Human Rights Watch Deputy Executive Director Job

Deputy Executive Director Job, Current Administration Jobs,

Position Summary

The Deputy Executive Director, Chief Programs Officer (CPO) of HRW has been reconceived as a part of the evolution of HRW. This executive will lead half of HRW’s headcount, roughly encompassing staff located in 89 countries. The organization’s external environment, given the work it does, is often complex and challenging.

This role comes with tremendous responsibility to further develop and successfully support the ongoing development of structures and processes to ensure an enabling environment for effective collaboration across HRW’s Programmatic Departments. Additionally, they will play a key role in ensuring the organization can implement an ambitious and impactful global human rights strategy that has already been developed. Reporting to the Executive Director, Tirana Hassan, the Deputy Executive Director, CPO will have overall responsibility for the organization’s research, legal and policy, advocacy, and communications departments and their operations. The DED, CPO is responsible for ensuring the effective leadership and management of  activities, partner coordination, work planning, information flows and budgets across these departments, with 70% of their time devoted to internal management and leadership, and 30% for steering HRW’s external strategy, fundraising and external representation. The CPO will have demonstrated experience overseeing a team of organizational leaders responsible for ensuring efficient, effective, and impactful work and in successfully providing top-level guidance for effective leadership teams. This individual will be a core part of the Executive leadership team and be expected to drive forward the implementation of the current HRW global strategy. This leader will support the organization’s continued growth and development by ensuring cross-functional integration, operational and programmatic excellence, and best-in-class management practices across departments. The DED, CPO will work alongside the ED, the Deputy Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer and other senior leaders to help facilitate the organization through its ongoing transition to ensure internal structures, processes, and culture are appropriately aligned with the organization’s values and its evolving global strategy.

One focus of this role will be to ensure that internal norms, values, and behaviors are consistent and coherent with the principles and standards that HRW articulates externally. The DED, CPO will be able to balance internal organizational and change management while also delivering on the organization’s core mission. Critical to this role is maintaining and strengthening HRW’s credibility, influence, and impact externally while building trust internally, and supporting a culture of excellence, collaboration, engagement, and inclusion, in which its diverse and passionate staff can thrive. An individual with the courage and conviction to defend the rights of all people, and the passion and empathy to inspire and lead by example, will find success in this role.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead and develop department heads across all programmatic areas to reach excellence.
  • Help optimize organizational structure and processes and accelerate ongoing change management efforts; expand internal management capability both through direct, hands-on leadership and by empowering other leaders across the organization.
  • Develop systems for planning and coordination that connect decision-making and resource allocation to strategy.
  • Establish and expand relationships, credibility and influence with critical internal and external stakeholders.
  • Extend fundraising excellence by partnering with the Chief Development Officer in diversifying and deepening the existing donor base and implementing new fundraising strategies that match the resource needs across programmatic departments; design and execute multi-year fundraising campaigns.
  • Partner with the Chief Financial Officer to develop financial planning and budget processes that support the implementation of strategies.
  • Liaise with the International Board on programmatic reporting, resource allocation and policy issues.
  • Continue elevating HRW’s international identity, cementing its reputation as a truly global organization, through representing the organization in key forums, fundraising events and the media, as required.
  • Foster a high-performing organization through partnering with senior leaders on strategic workforce planning, attracting and retaining world-class and diverse talent, and engaging staff and developing their capabilities.
  • Ensure rigor and integrity of HRW’s programmatic work across departments to ensure it is delivered to the highest standard; stay abreast of innovations in the human rights sector and, for those relevant to HRW, develop systems to oversee their effective implementation.
  • Live and promote the values of the organization and promote trust by increasing transparency and collaboration across teams to amplify HRW’s external impact. Ensure ongoing commitment to diversity as well as equity and inclusion for staff of all backgrounds across regions globally.


Operational Leadership Experience

  • Has led large, complex organizations or teams through significant change. Track record of developing teams, implementing transformative changes along with structures and processes to increase the effectiveness of an organization as it grows and scales.

Global Mindset

  • Has lived and worked in multiple parts of the world and can understand and can work respectfully and effectively across different cultures and perspectives when leading teams, collaborating and influencing others, especially in multi-cultural and multi-geography teams. Has a demonstrated ability to uphold and enhance the diversity HRW seeks to foster. Has experience working with building international or regional alliances and partnerships. Understands HRW’s role and added value in the wider global human rights movement.

