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JRS Geneva Representative


  • Organization: JRS - Jesuit Refugee Service
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Senior level - Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • International Relations
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Refugee rights and well-being
  • Closing Date: Closed

JRS-IO Vacancy Annoucement

JRS Geneva Representative

Department:                      Global Advocacy Unit

Location:                            Geneva, Switzerland

Reports:                              Head of Global Advocacy


Organizational Context

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is ministry of the Society of Jesus, acting as an international non-governmental organisation with a mission to accompany, serve, and advocate for the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. The organisation was founded in 1980 and now has a presence in over 58 countries. JRS undertakes services at national and regional levels with the support and guidance of an international office (IO) in Rome. The style of JRS service is human and spiritual, working in situations of greatest need, seeking the long-term well-being of refugees and displaced people while not neglecting their immediate or urgent needs.
The main services provided are in the field of Reconciliation, Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support, Education & Livelihoods and Advocacy. Currently, more than 1 million individuals are direct beneficiaries of JRS projects.


Operational Context

Advocacy is an integral part of the JRS mission and one of the three main pillars of the organization, together with Accompaniment and Service. In JRS, advocacy involves empowering forcibly displaced people to claim their fundamental rights, lobbying for governmental and institutional action to address root causes of forced displacement, and working towards sustainable and durable solutions. Advocacy also includes activities to enhance public perception of refugees and forcibly displaced persons, and their integration.  In January 2023, JRS has started a process to define a multi-years global strategy, in close collaboration with the Advocacy focal points in different regions, and with refugees and people with refugee background, who will be actively engaged in the process. The Advocacy team has also started to re-define the capacity building package and the training materials, using the new JRS Learning Platform (Moodle), in order to enhance the knowledge and awareness on advocacy principles and related matters, in a creative and accessible way. JRS aims at strengthening the global advocacy work, maintaining its unique approach to keep close relations with refugees and people served at the field level, and raise their voice up to the institutional fora and global meetings.   

Main responsibilities of the position

Under the supervision of the Head of Global Advocacy the JRS Geneva Representative will: 

  • Represent the JRS International Office, regional and country offices to UNHCR, IOM  and other UN agencies, liaise with their governing bodies, participate in  consultative processes, and advocate for the protection needs of the forcibly displaced
  • Represent the JRS International Office, regional and country offices to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See in Geneva, liaising with the Mission on protection concerns where Church actors can make a difference
  • Maintain and make strategic use of JRS’ ECOSOC status.
  • Expand JRS’s advocacy network in Geneva to relevant diplomatic missions.
  • Keep friendly relations with other faith-based actors in Geneva.
  • Provide first-hand experiences and convey views of the forcibly displaced to relevant actors  to influence policy-making and organisational practices, by promoting and facilitating the participation of forcibly displaced persons in important fora so that they can speak on their own behalf.
  • Represent JRS in and contribute to the work of various Geneva-based NGO coalitions through information gathering from the field and joint statements, and attending relevant briefings.
  • Participate in regular meetings of the Global Protection Cluster, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee and similar mechanisms and report items of significance to JRS.
  • Serve as an information and liaison point, as well as respond to inquiries from JRS field offices with regard to UN activities and UNHCR’s policies and procedures. Inform JRS field offices about changes in UNHCR’s funding mechanisms and programme implementation. This includes troubleshooting on country or situation-specific issues as well as evaluations and policies in the area of protection.
  • Contribute to shaping UNHCR’s policies for its collaboration with faith-based actors.
  • Participate actively in the JRS Global Advocacy Network, including the preparation of position papers for decision-making and pro-active advocacy activities in priority areas. Report important developments to the Head of Global Advocacy.
  • Participate in working groups based in Geneva according to JRS’s priority themes (programmes and advocacy) and facilitate the participation of other JRS staff.
  • Increase the visibility of JRS and of the concerns of refugees through occasional events in Geneva with field participation, virtual workshops, and other similar activities. 

Qualifications and Competencies

  • Advanced university degree in international migration, international development, human rights or refugee law or a related discipline
  • At least ten (10) years of progressive experience with a minimum of five (5) years in advocacy activities
  • Good writing skills to draft statements and policy papers.
  • Strong organization and coordination skills;
  • Ability to work proficiently with Microsoft Office.
  • Engaging personality with the ability to easily connect with people of very different backgrounds, bring them together and create an environment of encounter and exchange.
  • Ability to officially represent JRS in high-level roles, working groups and committees.
  • Ability to work in networks and coalitions, good record of finding solutions through teamwork.
  • Ability to troubleshoot and solve problems at short notice. Self-supporting.
  • Ability to quickly and strategically process information, technical and non-technical, related to JRS advocacy priorities and to a broad range of programmatic issues.
  • Ability to analyse policies and organisational procedures on the background of the JRS mission.
  • Organisational skills to host occasional events in Geneva and facilitate the access of JRS staff to relevant partners in Geneva.
  • Ability to maintain a wide range of relations with JRS staff in the field to ensure an easy and continuous information flow. 


  • Knowledge of and/or understanding of UN System
  • Prior experience with a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and/or prior experience with a faith-based organization.
  • Field experience is an advance
  • Knowledge of JRS field operations is an advantage.


  • Proficiency in both written and spoken English
  • Working knowledge of French and/or Spanish is highly desirable


  • Willingness to travel and conduct field visits, including to remote areas, for up to 20% of the working time

Required Core Values

  • Good understanding of and alignment with the values of JRS;
  • Commitment to JRS’s mission, vision and values to convey with enthusiasm JRS’s role in accompanying and serving forcibly displaced people and to advocate for their right to protection and a life in dignity;
  • High integrity, honesty and confidentiality; ability to deal tactfully and discreetly with people, situations and information;
  • Acceptance of diversity and inclusion as a core value;

Terms and Conditions

Please note that this position is only open to candidates who are Swiss or EU/EFTA nationals or in possession of a valid work permit in Switzerland

Successful candidates will be offered a regular contract under Swiss law.


How to apply

All applicants are requested to submit the following documents by 31 May 2023:

  • A cover letter describing the candidate’s desire and motivation to work for JRS and how her/his qualifications and experience are a good fit for this position
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) in English, including three (3) professional references with contact information, phone and email address.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Thank you for your interest in joining JRS


This vacancy is now closed.
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