Deputy Director, East Asia
Asia Division 
Multiple Locations Considered
Application deadline: Apply immediately

The Asia Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking applicants for the position of Deputy Director (East Asia) to help lead the division’s work on China, Japan, and the Korean peninsula. The Asia Division is one of HRW’s six regional research programs and is made up of about 30 staff, many of them based in the region and working in challenging environments.

This position, one of three deputies for the division, reports to the Asia Director and assists the Director in setting strategic goals and priorities. The Deputy will ensure the highest standards of research and advocacy within the Asia Division. The Deputy will also help coordinate and liaise with other parts of the organization involved in East Asia-related work, raise funds in support of the division, and supervise staff focused on East Asia, with an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and staff wellbeing.

The full-time position will preferably be based in one of the following HRW offices: Tokyo, Sydney, London, Brussels, Berlin, New York or Washington DC. We will also consider having the successful candidate based in the region. The role is expected to start from July 2024 onwards.

The successful candidate may have the option to work remotely. We aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment and onboarding of this position.


1. Assist the Director in developing and executing effective research, advocacy, and communications strategies for East Asia;

2. Assist the Director in overseeing both the day-to-day and longer-term research on human rights issues in East Asia;

3. Assist the Director in supervising staff working on East Asia including researchers and an advocacy director and supporting advocacy and communications strategies;

4. Facilitate the response to crises, 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;

5. Edit program output produced by researchers, including press releases, op-eds, and reports on tight deadlines and manage staff located in multiple locations globally;

6. Assist the Director in regularly monitoring the budget and ensure that resources are allocated appropriately;

7. 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;

8. Represent HRW in the media and through the writing of press statements, editorials or other advocacy materials;

9. Develop and maintain relationships with partners, as well as local and regional groups and organizations;

10. Interact regularly with HRW staff across all departments to ensure effective coordination and delivery of program activities, including with human resources, finance, and the security team;

11. Conduct advocacy with high-level officials from governments, companies, and intergovernmental agencies to effect policy change;

12. Travel, as required, to accompany researchers on fact-finding missions and to conduct advocacy or other HRW business;

13. Assist the Director in achieving fundraising goals, recruiting new donors, and reporting back to donors in a timely manner; and

14. Perform other tasks, as may be required.

Managerial Responsibilities:

1. 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;

2. Assist the Director in establishing clear work plans and manage workload for staff and communicate priorities clearly and effectively. Provide oversight and take responsibility for delegated assignments;

3. Assist the Director in ensuring that the management, staffing, and culture of the division are suitably aligned with evolving goals, and strategic ambitions;

4. 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;

5. 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;

6. Assist the Director in managing the implementation of performance management processes that measure and evaluate progress against operational goals for the division;

7. 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;

8. Assist the Director in ensuring consistent application of approved policies and practices across the division;

9. Model inclusive behavior and consistently adhere to HRW’s internal values;

10. Incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) values and initiatives into the division’s work;


Education: An advanced (graduate) degree or an equivalent level of experience in human rights, international relations, journalism, law, social sciences or a related field is required.

Experience: A minimum of seven (7) years of relevant work experience in international human rights or related work, including investigations, reporting, and advocacy, with at least four years in a management position is required.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

1. Excellent leadership skills and 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 are required.

2. Extensive knowledge of human rights issues in East Asia is required, with a preference for candidates with strong China expertise.

3. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English is required and another East Asian language is highly desirable.

4. Demonstrated experience developing and implementing human rights impact-driven research and advocacy projects, crafting and implementing creative strategies.

5. Ability to navigate complex security issues is required.

6. A track record of working with civil society groups, including collaboration with communities facing social, cultural and/or economic exclusion is required.

7. A demonstrated ability to think strategically and work quickly and effectively under pressure is required.

8. A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and experience applying DEI values in the workplace is required.

9. A track record of dealing with the media and cultivating relationships with journalists and experience using multimedia and social media for advocacy and outreach is required.

10. Ability to defend and explain complex issues and positions to internal and external audiences, including senior officials in governments and intergovernmental bodies is required.

11. Ability to think creatively, initiate projects, and follow through on plans is required.

12. Strong editing skills, with an ability to edit for factual and legal accuracy, for effective communication in relation to the intended audience, is required.

13. 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 is required.

14. Capacity to appropriately plan, prioritize and manage multiple, sometimes competing, demands efficiently in a challenging, fast-paced environment is required.

Salary and Benefits: HRW offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. HRW offers relocation assistance package and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply. If based in the United States, the salary range would be USD 121,000– 133,000. Salary ranges outside of the United States vary based on location.

How to Apply: Please apply immediately by visiting our online job portal at careers.hrw.org and submitting a cover letter and CV or resume. 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, or if you require a disability-related accommodation, 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 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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