Oct 25, 2010

Human Rights Defenders (HRD) Program Director

The Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA (GHRC) is seeking a Human Rights Defenders (HRD) Program Director. Position is based in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
The Human Rights Defenders Program Director (PD) will be responsible for the management of the HRD program in Guatemala under the direction of GHRC’s director in Washington, D.C. This includes management of the Relocation program, research and outreach, and drafting strategic responses to threats and attacks against defenders. The PD will also be involved in GHRC delegations and speaking tours and support other programs as needed.
Human Rights Defender Relocation Program
Working in collaboration with GHRC partners in Guatemala, the Program Director will make recommendations for selection of candidates who request relocation, manage and monitor the distribution of funds, follow up on cases GHRC has supported, and report every month on these cases to the D.C. office and the GHRC base.
The Program Director will assist in the writing and production of information to educate the U.S. public and international community about HRDs and the work of GHRC. PD will be responsible for writing articles for the GHRC quarterly publication, as well as translating pertinent articles from the local press, and publishing reports on the status of HRDs based on field research, meetings, and interviews in the field. The Program Director will also keep a companion blog to the GHRC website with updates and photos.
Strategic response to attacks
The Program Director will create, in consultation with GHRC’s director, an appropriate strategy for addressing the targeting of HRDs. This includes action tools for the international community such as urgent action alerts. PD will also compile urgent action/petition responses, deliver the letters to the appropriate Guatemalan offices, and follow up with Guatemalan officials.

The Program Director will act as GHRC’s liaison with strategic contacts in Guatemala. PD will maintain current relationships and develop new relationships with Guatemalan HRDs, NGOs, and Government offices. The PD will also be asked to pitch stories to U.S. journalists interested in Guatemalan HRDs and meet with them in Guatemala during their fieldwork. Furthermore, the PD will participate in human rights events, conferences and forums. When requested by GHRC partners, staff person will accompany high profile cases to court, such as cases of attacks on human rights defenders and women victims of gender-based violence.
GHRC leads 9-day delegations to Guatemala three times per year, focusing on human rights defenders, violence against women, and root causes of migration. Program Director will make recommendations for meetings, and, with GHRC staff, create delegation agenda . PD will accompany delegations and assist with interpretation and logistics.
Speakers Tours
Once a year, GHRC invites a Guatemalan HRD to participate in a U.S. speaking tour. Staff person will be asked to make recommendations for speakers and help guide selected speakers through visa application process at the U.S. embassy.
 Program Director will make monthly field visits to meet with individuals and communities affected by human rights violations, or engaged in community organizing in defense of their rights. Field visits will take place after consultation with GHRC Director and Guatemalan partners; staff member will adhere to a strict security protocol. The Program Director will also travel to Washington, D.C. twice a year for staff meetings.
Financial Administration and Development
The Program Director will send monthly financial reports of expenditures to D.C. staff, report monthly on disbursements of funds to recipients of the HRD Relocation Program and provide financial reports for quarterly board meetings. Furthermore, staff member will seek new sources of funding for the HRD Program and GHRC.
-- Fluent in English and Spanish, with excellent writing skills in both languages.
-- Experience translating and interpreting from Spanish to English and vice-versa
-- 2-3 years experience living and working in Guatemala, preferably in the field of human rights or humanitarian work. Long-term fieldwork preferred.
-- Demonstrated interest in Latin America/human rights issues
-- Good working knowledge of U.S. foreign policy in Guatemala
-- Good working knowledge of how to advocate for improved human rights within Guatemalan and U.S. governments
-- Excellent verbal communication skills
-- Experienced networking skills
-- Knowledge and experience using technology for advocacy (Facebook, blogging, e-blasts)
-- Self-directed and self-motivated, but also a team player
-- Willingness to adhere to a strict security protocol
-- Experience leading delegations
-- Creative approach to advocacy work
-- Commitment to the mission and vision of GHRC
Please submit the following application materials by Tuesday, December 7, 2010:
(1) Resume
(2) Cover letter
(3) Three references with current contact information
(4) Brief writing sample in English and Spanish
This is a full time position with benefits, paid vacation and holidays. The position is based in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Salary is competitive with comparable positions in Guatemala. Apply to Amanda Martin by email at amartin@ghrc-usa.org, or by mail to:
Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA
3321 12th St, NE
Washington, DC 20017
Phone: (202) 529-6599
Organizational and Program Background
GHRC, founded in 1982, monitors, documents, and reports on the human rights situation in Guatemala, advocates for survivors of human rights abuses in Guatemala, and works toward positive, systemic change.
The Human Rights Defenders Program supports human rights defenders and institutions that have suffered attacks by:
*Denouncing attacks through GHRC’s Urgent Action Network, press releases, and paid ads and insisting that Guatemalan authorities work to thoroughly investigate the crimes and prosecute the perpetrators.
*Educating U.S. lawmakers, academics, students, parishioners, and grassroots activists about the increasing attacks against human rights defenders and informing them of ways they can apply pressure on the Guatemalan government to address this issue.
*Raising funds for the Human Rights Defenders Relocation Program, to help provide immediate support to human rights defenders who have suffered threats or attacks and need to move out of their community until the threat subsides. GHRC partners with UDEFEGUA, the Guatemalan Human Rights Defenders Unit, to identify human rights defenders who are eligible for funds.



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