Fortify Rights Job Vacancy: Southeast Asia Legal Director - Thailand

Position: Southeast Asia Legal Director
Location: Bangkok, Thailand; Southeast Asia
Contract: 1 year, renewable
Start Date: TBD
Compensation: Competitive with benefits
Fortify Rights works to ensure and defend human rights for all. We investigate human rights violations, engagestakeholders, and strengthen initiatives led by human rights defenders, affected communities, and civil society. We believe in the influence of evidence-based research, the power of strategic truth telling, and the importance of working in close collaboration with individuals, communities, and movements pushing for change. Fortify Rights is an independent, nonprofit organization based in Southeast Asia and registered in the United States and Switzerland.
The Southeast Asia Legal Director plays an integral role in carrying out and managing the organization’s programmatic work within the region to ensure and defend human rights for all. This director-level position is responsible for managing and providing support to Fortify Rights’ dynamic two-person country-based teams of Human Rights Specialists working in Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia, ensuring projects and activities are developed and implemented in line with the organizational mandate as well as international human rights and humanitarian law. S/he monitors the human rights situation in Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, and the region and provides hands-on assistance to Fortify Rights’ Human Rights Specialists in facilitating Fortify Rights’ human rights investigations, engaging with key stakeholders, and strengthening the initiatives of human rights defenders, affected communities, and civil society. The Legal Director backstops the organization’s work with respect to ensuring the correct application of relevant law. S/he actively identifies opportunities for staff development and provides mentorship to Fortify Rights’ Human Rights Specialists. S/he assists in representing the organization, particularly on regional issues. The Regional Director reports to the Executive Director and receives strategic direction and technical oversight from the Chief Executive Officer.
  • In coordination with Fortify Rights’ executive leadership, manage and provide mentorship to six Human Rights Specialists who comprise Fortify Rights’ two-person country-based teams in Myanmar, Thailand, and Malaysia. Establish clear work plans and a manageable workload for staff and communicate priorities clearly and effectively. Provide oversight and take responsibility for delegated assignments.
  • Provide hands-on practical and innovative guidance to Fortify Rights’ Human Rights Specialists on conducting investigations, engaging in strategic advocacy, and providing quality technical support to partners to ensure organizational activities are carried out to the highest ethnical and methodological standards and in line with best practice.
  • Manage the production of written material produced by Fortify Rights’ Human Rights Specialists, including internal or private memorandums, letters to governments or other stakeholders, press releases, reports, submissions to the United Nations or other international bodies, op-eds, articles, and edited material produced by our partners, in order to ensure high-quality written outputs. Edit all written material produced or edited by Fortify Rights’ Human Rights Specialists and coordinate with the executive leadership to produce a finished product within a timely manner.
  • Monitor human rights policies and practices in Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, and the region and serve as a credible, reliable source of human rights information, both internally and externally.
  • In coordination with Fortify Rights’ executive leadership, Human Rights Specialists, and our partners, conduct high-level strategic advocacy with policy-makers, key stakeholders, and affected communities to address human rights concerns and improve the human rights situation in Southeast Asia.
  • Represent the organization publicly on regional human rights issues. Engage regularly with local and mainstream news media outlets, including online, print, television, radio, and other platforms. Respond in a timely and professional manner to requests for comments, interviews, and assistance from members of the media.
  • Work with our Human Rights Specialists to support partner-led initiatives and provide constructive technical support to partner organizations, including through tailored trainings or participatory workshops, assistance with research and documentation efforts, and other forms of support as identified by partners.
  • Work with country-based teams, the Development Specialist, the Finance Specialist, and the executive leadership to contribute to fundraising initiatives and monitoring and evaluation processes. Contribute to timely reporting of project activities, expenses, and impacts. Ensure organizational resources are allocated appropriately.
  • Work closely in collaboration with the Fortify Rights team, including the executive leadership, Development Specialist, and other Human Rights Specialists, to ensure effectiveness, scale the organization’s impact, and ensure sustainability.
  • Perform other tasks as requested.
  • A graduate degree in law is required; a graduate degree or relevant experience in human rights, international relations, journalism, social science, or a relevant field will also be considered.
  • At least eight years of experience in relevant fields—including international human rights research, documentation, strategic advocacy, working with and providing support to human rights defenders, including at a community-level—and at least five years’ experience in a management-level position.
  • Extensive knowledge of human rights and humanitarian law, and human rights issues in Southeast Asia, including human rights research methodologies, human rights law, humanitarian law, and local, regional, and international advocacy strategies. Ability to implement innovative and creative solutions to complex human rights problems.
  • Excellent organizational and decision-making skills. Ability to self-manage and work efficiently in a fast-paced but flexible environment. Ability to cope with stress in healthy and productive ways.
  • Ability to initiate and implement projects, motivate and manage colleagues, and provide mentorship to multi-cultural teams located in disparate locations.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce high quality written material in a timely manner. Strong editing skills and ability to manage the editing process to ensure the timely production of high-quality written material.
  • Ability to effectively communicate with a wide range of people, including survivors and witnesses of abuse, media, government and high-ranking officials, U.N. and non-governmental organization representatives, and others. Ability to represent the organization both publicly and privately, particularly on human rights issues in the region.
  • Excellent public-speaking skills and ability to engage the local and mainstream news media on human rights issues in the region.
  • Experience working closely and effectively with affected communities and grassroots human rights defenders. Ability to conceptualize and carry out participatory research and education methods; knowledge of quantitative research methodologies a plus.
  • Willingness to travel within Southeast Asia. This may include travel to remote and potentially insecure areas.
  • Fluency in written and oral English required. Additional language skills preferred.
  • To be discussed with short-listed candidates.
  • Fortify Rights seeks exceptional applicants and offers a competitive compensation and benefits package.
  • Fortify Rights is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices and, in order to build the strongest possible team, actively seeks a diverse pool of applicants.
Please apply by emailing your resume and cover letter to with the subject line “SOUTHEAST ASIA LEGAL DIRECTOR”