Mekong Legal Director at EarthRights International

Position Summary:

ERI is seeking a Mekong Legal Director to lead ERI’s Mekong Legal Program activities. The position involves developing, managing, monitoring, implementing and evaluating legal advocacy activities and new program initiatives around environmentally destructive projects in Mekong region countries, such as hydropower dams and coal plants, agribusiness concessions, extractive industries and other developments. The position supports the strategic development and administrative oversight of the Mekong Legal Program, including overseeing the work of program staff, and integrating the program’s work with that of other ERI programs, including through coordinating internal program and organizational communications. The position also requires developing external partnerships, networking with local partners, conducting legal training and capacity building for public interest lawyers in the Mekong, and undertaking public and media outreach.

In consultation with the other Program Directors, the Mekong Legal Director will devise program objectives consistent with ERI’s mission and strategic plan, developing annual program plans, contributing to updating ERI’s strategic plan, implementing strategic litigation and other legal advocacy activities with local partners, integrating legal and campaign activities, reporting to foundations and donors, coordinating internal administrative matters, and contributing to program fundraising efforts. The position requires substantial experience integrating local, regional and international legal advocacy and policy strategies using human rights and environmental law. Devising and teaching student-centered legal advocacy trainings for communities, campaigners and lawyers is needed, along with a capacity building and gender mainstreaming approach. The ability to work with diverse staff and partners, and demonstrated success in developing and implementing effective legal advocacy strategies for affected communities in the Mekong region or a similar context is required.


The Mekong Legal Director must be an attorney or legal advocate, fluent in English, with at least 6 years of experience working on legal issues in the Mekong, Southeast Asia or a similar context. The Mekong Legal Director has:

  • Program management experience in a legal or quasi legal context
  • Familiarity with legal issues that arise in the Mekong region, particularly the challenges and opportunities facing local and national lawyers, issues of corporate accountability and transboundary environmental harm, and regional drivers of earth rights abuses such as hydropower dams on the Mekong River.
  • Familiarity and experience with regional and international bodies and processes relevant to the protection of human rights and the environment in Asia, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Mekong River Commission (MRC), ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), the United Nations human rights system and/or Mekong domestic legal systems.
  • Experience facilitating regional networks of NGOs, CBOs, academics or lawyers, non-lawyers and grassroots activists.
  • Demonstrated commitment to human rights and/or environmental protection and a deep understanding of their interrelationship.
  • Familiarity leading strategic litigation/legal advocacy, campaigning and integrating legal and campaign strategies in difficult political contexts.
  • Experience working with and relating to indigenous peoples and threatened populations, especially concerning human rights, environmental degradation and development.
  • Excellent interpersonal and intercultural communication skills and experience working with multicultural teams.
  • Excellent oral communication and ability to lead public speaking events.
  • Excellent written communication, research, and organizational skills.
  • Interest, enthusiasm, and affinity for using the law as a vehicle for social change.
  • Self-motivated, work effectively under pressure and able to handle multiple projects at one time.
  • Good judgment, leadership and a sense of humor.
  • Ability to communicate in any of the Mekong languages a plus.

We offer:

  • Competitive, non-profit sector salary in Thailand
  • Medical insurance
  • Annual and post-employment resettlement benefits
  • Paid vacation, sick and personal days
  • Casual, fun work environment

Location: Chang Mai

Closing date: 21 March 2016