Director – Policy & International Programs

  • Remote
  • TBD USD / Year

Access Now

The Organization and Role

About Access Now

Access Now is a growing international human rights organization dedicated to defending and extending the digital rights of users at risk around the world, including issues of privacy, security, freedom of expression, and transparency. Our policy, advocacy, technology, and operations teams have staff presences in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/North Africa (MENA), North America, and South/Southeast Asia, to provide global support to our mission.

About this role

The Director – Policy & International Programs manages the Policy & International Programs Team, within the broader Advocacy Arm, and collaborates across all Access Now teams. The Director – Policy & International Programs delivers management expertise across three primary areas: leading a team of regional managers, facilitating coordination on international programs across regions; overseeing and driving global policy positioning in coordination with experts across the Advocacy Arm; and serving as a member of a joint leadership team for the Advocacy Arm.

The Director – Policy & International Programs leads a highly talented and dynamic team of regional managers, lawyers, policy analysts, campaigners, communicators, and issue-based specialists who are spread across five continents. Through direct and indirect supervision of regional leads and thematic experts, the Director strengthens policy coherence and advocacy impact, facilitating prioritization from grassroots-to-global. Strategizing, planning, program oversight, coaching, performance management, and budget management are crucial aspects of this role.

The Director – Policy & International Programs works closely with the Campaigns & Rapid Response, Communications & Engagement, and Legal Programmatic Teams within the Advocacy Arm, and interfaces with the Organization’s other arms – Development, Finance, Grants, Helpline, HR/People, RightsCon, and SecOps. A member of the senior management team, the Director reports through Access Now’s Executive Director, and directly supervises a global team of regional managers.

What you will do

Program Leadership

  • Identify, lead, and guide the development of key strategic regional and global policy positions and regional advocacy initiatives that will further Access Now’s mission to defend and extend the digital rights of people and communities at risk
  • Establish and implement project management systems and strategic tools to ensure that Access Now’s policy positioning and advocacy is grounded in sustainable processes, is outcome oriented, is aligned to organizational policies and priorities, and reflects our values
  • Work with the Policy & International Programs Team to develop and lead campaign topics and strategy, alongside the Communications, Legal, and Campaigns Teams under the Advocacy arm; the RightsCon and Helpline Teams to further tech policy and cross regional advocacy initiatives in support of our mission; and the Grants Team in support of our global small grants program
  • Develop, support, and represent Access Now in global partnerships and coalitions, at public events and conferences, and before relevant corporate, governmental, and other policymaking bodies as necessary
  • Support proper responses to queries from the media, the public, and colleagues in the digital rights community, and take initiative in promoting Access Now’s views in public discussion

Organizational Management

  • Manage Access Now’s team of regional directors and managers, coordinating the development of organizational positions, providing strategic guidance and support, and facilitating cross-team collaboration
  • Serve on joint leadership team collectively responsible for the program directorship in the Advocacy Arm, and more broadly on the organization’s senior management team, including collaborating with other directors
  • Ensure strong professional development, coaching, and performance management practices across the team
  • Serve as senior advisor to the Executive Director on issues including policy positioning and direction, team management and growth, organizational capacity building and structure, fundraising, and diversity
  • Develop and implement annual Policy & International Programs Budget for strong coordination, planning, and decision-making
  • Support fundraising staff to identify, grow, and maintain sources of financial support, including working on funding proposals and tracking deliverables and outcomes with the Development team
  • Facilitate team participation in other major events, including the Internet Governance Forum
  • Assist in global implementation of the annual RightsCon summit series
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Skills, education, and mindset you will bring

  • Extensive – 8+ years – management experience (including management of managers) with an ability to help lead, coordinate and motivate a multi-disciplinary and remote team to meet and prioritize multiple deadlines in a complex and fluid environment
  • Minimum of five years of relevant policy-related experience with progressively increasing levels of responsibility and a demonstrable knowledge of relevant international human rights and technology policy issues
  • Ability to identify emerging issues and use established mechanisms to influence and enable policy outcomes, and to advance success with peer managers
  • Strategic and creative thinking, able to provide expert and tactical advice to the Organization, team, and management partners
  • Process-driven toward creating responsive and flexible systems, managing competing and urgent tasks, with a strong capacity to delegate, and make decisions as required
  • Excellent communicator, able to talk publicly to a room as well as privately with team members on and offline, and able to clearly communicate outcomes to stakeholders
  • Deep respect for cultural, linguistic, identity, and regional differences and diversity, with clear understanding of diverse and differing cultures and political systems, and how to support the team and wider organisation in navigating them
  • Experience managing significant budgets across departments, time zones, and annual planning cycles
  • Excellent spoken, expository, and persuasive writing and editing skills
  • Fluent in English; fluency in another language such as Spanish, Arabic, or French is helpful
  • Ability to travel internationally and domestically – up to 25% of time
  • Appropriate education and work preparation for the role, with bachelor or master degree equivalent in public administration, management/leadership, political science, international relations, law or a similar field

The Details


This is a full-time position, with preference for Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Europe (preference for Belgium, Germany, UK). The successful candidate must possess the right to work in the location in which they will be based. At this time most Access Now Team Members are working through hybrid office arrangements, combining remote at-home work with intermittent use of offices and/or co-working spaces.


Access Now offers competitive compensation and benefits packages that align competitively with locations and regions around the world. Location-specific examples of initial placement within the salary range for this role include:

  • $7,500 USD gross monthly (Costa Rica)
  • €9,275 EUR gross monthly (Germany)
  • $13,000 SGD gross monthly (Singapore)

Benefits for this specific role are tied to the location, and will vary. Regardless of location, all Team Members benefit from a strong global culture aligned around:

  • Work-life balance…including a generous paid time-off program between 36 and 40 days annually
  • Access to supplemental health care insurance policies
  • Professional development and growth opportunities
  • Extensive workplace flexibility
  • Organizational resilience and support for all team members, including paid family leave and employee assistance programs
  • Connection to a diverse, global team of passionate, principled professionals
  • Opportunities to recharge (including one month of paid refresher leave after 4 years)

How to Apply

Please submit the following documents:

  • Résumé/CV (removing all personally identifying information such as age, gender, marital status, address, and photo)
  • Thoughtful cover letter outlining your suitability for our role, with particular attention to your experience aligning to the core functions

Our hiring teams review applications submitted through our Career Openings page; email submissions are not accepted. Please note that if you are applying via a link in a 3rd party system (examples: Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Snaphunt, Zip Recruiter), be sure that you are going through the application link in BambooHR so that you are properly uploading a distinct Cover Letter and a separate CV/Resume.

In order for us to communicate with you on the status of your application, please add to your contacts list, and check spam or junk folders so that you do not miss updates from us.

We are a global human rights organization committed to inclusivity and equity, and seek the most talented team members who bring their true selves, with diverse backgrounds, cultures, perspectives, and experiences. We are interested in receiving applications from people who consider themselves as under-represented in their talent communities. As an equal opportunity employer, we value and encourage diversity and consider applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other legally protected status. Our commitment applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits, and termination.

How to apply

Deadline: 29 Feb 2024