International Advocacy Director at Franciscans International (FI)

Summary of the position

As senior staff and member of FI Management Team, the IAD leads FI advocacy, reports directly to the ED, and acts as Deputy-Executive Director for the organization. The IAD is responsible to:

1. Orient and lead FI international advocacy work, including global and regional advocacy programmes with a view to denouncing human rights violations and strengthening the respect, protection, and fulfilment of human rights in FI relevant countries and thematic areas.
2. Oversee implementation of FI advocacy strategies.
3. Coordinate FI advocacy team across multiple locations (Geneva and New York as well as regional focal points) and ensure effective collaboration with the other departments.

About Franciscans International
Franciscans International is an international non-governmental organization, with general consultative status with the United Nations, working for the promotion, protection, and respect of human rights. Since its establishment in 1989, FI has used advocacy as a tool to combat and curb human rights abuses. FI relies on the expertise and first-hand information of a large network of partners, including Franciscan groups working with the most vulnerable strata of society. From its offices in Geneva and New York, FI works together with grassroots movements and national and international civil society organizations to advocate for structural changes addressing the root causes of injustice. FI prioritises thematic areas specifically related to: social, environmental, and development justice, the rights-based approach to extreme poverty, as well as business and human rights.

As senior staff, the IAD takes the lead in developing and implementing the organization’s advocacy agenda. Main responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Planning, managing, and monitoring
- Based on FI Vision and Mission, lead the development and the implementation of effective advocacy strategies. Orient the strategies and work plans, in consultation with the advocacy team.
- Monitor implementation of advocacy strategies in achieving results.
- Contribute to and coordinate advocacy in the three regions.

Leadership and coordination
- Provide guidance to FI advocacy team in developing UN advocacy at global and country-specific level aimed at strengthening respect for human rights. Take the direct lead in relation to global policy advocacy of current FI priority areas.
- Coordinate with FI Management Team to contribute to the organization’s development, planning and decision-making. Act as Deputy-Executive Director.
- Work with NGO partners on collaborative advocacy efforts, in particular with grassroots activists and social movements.
- Communicate with key partners, including Franciscan leaders and coordinators.

Legal analysis, human rights advice and representation in international fora
- Advance FI work at the UN in general and at the UN Human Rights mechanisms, in particular. Build strong relationships with external actors in international fora, in particular with UN experts, representatives of permanent missions at the UN.
- Foster FI position on human rights to address abuses, in particular in the field of environmental and social justice.
- Develop policy proposals, recommendations and legal analysis in relevant areas.
- Write and publish articles and documents on FI relevant human rights thematic issues from an advocacy perspective. Guide and supervise the drafting of advocacy documents in a timely and efficient manner.
- Oversee the development of FI materials for outreach, communication and advocacy purposes, including speeches, presentations, written materials and talking points.
- Travel internationally.

Team coordination and human resources management
- Recruit and supervise advocacy team and interns.
- Effectively manage staff and resources in the Advocacy Department. Lead the advocacy team, including motivating and facilitating staff. Help develop team ability to think creatively and strategically about advocacy work and priorities. Help solve possible team challenges and manage work effectively by making the best use of resources.
- Coordinate with other departments, in particular Communication and Project Management departments. Work with FI Project Manager and financial officer to support FI fundraising efforts and financial sustainability.
- Carry out other duties as required.


- A sound understanding of the political context of global policy advocacy and significant experience in influencing policies. Substantial knowledge of the International human rights system, law and policies.
- Minimum of 7 years of relevant international human rights experience, in particular in NGOs. Direct experience working with the UN, in particular with the Human Rights Council, is strongly desired.
- A minimum of 3 years’ experience in a senior position, managing a team and programmes.
- Experience on issues related to environmental and social justice is an asset.

Personal and professional skills
- Ability to set strategic vision and manage others to help achieve it. Ability to think creatively, initiate and complete projects and plans.
- Commitment to creating an intellectually challenging and supportive work environment for the staff. Ability to lead, motivate and facilitate a team to collaborate in delivering coordinated strategic advocacy.
- Strong interpersonal skills to work collaboratively with the team, partners, experts, and consultants and to facilitate communication among staff and partners.
- Ability to develop and contribute to policy proposals and to draft legislative language. Ability to defend positions and explain issues to UN officials, diplomats, and the media.
- Ability to communicate to a wide-range of audiences (diplomats, governmental authorities, UN experts, marginalised and affected communities, religious and traditional leaders, local activists).
- Capacity to plan, prioritize, and manage multiple, sometimes competing, demands efficiently in a challenging, fast-paced environment. Strong organizational and interpersonal skills.

Language and education
- Advanced degree in law, international human rights law, international relations or a related field.
- Excellent level of oral and written English is required; fluency in French is highly desired. Knowledge of Spanish is an asset.
- Only candidates with valid Swiss work permit will be considered.

Deadline: 6 January 2016
Send your CV with a cover letter to FI Executive Director Markus Heinze at [email protected].
Please mention in the subject of the message “Vacancy: International Advocacy Director”.
In the cover letter please include:
- 3 references with contact details – email, phone number and working relation.
- Confirm that you have a Swiss work permit.
- Salary expectations (annual gross in CHF).

Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Job title: International Advocacy Director

Location: Geneva

Contract: Full time permanent; 3-months probationary period

Closing date: 6 January 2016