Director, Legal Protection



HIAS seeks a Director, Legal Protection to provide strategic leadership to our legal protection programs. The Director, Legal Protection leads and drives HIAS’ global technical strategy, owns capacity building initiatives (including resource development and standards of program design and delivery), directs integration of best practice, and ensures that programs are evidence-based, results-oriented, and fully accountable to a diversity of affected populations. With a focus on humanitarian and development programming, the Director, Legal Protection shares in the overall ownership of HIAS’ impact and is responsible for ensuring that resources are available to deliver and position HIAS as a global protection leader.

The postholder develops, monitors, and supports legal programs in line with HIAS’ refugee rights impact framework, including public legal education, capacity building, partnership with pro bono lawyers and law school programs, strategic litigation and targeted legal advocacy. They lead HIAS on the application of international legal standards to its legal programs, contribute to HIAS’ advocacy to ensure public policy and legal frameworks permit refugees access to their fundamental rights, and support HIAS to meaningfully engage relevant policy fora, contributing to global dialogue, learning and advocacy, and promoting HIAS’ thought leadership in this sector.

Note, this position is based at our headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland or our office in New York, New York, and we will consider a remote option for applicants who live outside of commuting distance to either of our offices and are based in other states in which we are registered (Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin).


  • Sets and drives global strategy for HIAS’ technical sectors, including design and delivery approaches with focus on visibility, sustainability and impact at scale.
  • Develops targeted strategies focusing on border monitoring and strategic litigation to advance refugees fundamental rights.
  • Develops evidenced-based technical standards/benchmarks for measuring design and delivery quality, ensuring that processes for measurement are clear, realistic, and responsive to the needs of beneficiaries and stakeholders (including donors).
  • Supports program delivery and acts as a conduit for communicating global standards and change initiatives to country teams, providing remote and on-site technical guidance.
  • Identifies and maps HIAS’ global capacity gaps, developing tools and resources to address identified gaps, and anticipating future technical programming needs on a timely basis aimed at reducing risk.
  • Builds capacity to increase quality legal services for at-risk refugee groups, including separated and unaccompanied children, survivors of gender-based violence and torture, people with disabilities, LGBTQ groups and older people.
  • Works with Institution Development, regional teams, and relevant departments to identify and build relationships aimed at expanding HIAS’ revenue for expansion.
  • Supports country teams to develop robust program proposals and build HIAS’ global profile in the sector.
  • Represents HIAS in relevant global platforms/spaces (such as IASC WG, InterAction, Clusters, recognized technical bodies) to amplify HIAS’ thought leadership relating to core programming at international level to influence policy.
  • Builds ties to international pro bono partners to learn and establish working relationships.
  • Facilitates and uses research as a learning tool to inform program design and delivery approach to advance HIAS’ humanitarian and development principles and standards.
  • Produces briefs in collaboration with internal and external partners focusing on refugee rights and status.
  • Manages a global team of technical experts, consultants and, when necessary, program budgets.


  • Graduate degree required; Juris Doctor degree required.
  • 6-8 years of successful experience designing, implementing and monitoring migrants and refugee legal services in a similar agency required; a minimum of 3 years of field-based experience, particularly in Africa, Europe or Latin America and the Caribbean preferred.
  • English fluency required; Spanish and/or French fluency preferred.
  • Experience in supporting or leading a humanitarian and/or emergency program a plus.
  • Strong knowledge in migration law, international refugee law, international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Deep understanding in migration policy, legal ethical obligations, cross-border context, and strategic litigation.
  • Experience working in partnership with UNHCR and/or the US Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration is a plus.
  • Collaborative team player with the ability to think creatively, logically and critically about solutions to gaps in refugee legal protection.
  • Excellent interpersonal and oral communication skills, including the ability to motivate and support field-based staff, effectively communicate key program achievements and operational challenges to HQ, and represent programs to external stakeholders, including donors.
  • Meticulous research, drafting and editing skills.
  • Travel up to 25% of time.


We are committed to a fair and respectful hiring process, and we do our absolute best to respond to every applicant. We prioritize communication and transparency with all candidates, even those who are not moving forward. Here’s a snapshot of our hiring process:

Step 1: Submit your application!

Step 2: Phone screen with a HIAS recruiter.

Step 3: Video interview with the hiring manager.

Step 4: Video interview with a panel of HIAS employees.

Step 5: Online reference check with SkillSurvey.

Step 6: Offer and background check with Shield Screening.

Step 7: Start your professional journey with HIAS!

Note: Some of our hiring processes may vary, and not all candidates will advance to each step.


Over one hundred years ago, the Jewish community founded HIAS (originally the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) in New York City, the immigrant gateway to America. Supporting Jews fleeing persecution and poverty in Eastern Europe, our founders were guided by the traditions, texts and history of the Jewish people—a history of oppression, displacement and diaspora. HIAS has since helped generations of Jews facing violence because of who they were, and HIAS remains committed to helping Jewish refugees anywhere in the world. Today, our clients at HIAS come from diverse faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds, as do our staff. We bring our experience, history and values to our work across five continents, ensuring that refugees today receive the vital services and opportunities they need to thrive.

HIAS is a learning community, committed to diversity and inclusion. We do our work with integrity, accountability, transparency and a commitment to the highest ethical standards. We seek employees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences to join our teams located in the United States and across the globe. People who identify as BIPOC, people with disabilities, people from the LGBTQ+ community and people with lived experiences of forced displacement or immigration are all encouraged to apply. We are committed to building a diverse workforce that reflects our vision, mission and values.


HIAS stands for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety and opportunity.


Drawing on our Jewish values and history, HIAS provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers around the world and advocates for their fundamental rights so they can rebuild their lives.


Welcome • Acogimiento • Hospitalité • Hachnasat Orchim

We Welcome the Stranger

Justice • Justicia • Justice • Tzedek

We Pursue Justice

Empathy • Empatía • Empathie • Chesed

We Approach our Clients with Empathy

Partnership • Compañerismo • Coopération • Chevruta

We Believe in Changing the World through Partnership

Courage • Coraje • Courage • Ometz

We Act with Courage to Build a Better World

Resilience • Resiliencia • Résilience • Ruach

We Adapt and Thrive, Continuously Demonstrating our Resilience


HIAS is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. As an equal opportunity employer, all qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, ethnic background, ancestry, citizenship status, religious creed, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, registered domestic partner or civil union status, familial status, pregnancy, childbirth, military status, protected veteran status, political orientation, or other legally protected status.


HIAS is committed to the protection of children, vulnerable adults and any other person from any harm caused directly or indirectly due to their coming into contact with HIAS. We will not tolerate sexual exploitation, abuse or any form of child abuse or neglect by our staff or associated personnel. Any candidate offered a job with HIAS will be expected to sign and adhere to HIAS’ Code of Conduct and Safeguarding policies. All offers of employment will be subject to satisfactory references and appropriate screening checks, which can include criminal records. HIAS also participates in the Inter-Agency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. In line with this Scheme, we will request information from job applicants’ previous employers about any findings of sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment during employment, or incidents under investigation when the applicant left employment. Likewise, HIAS will share this information when other organizations inquire about current and former HIAS staff as part of their recruitment process. By submitting an application, the job applicant confirms their understanding of these recruitment procedures.

How to apply

Please submit your resume, cover letter and application to our website:

Deadline: 1 Apr 2023