Middle East and North Africa Advocacy and Communications Director

Middle East and North Africa Division
(Based in the MENA region, flexible)

Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) seeks a senior, experienced professional to direct its advocacy and media efforts in the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) region and serve as a senior member of the MENA staff.


1. Serve as HRW’s key regional spokesperson, representing the organization before the media, government officials, partners and the public;

2. Coordinate and provide direction for the advocacy efforts of the division by enlisting the support of government officials, international and regional institutions, other NGOs, the private sector, and the general public;

3. Coordinate the media efforts of MENA staff based in the US, Europe, and the MENA region by reaching out to journalists and overseeing press conferences;

4. Develop strategies for the release of individual reports or promotion of other issues, in consultation with relevant HRW staff. Follow up on implementation of report recommendations on key projects;

5. Develop and oversee our multimedia strategy as well as our use of social media to further enhance the impact of our reports and press releases;

6. Respond to and anticipate news events in order to press human rights issues by writing op-eds, ensuring that our messages are present in the public debate;

7. Participate in internal strategic deliberations;

8. Coordinate with key colleagues within HRW and externally with allied organizations and NGOs;

9. Foresee risks and allow for contingencies when planning; monitor and adjust plans and actions, as necessary. Resolve any issues in a timely manner and in the best way possible; and

10. Operate in compliance with organizational regulations and rules, including the policies of applicable employee agreements.


Education:  An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, journalism, law, politics, history or social science is required.

Experience:  A minimum of fifteen years of professional experience in advocacy, media work, and policy development in the MENA region or in connection with MENA issues, with a proven record of success using these tools to affect policy.

Related Skills and Knowledge: 

1. A demonstrated commitment to human rights and international issues and the capacity to master and represent the mission and programs of HRW is required.

2. Extensive experience and familiarity working with the Middle East press and media is required.

3. A strong network of relationships with senior officials and journalists in the MENA region is required.

4. Excellent presentation skills and dynamic public- speaking ability are required.

5. Ability to defend and explain complex issues and positions is required.

6. Demonstrated ability to think strategically and advocate effectively is required.

7. Track record of cultivating relationships with journalists is required.

8. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Arabic are required.

9. Strong interpersonal skills – in order to work collaboratively within HRW as well as with local partners, government officials, and external media partners – are required.

10. Capacity to appropriately plan, prioritize and manage multiple, sometimes competing demands efficiently in a challenging, fast-paced environment is required.

Other:  Frequent and extensive travel in the MENA region and to Europe and North America, often times on very short notice, is a required component of this job.

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.

Contact:  Please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, salary requirements, a brief writing sample (unedited by others), and contact information for three references to


. Please use “Adv Comms Director Ref MENA-12-1004-H” as the subject of your email. 

Only complete applications will be reviewed and only qualified candidates will be contacted.

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