Job: Senior Policy Advisor at American Jewish World Service

Overview of AJWS

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading Jewish organization working to promote human rights and end poverty in the developing world. AJWS advances the health and rights of women, girls and LGBTQI+ people; promotes civil and political rights; defends access to food, land and water; and aids communities in the aftermath of disasters. We pursue lasting change by granting approximately $40 million annually to more than 500 grassroots and global human rights organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and by mobilizing our community in the U.S. to advocate for global justice. Working together, we strive to build a more just and equitable world.

Job Summary

The Senior Policy Advisor is an integral member of the AJWS advocacy department and is responsible for the strategy development and implementation of day-to-day activities related to AJWS’s Civil and Political Rights (CPR) portfolio. This portfolio supports civil society organizations and activists who are empowering the most marginalized communities to use their civil and political rights to advocate for justice in the wake of mass abuse and conflict; to push governments and local authorities to become more inclusive and responsive; and to become part of a strong, inclusive and diverse civil society that looks to improve national level laws, policies and discourse that benefit the most excluded and reduce inequality.

Reporting to AJWS’s Director of U.S. Advocacy, the Senior Policy Advisor will work closely with Civil and Political Rights team in New York, and collaborate within AJWS’s advocacy team, based in DC and New York.  This person will also work with colleagues across the 11 countries in Asia, Meso-America and Africa where AJWS’s CPR team has a presence.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Develop policy positions and strategy in coordination with the Advocacy team and CPR grantmaking staff on issues that fall within the CPR portfolio, particularly at the US government level;
  • Monitor and assess state-of-play information and analysis relating to priority CPR advocacy issues and/or policy vehicles that affect our grantees and partners primarily within the US government, but also international fora, to inform AJWS’s advocacy approach, and make recommendations about how best to respond or adjust as needed;
  • Cultivate relationships with key US Congressional and Executive branch staff, as well as NGO coalition partners in DC;
  • Support the Director of U.S. Advocacy to respond to US policy developments that impact AJWS grantees and positions;
  • Support the Senior Director of Advocacy on issues in the funder networks and international spaces that impact our broader advocacy work and grantees;
  • Represent AJWS in coalitions (including interfaith) and at conferences or other relevant sector functions/spaces;
  • Write policy briefs, factsheets, talking points and other materials targeted to policy-makers;
  • Respond to requests, manage information from and provide project support on CPR advocacy to a variety of internal and external stakeholders including other AJWS departments, AJWS international partners, Jewish communal organizations and colleague advocacy organizations;
  • Provide CPR policy content for a variety of organizational communications and development support materials (such as e-action alerts, direct mail, issue one-pagers, AJWS publications and funding proposals);
  • Support yearly budget and departmental planning and strategy development, as well as ongoing evaluation, on issues for both the CPR portfolio and as a member of the broader Advocacy team.


  • Bachelor’s degree, plus at least 5-7 years relevant professional experience in issue advocacy and organizing at the US federal level (e.g. Congress or similar DC-based advocacy work), with additional experience in the international and philanthropic sector ideal; some experience at country grassroots level preferred; graduate degree a plus.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills;
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment while maintaining a high-level of organization, attention to detail and flexibility;
  • Flexible and collaborative spirit and proven track record working within a team;
  • General knowledge of international human rights issues required and a background in one or more of the issue areas within the broader CPR portfolio preferred (e.g. democratic governance, political participation, free expression and assembly/protest, transitional justice, support for pro-democracy social movements);
  • Passion for and commitment to AJWS’s mission and values;
  • Pending COVID-19 developments and restrictions, willingness to travel domestically regularly; and internationally at least 1-2 times annually;
  • Experience working with diversity of coalition partners, including development, faith, human rights and environmental groups;
  • Background in AJWS countries, especially Burma, would be welcome;
  • Experience living or working in the Global South a plus; and
  • Fluency in Spanish or French a plus.

Compensation and Benefits Information:

  • Competitive compensation commensurate with experience and the market;
  • Paid Time Off: 15-21 Federal and religious holidays off each year in addition to generous vacation and sick days;
  • Full health benefits coverage with minimal contribution by employees;
  • 403(b): 4% company match (safe harbor);
  • Flexible Spending Account and Commuter Benefits;
  • Workplace flexibility and generous leave policy.

Additional Considerations:

People of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, trans and gender non-conforming people; women; and differently abled people are encouraged to apply. We also encourage applications from people of diverse religious, spiritual and cultural backgrounds.

Authorization to work in the US is required.

How to Apply

For immediate consideration, apply below.

Applications submitted without a resume and personalized cover letter will not be considered.

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