MENA Program Assistant

PHR - Physicians for Human Rights

New York, NY, United States

Position Summary:

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is seeking a program assistant to work with the senior program officer working on PHR’s project in Northern Iraq.

The program assistant will assist in all phases of research and capacity building to support local initiatives that promote justice, strengthen democratic institutions, and address the investigation and collection of evidence in regards to the crimes of torture and sexual violence. The program assistant’s focus will be principally, but not exclusively, on supporting PHR’s work in the MENA region. This position is based in New York City.


Administrative Support

  • Provide administrative support such as scheduling, making travel arrangements, taking minutes at meetings, and creating and maintaining filing systems;
  • Maintain communication among PHR staff, trainers, researchers, external partners and communities of practice;
  • Hire and supervise interns in coordination with the rest of the program team;
  • Process internal financial reporting, accounting, and program expenses;
  • Work with the finance department to arrange for fund transfers, wires and checks, and reimbursements, including using expense-management systems;
  • Carry out any other general programmatic support as needed including in the areas of training, research, and technology development.

Research Support

  • Conduct editorial tasks such as proofreading, fact checking and referencing;
  • Conduct background research on key areas of interest to forensic training, such as sexual violence, torture documentation, and medical care available to survivors of human rights abuses;
  • Keep up-to-date on current news and topical issues relating to human rights and forensics;
  • Map the international, national and local systems which enable or hinder investigation of torture and sexual violence;
  • Identify strengths, weaknesses, successes and challenges in interpreting and using forensic evidence to support accountability and reparations in the justice system;
  • Research the regulatory obstacles to gathering and preserving evidence of crimes against humanity and torture, including sexual violence for use in international courts.

Training Development and Capacity Building

  • Prepare and update materials, such as PowerPoint presentations and evaluation forms, for trainings and conferences, including ensuring quality control for materials produced by third-party vendors;
  • Set up distance learning sessions including webinars or workshops;
  • Apply instructional design talent to assist in developing learning content on human rights and forensics;
  • Gather and evaluate training program metrics for trends and quality improvement.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree as a minimum;
  • Fluency in spoken and written Arabic; Kurdish also desirable
  • One to two years demonstrated research, analytical, and writing experience in a professional setting;
  • Demonstrated understanding of human rights issues in the MENA region; expertise or prior experience in Iraq preferred;
  • Comfortable and versatile using Google apps, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.

Skills and Qualities:

  • Ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and professionally in a multi-cultural environment;
  • A high level of analytical, writing, and verbal skills;
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and follow-through;
  • Team player with mature judgment, strong sense of integrity, ability to work on difficult topics and handle stress;
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, effectively and professionally with multiple stakeholders and organizations;
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality and to cope with repeated exposure to graphic and disturbing content;
  • Genuine interest in and commitment to human rights principles and values.

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