Background/IRC Summary: Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to 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 26 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 Policy & Practice Department is a dynamic team combining the IRC’s Communications, Policy and Advocacy, and Technical Unit expertise. Its core purpose is to develop the IRC as a thought leader and drive transformational change in the humanitarian sector, and specifically to dramatically increase the productivity of humanitarian aid and its ability to achieve outcomes for people living in and displaced by conflict and crisis.
Job Overview/Summary: With nearly 5 million Syrians displaced across international borders, the world is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since World War II. The IRC is working on the front lines of the crisis: inside Syria; in the four refugee receiving countries that surround it (Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey); other countries from which people are fleeing such as Afghanistan; and on the island of Lesbos, the arrival point of over half of the hundreds of thousands of people seeking asylum in the European Union (EU) through Greece. In the United States, flows of unaccompanied children and families from Central America seeking protection from violence and persecution also continue with renewed strength. The US and EU have struggled to respond to these crises in ways that are aligned with international protection standards and humanitarian obligations.
The Policy and Advocacy Officer (Global Protection and Resettlement) will support all aspects of the implementation of a more robust IRC advocacy strategy related to preserving and enhancing protection safeguards and expanding pathways to protection, within the context of the Europe/Mediterranean crisis, the Central America crisis, and the wider global context of mixed migration. At the same time, the Officer will also taking on responsibilities for day-to-day policy and advocacy work on the Central America crisis as relates to USP’s programmatic engagement with this specific population through its work both with the Central American Minors resettlement program and post-placement services for UACs.
Global Strategy (40%)
- Support the Director in developing and implementing a comprehensive, one-IRC strategy on safeguarding global protection and advancing global resettlement and integration policy and practice.
- Ensure routine coordination with policy and advocacy officers in London, Brussels and the field (Greece, Turkey, MENA operations) to ensure a coherent approach to information collection and development of policy positions and public messaging.
- Support DC team in developing messages on the Europe crisis to influence DC stakeholders, including the Administration, the US Congress, coalition partners and other influencers.
Central America Strategy (60%)
- Collect and analyze information and data on the Central America crisis, with particular emphasis on Central American country conditions and forced migration trends, as well as U.S. foreign policy and U.S. domestic policy (e.g. treatment of Central Americans within the context of U.S. interception and border policy, asylum policy, and resettlement policy)
- Support the Director in developing policy positions and influencing strategies in relation to the Central America crisis and U.S. asylum and resettlement policy towards Central America, including identifying opportunities to raise awareness and visibility among policymakers and grasstops influencers of the IRC’s work with Central American refugee children and families, including through the CAM-AOR program.
- Maintain and strengthen working-level relationships with key Central America coalition partners, represent the IRC in coalition structures and DC fora, and implement convening events with key stakeholders.
- Provide support with legislative tracking and analysis as well as Hill outreach, staffer briefings, planning of Lobby Days, and other influencing opportunities on Capitol Hill. This support will focus predominantly on legislation related to the treatment of Central Americans and the southern border, but would also include to a lesser extent legislative support for other IRC priorities (refugee resettlement, immigration reform, etc.) insofar as team capacity limitations require.
- Graduate degree in relevant field such as Public Policy, Law or International Relations, or equivalent qualifications/experience in a relevant field
- Three to six years’ experience interacting with government officials and working-level staffers in the U.S. Administration and/or the U.S. Congress
- Experience working on complex humanitarian and/or foreign policy issues, preferably in the area of forced migration, refugee protection and/or refugee resettlement
- Proven experience developing and implementing successful influencing strategies
- Experience working as part of an interdependent team, and of quickly forming effective working relationships to deliver results
Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:
- Proven political judgment, and detailed knowledge of the workings of the U.S. Administration and the U.S. Congress
- Strong understanding of the U.S. resettlement program within the wider global and U.S. refugee protection system, and knowledge of policy issues related to forced displacement and mixed migration
- Excellent writing skills and the ability to translate complex material and data into coherent narratives
- Ability to communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders
- Strong public speaking, presentation and networking skills
- Ability to travel and to work on tight deadlines
- Initiative and ability to work independently on fast-paced issues
- Commitment to the IRC’s vision, missions and values
Language Skills: Spanish preferred but not required.
Working Environment: Standard office work environment. Up to 15% travel required.