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International Rescue Committee seeks Director of Policy and Advocacy

International Rescue Committee seeks Director of Policy and Advocacy

International Rescue Committee 5<y Senior Level  Anywhere 9 Nov 2018

Job Description


IRC in Europe

Europe is one of the fastest growing regions for the IRC and currently consists of offices in the UK, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany. In addition, the IRC has a partnership with Stichting Vluchteling (SV) in the Netherlands. IRC runs a number of country programmes in the Europe and North Africa region with IRC offices in Italy, Greece, Serbia, Libya and Tunisia.


The European Policy and Advocacy Team headed by the Director of Policy & Advocacy, Europe sits within the IRC Europe office, which leads IRC’s activities in Europe. The Director of Policy & Advocacy, Europe leads a team of policy and advocacy staff based across the UK, Belgium and Germany, and additional teams which may be established in other new IRC markets.

The Europe policy and advocacy team works closely with IRC’s global team of policy analysts and advocates based in Washington DC, New York, Geneva, Amman and in other priority countries and regions to deliver IRC’s vision of change and thought leadership.

Scope of work

  • Build on and deliver IRC’s European policy and advocacy strategy in collaboration with relevant policy and advocacy and communications colleagues based elsewhere in the organization, and with the Senior Vice President (SVP) for Europe
  • Develop and drive forward IRC’s vision of how we deliver meaningful change for the people we serve in an increasingly challenging external environment in Europe
  • Represent IRC Europe as part of IRC global fora for policy and advocacy, influencing and deciding upon global advocacy priorities with IRC colleagues
  • Act as IRC expert on themes, priority countries and geostrategic areas including representing IRC to high profile policy makers, practitioners, think tanks, academic partners, the media and the public
  • Support the implementation of IRC Europe strategy and input into other department’s strategic planning and activities
  • Own and lead on the delivery of goals for change and thought leadership in Europe under the IRC Europe Strategy
  • Lead the policy and advocacy team across IRC’s European offices, as well as manage budgets, taking on additional responsibilities as required
  • Provide training and advice on advocacy to staff in London and in country programmes
  • Member of the Europe Senior Management Team (SMT)
  • Work as part of a key group leading efforts to develop IRC’s vision for change and thought leadership in Europe, and input into the IRC’s 2020-25 strategic planning cycle as it pertains to policy and advocacy both globally and in Europe in particular

Key Working Relationships


  • Works in close coordination with all members of the Europe Senior Management Team, particularly the Executive Director of IRC-Deutschland, Director of Communications for Europe, the Senior Director for Fundraising, Europe, and Deputy Vice President Award Management Unit, Europe
  • Works closely with the Vice President for Global Policy & Advocacy, the Vice President for Strategic Communications and their teams, with key contacts in the International Programmes Department, the Chief Strategy Officer and the leaders of Technical Units responsible for programme quality
  • Line management of Head of Policy, Head of Advocacy and, on an interim basis, the Head of Belgium Office
  • Other geographic Policy & Advocacy leads across IRC Europe’s offices are accountable to this role


  • Government and opposition stakeholders in European countries and European Union and similar bodies
  • Members of parliaments and parliamentary bodies (e.g., committees) in European countries and EU and similar bodies (including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament and the German Bundestag)
  • Senior civil servants in government departments and supra-national and international agencies and regulatory bodies
  • Policy-makers in think-tanks, other NGOs, corporate and other partners of the IRC in Europe
  • Representatives of the press (e.g., as part of interviews), in collaboration with the IRC Europe’s communications team