Passion for Mission

  • Clear and unfaltering evidence of a personal and professional commitment to human rights; demonstrated purpose-driven leadership of mission-driven organizations and experience working for lasting human rights impact. Has a deep understanding of strategy and how to deliver human rights change. Direct human rights programmatic implementation experience preferred.

Research and Advocacy Experience

  • Proven track record of running a large inter-disciplinary team in global organizations. Demonstrated experience in field-based research and/or international advocacy.

Leadership Capabilities

Building and Developing Teams

  • Invests in and develops their team.
  • Diagnoses future capabilities required at different levels of the organization.
  • Systematically develops leaders and team members through stretch assignments with specific competency development goals, coaching and a range of other approaches.
  • Reviews the capability and capacity of departments under their supervision and supports strategic growth and development.
  • Guides the development and provides the framework for ambitious, successful and financially sustainable departmental strategies.
  • Delegates authority to the team and ensures accountability for delivering on strategic objectives.
  • Passes leadership responsibilities down through the organization, ensuring alignment with the overall strategy and/or direction.
  • Sets up forums or practices to reinforce independent and open communication among team members.
  • Supports teams and builds capacity of leaders to manage change.

Leading Change, Strengthening Systems and Ensuring Effective Inter-Disciplinary Collaboration

  • Creates and empowers change leaders and understands how to involve key influencers in the design and implementation of strategy and systems.
  • Identifies internal changes consistent with the strategy but radical in implementation and gains buy-in with individual, customized influence efforts.
  • Establishes processes or practices to encourage and reinforce innovation and change thinking.
  • Adapts change plans/influence strategies to the political realities and constraints of the organization, targeting the most influential people regardless of formal role, and engaging people in a reasoned way.
  • Identifies and implements systems to help facilitate sustainable growth and effective use of resources as the organization evolves in a changing geopolitical environment. Advocates for new direction, takes it onboard personally, even countering conventional practice.
  • Thinks strategically about challenges facing a growing, evolving organization and yet also remains focused on operational excellence and the day-to-day imperatives of the organization.
  • Understands how global trends and changes can impact the organization’s work and can support leaders to adapt and evolve.
  • Takes personal ownership for advancing significant change and evolution.
  • Communicates direction with a clear rationale and timelines.
  • Creates or takes advantage of multiple opportunities to evolve and deliver ambitious bodies of work.
  • Adapts communication content, approach, or style around change to appeal to different audiences.

Collaborating and Influencing

  • Identifies all necessary stakeholders and connects with them to gain support or agreement.
  • Negotiates with a genuine give-and-take approach that takes all parties’ perspectives into account.
  • Takes advantage of opportunities to build strategic relationships to achieve a specific outcome.
  • Engages others in open dialogue and adapts own influence approach to different stakeholders in ways that address their interests or concerns.
  • Anticipates emerging or potential conflicts among all stakeholders and takes steps to pre-empt them.
  • Spends time identifying all stakeholders necessary and meets or connects with all of them, neglecting no one to shape a collective consensus.
  • Takes difficult decisions when needed and provide clear rationales in line with HRW’s organizational values.
  • Clear and persuasive communicator who can unpack new and complex ideas for various audiences and represent the organization in internal and external meetings and events.

Personal Characteristics

  • Visionary leadership style that is inspirational to all members of a diverse organization.
  • Authentic and influential leader and communicator who engenders trust-based followership and captivates audiences.
  • Courageous, decisive and bold in taking informed risks, making decisions and working to deliver impact on behalf of HRW.
  • Strong EQ and empathetic style with the ability to read emotions in others and respond appropriately and effectively.
  • Active listener who solicits perspectives and ideas from all team members.
  • High integrity and trustworthiness, possesses unquestionable ethics.
  • Inclusive and transparent, explicit in logic when sharing a view or presenting decisions, engages others in ideation and implementation.
  • Agile, flexible, and innovative; has sound instincts for knowing when to challenge implicit assumptions or pursue alternate ways of framing a complex problem.
  • Engaged, able to roll up sleeves and work hard to deliver against HRW’s goals and priorities while modeling appropriate life/work balance and commitment to wellbeing.

How To Apply

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