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Managing Director - Human Rights Institute

School of Law

Managing Director - Human Rights Institute

  • 529486
  • Morningside
  • School of Law
  • Full Time
  • Opening on: Sep 14 2022
  • Grade 14
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Temporary
  • End Date if Temporary: 2 years from start date
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range: Commensurate with experience

Position Summary

The Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute (HRI) advances international human rights through education, advocacy, fact-finding, research, scholarship, and critical reflection. We work in partnership with advocates, communities, and organizations pushing for social change to develop and strengthen the human rights legal framework and mechanisms, promote justice and accountability for human rights violations, and build and amplify collective power. Founded in 1998 by the late Professor Louis Henkin as the anchor for human rights within Columbia Law School, the Human Rights Institute promotes engagement and knowledge of human rights within the law school, throughout the University, and around world. Across the many substantive areas of its work, the Institute builds bridges between scholarship and activism, develops capacity within the legal community, engages governments, and models new strategies for progress. HRI’s Managing Director will be responsible for managing and leading the programming, operations, administration, and fundraising of the Institute. This position reports to HRI’s Faculty Co-Directors, and works closely with the international lawyers and advocates of HRI.

This is a temporary two-year position.


  • Working with HRI’s faculty directors and project directors to provide overall strategic direction to
  • Initiating and implementing human rights programming at Columbia Law School in collaboration
    with HRI’s Faculty Directors and other staff. HRI’s programming includes a robust speaker series,
    panels, conferences, symposia, workshops, trainings, and meetings with civil society groups,
    government officials, academics, and others. The Managing Director initiates and develops ideas
    for programming, conducts outreach to speakers, manages event budgets, and organizes and
    implements all event logistics and publicity. 
  • Overseeing HRI’s external and internal communications, including through drafting press releases,
    newsletters, and informational brochures; and regularly managing and updating HRI’s website and
    social media; conducting alumni relations; maintaining HRI’s listserves; and responding to
  • Facilitating, coordinating, and organizing HRI’s team meetings, advisory committees, student
    fellow and practitioner-in-residence programs, and symposia. 
  • Serving as the primary liaison to human rights and public interest student groups and university
    offices and centers at the University and working with student groups on student-led human rights
  • Maintaining the Institute’s finances, including researching funding opportunities; preparation
    of grant proposals and budgets and financial reports; tracking expenditures and meeting appropriate
    deadlines; preparation of the annual budget for the Institute; processing invoices; reconciling
    expenses; overseeing Institute spending, including payroll; and serving as the primary liaison to
    Columbia Law School’s Business Office.
  • Overseeing the coordination and administration of the operational aspects of HRI’s projects, including by supervising administrative support, and providing some administrative support and logistical assistance to HRI faculty and project directors, including through drafting and editing correspondence, and managing report dissemination, travel arrangements, meeting scheduling, and expense reports. 

  • Minimum Qualifications

    • Bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent related experience.
    • A minimum of 5-7 years of related work experience.
    • Demonstrated commitment to and participation in human rights, public interest, or social justice
      issues and activities.
    • Ability to effectively oversee and manage a growing organization engaged on a wide range of
      international and domestic social justice issues.
    • Ability to develop and implement a strategic vision in a human rights and social justice context.
    • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and creatively and work quickly and well under pressure.
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
    • Experience with financial management, budgeting, and basic accounting.
    • Experience fundraising and administering grants.
    • Excellent interpersonal, administrative, and organizational skills, and a commitment to a
      collaborative work style.
    • Experience at facilitating and coordinating meetings, networks, and committees.
    • Ability to effectively represent HRI to internal and external constituents.
    • Ability to function independently and to exercise discretion and judgment in sensitive matters.
    • Ability to identify and respond to the needs of the organization, initiate work and follow-through
      with minimal supervision, work under pressure, be part of a collegial team, adapt to changing
      priorities, and balance competing assignments, and a deep personal commitment and ability to work
      in mutually empowering partnerships.
    • Must be able to work with diverse constituencies and support an inclusive work environment.

    Preferred Qualifications

    • A deep commitment to advancing human rights through research and education, and strong interest
      and ability in pursuing innovative human rights programming.
    • Substantive knowledge across multiple human rights issues.
    • Experience with managing, editing, and maintaining a website.
    • Capacity to effectively use social and other media.
    • Excellent computer/technology skills and proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and
      PowerPoint), Adobe Acrobat Professional, Google documents etc.

    Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

    Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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