National Director of Programs
Job Details
Throughout the United States - ,
Full Time
$161,700.00 - $194,040.00

Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is the global organization’s presence in the United States. We engage people in the U.S. to fight injustice all around the world, while we also work to protect people’s human rights here in the U.S. AIUSA has more than a million members and activists in all 50 states and the District of Colombia, who are part of a larger global movement of 10 million people in 150 countries. We are a non-partisan, democratically governed, grassroots membership organization, which means that our members vote on key governance and deep policy issues and elect our Board of Directors. Some of our members are experts on specific human rights issues, parts of the world, or advocacy areas, and they serve as volunteer leaders. Others are volunteer leaders of local or student groups in towns, universities, states, or regions of the country. Members work together with a talented staff, deployed across six departments to deliver on our mission.


The National Director of Programs leads AIUSA's programmatic team to advance human rights and fight human rights abuses in the U.S. and globally. Under our new Strategic Framework, the Program Director will oversee our work on: racial justice; ending gun violence; individuals-at-risk and human rights defenders; human rights in U.S. national security policy; refugee and migrant rights; and women’s rights, LGBTI rights, Indigenous peoples’ rights, and sexual and reproductive rights. Reporting to the Chief Strategy & Impact Officer, the National Director manages a team of program staff and works closely with our research, technology and human rights, campaigns and marketing & communications and government relations teams and with Amnesty members and activists to achieve human rights impact.


Essential Responsibilities

The National Director for Programs will directly lead and manage staff working on:

  • Racial Justice, as they build out a new program to advance racial equity and justice in the United States, both as a stand-alone program and by integrating racial justice lens into other areas of work.
  • Gender, Sexuality and Identity (GSI), which advances women’s rights, LGBTI rights, and sexual and reproductive rights globally and in US domestic and foreign policy.
  • Human rights in US National Security policy, through promoting reform in the US government’s national security and counterterrorism policies and practices in line with international human rights law.
  • Defending the rights of Individuals at risk (IAR) and human rights defenders (HRD) through policy wins and political support from the US government and allies.
  • Ending gun violence through federal and state based legislative and funding initiatives and coalition building efforts.
  • Refugee and Migrant rights policy, both in the United States and around the world.


Key Responsibilities

  • Manages the Programs Unit team; serves as a mentor and coach, working collaboratively with unit staff in planning and implementing work plans that will advance human rights
  • Works closely with the other National Directors in the Strategy and Impact Department, and with our Movement Building and Member Engagement Department, increase our human rights impact and strengthening our people power through our membership
  • Strategic thought partner and collaborator with the Chief Strategy and Impact Officer on all our human rights impact strategies across the strategic framework
  • Applies creativity and innovation to program strategies; supports experimentation, testing and evaluation to improve human rights impact and strengthening our people power
  • Manages the unit’s budget; supports fundraising efforts to secure additional resources for our work
  • Collaborates closely with Research, Marketing and Communications, Grassroots and Leadership Engagement, Organizing, Government Relations and Campaigns teams, and with other teams in the department and organization
  • Ensures Programs’ strategy aligns with department and organizational strategy and vision.
  • Serves as key spokesperson for AIUSA. Represents AIUSA to external partners and fosters collaboration and alliances
  • Liaises with other Amnesty International country sections and the International Secretariat on programmatic work where appropriate
  • Designs and develops processes that promote shared leadership of Amnesty’s human rights work; supports member-initiated work and collaboration to advance organizational goals; trains department staff in project management and shared leadership
  • Practices and promotes Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) values within the Programs team and across the organization
  • Contributes to organization-wide collaboration, culture change, and strategic and operational planning as a member of the management team
  • Other duties as assigned




  • MA/MS and at least 10 years of relevant experience developing and advancing issue advocacy strategies, including fluency and familiarity with social change movements; or BA/BS and at least 12 years of relevant experience
  • Experience in member-based organizations and/or in grassroots activism preferred
  • Demonstrated expertise, knowledge, and commitment on racial justice and racial equity issues broadly, and/or in-depth experience in at least one substantive area related to racial justice and equity
  • At least 5 years’ experience managing staff, with a track record of cultivating high-performing and inclusive teams


Skills required

  • Strong creativity and strategic thinking skills, including ability to connect and unify cross-functional strategies for issue advocacy including communications, lobbying, research, campaigns and organizing
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; strong diplomatic skills used to influence others, resolve problems, manage projects or achieve appropriate solutions
  • Strong team management, leadership development, and facilitation skills; highly collaborative style
  • Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, board members, volunteers, donors, program participants, and other supporters
  • Ability to handle a variety of key initiatives concurrently
  • Strong commitment to building and working with diverse teams


We recognize the valuable skills that can be gained through internships, fellowships, volunteer work, and non-traditional work experience. This experience helps build competencies and knowledge that may translate to our job openings. We seek a diversity of experience and skills for our workplace and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to our openings.



Dismantling white supremacy is central to the fight for human rights in the United States and around the world. As we mobilize staff and activists and work with partners to help transform the multiple systems where oppression operates in the world around us as part of our human rights mandate, anti-racism must be integral to our work. What does that mean for Amnesty International in the United States? It means using our people power to fight injustice and centering the voices and experiences of those most impacted by racist structures, beliefs, and laws. Fundamentally, it means doing our human rights work differently than it has been done before, because we know that who we work with, how we work, the work we do, and ultimately who we are, are all interconnected. As an international, intercultural, intergenerational and intersectional movement of activists committed to protecting and advancing human rights for all, Amnesty is deeply committed to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility (IDEA). To learn more about how we integrate these concepts into our work and workplace, visit:


COVID-19 Consideration

Because the health and safety of our employees and candidates are a top priority, we are currently conducting our hiring process virtually. We are currently starting our positions as fully remote but will transition to a hybrid work environment when our offices re-open, expected to be in late 2022.

What do we want?