Develop and drive IRC’s European policy and advocacy work

  • Working closely with the Global Policy and Advocacy Team, build on and deliver IRC’s European policy and advocacy strategy, including leading the development of our public policy work in priority areas; building our advocacy practice; and advising on how we use campaigning and other public mobilization techniques as part of our work
  • As part of a coherent overall vision, oversee the development and implementation of distinct strategies to build IRC’s profile and influence in the UK, Germany, Belgium and any other priority European countries
  • Grow IRC’s contacts and conduct advocacy with high-level European advocacy targets on IRC priorities, and provide support and guidance to other staff conducting such advocacy
  • Oversee the development of our public policy analysis and development, including by growing our relationships and partnerships with relevant think-tanks, academics, and other policy experts across Europe
  • Grow our reputation as a leader in conflict and crisis work, including by ensuring that the changing field contexts and priorities of key are well represented in our policy and advocacy work, and by supporting field colleagues in solving problems through advocacy
  • Ensure the production of materials for advocacy and communications, including policy reports, briefings, blogs submissions to government, etc.
  • Identify and represent IRC at European networks, forums, conferences and events, and seek similar opportunities for other key IRC colleagues
  • Provide regular updates and analysis of European policy developments to IRC in Europe and international staff
  • Ensure that IRC has an impressive series of policy and advocacy events in priority European countries (e.g., roundtables, parliamentary events, launches of publications)
  • Work together with communications, fundraising and donor relations colleagues to develop strong relationships with European governments, with donors and potential donors, and to advise on IRC polices and priorities

Strategic planning and reporting to boards in the Europe region

  • Support the implementation of IRC’s Europe strategy, both on policy and advocacy, and more broadly in collaboration with fundraising, communications and award management teams
  • Participate in senior management team meetings, play a key role in annual planning and budgeting processes, and develop joint strategies and activities as required
  • Report as requested by the SVP Europe to the IRC-UK Board, and relevant other boards, on policy and advocacy initiatives, key messages and events, and engage appropriate board members in conducting advocacy
  • Develop the role of the Policy Advisory Committee of IRC Europe and determine how we can expand its remit to meet the goals of the IRC Europe Strategy

Internal communications

  • Play an active leadership role in the global IRC network, with a particular emphasis on maintaining effective partnerships and collaboration between IRC in Europe and IRC globally
  • Build and maintain good working relationships and support the integration of activities across existing European offices as well as with Stichting Vluchteling (SV), our partner in the Netherlands, and new offices that the IRC may open in Europe



Skills, Knowledge & Qualifications

  • Master’s degree, preferably in a subject area related to IRC’s work, or equivalent experience
  • Excellent understanding of refugee issues, humanitarian aid and development, and knowledge of relevant policy issues and debates and relevant institutions, including amongst key donors and the UN
  • Commitment to organizational gender equality and an ability to articulate this externally
  • Deep understanding of politics and a consistent record of making significant change happen through policy, advocacy, campaigning and communications work on difficult issues, including experience of working with or advocating to politicians, government and institutional targets
  • Deep commitment to advocating for the safeguarding of staff and clients both in Europe and around the world
  • Highly strategic thinking, and significant experience in developing and driving effective advocacy strategies
  • Excellent ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing, including public speaking and working with the media (both writing and broadcast interviews)
  • Excellent analytical skills, first-class attention to detail, strong organizational and time management skills
  • Comfort and effectiveness with delivering and operating in a fast-moving, and highly matrixed international environment
  • Able to set clear direction and lead a team in dispersed locations and remote field offices
  • Able to conduct significant amounts of overseas travel, sometimes at short notice to situations of conflict


  • Substantial experience in policy work and drafting for advocacy and publication, including preparation and delivery of policy papers
  • Comfort and experience of working creatively to bring in new resources, including in building effective external partnerships
  • Experience of working as part of a senior management team
  • Proven experience of developing and implementing successful influencing strategies – including working closely with communications colleagues to shape opinion
  • Experience of building effective coalitions between NGOs or other externally-facing organisations
  • Experience of convening cross-organisational teams around shared goals across different countries and forming effective working relationships to deliver results
  • Experience of representing an organization at a senior level in external networks, forums and events


  • Experience of working in conflict/post-conflict development or humanitarian relief or related field
  • Knowledge of the international NGO sector
  • Additional language(s), preferably German and/or French

IRC-UK strives to be an equal opportunities employer. IRC-UK is committed to equality of opportunity and to non-discrimination for all job applicants and employees, and we seek to ensure we achieve diversity in our workforce regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs, nationality, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.

The deadline for applications is midnight between 28th and 29th November 2018. Interviews will be held on 13th or 14th December 2018.


Don’t forget to mention uk.politjobs.eu during your application!

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