Senior Director for Humanitarian Aid Reform
Background: Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.
The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through 28 offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees and other immigrants resettle in the U.S. and become self-sufficient. The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.
The Global Policy & Advocacy Department (P&A) is a dynamic team whose mission is to use the IRC's field knowledge, role as expert witness, evidence and solutions to shift the agenda and decisions of policy makers for the benefit of our clients. The P&A team seeks to develop the IRC as a thought leader, and drive transformational change in the humanitarian sector. Specifically, we work to achieve improvements in aid effectiveness through evidence-based solutions; speak out on challenges facing the people we seek to assist; and to promote solutions for protracted displacement.
Job Overview: The Senior Director for Humanitarian Aid Reform will work closely with the Vice President and lead a team to develop and implement advocacy strategies around IRC's aid reform and protracted displacement efforts. The IRC seeks to inform and influence the international response to protracted displacement issues, and to use our extensive field and technical experience to provide thought leadership on aid reform and solutions. The Senior Director will work with colleagues in DC, NY, and Europe to lead the IRC towards the achievement of that vision by pursuing strategies to influence relevant ongoing, urgent policy processes within the World Bank, United Nations, US Government and European Union. The Senior Director will be the internal and external focal point for IRC engagement on these efforts.
- Develop and lead implementation of advocacy strategies to influence policy and program approaches of donors, host governments, and humanitarian and development organizations to improve the use of aid and ensure better outcomes for people affected by forced displacement
- Collaborate with Geneva-based colleagues to carry forward IRC and sector-wide commitments to a better aid agenda as agreed at The World Humanitarian Summit and through the Grand Bargain
- Liaise closely with IRC leadership in International Programs and Technical Units to ensure that our global advocacy strategies and policy recommendations are rooted in the IRC's field experience and technical expertise
- Collaborate with relevant teams across the organization to ensure that the IRC's policy agenda for humanitarian aid reform and protracted displacement is understood by, and aligned with, organizational goals and the work of other teams
- Monitor developments within pertinent policy work streams, including World Bank financing streams, USG agency reviews, UN reform reviews, the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, and the EU Migration Partnership Framework agreements to ensure that the IRC is proactively engaging and leading to promote our agenda
- Build and maintain connections with key external stakeholders, including policy makers, influencers and other humanitarian NGOs to increase IRC's access and influence over the development of relevant humanitarian aid policy
- Identify and facilitate opportunities for IRC senior leaders to build relationships with top-level DC and NY-based decision-makers to directly advance IRC's thought leadership agenda
- Amplify IRC policy positions by engaging and leading on the platforms of relevant coalitions
- Write, speak and present at high level fora to represent the IRC and support IRC's thought leadership in areas of influence
- Oversee the development of internal and external advocacy products (reports, op-eds, testimony, etc.)
Key Working Relationships:
Position reports to: Vice President, Policy and Advocacy
Position directly supervises: Displacement Solutions Policy Advisor; Policy and Advocacy Officers (2)
Internal contacts: Policy and Advocacy colleagues in US and Europe; Technical Unit leads; International Programs leads; Communications and Revenue departments; President's Office
External contacts: Key partners at World Bank, UN, and USG agencies; peer organizations and think tanks; relevant coalitions
- Graduate degree in relevant field such as Public Policy, Law or International Relations
- 10+ years of proven experience in the humanitarian field, including significant time in leadership positions, and knowledge and execution of advocacy techniques and policy analysis
- Successful experience managing high-level relationships and leading a team
- Prefer some field-based humanitarian or development experience
Demonstrated skills and competencies:
- Deep knowledge of humanitarian aid and refugee issues, particularly around long-term displacement
- Extensive knowledge of relevant UN, USG and World Bank processes, particularly: the Grand Bargain, USG agency reviews, UN reform reviews, Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, the EU Migration Partnership Framework Agreements and World Bank financing streams
- Deep familiarity with leveraging points throughout UN, USG, World Bank and EU that can be targeted to achieve policy change objectives
- Knowledge of and leadership experience working with humanitarian organizations, including relevant INGOs, think tanks and academic institutions
- Ability to think strategically, synthesize complex information and develop innovative policy and advocacy approaches
- Demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate successfully with experts, high level decision-makers, and colleagues in the humanitarian and development fields
- Excellent writing skills and the ability to translate complex material and data into coherent narratives that resonate with policymakers
- Ability to travel and to work on tight deadlines
- Initiative and ability to work independently on fast-paced issues, and juggle competing demands
Working Environment: Standard office work environment. Up to 20% travel required
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