London, with other locations with major HRW offices also considered.
Due to Covid-19, many of our global offices are currently closed or operating in reduced capacities. The successful candidate may be required to work remotely until offices fully re-open. We recognize that this moment, during the pandemic, is a uniquely difficult time for most people, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, and we aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment for and onboarding of this position.


1. Design and implement with the Director and staff a multi-year strategy and implementation plan to advance our work on human rights in the global economy with a focus on poverty and inequality;
2. Provide day-to-day management and leadership of the Poverty and Inequality Team to develop, implement, and oversee strategies to advance this key area of work; help the team keep abreast of current research and discourse on poverty and inequality and build and sustain creative partnerships, working alongside groups worldwide;
3. Coordinate with other parts of the organization to strategically guide and advance work on Poverty and Inequality through support for research, helping to develop innovative communications and advocacy products, and developing new policies to support this work;
4. Act as a senior representative and advocate for the work of the division internally;
5. Act as a senior spokesperson and liaise with external actors to advocate on the work of the division;
6. Represent HRW and its work on poverty and inequality and corporate accountability to companies, governments, and other institutions;
7. Work with non-governmental organizations on collaborative advocacy efforts;
8. Work with HRW’s development staff as needed to support HRW’s fundraising efforts;
9. Work with colleagues in advocacy and communications to develop multidisciplinary strategies to support the work to achieve impact; and
10. Undertake other responsibilities as required.

Management Responsibilities:
1. Deliver outputs in a timely manner while maintaining consistency with the agreed strategy and priorities of the Business and Human Rights Division in conjunction with the Director of the division;
2. Operate in compliance with organizational regulations and rules, including the policies of applicable employee agreements;
3. Establish clear work plans for staff and communicate priorities clearly and effectively. Provide oversight and take responsibility for delegated assignments in conjunction with the Director;
4. Contribute to putting in place systems, processes, and policies to ensure the efficient functioning of the team and its ability to deliver timely outputs;
5. Ensure that the workload of the staff is manageable, and the reporting lines are clear;
6. Provide appropriate and timely feedback on staff performance and provide guidance, coaching and training, as necessary; and
7. Develop and implement along with the Director a management and evaluation framework for the division.

Candidate Profile

The successful candidate will be a thoughtful, collaborative, and strategic leader with experience working on investigations, advocacy, policy and management who has a strong background on poverty and inequality, and an understanding of corporate accountability and human rights frameworks. Someone who operates from a place of principle and inclusive leadership.


Experience: At least 7 years of management experience, especially overseeing research and advocacy on issues related to poverty and inequality, corporate accountability, and human rights. Experience managing in a large organization is an additional benefit.

Education: A level of education that when combined with your professional experience will show that you can contribute meaningfully to the role.

Related Skills and Knowledge

1. Deep knowledge of and experience working on policies affecting poverty and inequality and economic and social rights, including worker rights, fiscal policy, and access to public services essential to an adequate standard of living. Proven ability to learn and master new issues. Strong policy analysis skills.
2. Demonstrated experience developing innovative research projects, crafting strategies, and implementing plans.
3. Experience supervising a distributed team of professionals and a multidisciplinary team.
4. Demonstrated commitment to high standards of accuracy, objectivity, creativity, and ethics.
5. Strong interpersonal skills to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as develop constructive relationships with NGOs, media, research institutes, multilateral organizations, governments, academia, and the private sector.
6. Ability to multi-task effectively, adjust to changing priorities, and meet deadlines.
7. A willingness to experiment and learn from mistakes.
8. The patience and persistence to build effective ways of working in an established organization.
9. Optimism, a sense of humor, and excitement about joining a skilled and diverse team.
10. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and ideally one other commonly spoken language.
11. Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
12. Ability to work collaboratively and respectfully with others in multicultural teams, across organizational boundaries and multiple time zones, and with employees at all levels.

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. HRW offers a relocation assistance package 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 or by September 30 2021, by visiting our online job portal at careers.hrw.org. 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 recruitment@hrw.org. 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 based anywhere to apply. Human Rights Watch does not discriminate on the basis of disability, 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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