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Chief Development Officer

Human Rights Watch
New York, United States
Competitive Salary
Posted date
Oct 19, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Professional Fields, Social Work & Human Services
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with Human Rights Watch in the search for a Chief Development Officer.

Reporting to the Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, the Chief Development Officer will establish the vision and direction for the organization’s fundraising, marketing, and external global outreach efforts. This is a critical position for the organization and an exciting opportunity to create the fundraising strategy and roadmap for HRW’s future – developing and implementing ambitious fundraising, outreach, and constituency building strategies.  HRW is dedicated to taking on human rights abuses around the world; accordingly, its Chief Development Officer and Development & Outreach team must be committed to its mission, able to communicate passionately about its work, and capable of inspiring its staff and volunteer teams and donors. Human Rights Watch is flexible about the location of this position. This role will require both international and domestic travel when it is safe to do so.   

Human Rights Watch investigates and reports on abuses happening in all corners of the world. It is roughly 500 people of 70-plus nationalities and includes country experts, lawyers, journalists, and others who work to protect the most at risk, from vulnerable minorities and civilians in wartime, to refugees and children in need. It directs its advocacy towards governments, armed groups, and businesses, pushing them to change or enforce their laws, policies, and practices. To ensure its independence, it refuses government funding and carefully reviews all donations to ensure that they are consistent with its policies, mission, and values. It partners with organizations large and small across the globe to protect embattled activists and to help hold abusers to account and bring justice to victims.

HRW's researchers conduct work in over 90 countries, uncovering facts that create an undeniable record of human rights abuses. It tells the stories of what it finds, sharing them via social media with millions of online followers each day. News media often report on its investigations, furthering its reach. It meets with governments, the United Nations, rebel groups, corporations, and others to see that policy is changed, laws are enforced, and justice is served. When it comes to ending abuses and bringing perpetrators to justice, some victories are big, and others are merely steps on a much longer journey to change. But each represents progress on the many issues HRW works on around the world.

Human Rights Watch's work reaches five continents. It has investigated massacres and even genocides, along with government take-overs of media and the baseless arrests of activists and political opposition figures. At the same time, its work has addressed abuses against those likely to face discrimination, including women, LGBT people, and people with disabilities. When families victimized by war crimes found no justice at home, HRW championed international justice and international courts. While it relies on in-person interviews, its research methods have also changed with the times, and today it uses satellite imagery to track the destruction of villages and city blocks, and it mines big data for patterns in arrest rates or the deportation of immigrants. Everything it does circles back to its commitment to justice, dignity, compassion, and equality.

At least 15 years of experience in fundraising is required, with at least five years of experience in a senior role such as Chief Development Officer, Deputy Chief Development Officer, or an equivalent leadership role. All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of Human Rights Watch and the responsibilities and qualifications presented in the prospectus.

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