|Job Title||Director, Pillar Project|
|Location||New York, NY 10001|
|Other Location||Washington, DC 20005|
Human Rights First seeks an experienced, entrepreneurial litigator with a strong background in international human rights law and advocacy to direct its new initiative––the Pillar Project–– designed to advance the receptivity of U.S. courts to international human rights and humanitarian law. The project is based on the premise that a better informed bar and bench will yield better implementation and adherence to international human rights and humanitarian law obligations. Our goal is to be proactive and bring an experienced group of law firms and academic practitioners together to seize opportunities to push the human rights agenda forward primarily through amicus strategies and possibly through creative direct representation. The project’s name is a tribute to Human Rights First’s long-time board member, the late Louis Henkin. Professor Henkin famously said that “In the cathedral of human rights, the United States has not been a pillar, but a flying buttress, standing outside the structure and supporting it, but unwilling to subject itself to the rules that govern inside.”
From its inception in 1978, Human Rights First has focused its attention on the promotion of human rights through the rule of law. We have long-standing relationships and a reputation with the U.S. and other governments, as well as with private law firms, law clinics and academics for excellence in legal research, analysis, and advocacy. We work with the nation’s top law firms and other litigators on issues such as asylum and refugee protection, detention and trial policies and practices, military contractor accountability, and corporate responsibility.
As an American organization working to protect human rights internationally, Human Rights First focuses on ensuring that the United States lives up to its human rights obligations and leverages its influence to advance human rights around the world. The Pillar Project advances Human Rights First’s advocacy mission in U.S. courts and combines the unique skills and expertise of Human Rights First with the need to promote human rights in U.S. jurisprudence.
Together with a panel of private law firms, academics and law clinics, the Director will be responsible for strategic direction, leadership, and day-to-day management of the Pillar Project.
The ideal candidate will be an experienced, entrepreneurial litigator with the agility and strategic thinking to lead a dynamic, cutting-edge project and achieve measurable results in the receptivity of U.S. courts to international human rights and humanitarian law. S/he will have exceptional legal and analytic skills, complex trial and appellate litigation experience, and a strong background in international human rights law and advocacy. S/he will also demonstrate a strong personal commitment to human rights, the capacity to work successfully under pressure in a fast-paced environment while juggling multiple tasks, and the ability to work collegially in a diverse environment. Human Rights First seeks a compelling advocate and spokesperson with a proven ability to successfully steward relationships with key players.
Leadership and Strategic Direction
EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS: Law degree (JD from U.S.-based law school strongly preferred; LLM beneficial).
START DATE: Immediately
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: December 20, 2013. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis; applicants are encouraged to apply early.
Please complete the online application found at our website www.humanrightsfirst.org under ABOUT US / JOB OPPORTUNITIES links.
You will be requested to provide:
Applicants will receive a confirmation email with their username and password once they’ve created a profile. Please keep this information to access your application and make changes at any time.
Only selected applicants will be contacted for phone or in-person interviews. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE.
Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington DC. We build respect for human rights and the rule of law to help ensure the dignity to which everyone is entitled and to stem intolerance, tyranny, and violence.
Human Rights First is committed to recruiting, retaining, developing, and promoting staff across all programs and departments from a diversity of backgrounds, including members of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTI people, people with disabilities, people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, people of all nationalities, and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. We believe that a diverse staff and an inclusive work environment that welcomes a range of perspectives help make our advocacy work stronger and more effective.
|Required Skills||•A significant professional background (6+ years) in law, with complex trial and appellate litigation experience, including international human rights cases, and a strong general background in international human rights law and advocacy;
•Strong professional profile and relationships with relevant contacts in NGOs, law schools, private law firms, and government;
•Knowledge of Human Rights First and its strategic focus, and commitment to its mission and vision;
•Excellent written and oral advocacy skills and a demonstrated ability to translate highly technical material for a variety of audiences and effectively edit the work of others;
•Excellent communication, media, presentation, and analytical skills;
•A minimum of three years of senior-level experience in management, administrative and/or leadership positions;
•Superior project management skills, capacity to finish assignments under pressure, and to work collegially with others;
•Ability to evaluate projects, including creating metrics to measure progress;
•Strong strategic, organizational and analytical skills; good judgment; a high degree of initiative; and the desire and ability to work successfully in a demanding, fast-paced, multitasking professional environment;
•Admission to the bar, preferably in New York.
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