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Policy Advisor, Migrant Rights and Justice, DC-Based

Scope of Work

The policy advisor for the Migrant Rights and Justice Program will work to promote the rights of migrants and access to protection of women and children seeking safety in the United States and internationally. This includes taking a leading role in research, strategic planning, project development and implementation, and advocacy. Current expected areas of focus include long-term support of immigrant families and adults in immigration proceedings, community-based case management, ICE detention and enforcement, and access to asylum, including through a gender lens, in the United States.

Essential Job Functions

Strategic Planning and Program Implementation

  • Work with Director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program and other staff, to develop and implement the program work plan and to coordinate program goals and objectives to achieve measurable outcomes through targeted and sustained advocacy.
  • Identify emerging issues related to protection of vulnerable migrants and help guide WRC’s response.
  • Manage and direct targeted pro-bono projects.
  • Work collaboratively with partner organizations to develop and implement long-term coalition goals.
  • Participate in overall organizational strategic planning.

Financial and Administrative Management

  • In collaboration with Directors of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program and the Development Department, assist in the development and preparation of proposals, budgets, and grant reports.
  • Coordinate with the Director of Migrant Rights and Justice and Senior Director, Finance and Administration on donor relations and financial reporting requirements.

Research and Writing

  • Conduct desk and field research and assessments. This includes planning and coordinating field research, travel to the field (domestic and international), developing methodologies, analyzing data and identifying findings and recommendations.
  • Under direct supervision of the Director of Migrant Rights and Justice, and in coordination with the Communications team: Manage writing, editing, production, and distribution of Migrant Rights and Justice documents, including reports, legislative language, advocacy letters, policy papers, blogs, journal articles, letters to the editor, website postings, urgent actions, and other materials.
  • Monitor events and trends in immigration detention, enforcement, and asylum practices and related policies and programs and follow up accordingly in coordination with the Migrant Rights and Justice team.

Advocacy and Public Education

  • In collaboration with Migrant Rights and Justice staff and External Relations staff, develop, implement, and support advocacy strategies designed to improve conditions, protection of rights, and treatment of migrants seeking protection, especially as they go through the asylum and immigration process.
  • In consultation with Director and staff of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program, initiate, maintain, and manage relationships with nongovernmental organizations, UN agencies, government agencies, child welfare agencies and courts, Congressional members, their staff, and others.
  • Provide technical expertise and policy advice internally (Women’s Refugee Commission staff and board) and externally (administration policymakers, US Congress, UN agencies, NGOs).
  • Represent the Women’s Refugee Commission to a variety of audiences, including with policymakers, government and UN officials, at public events, meetings, conferences, , and other venues as appropriate, and with media.


  • Bachelor’s degree and law degree or master’s degree in international studies, political science, immigration, human rights, social work, or related field or at least 3-5 years of comparable related experience.
  • Knowledge specifically around community-based support for those in the immigration process and asylum law preferred.
  • Minimum 3-5 years progressive work experience in immigration, asylum, refugee, detention, and/or human rights work, including experience managing projects.
  • Previous experience working on policy or advocacy and/or experience on the Hill relating to immigration detention and enforcement and asylum access policies.
  • Proven track record conducting research, analyzing legislation, policies, and the political landscape, and writing reports and policy papers.
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills required. Experience with interviewing migrants and people seeking asylum, particularly in detention settings, strongly preferred.
  • Grant writing and presentation expertise preferred.
  • Solid diplomatic skills: the ability to effectively liaise with a variety of internal and external professional contacts, including government officials and elected officials of all parties.
  • Strong people management skills.
  • Solid organizational skills: the ability to be flexible and work well under pressure in a fast-paced and detail-oriented team environment.
  • Spanish language proficiency required; ability to reliably and comfortably interview and converse.

Reports to: Director of Migrant Rights and Justice
Position: Regular, full-time (currently remote)
Location: Washington, DC
Posting Date: May 17, 2021
Closing Date: Until filled

How to Apply

Interested candidates must submit a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements via this link.


The Women’s Refugee Commission is an equal opportunity employer. It is our policy to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, gender identify, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status, veteran status or disability, and qualified applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The Women’s Refugee Commission is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.