Senior Program Manager, Political Prisoner Initiative

Closing date:

Freedom House is looking for an enterprising and entrepreneurial individual to launch a new initiative aimed at freeing political prisoners in authoritarian countries. Authoritarian countries are increasingly constricting civic space, arresting activists, journalists and opposition leaders as part of their campaign to cement control of their countries. There is an urgent need for greater focus, coordination and energy devoted to freeing prisoners and increasing global attention and engagement on the issue. This person will be responsible for developing a strategy and workplan to launch the initiative, liaising with key internal and external stakeholders to build support for the initiative, and launching the initiative in early 2022. This is a one-year, renewable position.


Conduct a landscape analysis of the field and identify the most promising tactics and strategies for releasing prisoners.

  • Develop a landscape analysis of organizations and campaigns focused on political prisoner work and the variety of approaches taken by different organizations
  • Research key trends in each region of the world, including numbers of political prisoners and trends in this area

Develop and Launch Strategy and Workplan

  • Create a one-year plan and a five-year plan for the political prisoner initiative, focused on developing targeted campaigns (both public or private) and initiatives aimed at freeing individual prisoners
  • Develop partnerships and workplans with law firms and communications firms to do pro bono work on prisoner release and advocacy
  • As appropriate, identify and begin work on a small number of cases.
  • Develop structure and recruit members for an expert Advisory Board
  • Coordinate the execution of the strategy in close cooperation with external partners

Liaise with Key Internal and External Stakeholders

  • Serve as a focal point within Freedom House in connecting and coordinating across all of the work being done on political prison through our reporting, programmatic, and advocacy work
  • Work with the Director of Advocacy to develop a strategy for engaging key Congressional and Executive Branch officials regarding the release of individual political prisoners
  • Work with team members in the programmatic areas to develop an understanding of Freedom House’s approach and lessons learned
  • Connect with key activists and advocates in this field to build a network of partners and an understanding of the experts engaged in this area



  • Senior leadership role in leading campaign, movement, or initiative in the human rights, democracy, or justice fields
  • Background in international affairs, human rights, or justice issues
  • Experience with advocacy, government relations, or communications
  • Significant experience in multistakeholder or multilateral efforts
  • Knowledge of international law is a plus

Skills and Competencies :

  • Strong ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including effectively interacting with people with a wide range of political and social views
  • Skilled in establishing trusted partnerships throughout organization; maintaining and managing highly-confidential information; using expert judgment when dealing with internal and external constituents
  • Superb attention to detail, balanced against consistent production of timely, error-free work
  • Strong ability to plan, organize, and prioritize under pressure to meet tight deadlines

Attributes and Characteristics:

  • Exhibit strong and sustained commitment to the mission of Freedom House
  • Show good stewardship in the use of Freedom House resources
  • Respond promptly to stakeholder needs and solicit stakeholder feedback to improve service quality
  • Consistently use good judgment when dealing with all contacts and constituents
  • Assess own strengths and weaknesses, pursue training and development opportunities, and strive to continuously build knowledge and skills
  • Work as an effective team member and successfully balance individual and team responsibilities
  • Comply with all policies and procedures

Disclaimer : This job description is only a summary of the typical functions of the job. It is not an exhaustive or comprehensive list of all possible job responsibilities, tasks and duties. The responsibilities, tasks, and duties of the jobholder may differ from those outlined in the job description and other duties, as assigned, may be part of the job. Freedom House may add, change, or remove essential and other duties at any time.

Qualified and Interested Applicants:

We invite qualified candidates to complete an online application and submit a resume and cover letter .

Only candidates who have been selected for an interview will be contacted.

Only candidates authorized to work in the U.S. without any restrictions need apply.


Diversity makes our work stronger. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

How to apply

Leave a Reply