The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) works through a robust network of staff, pro bono attorneys and law students to fill a major gap in access to legal aid for refugees, asylum seekers, and other displaced people. IRAP has become the first advocacy organization to provide comprehensive legal representation to refugees throughout the registration, protection and resettlement processes. As fear, division, hatred, and economic uncertainty persist in the global consciousness and manifest in discriminatory policies, speech, and actions, individuals across the world must respond by demanding and upholding commitments to justice. IRAP is leveraging its volunteers and resources to fight back and ensure that we continue to uphold the humanitarian tradition of welcoming those who are in need of refuge.
Since its founding in 2008, IRAP has used legal aid, litigation and policy advocacy to protect and advance the rights of refugees, both domestically and internationally; the organization has also remained committed to developing the next generation of human rights attorneys through its work with law students. The global turn against refugee resettlement coupled with IRAP’s highly effective model has led to a period of rapid expansion to meet new levels of demand. In the past two years, IRAP’s annual budget has increased from $2 million to $9 million, and over the past six years, its staff has grown from ten to seventy.
IRAP has a formidable track record of successful advocacy at the systemic level, having helped enact into law federal legislation offering life-saving visas and legal protections to over 160,000 displaced people. IRAP’s unique model utilizes lessons learned in individual casework to advocate for systemic changes that benefit broader refugee populations. Building non-traditional, non-partisan coalitions including veterans, religious groups, and corporate attorneys to advocate for the rights of refugees and displaced persons, IRAP also plays a major role in including refugees in U.S. immigration legislation, advocating for procedural protections for refugees, implementing trauma-sensitive policies for LGBTI individuals and survivors of torture, and extending protections for Iraqi and Afghan wartime allies of the U.S. Government.
Reporting to IRAP’s Executive Director, Becca Heller, the Policy Director will lead a team of two attorneys and two communications staff, and as lead for one of the three programmatic departments, will provide critical strategic partnership to the Executive Director as IRAP navigates a new phase of growth. In concert with the team, the Director will advance policy strategies that create and expand pathways to safety for refugees and displaced people, as well as build public support through strategic communications and systemic advocacy.
The ideal candidate will be a seasoned policy leader with a record of success advocating for systemic change and advancing effective strategic communications and messaging campaigns. S/he/they will demonstrate the capacity to identify opportunities and build relationships that result in meaningful change, garnering broad bi-partisan support while staying true to IRAP’s core mission and values. The Director will have experience managing and supervising staff and the capacity to multitask and manage a high-volume workload while remaining flexible and organized. The Director will have six or more years’ experience in policy work, such as government or legislative work or advocacy, along with outstanding writing, research, and analytical skills. S/he/they will oversee staff based in New York City and Washington, DC and can be based in either city, with frequent travel to the other.
More information about IRAP may be found at: https://refugeerights.org/.
This search is being conducted with assistance from Meredith Horton, Allison Kupfer Poteet, Hallie Dietsch and Javier Garcia of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), and where you learned of the position should be sent to:
IRAP-PD@nonprofitprofessionals.com. In order to expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.
IRAP believes that diversity is critical to fostering a strong workplace and serving our clients well. We strongly encourage applications from people with lived experiences in the communities that we serve, members of other marginalized communities, and individuals whose identities are underrepresented in the legal profession.