Now Hiring: Human Right to Work With Dignity Program Director

In partnership with communities, NESRI works to build a broad movement for economic & social rights, including health, housing, education and work with dignity.  Based on the principle that fundamental human needs create human rights obligations on the part of government and the private sector, NESRI advocates for public policies that guarantee the universal and equitable fulfillment of these rights in theUnited States. 

NESRI believes that social movements led by those directly impacted are the best route towards sustainable and progressive social change. NESRI participates in all facets of local, national and international advocacy in deep partnership with communities most impacted by violations of human rights in the United States. Each of NESRI’s programs supports and shapes campaigns in partnership with grassroots organizations through providing: (1) analysis, research and documentation, (2) advocacy support, (3) coalition and network building, (4) communications, (5) transnational links, and (6) training.

NESRI’s Human Right to Work with Dignity Program provides support to community and workers’ organizations advocating for governmental and corporate policies and practices that ensure fulfilling and dignified work for all under safe and healthy conditions and fair wages that support a decent living. NESRI facilitates the use of human rights language and advocacy strategies in order to promote an approach to workers’ rights that is universal and addresses the rights of workers excluded from the protection of current labor law and demands accountability for human rights abuses from all employers. A cornerstone of this human rights approach is the participatory model – in which workers identify injustices and shape the strategies by which to demand and achieve their rights.

The Work with Dignity Program works in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in support of their Campaign for Fair Food and with United Workers of Baltimore in support of their Fair Development Campaign. Both of these campaigns aim to empower workers through leadership development and collective analysis and action, while simultaneously working to create new sustainable structures that embody a more just power balance between employers and workers and increase corporate transparency and accountability, either through private agreements or in new public policy.  The Work with Dignity Program’s “Rethinking Workers’ Compensation” project uses a human rights approach to address the systemic abuses within workers’ compensation systems, and to advocate for systems that meet the needs of injured/ill workers and protect and advance their basic human rights.

Position Description:

NESRI has an upcoming opening for the Director of its Human Right to Work with Dignity Program.  The position is an opportunity for an innovative and committed individual with experience in social movement building and participatory advocacy models to develop and oversee the Program. This is a full-time salaried position to begin July 1st, 2012.  The Director will supervise and work collaboratively with a full-time program associate, who will be active in all areas of the Program’s work.


  • Develop and successfully execute a program strategy consistent with NESRI’s theory of change and in collaboration with other NESRI staff
  • Oversee and implement all Work with Dignity Program operations and ensure overall program quality, including by supporting the program associate, interns, and volunteers in planning, implementing, and evaluating program activities
  • Oversee and implement the creation of tools, including best practices, and systems to facilitate effective and      participatory campaigns, trainings, and other initiatives grounded in human rights principles
  • Collaborate with NESRI partners and allies in support of their local campaigns and goals
  • Create, manage, deepen and expand relationships with partners and allies
  • Research, write, and document in support of the Program
  • Interface with federal, state and local  government officials, as well as the international system in advocacy efforts
  • Collaborate with communications staff to create and implement effective media strategies for the Program, collaborate with development staff in fundraising, and collaborate with other NESRI staff on cross-cutting human rights issues


  • 5+ years professional experience
  • Demonstrated commitment to, passion for, and familiarity with social justice and human rights work, including grassroots organizing
  • Demonstrated interest in, and preferably experience with, advocacy and organizing for workers’ rights
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement cutting-edge policy campaigns
  • Experience forming, supporting, managing and facilitating a team, and working closely with a wide range of constituents
  • Experience working in coalitions of diverse communities
  • Experience supporting participatory organizing models
  • Strong interest in working with community leaders; particular experience in managing highly engaged volunteers is a plus
  • Law or Graduate degree in a related field is preferred, but this qualification may be met by significant relevant experience in field


  • Ability to work nationally and locally and to bridge national and local efforts
  • Ability to set priorities and undertake a wide range of responsibilities
  • Strong networking and coalition-building skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Advanced interpersonal and communication skills
  • Advanced research, writing and editing skills
  • Familiarity with human rights and other relevant social justice frameworks
  • Ability to develop rights-based policy analysis and advocacy
  • Ability to develop community-oriented strategies and materials
  • Ability to develop and implement communication and media relations plans
  • Knowledge of Spanish helpful, but not required

NESRI values a diverse workplace and encourages applicants with non-traditional experiences and from historically underrepresented groups to apply.

Salary & Benefits: 

The salary for this position is $60,000 per year.  NESRI’s benefits package includes: basic health insurance for individuals and families, disability and life insurance, Simple IRA, generous caretaker leave & childcare stipend, and 20 days paid vacation.

To Apply: 

Please email a resume, a one-page cover letter listing three professional references, and a short writing sample (max. 8 pages) to Erin Keskeny.  Applications will begin being reviewed immediately with first interviews to be scheduled in June.

Please, no phone calls.