Country: Switzerland
Organization: Human Rights Watch
Closing date: 16 May 2022

Advocacy Department
Geneva Office
Application Deadline: 16 May 2022

Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking applicants for the position of UN Geneva Director to act as the coordinator and principal advocate for HRW’s engagement at the United Nations and on UN-related issues in Geneva. HRW’s work in Geneva focuses on the human rights-related mechanisms and agencies which are based there. This position reports to the Deputy Director for Global Advocacy, currently based in Geneva, supervises a small team of core advocates in Geneva and works closely with the UN Advocacy Director in New York, the principal HRW advocate with the New York-based UN institutions. .

Due to COVID-19, many of our global offices are operating in reduced capacities. The successful candidate may be required to work remotely as local mandates necessitate. We recognize that this moment, during the pandemic, is a uniquely difficult time for most people, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, and we aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment for and onboarding of this position.


Lead HRW’s work at the United Nations in Geneva, including through advocacy and engagement with the UN Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, special procedures and other mechanisms appointed by the Council, UN agencies and treaty bodies;
Act as the focal point for HRW’s work relating to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights;
Collaborate with the various parts of HRW to identify and create opportunities that support their advocacy efforts involving the UN in Geneva;
Consult with internal and external partners to set priorities, and to design and implement advocacy strategies to advance HRW’s work through Geneva-based international human rights bodies;
Meet regularly with UN officials and Geneva-based diplomats;
Act as a spokesperson, and proactively engage the Geneva-based press corps, and broader media, on UN-related issues;
Present HRW’s research and recommendations in public fora and represent HRW at events and meetings relating to our work;
Prepare a range of materials, policy analyses, advocacy and public documents targeting policy-makers and broader audiences, including through social media;
Work with non-governmental organizations on collaborative advocacy efforts;
Work with HRW’s development staff to support HRW’s fundraising efforts in Switzerland;
Lead, motivate, develop, and mentor direct reports by communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, providing regular and timely constructive feedback, ensuring balanced workload, and supporting professional growth;
Promote and monitor well-being of direct reports as it pertains to stress and resilience issues and self-care, foster an inclusive team culture, and work collaboratively with direct reports and other staff in addressing challenges and opportunities.
Perform other tasks as required.


Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, journalism, law, or social science is highly desirable.

Experience: The position requires significant human rights experience and expertise and a demonstrated commitment to human rights. Seven to ten years of relevant international advocacy experience and substantial knowledge of the United Nations, including an understanding of its principal institutions, human rights mechanisms, and treaty bodies, is required.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

Substantial advocacy experience is required.
Excellent public speaking, writing, and editing skills in English is required; fluency in French is highly desired. Knowledge of additional UN languages is an asset.
Direct experience working with or at the United Nations, particularly involving the Human Rights Council, is strongly desired.
Demonstrated ability to think strategically and a proven track record of advocacy.
Ability to defend and explain complex issues and positions to UN officials, diplomats, and the media.
Experience speaking with the media and cultivating relationships with journalists.
Strong interpersonal skills to work collaboratively within HRW as well as with others.
Ability to think creatively, initiate projects, and follow through on plans.
Capacity to appropriately plan, prioritize and manage multiple, sometimes competing demands efficiently in a challenging, fast-paced environment.

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. HRW will pay reasonable relocation expenses and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.

Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. Human Rights Watch does not discriminate on the basis of disability, age, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or criminal record. We welcome all kinds of diversity. Our employees include people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide span of socio-economic backgrounds and perspectives on the world. Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer.

Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of influential governments and international institutions.

How to apply:

How to Apply: Please apply immediately or by 16 May 2022 by visiting our online job portal at and uploading a cover letter or letter of motivation and a resume/CV, in PDF format. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, or if you require a disability related accommodation to complete your application, please email Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.

Categories: NGO Jobs