Associate Director of Institutional Engagement

Asylum Access
Full time
Business Management
United States
Hiring from: Anywhere

Innovative Human Rights NGO Seeks (Associate) Director of Institutional Engagement

Position Description

The (Associate) Director of Institutional Engagement manages Asylum Access’ engagement and advocacy with key institutions of power that influence global displacement efforts, in particular UNHCR, World Bank, and donor governments but also other institutions as warranted. Such engagement and advocacy should be designed and implemented in ways that also uphold Asylum Access’ cross-cutting goals of refugee leadership and civil society inclusion. Thus, the duties of the Institutional Engagement head include not only designing and executing advocacy and engagement strategies, but also working closely and liaising with other parts of Asylum Access and with partner and peer NGOs in refugee-hosting countries.

The Institutional Engagement head serves as part of the Global Systems Change department management, and as part of our Global Leadership Team (GLT) charged with making high-level strategic choices for Asylum Access as an organization. This position works closely with colleagues in the Global Systems Change team, in particular the Director of Global Programs & Policy and the Associate Director of Partnerships & Engagement, and currently reports to the CEO (the position may report to a Vice President overseeing Global Systems Change in the future).

Key Responsibilities

  • Design and execute advocacy and engagement strategies for key institutions of power that advance Asylum Access’ goals of improving refugees’ access to rights and participation in global decision-making. Comprehend the organizational psychology and change levers of key institutions, and translate that knowledge into the design and execution of effective advocacy strategies, including by directing, coordinating, or assisting other Asylum Access team members and/or external allies as needed.

  • Along with other Global Systems Change colleagues, in particular those spearheading our efforts to instigate increased refugee and national-level civil society participation in global decision-making on displacement efforts, aid refugee leadership and civil society inclusion by ensuring Asylum Access’ advocacy is increasingly comprehensive and centers the voices and expertise of those most affected by displacement.

  • In participation with the Operations team and in line with Asylum Access’ overall internal systems strategies, develop improvements in systems that uphold our global advocacy and engagement efforts, including proactive identification, design, and promulgation of improvements to relationship management, information management, and external communications systems to achieve stronger advocacy and engagement.

  • In close partnership with the Development & Communications team and in line with Asylum Access’ overall communications strategies, develop external communications that aid and reinforce our global advocacy and engagement strategies. This includes both communications that directly serve advocacy goals, and communications with other stakeholders, including funders, that indirectly aid advocacy goals. Such communications will range widely, from policy briefs to OpEds to grant proposals to social media posts and beyond.

  • In participation with the rest of the Global Systems Change team and managers, design and achieve Asylum Access’ global systems change goals, envisioning innovative ways to shift incentives and priorities in the global refugee response ecosystem to improve human rights, accountability and transparency. Over time, manage one or more staff working on global systems change.

  • Serve as a member of the GLT, providing input into overall organizational strategy.

Required Qualifications

  • Prior work experience in designing and executing effective advocacy strategies that have influenced the behavior of large entities;

  • Prior and proven work that required knowledge of the global displacement response ecosystem;

  • At least one of the following:

    • Prior and proven work that required comprehension the organizational psychology and change levers of UNHCR, World Bank, and/or so-called donor governments (i.e., the governments that provide substantial aid and diplomatic influence in the global displacement response ecosystem)

    • Experience in advancing refugees’ human rights through legal aid/legal empowerment or through policy advocacy

  • Exceptional people management skills

  • Notable initiative and ability to take ownership of projects, manage multiple deadlines, and work effectively independently and collaboratively in a team environment

  • Time management and organizational skills

  • Flexible, willing to reassess priorities and approaches as necessary in a rapidly evolving organizational context

  • Cultural competence and intelligence, ability to work well in a diverse, multicultural workforce. Exceptional willingness to ensuring meaningful participation, inclusion and engagement for all team members

Fluency in Spanish a significant plus

Hours and Location of Work

The (Associate) Director of Institutional Engagement is a full-time position that may be based in Africa, the Americas, Europe, or the Middle East. Other locations may also be considered. Candidates should be aware that some flexibility regarding working hours is required in order to take out of hours calls and meetings with international colleagues.


The position comes with a well-paying nonprofit salary based on location, and a robust benefits package.

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