Policy Advisor, Sexual Health and Rights

Remote – US-based, location-specific (Washington, D.C. area)

Overview of AJWS

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading Jewish organization working to fight poverty and pursue justice in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. By supporting hundreds of social change organizations in 17 countries, we respond to the most pressing issues of our time—from disasters, genocide and hunger, to the persecution of women and minorities worldwide. With Jewish values and a global reach, AJWS is making a difference in millions of lives and bringing a more just and equitable world closer for all.

Overview of Team

Through grassrooted grantmaking and advocacy, the AJWS Programs Division provides financial support and builds strong partnerships with activists, organizations and social movements facing complex global challenges – from authoritarianism, to attacks on women, sex worker and LGBTQI+ rights, to the climate and humanitarian crises. The Programs Division works at the intersection of Jewish values and global issues. In a deep collaboration between our Advocacy and Jewish Engagement teams, we advocate for U.S. laws and policies that help overcome injustice and elevate support for grassrooted change in the Global South; and we also use strategic communications to amplify our grantees’ voices and those of our supporters to influence policymakers in the U.S. and around the globe. The Programs Division also houses our International Operations (IOPS) and Grants Management team, which oversees the execution of AJWS’s grantmaking policies, procedures and systems in alignment with the organization’s values of and commitment to flexible, responsive and trust-based practices. The work of the Programs Division is rooted in detailed strategies that each team designs and implements, and can be summarized as follows:

  • Civil and Political Rights: Supporting Democracy and Justice and Defending Against Authoritarianism: AJWS supports pro-democracy social movements seeking to push back against authoritarianism, promote democratic ideals and advance justice. We work to center the voices of those often marginalized in governance, including youth, women and ethnic, religious or other minority groups.
  • Humanitarian Response: Supporting Humanitarian Response led by Local Communities: AJWS prioritizes support for local, grassroots groups that work to meet the unique needs of historically marginalized communities in the wake of disasters so that they can recover fully and become more resilient to future crises.
  • Land, Water and Climate Justice: Defending the Rights to Land, Water, Forests, and Livelihoods and Advancing Climate Justice: AJWS supports social movements of rural, indigenous, and marginalized communities, especially women and youth, who are on the frontlines of the climate crisis and advocate for their land, water, forest, and livelihood rights to address climate change. Through funding and accompaniment, we bolster their struggles for natural resource rights and amplify their solutions for climate justice.
  • Sexual Health and Rights: Advancing the Rights of Women, Girls, Sex Workers, and LGBTQI+: AJWS funding and accompaniment enables movements led by adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), sex workers, and LGBTQI+ to strengthen coalitions with allied communities to jointly advocate for rights-affirming laws, services, funding and other empowering resources so that these focus communities have improved access to rights free from discrimination, violence and abuse and can enjoy the full spectrum of opportunities in society and live in health, safety, and dignity.
  • Advocacy and Jewish Engagement Department: Advocating for U.S. laws and policies that help overcome injustice and elevate support for grassrooted change in the Global South AJWS advocates domestically to seeking to secure a rights-based U.S. foreign policy aligned with the goals and and priorities of our partners in all our grantmaking portfolios. Working with the U.S. Congress, Executive Branch agencies, peer advocacy NGOs and the American Jewish community and clergy, the Advocacy and Jewish Engagement teams work to create an enabling U.S. foreign policy environment globally and in the communities of our grantees and partners around the world, including advocacy to increase funding for the work of our partners and their movements.
  • International Operations Department (IOPS) and Grants Management: Operationalizing AJWS’s values of and commitment to flexible, responsive and trust-based grantmaking practices AJWS oversees all grants management functions for AJWS’s $19 million core grantmaking portfolio, as well as $3 million donor-advised funds (DAFs). Executes strategic and values-based grantmaking policies, procedures and systems that operationalize AJWS’s commitment to flexible, responsive, and trust-based practices. Ensures the integrity and efficiency of AJWS’s grantmaking systems, including its foundationConnect/Salesforce grants management database.

Position Summary

The DC-based Policy Advisor is an integral part of the Advocacy team, working closely with the Sexual Health and Rights team, carrying out AJWS’s advocacy strategy to pursue U.S. foreign policies, spending, and diplomacy to advance the human rights of women and girls, LGBTQI+ people and sex workers. In supporting these communities, the Policy Advisor works with Congress, Executive Branch agencies and NGO coalitions on an array of sexual health and rights (SHR) issues, including reproductive justice, HIV/AIDS prevention, and diplomacy to support LGBTIQ+ rights. They also engage in strategic advocacy in partnership with allied advocacy networks to improve availability of US government funding aligned with our partners and their movement’s priorities.

