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Policy Advisor, Migrants Rights and Justice

Job Description

Policy Advisor, Migrants Rights and Justice


The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) works to improve the lives and defend the rights of refugee and internally displaced women, children, and young people. As an advocacy organization, WRC is dedicated to bringing about systemic changes that lead to greater respect for the rights of uprooted women, children, and young people. The organization strives to effect policy and programmatic change with broad, worldwide impact.


The policy advisor for the Migrant Rights and Justice Program will work to promote the rights of migrants and access to protection for women and children seeking safety, particularly in the United States. This includes taking a leading role in research, strategic planning, project development, and implementation, and advocacy. Current expected areas of focus include access to protection at the U.S.-Mexico border, conditions and treatment at the U.S. border, the restoration and strengthening of the U.S. asylum system, and the improvement of oversight and accountability of border practices, especially as they relate to women and families.


Advocacy and Public Education

  • In collaboration with MRJ staff, develop, implement, and support advocacy strategies designed to improve conditions, protection of rights, and treatment of migrants seeking protection, especially at the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • In consultation with director of the program and MRJ staff, initiate, maintain, and manage relationships with local and national nongovernmental organizations, UN agencies, and other international human rights bodies, government agencies, child welfare agencies, and courts, Congressional members and staff, and others.
  • Provide technical expertise and policy advice internally (Women’s Refugee Commission staff and board) and externally (policymakers, U.S. Congress, UN agencies, NGOs).
  • Represent the Women’s Refugee Commission to a variety of audiences, including policymakers, government and UN officials, at public events, meetings, conferences, with media, and other venues.
  • Produce educational materials, fact sheets, op-eds, and blogs, and conduct trainings and webinars, in coalition with partners where appropriate.

Research and Writing

  • Conduct desk and field research and assessments, including planning and coordinating field research, regular travel to the field (domestic and international), developing methodologies, analyzing data, and identifying findings and recommendations.
  • Under direct supervision of the director of the MRJ Program, and where applicable in coordination with the Communications team: Manage writing, editing, production, and distribution of MRJ documents, including reports, legislative language, advocacy letters, policy papers, blogs, journal articles, letters to the editor, website postings, urgent actions, and other materials.
  • Monitor events and trends in asylum and border enforcement practices and related policies and programs and follow up accordingly.

Strategic Planning and Program Implementation

  • Work with the director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program and other staff to develop and implement the program work plan and to coordinate program goals and objectives to achieve measurable outcomes through targeted and sustained advocacy.
  • Identify emerging issues related to protection of vulnerable migrants and help guide the Women’s Refugee Commission’s response.
  • Manage and direct targeted pro-bono projects.
  • Work collaboratively with partner organizations to develop and implement long-term coalition goals, including with the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign.
  • Participate in the overall organizational strategic planning.

Financial and Administrative Management

  • In collaboration with the MRJ director and the Development department, assist in the development and preparation of proposals, budgets, and grant reports.
  • Coordinate with the MRJ director and the Development and Finance teams on donor relations and financial reporting requirements.


  • Bachelor’s Degree (required) and law degree (strongly preferred) or master’s degree in international studies, political science, immigration, human rights, social work, or related field or at least 3-5 years comparable related experience
  • Minimum 3-5 years progressive work experience in immigration, refugee, child welfare, social service, and/or human rights work, including experience managing projects.
  • Previous experience working on policy and advocacy, preferably on asylum access and U.S. border policies; experience on or with the Hill preferred.
  • Proven track record conducting research, analyzing legislation, policies, migration trends, and the political landscape, and writing reports and policy papers.
  • Excellent writing skills and oral communication skills required. Experience interviewing migrants highly preferred.
  • Experience working with litigation teams or supporting litigation strategies preferred.
  • Grant writing and presentation expertise preferred.
  • Solid diplomatic skills: the ability to effectively liaise with a variety of internal and external professional contacts including government officials, and elected officials of all parties.
  • Strong people management skills.
  • Solid organizational skills: the ability to be flexible and work well under pressure in a fast-paced and detail-oriented team environment.
  • Spanish language proficiency required; ability to reliably and comfortably interview and converse.
  • All employees must abide by the WRC Humanitarian Accountability statement.

Reports to: Director of Migrant Rights and Justice Program

Position: Regular, full-time

Target Salary: Up to $85K (commensurate with experience)

Location: Washington, DC (Hybrid)

Posting Date: July 1, 2022

Closing Date: Until filled

The Women’s Refugee Commission is an equal opportunity employer. It is our policy to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, gender identify, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status, veteran status, or disability. Qualified applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The Women’s Refugee Commission is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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