Advocacy Manager / Deputy Secretary General (80%) – Geneva, Switzerland

Terre des hommes

Position start date : January 1st, 2023

Location : Geneva, Switzerland


The Terre des Hommes International Federation (TDHIF) is a leading child-focused independent non-profit global network, composed of nine national member organisations. TDHIF works worldwide for the promotion and implementation of children’s rights through 730 humanitarian and development projects in 67 countries, as well as through global, regional and national advocacy and campaigns, run for and with children.

TDHIF thrives to guarantee that every child has a safe and enjoyable childhood, that every young person feels empowered and that every community we work with is engaged.

TDHIF is supported by an International Secretariat with a team of 6 people located in Brussels and Geneva, with essential advocacy, representation, coordination, and standard setting functions.


The International Secretariat plays a key role in ensuring TDHIF global and European representation and advocacy, especially towards the UN and the EU. It guides, supports, coordinates and monitors the Federation’s international and European advocacy work, and the development and implementation of its joint advocacy strategy. The International Secretariat advocacy team identifies and seizes advocacy opportunities, engages directly with key institutional and civil society stakeholders in Geneva and Brussels, including most relevant networks and coalitions. The Secretariat coordinates all TDHIF members’ Working Groups and leads the Advocacy Working Group. It is also in charge of liaising between the Working Groups and the TDHIF International Board of Directors – ensuring that the conditions are met to enable them to deliver their objectives.

The International Secretariat is currently seeking an outstanding candidate for one of its leading roles: Advocacy Manager / Deputy Secretary General (80%), which will be based in its Geneva office.

Purpose of the position :

The Advocacy Manager/Deputy Secretary General leads TDHIF global advocacy and she/he is especially directly involved in the Federation’s advocacy towards the UN. She/he also assists the Secretary General with strategy and organizational management matters and manages a small TDHIF office in Geneva.

Main Responsibilities :

  • Provides overarching vision and guidance for TDHIF advocacy at global level and facilitate the identification of joint global advocacy priorities.
  • Ensures and supports the development, coordination, implementation and monitoring of impactful joint advocacy strategies to advance common priorities, in collaboration with the International Secretariat team and TDHIF Member Organisations (MOs).
  • Represents TDHIF in public events (panels; forum; press conferences), leads and directly engage in its advocacy before all key UN stakeholders, including officials in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva; UNICEF; and the Offices of the Special Representatives of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children and Children in Armed Conflict in New York.
  • Ensures TDHIF participation in main UN political fora dealing with children’s rights such as the UN Human Rights Council and if possible the High-Level Political Forum in New York.
  • Maintains consultative status with the UN/ECOSOC, ILO, IOM, and the Council of Europe, ensures periodic reporting as requested by these different bodies, as well as annual accreditation of TDHIF staff and specific accreditations to conferences, and consider the acquisition of additional consultative status which could support TDHIF’s work (like with the UNFCCC).
  • Develops and reinforces relations and collaborations with UN and other Geneva-based stakeholders relevant for TDHIF (UN agencies such as ILO, UNICEF and UNHCR; organizations; coalitions; think tanks; media; etc.).
  • Provide political analysis, perspective, and guidance regarding UN institutions, policies and processes relevant for TDHIF, to the MOs and International Secretariat’s Advocacy Advisers, and the Secretary General.
  • Provide guidance to MOs regarding UN advocacy opportunities and related processes to enhance their regional/national advocacy’s impact (Committee on the Rights of the Child and UPR)
  • Represents TDHIF at the Steering Committee of the child-focused alliance, “Joining Forces”, and ensures coordinated and coherent participation of all the different TDHIF colleagues and MOs involved in the alliance work, at all levels.
  • Represent TDHIF in other selected key coalitions and network as needed (such as Child Rights Connect, Geneva, CSO Forum on Violence against Children, New York).
  • Supports the Secretary General in the development of TDHIF strategies/projects and the management of their implementation, notably by ensuring robust planning and smooth coordination mechanisms.
  • Work in close collaboration with the Secretary General to coordinate and supervise the International Secretariat daily activities.
  • Assists the Secretary General during the TDHIF International Board of Directors and General Assembly and supports the preparation of these meetings (reports and/or other documents; logistics; etc.)
  • Assists with financial oversight, including the development of provisional budgets and expense monitoring.
  • Ensures the administrative and financial management of the TDHIF office, in Geneva.


Education :

Master’s degree or equivalent professional experience in International Relations, Political Sciences, International Development or Human Rights sectors.

Experience :

  • At least five years’ professional work experience in international representation and advocacy especially towards the UN-, with proven track record of tangible policy and advocacy successes
  • Some experience in office management, budget monitoring and reporting is also required.
  • Additional experience working on child rights and protection would be a strong asset.

Knowledge & Skills :

  • Strong analytical and strategic skills with demonstrated ability to analyse complex policy trends/issues, identify advocacy opportunities and develop and implement powerful coalitions’ advocacy strategies to achieve change.
  • In-depth understanding of UN institutions, their policy and decision-making processes, and how these may be influenced.
  • High level representation, public-speaking and negotiation skills.
  • Excellent written skills in both English and French.
  • Capable and experienced networker, able to coordinate, strengthen and boost coalitions.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and ability to facilitate and build consensus.
  • Team player with great diplomatic and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent organisational and project management skills, including the ability to plan, coordinate and deliver results.
  • Ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines.

Languages :

Proficiency in English and French

General conditions :

Swiss Labour Law contract

Salary according to experience

Applicants to this position need to be eligible to work in Switzerland.

Are you interested? Do you want to face this challenge?

How to apply

Procedure :

Please applying directly online:

Application files sent through our official website will be processed only if complete (CV + cover letter). Additional documents (diplomas, work certificates, etc.) will be requested at a later stage.

We will be in touch with the shortlisted candidates only in the selection process – with the large number of applications received, we unfortunately cannot provide personal follow-up to the larger candidate pool. Thanks for your understanding.

For any questions you can consult the FAQ below the job advertisements.