About the International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. The IRC delivers lasting impact by providing health care, helping children learn, and empowering individuals and communities to become self-reliant, always with a focus on the unique needs of women and girls. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the Council now works in over 40 crisis-affected countries as well as communities throughout the U.S., Europe and Latin America. 

The Global Advocacy & Influence Department is a dynamic team that uses the power of IRC’s ideas to solve the biggest challenges facing IRC’s clients. From the drivers of conflict to the needs of displaced people, the team partners with politicians, policy makers and civil society to bring these solutions to life, taking pride in being solutions-oriented and creative.  

Being precise in its tactics and messages, the IRC leads change year over year, knowing that system change takes dedicated focus while maintaining the flexibility to respond to emerging needs. Finally, the team is highly collaborative, working not only with programs, strategy, research and innovation, and communications teams across the IRC, but also externally, constantly seeking to new ideas and perspectives from others in the humanitarian sector and beyond. 


About the Role 

As the EU Advocacy Director, you are the IRC’s leading external specialist on the Council’s global influence priorities for the EU and manage a team that executes those priorities. You are responsible for crafting the influence strategies using IRC’s programmatic and research evidence, surgical policy and practice solutions, and trusted brand to inspire collective action. You are the go-to expert for understanding current legislative and policy trends in EU and the opportunities and constraints these create to advance the IRC’s policy agendas. 

You contribute your fresh and creative analysis to inform IRC’s policy objectives and cocreate solutions. The EU Advocacy Director also sits on the IRC Belgium Senior Management Team and supports the Executive Director in setting out the strategic direction for IRC Belgium. This includes being part of the organizational planning, supporting with board activities and risk management. 


Major Responsibilities:  

Advocacy Strategy: Develop and oversee implementation of multi-year, multi-geo advocacy strategies, in close collaboration with Directors of Policy, Director of Influence Comms and other IRC leaders to advance IRCs global influence priorities in Europe and maximize the opportunity for IRC to advance influence objectives.  

Influence Analysis: Analyse power maps for key policy issues to identify influence priorities and targets, and to develop and execute creative influence strategies, including with non-traditional partners. Continuously ideate and identify new approaches and partners that go beyond advocacy as usual.  

Advocacy, Reputation, and Relationships: Build and manage IRC’s credibility, profile and relationships with key EU stakeholders including in the European Commission, European Parliament and Member State Representations in support of advocacy strategies on IRC’s priority issues. Spot and deliver on external opportunities to advance IRC’s profile, policy and influence objectives; advise on IRC positioning and prioritisation vis a vis the EU. Represent the IRC at key high-level meetings and fora.  

Legislative and Policy Tracking: Oversee the expansion of IRC’s legislative reach by tracking, understanding and anticipating: policy trends and shifting govt positions; individuals and organizations engaging on key issues; and the politics around said issues. Build strategic influence plans around legislative processes & profile opportunities / events; this includes hearings, deadlines and processes for engaging in annual bills, and major ad hoc bills moving in IRC’s space of activity. Actively pivot and execute on influence strategy based on emerging opportunities.  

Policy Prioritization and Contextualization: Contribute to policy generation and prioritization by providing EU specific strategic insights that increase the credibility and efficacy of the IRC’s  solutions through constant collaboration with Policy and Solutions colleagues and in focused policy roundtable. Support IRC’s policy team in identifying and developing policy priorities that are impactful and achievable. 

Communications and Profile Strategy: In close collaboration with the global communications, policy comms unit and market leads, identify shared external relations priorities and opportunities. Provide market and audience expertise to communications team to shape communications specific to EU and develop materials for advocacy targets, including digital/social content and take actions. Act as sign off point on EU facing external content when relevant. Identify and leverage opportunities to raise influence and profile in EU through strategic events and other activities.  

Advocacy Materials: Maintain oversight of advocacy materials across European markets, encouraging a unified voice and consistent priorities, where applicable.  

Testing and innovation: Use network to conduct rapid analysis to test political and policy environment on new and emergent issues. Work with testing lab to contribute new ideas to innovate and test.  

