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Asylum Access México

Executive Director

About Asylum Access

Asylum Access is an organization of human rights advocates who support forcibly displaced individuals and communities as they reclaim their rights, agency, and power. 

Their unique combination of legal empowerment, policy advocacy, and global systems change creates conditions where refugees can live safely, move freely, work legally, and attend school. Their work transforms the traditional approach of endless humanitarian handouts into a sustainable solution that honors refugees’ freedom, dignity, and autonomy and equips them to choose their own lives.

Asylum Access’ global team and family of local civil society organizations advocate making human rights a reality for refugees throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Their national organizations are led and staffed primarily by community members in those countries, and there is strong mutual trust and respect between them and their clients. 

They work with established institutions on the international stage to shift the global system to better uphold and promote refugees’ human rights. They can help catalyze and lead systemic transformation because, uniquely among NGOs in the refugee response sector, Asylum Access focuses exclusively on rights and governance.

About Asylum Access Mexico

As one of the largest providers of legal assistance to refugees in México and the largest national organization in the Asylum Access family, Asylum Access México (AAMX) supports forcibly displaced individuals nationwide to access justice and advocate for their communities. They reach well over 10,000 refugees annually through legal empowerment programming through a central office in Ciudad de México and offices in Monterrey, Palenque, Tenosique, Tijuana, Veracruz, and Villahermosa. They focus on achieving systemic and structural change through strategic litigation, evaluation, and advocacy, shifting policies and practices to guarantee access to rights in law and practice, and holding authorities accountable to their commitments.

About the Role

The Executive Director of Asylum Access México serves as the organization’s executive leader, providing strategic direction and oversight across all organizational programming and operations areas. They are in charge of:

  • Ensuring that AAMX achieves its mission in Mexico – working towards an environment where refugees can live safely, move freely, work fairly, and advocate for themselves and the needs of their community;
  • Serving as the primary spokesperson for the AAMX in interactions with key stakeholders in policy, communications, and donor engagements; 
  • Overseeing and understanding all AAMX programs and managing the leadership team (including programmatic and operational leaders); 
  • Stewarding and growing the AAMX work culture and environment, ensuring that team members at all levels and the work of the organization are supported and resourced;
  • Building and maintaining a strong organizational infrastructure and ensuring compliance with national and global requirements, including financial and programmatic reporting, donor accountability, and HR/operational requirements;
  • Leading through transition, including participating in the broader Asylum Access transformation process and building autonomy and strategic direction for Asylum Access México.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Organizational Reputation, Growth, and Advocacy: Build and maintain relationships with key decision-makers from governments, multi-laterals, and other institutions of power to encourage the respect of refugee rights and specific policy, law, and practice changes that underpin those rights. 
  • Ambassadorship and Representation: Actively build the organization’s positive reputation to facilitate achieving organizational goals. This includes interactions with donors, partners, media policy, and government. 
  • Internal Leadership and Management:  Set the tone and culture for all other AAMX staff and volunteers, fostering motivation, problem-solving, creativity, collaboration, and well-being practices. Oversee program and operations heads, providing resources and support for team impact and sustainability. Coach and guide direct reports through meetings, informal interactions, and performance feedback.
  • Internal Communication: Create a positive workplace through clear communication, sharing the strategic vision, offering professional development, and promoting cross-office sharing of best practices.
  • Strategic Planning, Monitoring Evaluation, and Learning: Oversee annual planning, translating it into work plans and resources for program teams. Build AAMX’s strategic vision in line with the global Asylum Access’s direction.
  • Operational Oversight: Oversee all operations (including finance, human resources, information technology, and registration) and ensure compliance with all applicable local laws. Accountable for ensuring the safety and security of staff and clients and proactively working toward risk mitigation. 
  • Donor Cultivation, Stewardship, and Accountability: Cultivate and steward donors, specifically when hosting donor visits. Build relationships with existing donors and support grant applications and report writing. 
  • Organizational Leadership: Engage in global leadership with other national Directors and Headquarters teams to oversee the strategic plan and organizational sustainability.

Skills and Experience

  • Previous experience in major organizational leadership roles;
  • Extensive experience in human rights, public policy, refugee response, or legal assistance;
  • Deep understanding of the legal and practical environment for forcibly displaced individuals in Mexico and a strong ability to understand and develop creative responses to changes in the environment;
  • Substantial experience in policy advocacy and fundraising;
  • Demonstrated success in leading teams, including setting team and organizational culture and overseeing operations and HR, including the supervision and development of program and operational leaders;
  • Strong experience in leading strategic planning and change management processes in times of transition;
  • Strong commitment to realizing equity and inclusion both internally and externally;
  • Professional fluency in Spanish and strong skills in English.

Hours and Location of Work

This position is based in Asylum Access México’s Ciudad de México office. Frequent travel within México is required, with occasional international travel to participate in global forums and broader Asylum Access events. Periodic off-hours meetings may be needed to connect with stakeholders and colleagues in other time zones. Asylum Access supports leaders in setting and shaping the working methods they need to build sustainability for themselves and their teams.

Asylum Access is an equal opportunity employer. They celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. They value the expertise of those who have experienced displacement and encourage people with such lived experience to apply.For more information about the organization, visit www.asylumaccess.org.