Senior Policy Advisor, Civic Space

27 Oct, 2020


Senior Policy Advisor, Civic Space

Oxfam America
Washington, DC

COORDINATES WITH: Oxfam America (OUS) Global Programs; Private Sector; Government Affairs; Public Engagement; Campaigns; US Advocacy Team; GP Regional Representatives; Executive Office.  Oxfam International (OI) DC office; OI Knowledge Hub on Governance and Citizenship; Extractive Industries Global Program; FAIR-EIU Program; select global campaigns and program teams, Oxfam affiliates, regional platforms, and country offices.


Lead influencing, policy advocacy, engagement of allies and partners, especially in Oxfam countries, and program strategy and design on civic space for OUS.  Lead OUS implementation of Oxfam Influencing Strategy on Civic Space.  Represent OUS within Oxfam confederation processes and joint influencing and program work on civic space and represent Oxfam’s thinking and action on civic space for external audiences.


Lead OUS strategy, influencing and program work in furtherance of Oxfam Influencing Strategy on Civic Space



  • Lead, manage and coordinate OUS and Oxfam influencing on civic space with US-based targets, including United States Government.  With associated OI offices, lead civic space influencing with US-based multilateral institutions including the World Bank/IMF and UN system.


  • Lead, manage and coordinate coalition advocacy and alliance building with US and international civil society organizations, research institutions and think tanks.


  • With OUS Private Sector Department, oversee, manage and coordinate Oxfam influencing on civic space with US and international private sector actors.


  • Support, coordinate and collaborate with Oxfam country teams and partners on civic space issues to bring to the forefront country perspectives in order to strengthen advocacy and influencing.


  • With OUS senior leadership and Institutional Support Department, lead, manage and coordinate Oxfam engagement and resource development on civic space, in support of OUS, Oxfam countries, and the OI Governance and Active Citizenship hub, with key US funders.


  • Lead strategy, design, and oversee program implementation for OUS Global Programs on civic space program activities and support to Oxfam countries, regions and partners, in coordination with OUS teams, IPD, OI program management structures, and other affiliates.


  • Serve as focal point on civic space and protection of activists across OUS.


  • Lead OUS engagement in cross-Oxfam collaborations, strategy, planning, and program design and management on civic space, with affiliates, global programs and campaigns, regional platforms, and country offices.


  • Serve as civic space lead staffer for OUS president and senior leadership as needed; contribute to staffing and policy support on civic space for Oxfam International executive director as needed.


  • Lead OUS and cross-Oxfam initiatives to link up global program and advocacy lines of work relating to civic space and protection of activists in key sectors, geographies, and program verticals, for example: civil society narratives; land rights and protection of women human rights, land, environmental and indigenous rights defenders; digital rights; inclusive security and protection of women human rights defenders; fiscal justice advocacy, participatory policy monitoring and advocacy, and the right to protest.


  • Serve as focal point for OUS initiatives to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with Oxfam Southern affiliates on influencing and program work to protect and defend civic space.


  • Lead OUS external representation on civic space and expand visibility of Oxfam’s efforts and thought leadership on civic space in the United States and internationally. Represent Oxfam at public events and with the media on civic space issues, promoting members of civil society in these spaces, whenever possible.


  • Contribute to the reporting of restricted funded projects.


  • Identify and articulate needs for building the evidence base on what works in civic space programming and influencing, and work with researchers and MEL advisors to develop and implement evidencing agenda.



  • Will stay abreast of professional standards, trends and issues affecting this set of responsibilities, demonstrating continuous learning of the field.
  • Will work effectively and collaboratively in support of building a team-based, problem-solving work culture.
  • Will perform all duties appropriately for a multi-cultural environment, treating all persons with dignity and respect, and will be familiar with and committed to the mission, values and goals of Oxfam America.
  • Will have an understanding of gender justice and diversity within key areas of responsibility and a commitment to promoting gender justice and diversity in our workplace and programs.
  • Within key areas of responsibility, will have a commitment to providing a safe environment for staff, partners, and beneficiaries, and a commitment to promoting safeguarding in our workplace, programs, and the communities we serve.
  • Serve as a professional and conscientious representative of Oxfam America and the entire Oxfam confederation, maintaining confidentiality of appropriate information.
  • Travel to regional or OI offices may be required (up to 8 weeks/year)



Masters’ degree in relevant field, law degree, or equivalent combination of education, experience, and training

Experience and Core Competencies:

  • Minimum of 7-10 years of relevant and progressive experience in policy, advocacy, organizing and relationship management.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex multi-functional projects in a distributed work environment.
  • Expertise in global, regional, and national trends regarding civic space, protection of activists, and promotion of civic freedoms world-wide.
  • Familiarity with US government foreign policy and practice.
  • Excellent communications skills, both oral and written.
  • Ability to represent Oxfam and public speaking experience.
  • Ability to think and operate strategically and creatively.
  • Ability to work with Microsoft Office Systems and use multimedia technologies.
  • Experience working in a developing country.
  • Experience writing and executing advocacy plans with measurable milestones.
  • Demonstrated leadership ability.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a demanding environment with tight deadlines.
  • Ability to speak and write in French or Spanish


Exempt/DC Union/Band H

Oxfam America is a Gender Just organization and an equal opportunity employer. We have a zero tolerance policy for any sexual harassment, exploitation, and/or abuse. We welcome all persons to apply and do not discriminate. We take measures to prevent discrimination against any employee or job applicant on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2020-10-27