Travel required.
This position reports to the Director of U.S. Advocacy.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Design and implement AJWS’s sexual health and rights advocacy strategy, while leading on shaping the U.S. government’s approach and response to LGBTQI+ rights, reproductive justice, sex worker and adolescent girls’ rights, via funding, policies and legislation, as a key part of the full U.S. Advocacy strategy;
  • Strengthen AJWS’s relationship with stakeholders in the U.S. Congress and relevant Executive Branch agencies;
  • Participate in programmatic discussions with the both the Advocacy and SHR teams to ensure synergy, collaboration and coordination that drives AJWS’s U.S. government advocacy to best highlight the priorities of grantee partners and their movements;
  • Participate and lead in sector, country and population-specific coalitions that implicate the rights of AJWS’s partners, including those reproductive justice, human rights defense, LGBTQI+ rights, HIV prevention, sex worker rights, and interfaith advocacy;
  • Regular communications, monitoring and evaluation of advocacy work across the organization, including weekly meetings and regular monitoring and evaluation of the advocacy program; and · Support cross-organizational initiatives including press statements and communications work, petition and op-ed writing, grant review, and planning AJWS’s annual Rabbinic Lobby Day.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Arts/Science or equivalent degree, plus at least 5 years of professional experience, with at least 3 years relevant work experience, in issue advocacy or organizing at the US federal level (e.g. Congress or similar DC-based advocacy work);
  • Excellent analytical, verbal and writing skills;
  • Flexible and collaborative spirit and proven track record working within a team;
  • Highly organized, with the proven ability to work independently, prioritize and complete multiple projects, meet deadlines and maintain consistent attention to detail;
  • Experience working with diversity of coalition partners, including development, faith, human rights and environmental groups;
  • Experience with one or more of AJWS’s priority issues (LGBTQI+ rights, reproductive justice, sex worker rights, gender justice and HIV) in U.S. federal advocacy or policymaking perspective;
  • In-depth knowledge of Congressional procedure around international affairs, including the relationship between Authorizing and Appropriations committees;
  • Deep commitment to supporting the human rights of people who are most marginalized, including LGBTQI+ people (with a focus on lesbian, bi, queer women, transgender and intersex persons), women and girls (particularly adolescent girls and their sexual rights), people living with/at disproportionate risk of HIV, and sex workers;
  • Commitment to an intersectional and root-cause approach to human rights advocacy that incorporates race, class and ethnicity, among other factors into AJWS’s SHR advocacy portfolio;
  • Basic familiarity with human rights philanthropy;
  • Committed to AJWS’s mission and values of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion across the organization;
  • Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends and to travel domestically and internationally at least 2 times per year.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Graduate degree in relevant field;
  • Experience living or working in the Global South;
  • Excellent public speaking and presentation skills;
  • Experience in grantmaking or working with foundations funding the communities of LGBTQI+, sex workers, and adolescent girls and young women in the Global South;
  • Proficiency in reading, writing and speaking Spanish and/or French, or another portfolio-focused language;
  • Basic familiarity with the Executive Branch regulatory process (including notice and comments) preferred.

Additional Information:

  • Salary Range: $60,000-$77,000
  • This role is full time (40 HRS), Exempt
  • This is a union position


Remote – US-based, location-specific (Washington, D.C. area*)
*This role is flexible in nature, having some responsibilities that can be performed virtually from a home office and some responsibilities that must be performed at our advocacy hub in Washington, D.C.

Compensation and Benefits Information

  • AJWS is committed to a salary framework that aligns with our culture and values. The compensation range reflected is in alignment with our framework and individual pay decisions will vary based on skills and experience while still allowing for growth.
  • Paid Time Off: 15-22 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): 4.25% company match (safe harbor);
  • Flexible Spending Account and Commuter Benefits;
  • Workplace flexibility and generous leave policy.

Additional Considerations

Black, Indigenous and 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.

As an organization committed to promoting social justice around the world, it is essential that we incorporate a diverse, equitable and inclusive lens into all aspects of our work at AJWS. We encourage applicants with a global perspective and a commitment to values around diversity, equity, and inclusion to apply.

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. We thank you for your interest in career opportunities with AJWS. Due to high volume, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

We thank you for your interest in career opportunities with AJWS. Due to high volume, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.