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Senior Program Officer, Asylum and Protection

San Diego (United States of America)

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: San Diego (United States of America)
  • Grade: Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Refugee rights and well-being
    • Migration
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Protection Officer (Refugee)
  • Closing Date:

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Job Summary

The Sr. Program Officer , Asylum and Protection will play a critical role in leveraging IRC’s capacity and expertise to support families seeking humanitarian protection after entering the US in the vicinity of San Diego, CA. They will support the development of regional and cross-border strategy and critical relationships to ensure IRC is contributing actively to solutions to the challenges that displaced individuals and families seeking protection face in the region, as a part of RAI’s broader asylum and protection strategy along the southwest border.


Major Responsibilities:

·Develop a contextualized approach to advancing RAI’s asylum program strategy in the San Diego region, identifying the key opportunities and operational, financial, and staffing requirements for IRC to add value;

·Identify and, where appropriate, implement, opportunities for IRC San Diego to develop, expand, or improve upon programming in the areas of humanitarian reception, case management, and legal services both in San Diego and the cross-border region;

·Develop program design and standard operating procedures for potential new program initiatives that follow a client-centered, trauma-informed approach, in close coordination with technical advisors, office leadership and program partners,

·Serve as an in-house expert on changing asylum and border policies in particular as they impact communities in the San Diego/Tijuana border region;

·Serve as the main focal point on relations with external stakeholders, including local government actors, partner NGOs, San Diego Rapid Response Network, California Welcoming Taskforce, in addition to others, in close coordination with the Executive Director;

·Liaise regularly and share information on changing context or programs or partnership opportunities with relevant internal IRC teams including within the IRC-San Diego and HQ-based Resettlement, Asylum and Integration (RAI) and Program Quality and Innovation (PQI) staff;

·Support linkages to concurrent local, state-wide, national, border-wide, and cross-border efforts to support the needs of asylum seekers, as needed and requested;

·Manage the successful launch of the IRC San Diego’s Welcoming Center response, should it move forward;

·Work closely with assigned HR staff to recruit, hire and onboard program staff, where appropriate, and to promote the professional development of a diverse team

·Identify and develop solutions for on-the-ground operational challenges;

·Provide program and situation reports as required;

·Other related responsibilities as assigned.


Key Working Relationships: 

Position Reports to:  Director, Asylum and Immigration Legal Services, in close coordination with Executive Director, IRC San Diego

Other Internal and/or external contacts:

Internal: IRC-San Diego key leadership and program staff; IRC-HQ (namely Senior Director, Program Quality and Innovation; Technical Advisor, Asylum and Protection; Asylum and Protection Task Force).

External:  Partner organizations, government agencies, and community entities also involved in asylum and protection services in San Diego County and other relevant locales.


Job Requirements:

·An expert in the migration and asylum field with close professional ties in the San Diego-Tijuana border region from a legal, social work, humanitarian, or organizing background;

·University degree required;  graduate degree a plus

·Five + years of related professional experience; preferably with a non-profit or social service organization;

·Deep knowledge of the US immigration system and stakeholders, particularly the US asylum system; commitment to the rights of immigrant communities in the U.S. and the cross-border region;

·Three + years of experience in staff supervision with a demonstrated record of promoting diversity and professional development on a team;

·Demonstrated relevant experience working with immigrants, refugees, or other vulnerable populations; shelter/residential experience desired;

·Fluency in spoken and written English required; fluency in another language strongly preferred (especially Spanish; other typically relevant languages include Portuguese, French, Haitian Creole, Russian, Mam and Kiche);

·Excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to communicate with English speakers across the arc of fluency in a multi-cultural environment;

·Experience in partnering with a range of stakeholders (local/federal government actors, community-/faith-based organizations, volunteers);

·Highly organized self-starter with proven success prioritizing multiple tasks, making critical decisions, and delivering results in a fast-paced environment with tight deadlines;

·Strategic, creative, problem solver capable of working well independently and as a part of a team;

·Computer proficiency with an emphasis on Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Teams, Outlook). Strong command of Excel and budget management preferred;

·Must be authorized to work in the US;

·Must have a valid driver’s license in the US, reliable vehicle, active insurance policy and ability to travel frequently in and around the service area to engage with clients and community partners;

·Ability to cross border between US and Mexico as needed and unhindered by US immigration policy.



IRC- leading the way from harm to home


IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law


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Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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