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Amnesty International

Deputy Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa

About Amnesty International MENA

Amnesty International aims to end human rights abuses. Independent, international and influential, it campaigns for justice, fairness, freedom and truth wherever they are denied. Whether the organisation is applying pressure through powerful research, advocacy or face to face campaigning, policy engagement, mass demonstrations or online campaigning on an issue, it is inspired by hope for a better world, one where human rights are respected and protected by everyone, everywhere.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Office plays a critical role in the Amnesty International Secretariat, gathering and communicating accurate and action-oriented human rights information and delivering on the vision to end grave human rights abuses and build societies respectful of human rights. Across the region, Amnesty International campaigns for meaningful change, support national entities, enables effective activism and growth and works to persuade governments and other actors to uphold universal human rights standards across the region. The office provides strategic leadership, support and advice to the Amnesty International movement globally, fostering its global contribution, presence and public accountability.

About the Role

The Deputy Regional Director (DRD) plays a key role in partnering with the Regional Director and the other Deputies to lead the MENA team for Amnesty International. Based in Beirut, they will oversee the portfolios for the Levant and Gulf regions and support the entire regional team in the strategic development of Amnesty International’s vision and mission. The DRD will also be a key player in the management of regional staff and will be accountable for their development and well-being at a time when the Beirut office is in an increasingly difficult operational environment. Through this, they will provide guidance and leadership to ensure Amnesty International’s crucial human rights work, internally and externally. 

Purpose of the Role

The Deputy Regional Director will:  

  • Lead integrated, multi-functional teams across various locations to implement high-quality, strategic research, campaigning and communication strategies that deliver human rights impact in the designated subregion or country teams. 
  • Lead on effective project management of operational plans, ensuring equal emphasis on our research and campaigns functions (including online and offline activism as relevant), as well as advocacy and communications functions. 
  • Provide high level and strategic advice on major human rights trends, developments and key drivers of human rights violations in the region, including legal, political and socio-economic factors and adapt our research programming to external shifts. 
  • Design strategic campaigns to maximise impact, grow activism and attract members and oversee and adjust their implementation. 
  • Ensure the effective application of Amnesty International standards of work in areas of responsibility, including Amnesty International’s Quality Assurance Framework for research methodology, outputs and publications. 
  • Support the Regional Director (RD) and work collaboratively with other deputy directors to share the management of an integrated multifunctional Regional Office, ensure consistent staff management and strategic allocation of the Regional Office’s resources. 
  • Represent AI in the field and elsewhere, including government officials and the media. 
  • Contribute to the management of the International Secretariat and deputise for the Regional Director, including on head of office functions.

Duties and Responsibilities

Leadership and strategic oversight 

  • Advise and support the Regional Director and broader management group on Amnesty International’s substantive human rights work and strategy towards the subregion or relevant countries, including emerging issues, trends and crises.
  • Cultivate an environment conducive to innovation and change management, where ideas are encouraged, heard and shared, collaboration is valued, new projects, processes and team dynamics are explored, and experiential learning is the basis for adjustment and adaptation. 
  • Manage the development and implementation of action plans for human rights research, advocacy, communications and campaigning for the subregion or relevant countries.

Research management

  • Be responsible for the quality of team 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 evidence, analysis, and conclusions make a compelling case for change. 
  • Ensure that country teams address developing grave human rights situations promptly and that research plans are adjusted as needed for emerging crises. 
  • Represent Amnesty International, including in the field, with government officials, international organisations, civil society organisations, public events and the media, by developing and communicating messages crafted at influencing the appropriate audience.

Campaigns leadership

  • Oversee integrated planning and delivery for all campaign projects in the subregion/relevant countries (global, regional, national crisis, etc.), including links to research and communications commissioning, ensuring the office delivers a coherent suite of sustained campaigning projects that reflect organisational priorities.
  • Work to increase public engagement in Amnesty International’s campaigns towards human rights impact and to convert followers into international supporters and members. 
  • Promote innovation in campaigning and activism, including trying new tactics, techniques and methodologies.

Quality Assurance and reporting

  • Be accountable for the quality of campaign plans and campaigning outputs from the country team, using the range of campaign tools strategically and coordinating with or seeking input from global teams as required.
  • Approve, review and/or advise on internal/external campaign materials, ensuring products deliver on campaign strategy and communicate clear, actionable messages to target audiences.

Management of teams and projects 

  • Promote an organisational culture of integration within the Regional Office and between the Regional Office and global programmes and an environment designed around inclusiveness and respect for diversity.   
  • Ensure the identification and promotion of best practices, encouraging and leading learning and skill development among the Regional Office’s staff.
  • Manage staff and other resources to ensure their most effective use, aligned with agreed priorities and policies.
  • Be accountable for duty of care to staff, including, where necessary, contributing to internal security, health and safety, and human resources policies and standards, supported by the Finance and Office Manager.

Skills and Experience

  • Understanding the legal framework of International Human Rights Law (and International Humanitarian and relevant regional and national legal frameworks) to ensure expert editing in line with quality assurance framework and research methodologies. 
  • Experience in using online or offline campaigning and activism techniques and a range of digital channels to achieve campaign objectives and drive human rights action. 
  • Experience in managing people and teams, successfully coaching and mentoring people, ensuring their wellbeing and encouraging integrated and new ways of working in addition to identifying and filling skill gaps by addressing them through capacity building and training.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the human rights and political context in at least two countries of the MENA region.
  • Understanding of campaigns lifecycles) and in using strategic campaign methodologies and tools.
  • Understanding of advocacy and policy work, including conducting research using a range of appropriate methodologies, analysing and presenting findings, and identifying advocacy targets. 
  • Project management experience, including the ability to develop strategies and plans, review them and adapt them as required, and exercise and promote creative thinking.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and align strategic thinking with operational delivery.
  • Ability to identify opportunities and threats, recommend appropriate mitigating action, and make appropriate recommendations about an organisation’s interests and priorities.
  • Written and oral fluency in English and Arabic. Knowledge of French is an asset.
  • Ability to take ownership of own responsibilities, honour commitments, support subordinates and provide direction while taking responsibility for delegated assignments.