Center for Reproductive Rights
  • 13-Apr-2018 to 12-Jun-2018 (EST)
  • US Policy Advocacy
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • Full Time

Job Title: US Foreign Policy Counsel

Department: U.S. and Global Programs

Center Background: The Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) is the premier global legal organization dedicated to advancing women's reproductive health, self-determination, and dignity. Its mission is straightforward and ambitious: to advance reproductive health and rights as fundamental human rights that all governments around the world are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill. Headquartered in New York City, the Center has regional offices in Bogota, Geneva, Kathmandu, Nairobi, and Washington, D.C. and a diverse staff of more than 150 professionals. Its annual operating budget is approximately $29 million, the result of an extraordinary growth trajectory. The Center is now poised for a new phase of significant expansion through its current and next Strategic Plan.

The Center's game-changing litigation and advocacy work, combined with its unparalleled expertise in constitutional, comparative, and international human rights law, have transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies worldwide. It has played a key role in securing landmark legal victories in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe on issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, safe abortion services, and comprehensive sexuality information, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage. It has brought ground-breaking cases before national courts, U.N. Committees, and regional human rights bodies, has led the development of historic, proactive legislation advancing robust protections for reproductive rights, and has built the legal capacity of women's rights advocates in more than 55 countries.

To learn more about the Center for Reproductive Rights, go to

The Role:

The US Foreign Policy Counsel will play a leadership role in the Center's foreign policy and advocacy work, developing and implementing strategies to ensure protection for reproductive rights and access to reproductive healthcare within US Foreign Policy by conducting legal and policy analyses; working with coalition partners; members of Congress and the Administration. This position reports to the Chief Counsel, Federal Policy and Advocacy, and the Director of Global Advocacy, and will work closely with the Director of U.S. Human Rights. The position partners with staff on the US Policy and Advocacy team, the Global Advocacy team, the global regional teams, and the U.S. Human Rights team to identify and implement the Center's foreign policy priorities.

The US Foreign Policy Counsel will operate as lead on foreign policy analysis and strategy development and implementation. They will marshal the resources of the federal, human rights, and global teams to provide legal and policy analysis on relevant legislation, policies and agency action and ensure effective Center engagement and response.

Position placement: Washington, D.C.


  • Developing, analyzing, and advancing policy that will protect and expand the right and access to comprehensive reproductive health information and services, including access to safe abortion, for women and girls around the world;
  • Monitoring and responding to legislative and other policy developments, including regulations, guidance, hearings, markups, staff briefings, and other events;
  • Developing in partnership with the Chief Counsel, Federal Policy and Advocacy, the Director of Global Advocacy, the Director of U.S. Human Rights and the global regional teams appropriate advocacy strategies that support our policy priorities;
  • Coordinating with other coalition partners, progressive allies, and pro bono partners;
  • Serving as a liaison and providing legal analysis support to foreign policy community and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Providing legal expertise to federal agencies, Hill and coalition members regarding the Global Gag Rule, Helms and other key policy priorities including recommending policy positions and leading cross-departmental teams to craft and execute foreign policy positions;Translating complex policies and practices into accessible communications for diverse audiences including lawmakers, advocates and coalition partners;
  • Helping develop public messages and media responses as appropriate and serve as a Center spokesperson on key US foreign policy issues;
  • Cultivating messengers and spokespeople in Washington, DC, to articulate and support the human rights approach;
  • Drafting materials for use in lobbying activities, outreach and on the Web, including legislation, hearing testimony, bill analyses, fact sheets, and legal memoranda;
  • Drafting comments for the administrative record on proposed regulations;
  • Preparing internal and external updates and other written analyses of legislation/policy and other key moments or projects;
  • Identifying inflection points and advocacy opportunities and leading efforts to take advantage of those moments in partnership with relevant members of the federal, global, and U.S. human rights teams;
  • Participating in strategy development across areas of federal policy and advocacy, U.S. Human Rights, and Global Advocacy and Global regional teams; and leading internal and external efforts to implement those strategies;
  • Maintain a high level of substantive expertise on the evolving foreign policy landscape;
    Presenting at professional and advocacy conferences and meetings to lead public discourse on US foreign policy and reproductive rights;
  • Advancing relationships with policy makers and coalition allies and ensure the Center is a go-to resource on human rights law and reproductive rights for policy-makers and allies;
  • Organizing events on aspects of our international work in DC.

 Experience & Qualifications:

  • Strong commitment to the Center's mission, purpose, and values;
    J.D. required;
  • Minimum of 7 years of relevant experience;
  • Expertise in international human rights law required;
  • Experience developing and implementing strategies to influence US foreign policy;
  • Knowledge and experience engaging with USAID, State Dept, and foreign policy processes required;
    Effective public speaking skills and writing skills;
  • Outstanding legal/policy analysis skills;
  • Excellent organizational, project management and time management skills;
  • Experience in working or building coalitions; leadership within coalitions of social justice and/or human rights movements strongly preferred;
  • Experience working outside the US preferred.

Candidate Profile:

Collaborative: Brings a track record of working effectively with various and diverse individuals and groups. A willingness to actively listen and invite different views and opinions across all levels of the institution to build alignment in support of a common goal.
Innovative: Demonstrated ability to be innovative and highly productive, with a focus on excellence in a high energy, fast moving, deadline orientated environment
Initiative: Effectively responds to pressure or crisis situations and acts professionally. Uses resources well. Follows through on ideas, assignments and open issues. Must possess a "can-do" and "will-do" attitude.
Commitment to learning: Applies a growth mentality to their own development and pushes self and others to work out of comfort zone. Promotes a culture of learning by modeling inquisitiveness and an openness to viewing mistakes as an opportunity to learn and improve
Integrity: Possesses impeccable integrity and personal and professional values that are consistent with the Center's high standards and mission.
Transparency: Consistently applies openness and honesty in communicating decisions and plans to team members.
Adaptive/flexible: Has a can do/will do attitude and demonstrates comfort with ambiguity and calculated risk-taking.
Empathy: An empathetic, approachable team player who engenders trust and confidence, with an inherent ability to interact positively with all members of the Center staff.
Independent Worker/Thinker: Must have the ability to work independently and in a team setting.
Confident: Must possess and exhibit a level of confidence in themselves and his/her work, but be able to take direction and criticism professionally.
Results Oriented: Ability to achieve results and complete assignments in a timely manner.

Compensation: The Center offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits program.

How to Apply: Please click on the link below to apply. A cover letter, resume, writing sample, and contact information for three references must be included in your application in order to be considered for this position. Please include these application materials as attachments.

Deadline for Applications: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage people from all groups and communities to apply.

Center for Reproductive Rights
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