The American Bar Association Center for Human Rights (ABA CHR) is seeking an experienced Senior Program Manager (SPM) to join its Justice Defenders Program. Candidates with substantial experience working on issues pertaining to human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are encouraged to apply.
The Justice Defenders Program provides pro bono legal assistance to human rights advocates working in difficult environments and vulnerable circumstances by:
• Advising on, and raising public awareness of, sensitive trials and cases;
• Connecting pro bono lawyers with requisite expertise with local lawyers to provide advice on international law standards, share best practices, and assist in developing advocacy and litigation strategies; and
• Observing trials that have garnered local, regional, or international attention and/or have the potential of changing the law, for better or worse, within the country, and providing analysis of those trials.
The Justice Defenders Program’s global reach enables it to help human rights defenders in virtually any country. The Program is sensitive to varied political and factual circumstances and its assistance is tailored to realities “on the ground.” With experienced staff and a dynamic network of pro bono lawyers at the ready, the Program can respond rapidly to acute crises or take on long-term projects as needed.
2) Job Description
The Senior Program Manager (SPM) for LAC will report directly to the Director of the Justice Defenders Program.
Responsibilities shall include:
1) Supervision: The SPM shall supervise program staff across the LAC portfolio, including:
a. Monitoring work plan implementation;
b. Reviewing monthly and quarterly reports and other aspects of monitoring and evaluation related to the LAC portfolio;
c. Tracking the budget for the LAC portfolio;
d. Ensuring ABA CHR’s goals related to the LAC portfolio are being advanced;
e. Ensuring commitments to funders are being met;
f. Monitoring compliance with grant award requirements and ABA policies and procedures.
2) Donor Engagement: Meet with donors and other relevant stakeholders to assess ABA CHR’s standing, to address any issues they might have with the program, and to provide back-up to staff managing these relations.
3) Grant Research and Writing: In coordination with the Director of the Center for Human Rights, explore and develop new programmatic and financial partnership. Raise funds from third party donors to continue and expand upon the activities related to the LAC portfolio. Advise and/or participate in/lead development of proposals for potential funders.
4) Outreach and Maintenance of LAC Human Rights Defender Network: The SPM shall develop and maintain relationships with human rights advocates abroad working on cases related to LAC and, funding permitting, additional business and human rights constituencies.
5) Case Management: The SPM shall vet potential cases, conduct preliminary assessments of legal issues, place the case with pro bono counsel, manage the observation of trials, provide strategic guidance on advocacy activities, and coordinate the provision of pro bono legal assistance on cases in LAC that meet the criteria of the Justice Defenders Program.
6) Research and Writing: The SPM shall conduct legal and other research and write memoranda, speeches, and articles, including for publication. The SPM shall analyze laws, regulations, policies, and court rules and provide substantive advice and information to the Director.
7) Counsel: The SPM shall serve as the principal ABA expert on matters related to human rights in LAC and shall be expected to remain up to date on pertinent developments in regional and international law, politics, and human rights. SPM shall be in contact with government entities and the media.
8) Programmatic Support Activities: The SPM will be responsible for website maintenance, social media, contract drafting and management of consultants, reimbursements, management of interns/externs, and other programmatic activities related to the LAC portfolio, as required and in coordination with programmatic support staff.
9) Other duties as assigned: The SPM will be responsible for a range of duties related to case strategy, management, advocacy, and other matters regarding execution of case work and program development.
Currently, staff are not travelling due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on travel set by ABA policy; however, once travel is authorized, please note that SPMs are expected to travel up to 25% of the time. SPMs shall be expected to begin immediately, and no later than one (1) month after notification of their successful application.
a) Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university and 7 years of experience, Master’s degree and 5 years of experience, or Doctoral degree (JD, PhD) and 4 years of experience.
b) Experience working with USG funded programs.
c) Experience or knowledge of legal reform issues related to human rights defenders in LAC.
d) Fluency in English and Spanish. Fluency in additional U.N. languages helpful.
e) Management experience.
a) Strong interpersonal skills in a multi-cultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
b) Grant writing experience
c) Experience in advocacy on behalf of human rights defenders with foreign ministries, corporations, and multilateral institutions
d) Experience working with local counsel to develop strategies for litigation.
Applicants should submit a detailed cover letter, resume or CV, three references, and legal writing sample via the ABA Dayforce Career Portal here.