Job Description
Job Title Senior Advocate, Defense Policy (DC)
Job ID 806244
Begin Date 6/13/14
Location Washington,  DC 20005
Other Location
Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. Over its 35-year history, Human Rights First has earned a reputation for pragmatic, results-oriented advocacy that is politically astute, grounded in facts, and driven by sophisticated legal and policy analysis. Human Rights First is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with a track record of success in delivering change that has made a meaningful difference in people’s lives.
The organization is led by President and CEO Elisa Massimino. A lawyer and activist with more than two decades of experience in the field, Massimino has been recognized as one of the top 20 public advocates in the country. Massimino leads a team of more than 70 talented and committed activists based in New York City, Washington, D.C and Houston
Reporting to the Senior Director of Government Advocacy, the Senior Advocate, Defense Policy is an integral member of the government advocacy team.  Specializing in human rights advocacy in the defense, national security, and foreign policy communities, the Senior Advocate will devise strategies that frame, elevate, and, ultimately, achieve Human Rights First’s policy objectives by working with the Department of Defense and the congressional armed services committees.   The Senior Advocate, Defense Policy will work closely with appropriate coalition partners, and coordinate work with Senior Counsel, Defense and Intelligence and Senior Advocate, Foreign Policy.   S/He will also provide support to other Human Rights First teams working with these targets, and collaborate closely with Strategic Alliances, Research and Analysis, Communications, and Development departments, as well as other members of the Government Advocacy team, to maximize knowledge, skills, and resources to meet organizational goals.  
  • Manage Human Rights First advocacy with Department of Defense and armed services committees, and related advocacy targets:
  • Develop strategies to influence decision makers with a specific focus on Deputy Assistant Secretary level and above and Professional Staff member and above.
  • Identify decision making process on specific objectives, including inter-agency processes.
  • Lead and/or coordinate meetings with experts, leadership, and validators as appropriate.
  • Identify, cultivate, and manage relationships with senior-level policy makers and their staffs. 
  • Lead objectives in at least one area of Human Rights First advocacy on the Middle East, Leahy Law, and/or trafficking.
  • Coordinate strategies with other Human Rights First work involving these targets.
  • Track legislation and develop organizational positions and approach, including on appropriations. 
  • Lead Human Rights First approach to Congressional hearings in this area and/or involving advocacy targets.  Work with other colleagues to prepare, attend, and follow up hearings, as appropriate. 
  • Serve as a conduit between executive and legislature on key issues.
  • Collaborate closely with Strategic Alliances, Research and Analysis, Communications, and Development departments, as well as other members of the Government Advocacy team, to maximize knowledge, skills, and resources in service of advocacy goals.
  • Promote the profile of experts and create opportunities for them to advocate for objective.
  • Help frame research needed for political strategies, including travel planning
  • Collaborate on relevant recommendations made by Human Rights First to the administration and Congress
  • Prepare and promote Human Rights First materials daily for press briefings, hearings, major legislation
  • Identify opportunities for Human Rights First-hosted events on the Hill
  • Write and edit press releases, blogs, and social media for political approach
  • Contribute to projects in the Government Advocacy department, including engagement in major events such as White House initiatives and the Human Rights Summit; mastering advocacy tools such as BGov; studying advocacy campaigns; and cultivating relationships with Washington experts on human rights and U.S. global leadership. 
  • Other duties as requested based on department and/or organizational need
ANNUAL SALARY: Competitive with comprehensive benefits package

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Until filled. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis; applicants are encouraged to apply early. 
Please complete the online application found at our website  under ABOUT US / JOB OPPORTUNITIES links. 
You will be requested to provide:
  • Resume (upload)
  • Cover letter (secondary upload*)
  • Names and contact details for three (3) references (enter online)
* After completing the initial application and uploading your resume, please select VIEW PROFILE and UPLOAD ATTACHMENT to upload additional documents. You can also log into your profile from the top of the Job Opportunities page. When logged into your profile, you can upload cover letter and any other relevant documents by selecting UPLOAD ATTACHMENT at the top of the page. 

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, Washington DC. and Houston. 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 •At least 5 years public affairs experience in a range of settings: government/cabinet agencies, political campaigns, Capitol Hill, or in a leadership role in an advocacy organization, including at least 3 years advising senior-level leaders.

•Substantive experience in one of the following areas: Middle East, Leahy Law, or trafficking.

•Sophisticated understanding of the legislative and political process, and experience managing multifaceted advocacy campaigns.

•Excellent political judgment and a keen strategic thinker.

•Demonstrated ability to take initiative, prioritize responsibilities, and work independently while functioning as a member of a team. Strong emphasis on follow up and completing work on deadlines.

•Excellent interpersonal skills, with an emphasis on verbal and written communication and public presentation skills. Strong ability to persuade.

•Ability to summarize complicated information for specific audiences, including the general public.

•Ability to work at a fast pace effectively in a cross-functional environment

•Strong organizational and planning skills, including ability to work with diverse groups at all levels internally and externally. Demonstrated ability to work with those who may not agree with you.

•A network of well-placed contacts.
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