Employment Opportunity

IRAP is currently accepting applications for our Policy Director position on a rolling basis.

Policy Director

About IRAP
The International Refugee Assistance Project (“IRAP”) is a dynamic and growing legal, policy, and advocacy organization that works to develop and enforce a system of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced people around the world. We are the leading organization that provides free and comprehensive legal services to people we serve through registration, protection, and resettlement processes.

IRAP operates offices in the U.S. (New York City), Jordan (Amman), and Lebanon (Beirut). Our legal services are supplemented by a corps of pro bono lawyers from leading U.S. and international law firms and multi-national corporations, and law students who have created IRAP chapters across the United States and Canada. Through this work, we aim to assist refugees and other displaced people to find safe passage and to transform the landscape of refugee rights in the U.S. and internationally. We are a nimble organization staffed by an innovative and collaborative team that is committed to high standards of quality and close partnerships with our clients, peers, and colleagues.

IRAP has over 50 full-time staff, the majority of whom are based in the New York City office, with others working in field offices in Jordan and Lebanon or remotely. IRAP’s Policy and Communications Department is one of five departments (in conjunction with Legal, Litigation, Development, and Operations) and currently comprised of three policy staff and two communications staff working out of the New York City office and remotely. IRAP’s Policy Department utilizes lessons learned in direct legal services and works with creative, non-partisan coalitions to advocate for systemic changes that benefit broader refugee and displaced people.

IRAP is seeking a Policy Director to lead IRAP’s efforts to create and expand pathways to safety for refugees and displaced people. This is a key strategic position for IRAP as the lead for one of its three programmatic departments.

IRAP’s Policy Department staff are located in New York City and Washington, D.C. The Policy Director will manage IRAP’s two-person communications team in addition to two attorneys and will report to IRAP’s Executive Director.


  • Manage and lead IRAP’s systemic advocacy efforts on behalf of refugees and displaced people, including advocating for:
    • Improved access to and processing in U.S. refugee resettlement.
    • Expanding rights for displaced people and those affected by the Muslim ban and other discriminatory policies.
    • Protection for Iraqi and Afghan wartime partners.
    • New resettlement pathways for refugees and displaced people worldwide
  • Develop grassroots leadership among IRAP’s law student chapters and attorney volunteer network.
  • Engage former clients and affected communities in IRAP’s policy work.
  • Develop a strategic vision and work plan, including soliciting staff input, coordinating with IRAP’s other departments, encouraging staff development, and monitoring developments in IRAP’s spheres of advocacy.
  • Manage IRAP’s Communications Department, including overseeing IRAP’s external messaging and developing strategic campaigns in support of systemic advocacy.
  • Coordinate and identify areas for advocacy with IRAP’s Litigation and Legal staff in the U.S., Lebanon, and Jordan offices.
  • Build and manage partnerships with U.S. government agencies and federal, state, and local legislators.
  • Build and manage partnerships with coalitions, including NGOs and refugee-led and community-based organizations.
  • Build and manage relationships with multilateral institutions and foreign governments, in tandem with other departments at IRAP.
  • Participate in IRAP’s leadership, including by budgeting, fundraising, leading cross-departmental policy-making and serving as the Department’s liaison to the management committee and the Board of Directors.
  • Represent IRAP as a spokesperson at conferences, in the media, and in public speaking engagements.

Open to a candidate residing and working in New York City or Washington, D.C. with regular travel to the other location.


  • Required
    • Bachelor’s degree with 6+ years’ experience in policy work, such as government or legislative work or advocacy, or Master’s degree in a relevant field and/or J.D. and authorization to practice law, with 4+ years’ experience in policy work, such as government or legislative work or advocacy.
    • Experience supervising staff.
    • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills.
    • Highly organized and flexible; able to multi-task and manage a high-volume workload; and excellent time management skills.
    • Strong interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to understand and handle sensitive and confidential information.
    • Sensitivity to client empowerment and to working with clients of all backgrounds, including LGBTI clients, survivors of trauma, and other vulnerable populations.
    • Fluency in oral and written English.
    • Microsoft Suite.
  • Preferred
    • Demonstrated experience in policy work relating to vulnerable populations, refugees, human rights, or immigration, preferred.
    • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills.
    • Experience in strategic planning and designing advocacy campaigns preferred.
    • Experience speaking to the media on behalf of an organization preferred.
    • Additional languages (Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Kurdish, Pashto, Somali, and/or Spanish) are a plus.

Application Instructions
Please submit a cover letter, resume, short writing sample (3-5 pages), and a list of three references at this link.  Review of applications will start on May 28 and will continue on a rolling basis until a hire is made.

IRAP believes that diversity is critical to fostering a strong workplace and serving our clients well. We strongly encourage applications from people with lived experiences in the communities that we serve, members of other marginalized communities, and individuals underrepresented in the legal profession.

IRAP offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits including family health, dental and vision benefits with no employee-paid premiums, a retirement plan with an employer matching component, and twenty days of vacation, five personal days, and twelve sick days per year.