Senior Vice President, Global Legal Program

Friday, February 22, 2019


Job Title:  Senior Vice President  

 Department:  Global Legal Program 

Center Background: The Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) is the premier global legal organization dedicated to advancing women's reproductive health, self-determination, and dignity.  Its mission is straightforward and ambitious: to advance reproductive health and rights as fundamental human rights that all governments around the world are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill.  Headquartered in New York City, the Center has regional offices in Bogota, Geneva, Kathmandu, Nairobi, and Washington, DC and a staff of more than 130 diverse professionals.  Its annual operating budget is approximately $23 million, the result of an extraordinary growth trajectory; the Center is now poised for a new phase of significant expansion through its next Strategic Plan. 

The Center’s game-changing litigation and advocacy work, combined with its unparalleled expertise in constitutional, comparative, and international human rights law, have transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies worldwide. It has played a key role in securing landmark legal victories in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe on issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, safe abortion services, and comprehensive sexuality information, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage.  It has brought groundbreaking cases before national courts, U.N. Committees, and regional human rights bodies, led the development of historic, proactive legislation advancing robust protections for reproductive rights, and has built the legal capacity of women’s rights advocates in more than 55 countries. 

To learn more about the Center for Reproductive Rights, go to

The Center seeks a Senior Vice President, Global Legal Program, a role that is critical for the success of The Center for Reproductive Rights. Reporting directly to Chief Strategy and Operating Officer (CSOO) and working closely with the CEO, the SVP Global serves as a member of the Center’s Executive Team and provides a strategic vision for the Center’s global leadership role. The SVP Global is specifically responsible for leading and overseeing the Center’s global legal, policy, and capacity-building teams, and is primarily responsible for harnessing and coordinating their power to drive transformational social change and monitoring and evaluating impact. 

Along with the CEO and CSOO, the SVP Global is accountable for the achievement of all key programmatic goals and objectives. The SVP Global is also responsible for enhancing the reputation and vision of the Center by staying abreast of global human-rights developments and speaking publicly and serving as a thought leader on critical global issues affecting the work of the Center.

The SVP Global oversees a department with 55 staff based in 4 regional offices and New York that is targeted to grow to 86 by FY21 under the Center’s current Strategic Plan.

This position will lead the Executive Team in envisioning, implementing, and coordinating a sweeping portfolio of programs in service of the organization’s ambitious goals for the continued transformation of the human rights landscape with respect to reproductive rights, health, and justice.

The SVP Global will have the benefit of the Center’s many strengths:

  • A compelling global human rights mission and an outstanding reputation for quality and excellence that has won the respect of policymakers, legal, governmental, and NGO partners, opinion leaders, journalists, and clients.
  • Membership on a dynamic Executive Team, including a partnership with the CEO whose visionary leadership has guided the Center’s extraordinary growth trajectory.
  • An unsurpassed legal team with a track record of boldness, innovation, and success.
  • An organization dedicated to strategic growth, impact, and global presence, with a commitment to utilizing cutting-edge approaches and best practices, including recruiting and investing in its top-flight staff.
  • An organizational philosophy that supports innovation, transparency, and accountability as well as a commitment to monitoring and evaluating the impact to ensure the highest program quality and effectiveness.
  • A strategic, creative, and multi-faceted communications program.
  • A strong balance sheet and funding base, with 7 straight years of budget growth.
  • Pro bono support of leading global law firms valued annually at more than $17 million that augments the Center's $35 million operating budget.
  • An engaged and experienced Board of Directors.
  • Investment in enterprise information systems and platforms and forward-thinking management of processes, technology, and data.


 The Senior Vice President’s primary job responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

