Policy Director – Global, 2018

Access Now is seeking a Policy Director to direct a global portfolio with responsibility for Access Now’s policy positions, priorities, and initiatives. This is a senior management position, with multiple team members across the world and in different timezones, and reports to the Executive Director.

About Access Now:

Access Now ( is an international human rights organization dedicated to defending and extending the digital rights of users at risk around the world, working on issues of privacy, security, freedom of expression, transparency, and more.

Our policy, advocacy, technology, grants, and operations teams have team presences in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/North Africa (MENA), North America, and South/Southeast Asia, to provide global support to our mission. Access Now has established legal entities in the following countries: Belgium; Costa Rica; Tunisia; and USA.

About the Role:

As Policy Director, you’ll be managing a highly talented and dynamic team of lawyers, policy analysts, and issue-based specialists who are spread across five continents. Your job as their manager is to help guide their work, provide international policy coherence, and facilitate global priorities. The position is an exciting and varied one. On a day-to-day basis, you may play the role of a strategist, an editor, a traffic cop, a mediator, a mentor, an advisor, an advocate, and/or a fundraiser. We are looking for an enabling manager that can provide support to an already excellent and functioning team.

You’ll be directly interfacing with the organization’s other arms – Technology, Advocacy, Grants, and RightsCon. Ideally you will have the advocacy, tech, and sector knowledge to identify and manage synergies with these teams.


  • Identifying and developing key strategic global policy positions and initiatives that will further Access Now’s mission to defend and extend the digital rights of users at risk;
  • Managing Access Now’s policy team, including working in support of a globally dispersed team to help craft organizational positions, providing strategic vision and guidance, facilitating cross-team coordination, and providing support as required;
  • Serving 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;
  • Managing a global budget of approx. $1M (personnel, travel, professional development, etc.) which requires strong coordination, planning, and decision-making;
  • Supporting Access Now’s policy team to ensure that blog posts, legal briefs, position papers, and other written documents are completed in a timely manner and align with Access Now’s policy positions;
  • Serving on the senior management team, including working with the organization’s other directors to shape Access Now’s strategic direction;
  • Working with the Advocacy team to develop and execute campaign topics and strategy, the Tech team to further tech policy initiatives in support of our mission, and the Grants team in support of our global small grants program;
  • Assisting in the programming of Access Now’s RightsCon conference series, the world’s leading event on human rights in the digital age, tackling pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and digital technology;
  • Developing, supporting, and representing Access Now in global partnerships and coalitions, at public events and conferences, and before relevant corporate, governmental, and other policymaking bodies as necessary; nurturing our global network of impact litigants and promoting new jurisprudence to protect users at risk and advance digital rights under law;
  • Responding to queries from the media, the public, and colleagues in the digital rights community, and taking initiative to promote Access Now’s views in public discussion; and
  • Supporting fundraising staff to secure potential sources of financial support, including working on funding proposals with the Development team.

About You:

  • Be a highly confident and skilled manager, with at least five years of experience in managing a complex, international, or national team;
  • Have an expert understanding of human rights law and practice, the international political system, and/or the internet, with the ability to identify emerging issues and use established mechanisms to influence policy outcomes;
  • Be an extremely strategic and creative thinker who can provide expert and tactical advice to the organization, your team, and management;
  • Be able to manage competing and urgent tasks, as well as long-term and sustained projects, taking them all to completion, and be able to report on their progress to relevant stakeholders;
  • Be a process-driven operator, with strong capacity to delegate, create responsive and flexible systems, and make decisions as required;
  • Be an excellent communicator, able to talk publicly to a room as well as privately with team members on and offline;
  • Have a deep respect for cultural, linguistic, identity, and regional differences and diversity. This means understanding diverse and differing cultures and political systems, and how to support the team and wider organisation in navigating them; and
  • Be a humble leader, able to inspire the team, engage with donors, and set policy direction for the team and sector


  • Minimum of five years of relevant policy experience with progressively increasing levels of responsibility and a demonstrable knowledge of relevant international human rights and technology policy issues;
  • Minimum of five years of management experience with an ability to help lead and motivate a multi-disciplinary and remote team to meet and prioritize multiple deadlines in a complex and fluid environment;
  • A proven capacity to synthesize complex information in fluid and rapidly changing contexts, and the ability to design policies and interventions to achieve meaningful change outcomes;
  • Excellent spoken, expository, and persuasive writing and editing skills;
  • Cultural sensitivity and the ability to get on with a wide range of people from around the world;
  • An advanced degree (or equivalent practical experience) related to human rights, policy, journalism, law, or other relevant field; and
  • Ability to travel internationally and domestically.

Nice to Have:

  • Fluency in at least one language other than English a plus, preferably Spanish, Arabic, or French; and
  • Solid non-technical understanding of security technologies and frameworks.


This is a full time position based in one of Access Now’s locations in Washington, D.C. / New York (USA), Brussels (Belgium), Tunis (Tunisia), San Jose (Costa Rica), or New Delhi (India). Other locations will be considered for the right candidate.


Competitive salary commensurate with experience.

To Apply:

To apply, send an email to with the following documents attached:

  • Resume/CV;
  • Cover letter; and
  • Two references.

When emailing your application, please include “Policy Director – [Your Name]” in the subject line.

Published: June 1st 2018


Access Now believes a diverse, inclusive team makes us a stronger organization and better partner. We’re committed to hiring persons of all races, ethnicities, ages, sex, genders, sexual orientation or gender identities, marital status, religions, and disabilities.  Women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and members of other minority or marginalized groups are encouraged to apply.

Help keep the internet open and secure

Subscribe to our action alerts and weekly newsletter

Your info is secure with us.