Department: Programs, Advocacy and Action (PAA department)
Reports to: Director of Programs, Research, and Partner Support
Position: Exempt, Full-Time (35 hrs/week)
Grade: 7 (bargaining unit)


The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a human rights organization that works to advance human rights and economic and environmental justice around the world with an eye-to-eye partnership model that works closely with grassroots organizations. Together we challenge unjust power structures and mobilize to change oppressive policies. We employ a number of instrumentalities to achieve our mission, including advocacy, grantmaking, communication tools, and research. We are seeking an experienced human rights professional who will lead our rights at risk portfolio, currently focused on advancing the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in Burma, refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East, and Central American migrants escaping violence in their home countries.

The Senior Program Leader for Rights at Risk, working closely with the advocacy, communications, and research team, helps to lead UUSC’s response to crises stemming from humanitarian and manmade disasters, as well as gross violations of civil and political rights.


The Senior Program Leader has a wide range of responsibilities. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Key responsibilities include:

  • Design and implement new and existing strategies for each program focus area, with input and feedback from UUSC colleagues, partners, and stakeholders.
  • Build meaningful and trusting relationships with grantee partners, coalitions, individuals, and other organizations and stakeholders that inform our work. This involves extensive domestic and international travel.
  • Manage a portfolio of grants, including support to grantee partners in the development of compelling proposals, reviewing progress reports, and assessing impact.
  • Track emerging developments and policy changes related to the program focus areas.
  • Identify advocacy and communication opportunities, and work in close partnership with advocacy and communications team members and senior management to design advocacy/communications campaigns. Where necessary, prepare power mapping on key issues.
  • Respond to natural and man-made disasters by tracking crises, preparing assessments, and drafting recommendations for rapid and long-term response.
  • Support human rights research by working collaboratively with the UUSC researcher to identify, design, and implement research projects that align with the rights at risk focus areas.
  • Draft internal and external written communication pieces.
  • Represent UUSC and the rights at risk program at conferences and events as well as with board, donors, and program area stakeholders.
  • Work with the Associate Director for Programs and Partner Support to track and document impact.
  • Provide information on partners, stories of change, and impact to enhance the communications and institutional advancement strategies of UUSC.
  • Contribute to the overall learning and development of the organization, and support inter-departmental communication and collaboration.
  • Perform other duties as assigned or required by supervisors.


The Senior Program Leader plays a central role in advancing UUSC’s rights at risk work and should have the following skills, attributes, and experience:

  • Eight or more years working on human rights and social justice issues in the non-profit or social sector. Experience working for or in partnership with grassroots organizations preferred.
  • Strong working knowledge of the current trends and issues surrounding human rights, response to crises, civil and political rights, and related issues.
  • Policy expertise related to refugees, migration, Burma and/or Central America, preferred.
  • Experience managing a grant portfolio, preferred.
  • Demonstrated skills in strategy formulation and program development.
  • A strong racial and social justice lens and enthusiasm about working for a values-driven organization.
  • Proven ability to be a strong team player.
  • Excellent interpersonal and listening skills.
  • Demonstrated excellence in writing and public speaking.
  • Solid problem-solving and decision-making skills.
  • Ability to manage a demanding work load, including multiple tasks and priorities concurrently.
  • Cross-cultural and international work experience preferred.
  • Advanced proficiency in Spanish and/or Rohingya strongly desired.
  • Willingness to travel both domestically and internationally.

Non-Discrimination and Equal Employment opportunity: UUSC is highly committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment. People with disabilities, people of color, and people from minority communities are encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates may email a cover letter and résumé in confidence preferably to:  or mail to: Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (Attn: Director of Human Resources), 689 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139.