  • With the Executive Team, provide strategic vision and direction for the Center’s role as a global leader on the advancement and protection of reproductive rights—playing a leading role in the development of both the organization’s long-term strategic plans and shorter-term tactical plans for achieving key objectives.
  • In consultation with the CSOO, establish key organizational and program goals, priorities, benchmarks, and timetables, and ensure they are met in a timely and effective way. Generate ideas and develop systems for fostering innovative thinking and robust partnerships in support of strategic plan implementation.
  • Provide strategic guidance, oversight, and support to regional and UN advocacy programs in developing and implementing annual plans in support of the Center’s strategic objectives and priorities.
  • Ensure alignment and effective implementation of program activities across the institution.
  • As appropriate, represent the Center with senior levels of government, UN and regional bodies, foundations, NGOs, and media.
  • Foster positive, strategic and effective collaborations with NGOs, policymakers, private-sector lawyers, and other strategic partners around the globe. 
  • Present in public forums on critical global issues impacting the work of the Center, supporting the Center’s development initiatives where appropriate.
  • Serve as a key leader on the Center’s Executive Team, working collaboratively to ensure coordination between programs and the Center’s other departments and initiatives.
  • Supervise key program leaders, providing direction, feedback, and support to enhance their ability to perform at their maximum potential.
  • Establish streamlined and efficient processes and protocols to ensure cross-departmental collaboration among programs and coordination with the Center’s communications, development, and administrative operations.
  • Work closely with the CEO and CSOO to move strategic plan and priorities forward
  • Oversee the collection and analyzing of the data necessary to track program effectiveness and impact.
  • Support the Board’s Strategic Plan Oversight Committee.
  • Work closely with the CEO, CSOO, Chief Development Officer (CDO) and other members of the Executive Team and Board to establish and support organizational fundraising goals.
  • Support successful cultivation and partnerships with Government Donors
  • Expand the scope and impact of the Center’s pro bono partnerships.


The ideal candidate will hold a Law degree and expertise in international law and global governance mechanisms.

  • Minimum 15 years of substantial, strategic, senior-level experience working with and leading global programs, including management of remote staff, relocation, and expansion of offices, and change management.
  • Experience with documentation of human rights violations a plus.
  • A highly sophisticated understanding of and substantial experience with the role of legal strategies in transformational social change; a track record in conceiving and implementing a progressive change agenda encompassing impact litigation, legislative and administrative reform, public education, advocacy campaigns, and human rights strategies. Political experience a plus.
  • Excellent political skills, judgment, and credibility in the legal field, as well as the vision and ability to effectively manage challenges and opportunities, identify priorities and implement a creative, actionable program with strategic partners.
  • An extensive and robust network of contacts among decision-makers and organizations in the field of law reform globally.
  • Effective and persuasive communications and presentation skills, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to strengthen the Center’s relationships with partner organizations around the world and with current and potential donors.
  • Excellent leadership and management skills, including the capacity to attract, develop, inspire, and retain staff, and a successful track record of driving organizational change and transformation through supervision of and collaboration with staff in a manner that is flexible and supportive, yet ensures accountability.
  • Sophisticated understanding of sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Experience in capacity-building and training initiatives using human rights and women’s rights framework.
  • Significant professional experience based in Africa, Asia or Latin America.
  • Track record of working with and building teams of diverse nationalities and cultural background.
  • Ability to travel 35% of the time.
  • Fluency in English required; fluency in a second language, particularly Spanish or French, a plus.
  • Experience with U.S. 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organizations a plus.
  • Commitment to the Center’s mission and values.

Critical Position Behaviors:

The ideal candidate will be:

  • A high-profile leader on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Skilled at recruiting, developing, and retaining a diverse team.
  • A collaborative and team-oriented leader who can take charge, build support, act decisively, and effect change.
  • Outgoing and straightforward; able to actively listen and communicate concisely, respecting colleagues' strengths and expertise, and eliciting their best ideas and decisions and able to compromise effectively when necessary.
  • Able to act with a sense of urgency and turn things around quickly.
  • Emotionally mature and confident, with good judgment and a sense of humor.
  • Highly ethical and committed to exceptional work quality and standards; an individual of unquestioned integrity with the ability to inspire the trust of Board members, executives, and staff at all levels.

How to Apply: Please click on the link below to apply. A cover letter, résumé, legal writing sample, and contact information for three references must be included in your application in order to be considered for this position.  Please include these application materials as attachments.

Deadline for applications: The deadline for applications is March 28th, 2019. No applications will be reviewed after that date.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff.  We strongly encourage candidates from all groups and communities to apply. 

Please note that all genuine Center openings must be applied through the Center website.   

The Center does not charge a fee at any stage in the recruitment process (application, interviews, or selection). Nor does it request any medical examinations or bank account inform as part of this process.  If someone contacts, you on behalf of the Center requesting payment for your application please notify before taking any further action.