Vice President, Advocacy and External Relations

Women's Refugee Commission

Womens refugee commission

Position description

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 a research and advocacy organization, WRC is dedicated to securing systemic changes in policy and practice that ensure uprooted women, children, and young people can fully exercise their rights to protection, services, and self-sufficiency.

  Scope of Work

The Vice President, Advocacy and External Relations, directs WRC’s external relations unit, which comprises the organization’s advocacy and communications teams. The Vice President provides overall guidance to the teams in the development and implementation of advocacy and communications strategies and annual work plans that advance WRC’s organizational priorities. The Senior Director of External Communications and advocacy team members in New York, Washington, DC, and Geneva, Switzerland, report to the Vice President. This position also has primary responsibility for WRC’s advocacy in Washington, DC.

As a member of WRC’s Executive Team, the Vice President helps lead decision-making on issues that are central to the organization’s mission, financial health, and organizational culture. The Vice President also plays a key role on the Executive Team (ET) and the ET’s strategic engagement with WRC’s Operating Team.

Essential Job Functions

Leadership of External Relations Unit

·   Set the strategic direction for and lead the development and implementation of an external relations strategy and associated work plans that build support for WRC’s priorities with target audiences and ensure synergies between the work of the advocacy, communications, development, and program teams.

  • Ensure alignment of advocacy priorities with WRC’s programmatic work and elevate WRC program and research findings. 
  • Provide supervisory support to the Senior Director of External Communications in the development and implementation of the communications team’s strategies and work plans, and in the management of the communications team as needed.
  • Represent WRC at events and meetings with US and international humanitarian policymakers and leaders, and other key stakeholders.
  • Ability to present and communicate in certain settings (i.e. Board meetings) the department’s ongoing priorities and objectives;
  • Provide guidance to WRC on external opportunities and issues critical to WRC’s mission
  • Provide guidance and support to the Executive Director in external engagements along with advocacy and communications staff.
  • Liaise with development team to identify priority areas and opportunities to fundraise for WRC’s external relations work.
  • Manage the budget for the External Relations Department, including the development and oversight of the advocacy budget and supporting the Senior Director of External Communications to manage the communications budget as needed.

·   Provide support to the campaigns housed at the Women’s Refugee Commission, including #WelcomeWithDignity, Global Campaign on Equal Nationality Rights, and the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crisis.

Management of Advocacy Team

·   Lead WRC’s advocacy team in the development, implementation, and evaluation of WRC’s advocacy strategy and associated work plans.

·   Supervise and mentor WRC’s advocacy staff and consultants in New York, Washington, DC, and Geneva, Switzerland.

·   Serve as WRC’s primary advocacy lead in Washington, DC, engaging the administration (including the State Department and USAID), Congress, the diplomatic community, the NGO and academic communities, and other key actors in support of WRC’s priorities.

·   Provide oversight to WRC’s advocacy team’s engagement in working groups, networks, and coalitions. 

Executive Team Responsibilities

·   Play a leading role in the development, implementation, and review of WRC’s strategic and organizational work plans, and in the decision-making processes of the organization.

·   Work with senior colleagues and staff to identify emerging issues that may impact WRC’s mission, visibility, and fundraising; help develop strategies to address them.

·   Together with senior colleagues on the Executive and Operating Teams, ensure that policies and processes are in place to support a WRC work culture that reflects the organization’s core values and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


· Demonstrated commitment to WRC’s mission, gender equality, and refugee rights.

· Minimum of 15 years of progressive work experience in advocacy and external relations, ideally on humanitarian issues, women’s rights, or international relations more broadly.

· At least 8 years of management and supervisory experience at a senior level, with a demonstrated ability to lead within and across teams.

· Senior-level advocacy experience in the US and in international contexts, including significant experience in public speaking.

· Expertise on issues related to gender equality, migration, humanitarian assistance and protection, and related human rights issues highly desired.

· Demonstrated ability to build and lead national and international advocacy coalitions on WRC’s priorities with civil society, donors, and governments.

· Excellent analytical, written, and oral communication skills, strong diplomatic skills, interpersonal skills, and political judgment.

· Demonstrated leadership and commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion and a workplace culture that reflects the organization’s core values and vision.

· Must have authorization to work in the United States.

  Reports to:   Executive Director

Position:     Regular, full-time

  Salary:           Salary Band 2:     $159,285 – $240,000* (commensurate with experience)

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