Senior Advocate, Environment and Human Rights

Human Rights Watch


Environment and Human Rights Division
Multiple Office Locations Considered
Application Deadline: April 13, 2023

The Environment and Human Rights (EHR) Division of Human Rights Watch is searching for candidates for the fixed-term role of Senior Advocate on Environment and Human Rights. As communities face growing consequences of environmental degradation, pollution, and climate change, the EHR Division champions human rights law to eliminate sources of environmental degradation, hold abusers to account, and support and protect rights holders.

The Senior Advocate would work closely with EHR Researchers and Senior Researchers to help them leverage research for impact. Building on our work on the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment, the Senior Advocate would strengthen EHR’s capacity to secure increasingly stringent regulation of the industry’s most responsible for pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, including the fossil fuel industry and agricultural businesses driving deforestation.

The Senior Advocate would also be tasked with leading advocacy efforts to develop, strengthen, and implement innovative frameworks to protect the most marginalized people and communities from the human rights consequences of the global environmental crises.

The Senior Advocate would seek to promote and/or strengthen human rights protections within key multilateral environmental agreements, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The position would advocate for increased use of the various human rights mechanisms and tools available within the United Nations, including treaty bodies, special procedures, and the Universal Periodic Review. This position would also be tasked with overseeing partnership work with progressive states, coalitions of states, non-governmental organizations, and other key partners at the local, regional, and multilateral level.

This is a two-year fixed-term role with the possibility of extension dependent on available funding. The Senior Advocate may be based in any of HRW’s global offices and reports to the Director of the Environment and Human Rights Division.

The successful candidate may have the option to work remotely. We aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment for and onboarding of this position. 


1. In consultation with directly-impacted people, partner organizations and HRW colleagues, develop and implement relevant local, regional, and international advocacy strategies for EHR’s work on a range of priority issues — including harms to communities in or around coal, oil, and gas sites; human rights abuses against Indigenous people and forest-dependent communities in the context of deforestation driven by agricultural commodities; and community relocation in the context of climate change and disasters — to change abusive laws, policies and practices;   

2. Press companies to end abusive practices and build respect for human rights into their products, services, supply chains and operations;

3. Meet regularly and develop strong working relationships with representatives of international institutions, government officials and policymakers, private corporations, partner organizations and other important actors, to generate support for human rights-respecting environmental laws and policies in key national, regional and multilateral fora;

4. Present the research and recommendations of EHR in private and public meetings and speak on behalf of EHR to the media and general public;

5. Prepare a range of written materials, including issue analyses, policy submissions, advocacy letters and other related documents targeting international and regional institutions, governments, corporations, other important actors, and the public;

6. Influence policy debates by writing press releases, op-eds, and blog postings, and using social media;

7. Work with other human rights organizations including through coalitions and with unlikely allies and develop contacts with journalists in a variety of media;

8. Keep abreast of pertinent advocacy and policy developments and advise colleagues of important changes and opportunities for timely, impactful research;

9. Ensure organization-wide coordination of environment and climate change advocacy, including through close collaboration with other advocates and relevant staff in other HRW divisions and offices;

10. Travel domestically and internationally, as required for internal meetings, research missions and advocacy opportunities;

11. Contribute to achieving the overall strategic goals and objectives of the division;

12. Perform other tasks as required.


Education: An advanced degree in public policy, journalism, law, environmental policy, environmental science, or related studies is required. This requirement may be waived in lieu of additional years of experience.

Experience: A minimum of seven years of relevant experience in nongovernmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, or governments working to influence international and/or regional environmental policies relevant to human rights issues is required.

Related Skills and Knowledge: 

1. Extensive experience designing and implementing successful advocacy initiatives, with at least some of them focused on environmental issues.

2. Extensive knowledge of environmental human rights issues within international and/or regional systems, ideally related to one or more of: the fossil fuel industry, deforestation, climate displacement, and environmental human rights defenders.

3. Ample experience designing and managing multiple programs, building, and sustaining partnerships, and coordinating with diverse stakeholder communities.

4. Experience with and ability to develop and sustain relationships through regular targeted communications, with attention to timely responsiveness and delivering needed expertise to policymakers and their staff people.

5. Familiarity with environment-related case law and/or litigation.

6. Ability to defend and persuasively explain complex issues and positions to intergovernmental bodies as well as staff, including senior officials.

7. A track record of dealing with the media and cultivating relationships with unlikely allies and journalists.

8. Demonstrated ability to think creatively and strategically.

9. Ability to communicate well orally and in writing in English; proficiency in another language is desirable.

10. Strong interpersonal skills to work collaboratively and as part of a team and with external partners.

11. Ability to work individually and multi-task effectively, and have strong communications, networking, planning, and organizing skills, and the ability to work well under pressure.

Salary and Benefits: Human Rights Watch offers competitive salary and comprehensive employer-paid benefits. HRW offers relocation assistance package and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply. If based in the United States, the salary range would be USD 82,000-95,000. Salary ranges outside of the United States vary based on location.

How to Apply: Please apply immediately or by April 13, 2023, by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a letter of interest and CV or resume. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, or if you require a disability-related accommodation, please email Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.

Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. Human Rights Watch does not discriminate on the basis of disability, age, gender identity, and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or criminal record. We welcome all kinds of diversity. Our employees include people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and come from a wide span of socio-economic backgrounds and perspectives on the world. Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer.

Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of influential governments and international institutions.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development