Board and Advisors: Develop a deep understanding of IRCs Board and Advisors, especially their areas of expertise and influence connections in order to engage them on substantive issues and leverage their networks to deliver on advocacy objectives.  

Spokesperson: Act as IRC influence spokesperson in the EU, communicating with journalists, policymakers, thought leaders and the public to showcase IRC’s policy solutions and amplify influence messages.  

Team Management: Develop and model new ways of working, manage high performing team and positively contribute to IRC leadership team and IRC culture. Create an inclusive environment by establishing a culture of care and encouraging different ideas. Share time and credit with direct reports, showing appreciation and increasing visibility by giving them access to more senior staff and highlighting their accomplishments.  

Steward Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion both in the culture of IRC, in your management approach, as well as in the policy solutions we develop and the ways we wield influence.  

Senior leadership engagement: Identify and implement opportunities to leverage IRC’s CEO, Europe Senior Vice President, Brussels Executive Director and other senior leaders to amplify IRC’s thought leadership on key issue areas through meetings with senior officials, politicians and other NGOs. Provide briefing materials and provide in-person staffing for meetings as appropriate. 


Key Relationships:  

Position reports to: Senior Director Europe Advocacy and EU Executive Director  

Position directly supervises: EU Advocacy Team 

Internal contacts: Policy and Advocacy colleagues across the globe; Technical Excellence leads; International Programs leads; Resettlement, Asylum and Integration unit, Communications; Awards Management; President’s Office, External Relations Department  

External contacts: Key Opinion Formers and policy makers in EU 


About your Experience: 


  • Graduate degree in relevant field such as Public Policy, Law or International Relations with any other relevant degree to be considered

Work experience: 

  • Demonstrated experience in advocacy and advocacy strategy development with a focus on creativity and strategic thinking  
  • 8-10 years of experience working on complex humanitarian and/or development issues Demonstrated skills and competencies:  
  • Demonstrable track record of influence/impact on legislative and executive policy. Expansive network of influencers and policy makers  
  • Deep understanding of relevant EU legislative bodies and agencies, and familiar with leverage points within these institutions that can be targeted to achieve policy change objectives  
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively, being solutions-oriented when traditional advocacy means do not suffice  
  • Extensive knowledge of humanitarian aid and refugee issues, particularly around long-term displacement  
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate successfully with experts, high level decision-makers, and colleagues in the humanitarian and development fields  
  • Excellent writing skills and the ability to translate complex material and data into coherent narratives that resonate with policymakers  
  • Fluency with key parts of the IRC’s strategy and existing policy strategy  
  • Ability to work on tight deadlines 
  • Initiative and ability to work independently on fast-paced issues, and juggle competing demands  
  • Ideally a working knowledge of French, with additional European languages a plus. 


The Offer 

  • Advocate on behalf of and deliver a markable policy impact on issues that affect millions of final beneficiaries worldwide 
  • Contribute to the work of a global network to create lasting change 
  • Hybrid work arrangement and with some compulsory travel to meet beneficiaries, team members and stakeholders alike 
  • Competitive salary package on a full-time, permanent contract 



Our approach is to work with you to understand and deliver candidates in line with your own diversity objectives and goals. We will ensure that all candidates are treated equally regardless of gender, age, ethnic origin, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, nationality and political or religious beliefs. As a result of our commitment to diversity, we seek to adhere to the best practice principles, from initial succession planning, to designing gender neutral briefs, to ensuring at least a third of candidates are female, to supporting the candidate and, where appropriate, the induction process. We also recognise the important role that executive search firms play in supporting their clients as they take steps to increase the proportion of women in leadership roles, and since our creation in 2013, 53% of the assignments we have completed have resulted in the appointment of a female candidate. 


The Application 

Interested candidates are asked to send their applications to Sergey Golyshin, Director at Mavence at sergey.golyshin@mavence.com . Early applications are encouraged and will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.


SectorHumanitarian policy; Development; Social Policy; Refugees