Senior Policy Advisor – International SHR Advocacy

New York, NY

Overview of AJWS

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading Jewish organization working to pursue justice and fight poverty in the developing world. By supporting hundreds of social change organizations in 19 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.

Job Summary

Reporting to AJWS’s Director of International Advocacy, the Senior Policy Advisor leads AJWS’ international advocacy on sexual health and rights with a particular focus on adolescent girls’ rights, including their right to make decisions about if, when, and whom they marry. Advocacy work on this issue is closely integrated with our India-based grant-making and participatory research strategy to combat the root causes of child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM).

The Senior Policy Advisor works in consultation with the Director of International Advocacy, the Director of Government Affairs, the sexual health and rights team, and the Kendeda team to identify opportunities for advocacy impact, develop policy positions and implement the international and DC advocacy strategies. The Senior Policy Advisor identifies opportunities for our partners to advocate with governments, multilateral institutions, donors, researchers and program implementers and represents the organization in a number of civil society coalitions and networks working on sexual health and rights issues at the global level. They also strategically participate in frequent formal and informal cross-organizational collaboration and matrix teams, particularly with colleagues working on adolescent girls’ rights and sexual health and rights in the programs and strategic learning, research and evaluation divisions (including AJWS staff and partners based in India) as well as other colleagues in the advocacy, communications and development departments.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Lead development of AJWS policy position, analysis and implementation of the international and DC advocacy strategies on sexual health and rights that is aligned with our partners’ research and perspectives and with a particular focus on adolescent girls’ rights, including decisions regarding marriage;
  • Initiate, cultivate and strengthen relationships with staff in key UN missions, donor governments, including the US, multilateral agencies and non-governmental organizations and coalitions/networks and in consultation/collaboration with our Washington, DC office as needed through individual lobbying and educational meetings, ongoing information exchange and the organization of policy briefings and grantee speaking engagements in New York, C., and potentially other centers of influence;
  • Write factsheets, talking points, testimony, questions for the record, report language and other materials targeted at decision-makers and influencers;
  • Manage requests for information and provide ongoing monitoring, state-of-play analysis and recommendations on international sexual health and rights and child, early, and forced marriage advocacy/policy vehicles to a variety of internal and external stakeholders, including other AJWS departments, AJWS international partners, AJWS donors, Jewish communal organizations and colleague advocacy organizations;
  • Develop CEFM policy content for a variety of communications, development and campaigns support materials (such as e-action alerts, direct mail, issue one-pagers, AJWS publications and funding proposals and reports) based on partner research;
  • Manage early/child marriage advocacy grant budget and reporting for monitoring and evaluation;
  • Participate in yearly budget and departmental planning and strategy development, SHR, Programs Department and Advocacy team meetings as well as ongoing evaluation and advocacy relationship database tracking; and
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Master’s degree in relevant field (e.g.: law, public policy, public administration, public health, sociology);
  • 7+ years relevant professional experience in NGO issue advocacy and organizing, with at least 3 years advocacy experience in international human rights policy, programmatic and/or funding processes, and existing relationships with relevant UN institutions. Existing relationships with US federal and UN agencies is strongly desired;
  • Exceptional strategic thinking, interpersonal and coalition-building skills;
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills;
  • Proven depth and breadth of knowledge of international development issues required and a background in early/child marriage or one or more of the issue areas related to sexual health and rights preferred (e.g. women and girls empowerment, gender equality, addressing the needs of adolescent girls, youth sexual health and rights, etc.);
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment while maintaining a high level of organization, attention to detail and flexibility;
  • Demonstrated success in working effectively both independently and as part of a team;
  • Experience translating program research and evaluation into policy positions and advocacy strategy a strong plus;
  • Passion for and commitment to AJWS mission and values;
  • Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends;
  • Commitment to monthly trips to D.C as well as other occasional domestic travel required; willingness to travel internationally 1-2 times a year, including at least once annually to India;
  • Experience living or working in the developing world 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.

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.