Associate Director, Design & UX

International Rescue Committee

Background/IRC Summary:

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. We deliver 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, we now work in over 40 crisis- affected countries as well as communities throughout Europe and the Americas.

Marketing & Mobilization (M&M), a part of External Relations (ER) is a dynamic team, tasked with overseeing and executing communications and marketing, building the IRC’s global profile and brand, increasing private revenue from deeper donor engagement and partnerships, and influencing our target audiences. In alignment with our Strategy100 commitments, M&M has launched ambitious multi-year campaigns that raise funding, profile and influence and will improve our share of voice and resonance in key geographies and globally.

The Content and Creative team, a part of M&M, consists of award-winning creative specialists and idea partners, developing powerful communications and experiences to really engage audiences and ultimately to deliver on ER ambitions and objectives. Using creative mediums such as visual design, video, stunts, events, and storytelling, they tap into the expertise and talents of colleagues across the organization

Job Overview/Summary:

As IRC’s Associate Director, Design and User Experience, you will lead and inspire all aspects of art direction and UX design for our Marketing & Mobilization department. Leading a team of global team of in-house designers and contractors, you will drive the art and design direction in two key areas of our work — integrated campaigns and brand user experience, effectively crafting on-brand, modern cross-platform experiences. You are rooted in design fundamentals, but also support flexible and pragmatic solutions. You will define and integrate best practices and standards related to UX/UI across products and features while collaborating with product and technology teams to create and develop new opportunities through thoughtful design.

You are able to align teams and stakeholders around a common, user-centered design vision, and are a dedicated champion for a unified and cohesive brand and user experience across our channels.

Major Responsibilities:

Design Direction:

  • Provide digital-first creative leadership for the IRC brand by leveraging an understanding of best in class digital expression, a commitment to elevated customer experiences and knowledge of emerging platforms
  • Create digital-first integrated campaigns that drive awareness and conversion for marquee campaigns, fundraising mobilization initiatives, and brand initiatives and experience
  • Work closely with leaders to champion the representation of the brand in multichannel creative execution across design projects, including identity, voice, image, and user experience. Effectively communicate our visual brand standards, and enable others to follow them.
  • Analyze, strategize and translate creative briefs into actionable creative directives.
  • Oversee projects throughout the entire production cycle to ensure that the creative vision is carried from concept through execution.
  • Present ideas and concepts in a clear, organized and effective manner.

UX Direction:

  • Apply inspired creative thinking and deep knowledge of user experience, design and research fundamentals to deliver intuitive, multi-platform customer experiences that motivate and align teams and engage and delight the IRC’s core supporters.
  • Manage development of wireframes, storyboards, design specs and final feature designs, working with internal design staff and freelancers. Conceptualize ideas into creative, simple and modern responsive designs under technology and time constraints
  • Own, improve and maintain the digital design system. Own and maintain various design tools and infrastructure components (styleguides). Own and improve overall design operations.
  • Advocate for our supporter needs. Seek user and cross-functional team feedback proactively and continuously improve IRC’s creative output.

Team Management:

  • Lead and inspire a global team of in-house and freelance digital designers to deliver asset packages
  • Lead art reviews with team members and provide constructive and positive feedback.
  • Partner with creative team (design, content, video) staff to prioritize and manage multiple creative milestones and deliverables
  • Convene, lead and build strong relationships cross-functionally and identify opportunities to gain efficiency, remove obstacles, and simplify problems with IRC stakeholders

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Sr. Director, Content and Creative

Position directly supervises: (1) Senior Designer (3) Graphic & Digital Designers

Indirect Resources: UK/EU Communications staff; other Content and Creative resources; Marketing Technology team

Other Internal and/or external contacts:

Internal*:* Work with global communications colleagues, writers, content creators, IRC advocates and GPP/fundraisers

External: Work with agencies, corporate partners, freelance designers & developers, strategic influencers and other humanitarian organizations
Impact of work: Support efforts to IRC’s brand profile (to drive influence and fundraising).

Job Qualifications:


B.S. degree in Communications, Arts, Design a plus


  • 8 years of design experience at agency/in-house with at-least 2 years in a design leadership role where you have managed individual contributors and design leads.
  • Demonstrated fluency in aligning and communicating user-centered design principles, graphic design, and web standards
  • Demonstrated experience in strategizing and analyzing measurable objectives and outcomes for customer experience.
  • Experience in leading and creating a design system from scratch and creating and owning design sprints.
  • Experience in leading art direction of digital, social and product-first campaigns
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills to communicate design rationale and thinking. Ability to inspire and get people on-board and work diplomatically
  • Experience bringing ideas to life with high quality comps and prototypes
  • Experience working on international campaigns
  • Experienced team leader: Can provide mentorship in all areas of production including visual, copy and experience design; comfortable leading team through multiple projects and on-going timelines
  • Has knowledge of visual, interactive and motion design trends, and is fluent in simple executions that make big statements
  • Is both a hands-on Designer and a natural leader
  • Is a fresh thinker who embraces challenges and new methods of thinking
  • Is self-motivated with a positive attitude and strong communications skills
  • Commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion and a strong passion for our mission.

Key Tools:

  • Expert level proficiency with interface design and prototyping tools of choice such as Adobe Creative Cloud products – Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
  • Also Sketch, InVision and other prototyping tools.
  • Used to working alongside developers; high degree of comfort with content management systems such as Drupal and other web platforms.
  • Project management task tracking tools such as Workfront, Basecamp, Trello, JIRA
  • Digital analytics tools such as Google Analytics.
  • Experience using digital asset management tools such as BrandFolder

Working Environment:**

Standard office work environment.

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment.

US Benefits:

We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days (depending on role and tenure), medical insurance starting at $145 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare, childcare, and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with up to 4.5% immediately vested matching contribution, plus a 3-7% base IRC contribution (3 year vesting), disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.

Posted pay ranges apply to US-based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity and budget. Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement:

In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for any in-office or hybrid positions. All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).

How to apply