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Director of the Human Rights Center (18312)

American University
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Aug 31, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Professional Fields, Law & Legal Studies, Administrative, Academic Affairs, Faculty Affairs, Business & Administrative Affairs, Human Resources Administration, Executive, Executive Directors, Other Executive
Employment Type
Full Time
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Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work.

Learn more about American University by clicking here .


The Director is the leadership position for the Center, setting and implementing the strategic vision for the Center in consultation with the six Faculty Co-Directors. The Director identifies and promotes activities, including new initiatives, that will generate new funding sources; increase the visibility of WCL in the field; facilitate opportunities for faculty, students and alumni; and continue to attract prospective J.D. and LL.M. students to WCL. The Director oversees the day-to-day operations of the Center, including communicating the Center’s activities to both internal and external audiences, establishing project and staff priorities, hiring and evaluating projects and personnel. This position receives minimal supervision.

Essential Functions
  1. Setting the Strategic Direction of the Center: In consultation with the six Faculty Co-directors, theDirector identifies the Center’s strategic direction—one that advances WCL’s contributions to human rights and humanitarian law; identifies and establishes new projects and initiatives.
  2. Developing New Initiatives and Grants:The Director leads the Center’s efforts to develop new projects and initiatives, including associated grant proposals and fundraising activities. The Director thus must stay informed about new trends in human rights and humanitarian law to identify opportunities for collaboration and new partnerships with foundations, governmental and inter-governmental organizations, other academic centers, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations.
  3. Financial and Administrative Management:The Director manages the day-to-day operations of the Center, including: supervising and evaluating the performance of Center staff; establishing in consultation with WCL Finance and Administration annual FY budgets, allocating the budget expenses, and monitoring expenditures; reporting regularly on Center activities to the Dean and the Center’s Faculty Directors.
  4. Prospective and Current Student Engagement:The Director leads the Center’s efforts to develop and increase opportunities for students to participate in internships, conferences, lectures, events, research projects, and supervised advocacy relating to human rights and humanitarian law. This requires the Director to maintain a network of relationships for the benefit of our students through regular communication with international institutions, national governments, progressive businesses, and non-governmental organizations.
  5. Alumni Engagement & Development:The Director will work with the Development and Alumni offices to enhance our engagement with WCL J.D. and LL.M. alumni active in human rights and humanitarian law. The Director will update and maintain a global mailing list of alumni who have participated in Center activities and have continued in the field of human rights and humanitarian law.

Supervisory Responsibility
  • Supervises two-to-four staff positions, and three part-time personnel.
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
  • Full Time, 35 hours/week.
  • Team Leader/Consultant A.
  • Exempt.
  • Some weekends and evenings required.
Required Education and Experience
  • Juris doctor or equivalent.
  • 4-6 years of relevant experience.
Preferred Education and Experience
  • Juris Doctor or equivalent (with significant course works in human rights, humanitarian law, and related fields of international law).
  • 5-8 years of relevant experience
  • Significant experience in: human rights policy; and human rights legal advocacy before at least one of the international human rights legal fora.
  • Demonstrated Experience in fundraising and knowledge of the funding community; grants administration; and organizational management, including strategic planning, budget development, supervision of staff and volunteers, and conference planning.
Additional Eligibility Qualifications
  • Raises and oversees an annual budget of approximately $400,000/year for various mostly grant-funded activities.
  • Oversees the administration of the Center’s grants. Selects and supervises three-to-four Research Fellows as well as the student editors of The Human Rights Brief.
  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.
  • To ensure the health and safety of our community AU requires COVID-19 vaccinations for faculty and staff. Click here to learn more about our health and safety directive.
  • Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite.Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options .

Union Eligibility

This position is part of a collective bargaining unit represented by SEIU Local 500. That means the terms and conditions of your employment are governed by university policy (including the Staff Personnel Policies Manual) and any collective bargaining agreement entered into between American University and SEIU Local 500.

Current American University Employees

If you are a current employee at American University, please log intoAsuccessfulU through themyAU portal . Once in AsuccessfulU, please select the Careers tile which will take you to our internal career page.

Contact Us

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email .

American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC

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