Deputy Director – Research
About Amnesty International – Americas Regional Office
Amnesty International is a global movement of 10 million people which mobilises and campaigns for every person to enjoy all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other internationally recognized human rights standards.
Through dynamic campaigns and long-term casework, Amnesty International propels key human rights concerns and stories of individuals at risk into the glare of the international media and demands the attention of government officials, corporations, international institutions and policymakers. Amnesty International combines high-level legislative work, media outreach and grassroots mobilization to shape and promote legislation and policies to advance human rights, protect individuals and free prisoners of conscience.
In the Americas, most states support and have ratified human rights standards and treaties, but for millions, the promise of rights remains hollow. The Americas began 2020 as the world’s most unequal region and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this inequality. Government responses to the crisis had far-reaching impacts on human rights, with frequently devastating consequences for vast numbers of people. Social and political problems such as discrimination, violence, inequality, conflict, insecurity, poverty and environmental damage are just some of the challenges that are creating a human rights crisis across the region.
Purpose of the Role
- Support the Americas Regional Director in the establishment and management of the regional team and strategic allocation of the resources.
- Contribute to the implementation of the operational plans for the sub-region.
- Manage the development and implementation of human rights research and advocacy action plans for countries within the sub-regional office’s remit, in line with globally and regionally agreed priorities and strategies.
- Ensure the application of AI standards of work in areas of responsibility, including on research strategy and methodology, publications and the media.
- Represent Amnesty International, in the field and elsewhere, including with government officials and to the media.
- Contribute to the management of the International Secretariat in the Americas and deputize for the Regional Director.
Duties and Responsibilities
Management and communications
- Support the Americas Regional Director in the establishment and management of the regional operation and strategic allocation of the resources.
- Recruit and manage research and advocacy staff, including those working remotely, and ensure performance is managed and talent is nurtured.
- Ensure the identification and promotion of best practice, encouraging and leading learning and skill development among the research team staff.
- Use political judgment and expertise to advise and support the Americas Director and broader management team on Amnesty’s substantive human rights work in the region, including emerging issues, trends, and crisis situations.
- Manage staff and other resources to ensure their most effective use, in line with agreed priorities and policies.
- Manage risk assessments and oversee the implementation of security procedures for regional staff.
- Promote an organizational culture of integration across Programmes and manage the effective integration of relevant staff from the International Secretariat and national sections.
- Build and maintain effective working relationships with AI’s sections and structures in order to identify and exploit opportunities for cooperation, information-sharing and problem-solving.
- Participate in the corporate management of the International Secretariat in the Americas, by contributing to:
- development of strategic and operational plans
- identification and solution of corporate management issues
- ensuring effective communications across departments
- Deputize as agreed, for the Americas Regional Director.
Research and advocacy management and strategic oversight
- Manage the development and implementation of human rights research and advocacy action plans for countries within the agreed scope of responsibility, in line with globally and regionally agreed on priorities and strategies.
- Lead and/or manage the researcher team’s fieldwork in order to ensure that political, strategic, technical and security concerns are reviewed and adequately mitigated.
- Ensure integration of research and action in order to provide an effective, coherent programme of work that delivers tangible outcomes for human rights in conformity with AI’s mission and consistent with its priorities, strategies and standards.
- Represent AI, including in the field, with government officials, international organizations, civil society organizations, public events and the media, developing and communicating messages crafted at influencing the appropriate audience.
Movement & External Engagement
- Foster relationships between the regional offices, sections and partners in region, and share information about projects and actions to maintain a shared plan for research, advocacy and related activities.
- Identify opportunities for cooperation and partnership with external organizations and rights holders through AI campaigns; ensure processes enable active participation of key stakeholders in research development.
- Support strategy development and global engagement for section-led research and campaigns in the Americas identified for global or international action.
- Support and advice sections to develop research and documentation of cases for their local-relevant campaigns.
Quality Assurance and Reporting
- Responsible for the quality of hub research and advocacy outputs, working closely with originators to ensure that research strategy is sound and focused, key methodology, legal and policy issues are addressed, and that the evidence, analysis and conclusions make a compelling case for change.
- Ensure compliance with globally developed quality assurance and impact assessment methodologies to ensure consistency and impartiality and measure human rights impact within the region.
- Ensure that the team reports with sufficient clarity and detail on the impact of their work, including to funders.
- Ensure the timely delivery of agreed plans.
- Ensure all outputs go through appropriate research and law and policy review.
Finance and risk management
- Set, monitor, manage and report on budget and expenditure for the work undertaken by their team.
- Manage risk assessments and oversee the implementation of security procedures for staff undertaking missions and travel and other instances of high risk.
- Accountable for duty of care of staff, including where necessary, contribution to internal security, health and safety and human resources policies and standards, supported by the Finance and Office Manager in Americas RO and Coordinator in SRO Peru.
Skills and Experience
Knowledge and experience
- Demonstrated knowledge and direct experience of the human rights and political context in the Americas region and an expert understanding of the international human rights legal framework, and relevant regional and national legal frameworks.
- In-depth experience of human rights research for action and advocacy purposes: Conducting research using a range of appropriate methodologies, analysing and presenting findings, identifying advocacy targets, and applying research-based analysis to campaigning for human rights change.
- Knowledge and experience of field security issues and the ability to manage them appropriately, ideally gained through work in conflict or other high-risk situations.
- Ability to represent Amnesty International in difficult and high-profile environments.
- Ability to develop strategies and plans and review them and adapt them as required, exercising and promoting creative thinking.
- Substantial experience of working in a key leadership role in a complex organization ideally based outside the organization’s global head office and preferably with experience of maintaining a successful operation during times of organizational change and managing a cross-functional and multi-cultural team, coaching them toward a new way of working.
- Experience in successfully integrating and coaching teams, with constant changes in the way of working.
- Substantial experience of working in the Americas region.
- Demonstrated ability to understand and align strategic thinking with operational delivery
- Able to identify opportunities and threats and to recommend appropriate mitigating action; ability to make appropriate recommendations in relation to an organization’s interests and priorities.
- Excellent political judgement.
- Understands and has demonstrated managerial level responsibility.
- Demonstrated willingness to be accountable and to receive and give performance-related feedback.
- Proven ability to lead and manage staff and financial resources including setting, managing and monitoring plans and budgets for their team.
- Experience of working under pressure, managing conflicting demands, meeting deadlines and adjusting priorities.
- Written and verbal fluency in English and Spanish is essential and must be demonstrated at interview and through publications or other written materials.
- Able to work in a manner that is consistent with the organisation’s core behaviours and competencies.
Personal style and attributes
- Ability to direct and collaborate with others to achieve results.
- Ability to establish and maintain relationships with a broad range of people across the movement and externally to establish support and garner engagement.
- Ability to design and implement effective systems for tracking schedules, work plans and priorities for top level management.
- Takes ownership of own responsibilities, honours commitments, supports subordinates, provides direction while taking responsibility for delegated assignments.
- Challenges and confronts conflict, brokering solutions in order to achieve goals.
- Uses new approaches, theory and technologies to develop innovative service solutions.
- Ability to engage and influence, utilizing a challenging but respectful approach.