Senior Director, Emergency & Humanitarian Programs



Building on its long history of resettlement, protection and advocacy support for refugees, HIAS seeks a Senior Director, Emergency & Humanitarian Programs to continue to build out its capacity to engage in global emergency responses. HIAS’ emergency response efforts will focus primarily on crises of forced displacement, ensuring the provision of critical assistance to vulnerable refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in HIAS’ four Signature Approaches: prevention and response to gender-based violence, community-based mental health and psycho-social support, economic inclusion and legal protection.

The Senior Director, Emergency & Humanitarian Programs inspires, champions and fosters a culture of shared success that supports HIAS to achieve its mission and organizational goals. They develop efficient departmental policies and strategic plans to ensure the relevance, credibility and viability of the organization. They also set annual goals, monitor work in multiple countries/settings and evaluate results, ensuring that departmental objectives and operating requirements are met and in line with the needs and mission of HIAS and our donors. They also represent the organization to external third parties, including donors and partners.

This position will drive forward HIAS’ five-year Emergency Response Strategy and operational plan. This will entail a comprehensive process to strengthen HIAS’ technical and operational abilities to implement acute emergency programming. This includes recruiting skilled staff and surge support, reviewing organizational policies and procedures, developing tools for humanitarian programming and raising HIAS’ profile, reputation and fundraising ability as an emergency response agency. The Senior Director, Emergency & Humanitarian Programs will provide critical leadership and coordination for all new HIAS emergency response operations and support HIAS’ humanitarian programs in existing country offices. Close coordination and collaboration with other departments, both within and outside of the Programs division, is required, as the Emergency Department does not operate independently. The Senior Director, Emergency & Humanitarian Programs reports to the Senior Vice President, Programs and also acts as a key liaison between all divisions (Programs, Global Public Affairs, Executive Office, Operations, Finance) as well as between country teams in coordination with Regional Directors, response teams and headquarters.



  • Provides effective leadership to the Emergency Department and emergency support to field operations to meet annual and long-term goals.
  • Monitors and revises the implementation of the five-year Emergency Response Strategy, working closely with other HIAS staff and departments.
  • Ensures and coordinates all organizational strengthening and capacity-building activities as outlined in the Strategy’s five-year implementation plan.
  • Provides information and guidance in developing goals, plans and procedures to achieve humanitarian assistance objectives.
  • Develops, with input from the regional teams, and implements an annual plan for humanitarian departmental operations.
  • Prepares and manages spending of overall Emergency Department budget.
  • Manages, guides, advises and monitors the performance of a team of full-time staff; maintains direct or dotted lines to regional professionals in LAC and Africa & Eurasia, and others to be determined in consultation with Senior Vice President, Programs and the Human Resources team.
  • Establishes work plans and annual performance goals for direct reports, ensuring timely and quality execution of group deliverables.
  • Serves as hiring manager for Emergency Department staff and provides routine performance review and evaluation.
  • Facilitates coordination and compiles information on quarterly basis for the Early Warning Team.
  • Participates in HIAS interdepartmental groups, including the Programmatic Working Group (PWG) and Global Learning Group (GLG).


  • In coordination with technical staff/HPPP and Regional Directors, conducts ongoing review of trends in the humanitarian landscape and adapts the strategy and response plans as needed to ensure they meet organizational objectives and best practices in emergency response, specifically protection interventions for refugees and IDPs.
  • In close collaboration with technical staff, ensures technical guidance on emergency response to all departments to ensure compliance with policy and adherence to humanitarian standards across each of HIAS’ Signature Approaches.


  • In coordination with the regional and country teams, cultivates and establishes strategic alliances and partnerships with current and potential humanitarian donors.
  • Participates in fundraising opportunities and donor outreach, in coordination with Country and Regional Directors.
  • In coordination with the regional and country teams, cultivates relationships and represents HIAS with key donors (including USAID, USAID/BHA and UN OCHA) and with other humanitarian NGOs.
  • Frequently represents HIAS in various humanitarian for a, in consultation with HIAS Advocacy and Humanitarian Partnership, Policy and Practice staff.
  • Oversees the identification and pursuit of new business opportunities in the humanitarian domain.
  • Strengthens HIAS’ brand and contributing to efforts to communicate HIAS’ values, approaches and global impact, particularly in the humanitarian realm.


  • Works closely with the Director, Emergency & Humanitarian Programs and the Roster & Deployment Specialist to develop and manage an emergency response roster and ensure adequate emergency response staffing for timely and quality responses; develops framework and data system, leads on recruiting for external candidates and designs the internal roster system for secondment of staff at the HQ and regional level.
  • Supervises the building out of staff and roster capacity, as well as training in key topics relevant to emergency response.


  • During humanitarian responses, leads on initiating a Go/No-Go Process and devises a response strategy and modalities for specific emergencies, serving as the focal point for all headquarters-level coordination related to the response, and if required, deploying to the field to lead and/or support responses.
  • Provides additional resources, guidance and surge capacity, including technical support, to country offices responding to emergencies and coordinates closely with regional teams on modality of supervision and lead of emergency responses across the globe.
  • Initiates and/or supports real-time review of responses, in coordination with HIAS’ regional programs and M&E teams.
  • Conducts lessons learned exercises to identify strategic support to be provided to enhance HIAS’ delivery of emergency and humanitarian assistance, and oversees the roll-out of such measures to relevant country office teams.
  • Works closely with the Executive Leadership Team and Programs teams to manage the internal Emergency Response Fund; monitors overall spending levels, reviews concepts and approves funds for use during emergency in close cooperation with the Finance & Accounting department and identifies strategy for cost recovery mechanism and schemes in coordination with Finance & Accounting team.


  • Undergraduate degree in a related discipline; graduate degree in a relevant field preferred.
  • 8-10 years of experience in humanitarian response, with at least 5 years of direct field experience, including emergency response positions in complex operating environments; preferably the candidate will also have headquarters experience designing emergency response strategies and overseeing coordination and support for field teams.
  • English fluency required; Spanish and/or French fluency highly desired.
  • Experience designing Emergency Protection programming and implementation, preferably in one (or more) of HIAS’ signature approaches.
  • Expert knowledge of formal principles, theories and practices/techniques of emergency programs and operations.
  • Working knowledge of the institutional donor/client landscape and proven track record of ability to establish and maintain productive donor/client relationships.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills, including the ability to conduct meetings, write reports and speak in a public forum; superior diplomatic and negotiation skills; ability to present and discuss technical information in the context of humanitarian policy and operations.
  • Proven ability to lead, manage and develop staff in an atmosphere of multiple projects, shifting priorities and deadline pressures.
  • Ability to handle difficult situations with diplomacy, sensitivity, confidentiality and tact.
  • Excellent critical thinking skills and judgment; proven willingness to make timely and sound decisions; strong planning, analytical and conceptual skills.
  • Familiarity in the protection sector (preferably with a focus on gender-based violence, mental health and psycho-social support, and/or legal protection) and economic inclusion as well as modalities of cash and voucher assistance.
  • Must be a collaborative team player, with the ability to work with staff from a number of regions and positions, and skilled at thinking creatively, logically and critically in order to develop and implement joint solutions across multiple departments.
  • Must be willing and able to travel up to 30% of the time, as needed.


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: