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Policy Director, Protection Pathways

Washington D.C. | New York City | London

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: Washington D.C. | New York City | London
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Political Affairs
    • Legal - Broad
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date:
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. We deliver lasting impact by providing health care, helping children learn, and empowering individuals and communities to become self-reliant. Through this work, we continuously prioritize the unique needs of women and girls. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, we now work in over 40 crisis-affected countries as well as communities throughout the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

The Global Policy and Solutions Department is a dynamic team that maximizes the power of IRC’s ideas to solve the biggest challenges facing IRC’s clients across the “arc of crisis.” From combating the drivers of conflict to meeting the needs of displaced people, the team partners with innovative problem solvers, experts and individuals with lived experience to identify solutions and bring them to life. We take pride in being a creative team focused on solutions. We are precise in our goals, tactics, and messages. We lead change year over year, knowing that system change takes dedicated focus while maintaining the flexibility to respond to emerging needs worldwide. Finally, we are collaborative, working not only with programs, strategy, research and innovation, and communications teams across the IRC, but also externally, constantly seeking new insights and perspectives from others in our sector and beyond.

Job Overview:
The International Rescue Committee has recently redesigned its approach to developing policy and solutions, redefining the way we work with politicians, policy makers, and civil society. As the Director of Protection Pathways Policy you are in the epicenter of IRCs idea marketplace: the solution network. Be responsible for leading a portfolio and developing an agenda of high-impact solutions for populations seeking safety, especially in North American and European contexts. Identify connection points across IRCs programs, practice and partnerships, and help identify the most pressing priorities for IRC’s policy and solutions agenda. Maintain a network of policy analysts and policy makers that enables you to diagnose root cause issues and rapidly test new ideas. Clearly communicate and distil the complexity of policy for a range of audiences. Lead a collaborative team that is ambitious, quick moving, and open to new insights. This team sits within IRC’s broader External Relations Department, focused on delivering shared policy, profile and funding objectives.

Major Responsibilities:
Solutions Strategy: Design and develop policy and solutions strategy for your policy portfolio (to include refugee resettlement and integration in various contexts, asylum, and other protection pathways for populations on the move). Craft specific and practical policy goals drawing on IRC’s programs and client experience globally as well as on our internal analysis capacity. Activate internal partners across the IRC on common solutions. Develop and maintain additional relationships with policy makers, key opinion formers and the public.

Networking and Testing: Amplify and sustain a “solutions network” of internal and external experts, including those with lived experience. Identify where and how to collaborate with these groups to develop more specific, sustained and surgical solutions. Support team in identifying topics, curating and implementing diverse and inclusive Policy Roundtables. 

Solutions Generation: Apply deep knowledge of political and power systems to surgical, specific and creative solutions in IRC's priority policy and practice areas. Ensure these solutions are developed with various partners, including programmatic teams. Develop partnerships and relationships that advance and refine solutions and influence opportunities.

Focused Advocacy Strategy: Support and partner with the Advocacy and Influence unit to co-develop surgical influence strategies. These influence strategies will translate your portfolio of policy goals to achievable advocacy strategies motivating change for our clients. Serve as IRC's issue authority in external meetings as appropriate. 

Content and message development: Develop strategy for and coordinate analytical and policy content (reports, briefs, etc.) to be used across IRC for influence, funding, and profile-building opportunities. Collaborate closely with advocacy teams, especially policy communications, to understand needs for targeted policy content for specific geographies. Partner with those teams to generate content in priority areas. Be an authoritative voice on redlines for Communications Master Documents.

Policy Product Development: Provide insights, ideas and solutions to support IRC’s signature policy products (e.g., The Watchlist) and support the conception, development, and creation of new products. Review analysis of quantitative and qualitative data to support analysis of issues and solutions. Identify corresponding solutions to unlock impact at scale. 
Steward Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the broader team environment at the IRC and in your management approach. Ensure those principles are integrated into the policy solutions we develop and the ways that we wield influence. 

Spokesperson: Serve as IRC policy spokesperson communicating with journalists, policymakers, experts, and the public to showcase our policy solutions. 

Team Management: Develop and model new ways of working. Lead a hard-working team. Positively contribute to the IRC leadership team and IRC culture. Create an inclusive environment by establishing a standard of care and encouraging different ideas. Share time and credit with the individuals you supervise, showing appreciation and growing visibility by giving them access to more senior staff and highlighting their accomplishments.
Thought Leadership: Work with senior leadership to craft IRC's thought leadership vision and voice on solutions for key issues facing our clients. Shape internal processes to establish IRC thought leadership priorities and approach.

Key Working Relationships:
Position reports to: VP, Policy and Solutions

Position directly supervises: 2 Senior Policy Advisors; 1 Policy Advisor; 2 Policy Analysts

Internal contacts: Policy and Advocacy colleagues across the globe; Technical Excellence leads; CRRD leads; Resettlement, Asylum and Integration leads; Communications; Awards Management; President’s Office; External Relations Department

External contacts: Key experts, influencers and decision-makers in academic, research/think-tanks, multi-laterals, governments, INGOs and beyond

Job Requirements:
Education: Graduate degree in relevant field such as Public Policy, Law or International Relations

Work experience: 8-10 years of experience working on sophisticated humanitarian and/or development issues, preferably in the areas of resettlement, asylum, integration and alternative pathways to safety. Demonstrated experience in policy analysis and policy strategy and development.

Demonstrated skills and competencies:
Extensive knowledge of international laws, systems and challenges surrounding refugee resettlement, asylum and additional pathways to safety. Deep understanding of national laws, policies, barriers and potential future policy opportunities for populations on the move and seeking safety, preferably in North American and Europe contexts. Experience identifying leverage points and change champions within relevant national and global sector-specific institutions and political establishments targeted to achieve policy change objectives.
Bias towards collaboration and ability to bring diverse partners together to conceptualize and problem solve. Lead team towards shared goal of driving policy change from conception to implementation.
Ability to think strategically, synthesize complex information and develop innovative policy as well as advocacy approaches.
Demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate successfully with experts, high level decision-makers, and colleagues in the humanitarian and development fields.
Excellent writing skills and the ability to translate complex material and data into coherent narratives that resonate with policymakers.
Fluency with key parts of the IRC’s strategy and existing policy strategy.
Ability to work within demanding timelines. Initiative and capability to work independently on fast-paced issues while balancing demands.

Working Environment:  Standard office work environment. Up to 15% travel required

Standards of Professional Conduct: IRC workers adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and implements policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation
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.
We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: 
In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for any in-office or hybrid positions.  All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity: 
IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity.  We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal. 

Equal Opportunity Employer: 
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

US Benefits:
We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits.  In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days (depending on role and tenure), medical insurance starting at $145 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare, childcare, and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with up to 4.5% immediately vested matching contribution, plus a 3-7% base IRC contribution (3 year vesting), disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles. 

Posted pay ranges apply to US-based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity, and budget.  Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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.