The Carter Center: Director, Programs, Human Rights Program

Job Number
Job Type
Regular Full-Time
The Carter Center
The Carter Center
This position may involve the following Health and Safety issues:
Not Applicable
Job Category
Business Operations
Location : Name
Carter Center
Campus Location (For Posting) : Location

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The Carter Center is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization founded in 1982 in Atlanta, GA, by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University. The Center has helped to improve millions of lives in more than 80 countries by waging peace, fighting disease, and building hope. The Carter Center is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering. It seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.


The Carter Center collaborates with other organizations, public or private, in carrying out its mission around the world. Current information about the Center’s many programs and activities are available at The Carter Center.




The Carter Center is recognized as a pioneer and leader in the field of election observation. It has monitored 113 elections in 39 countries, helping to ensure democratic elections that reflect the will of the people. When the Center first started observing elections in the late 1980s, the Cold War was ending and a wave of democratization was spreading globally. In the last 10 years, however, the trend toward greater democracy has plateaued, and citizens in many parts of the globe are now confronting challenges from authoritarian governments and narrowing political space.


Beyond elections, the Center seeks to deepen democracy by nurturing full citizen participation in public policy-making and by helping to establish government institutions that bolster the rule of law, fair administration of justice, access to information, and government transparency. A culture of respect for human rights is crucial to permanent peace. The Center supports the efforts of human rights activists at the grass roots, while also working to advance national and international human rights laws that uphold the dignity and worth of each individual. When democracy backslides or formal diplomacy fails, the Center offers conflict resolution expertise and has furthered avenues for peace in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. Since 1982, The Carter Center has shown that creating a world at peace is a very possible journey, one step at a time.


The Carter Center’s Human Rights Program envisions a world where all people have the freedom to enjoy equally all their human rights so as to reach their full potential and live in dignity. It advances and protects human rights by supporting individuals and nations striving to realize the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights and responsibilities enumerated by the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a growing body of public international law.




The Program Director is responsible for designing and implementing activities related to the human rights portfolio, through high-level  contacts with representatives of governments, nongovernmental organizations and international organizations, including the United  Nations. The Director, in collaboration with the Senior Advisor on Human Rights and Special Representative on Women and Girls (SA/SR) and other responsible Carter Center staff, will be relied upon for in-depth analysis of international issues that impact on international and national human rights protection systems in order to guide the Center's strategic direction and corresponding programs on human rights issues, including issues related to women and gender. The Director, Human Rights Program reports to the Vice President, Peace Programs.


The position will be responsible to strengthen, in consultation with other experts in the international human rights field and in collaboration with peace and health practitioners, the Center's policy and agenda for the advancement and protection of human rights activities. The Director must maintain a contemporary understanding of the most pressing issues and be able to mobilize actions that are appropriate for immediate, medium, and long-term strategies. Additionally, drawing on the advice of the SA/SR, the Director will be expected to reinforce the Center's engagement on women's rights issues.

The Director has the responsibility for managing the day-to-day staffing, operations, budgets, planning group meetings, annual  conferences and related travel and activities associated with the Human Rights Program. Tasks include project development, implementation and management, proposal development, budget planning and tracking, project promotion, report production, and networking. The Director will liaise and collaborate closely with the SA/SR as well as with the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor. The Director will supervise program staff, graduate assistants, interns, and volunteers as needed. This position will report to the Vice, President, Peace Programs. Due to the travel locations, Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) will be required.




  • Maintains current knowledge of trends, challenges and opportunities facing human rights activities, both globally, and in specific country situations.
  • Improves the strategy for the Human Rights Program, establishing an appropriate niche for the Center, as well as creating dynamic linkages with other programs at the Center. Develops proposals for policy actions to be considered by inter-governmental  organizations and governments that could improve the operating environment for human rights activities.
  • Works with the Development office to identify funding sources and build and maintain relationships with granting agencies,  corporations, and individuals. Drafts grant proposals and prepares supporting materials, including proposed budgets in coordination with Development and Finance. Manages the budget and expenses related to the Human Rights Program and ensures compliance with all financial regulations.
  • Collaborates with the Senior Advisor on Human Rights and Special Representative on Women and Girls and the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor. Liaises closely with Peace and Health Directors to ensure human rights are taken into account in program initiatives throughout The Carter Center. Maintains high-level contacts with key actors in positions to influence policies affecting human rights at the national and international levels. Represents TCC at conferences and other meetings on the subject of human rights and other topics as requested as well as plans implements related meetings, such as senior planning sessions with partners at human rights organizations, public seminars, or panels, as appropriate.
  • Engages actively with staff of the Communications Department regarding outreach, communication and publications and broader efforts to ensure appropriate media coverage.
  • Conducts and supervises research relevant to the program activities and authors analytical papers and publishes articles in relevant publications on human rights issues.
  • Responsible for overall program staffing and evaluating performance management and team effectiveness. Supervises multiple professional and administrative staff located in headquarters and field offices.
  • Responsible for program’s compliance with all organizational policies and procedures. Develops efficient procedures for the  implementation of program activities.
  • Maintains professional growth and development of self and program staff by identifying educational/training programs, professional organizations, activities and resources to maintain knowledge of national trends and to promote leading edge expertise.
  • Undertakes international and domestic travel in support of Carter Center activities.
  • Performs realted responsibilities as needed.


Juris Doctor or Master's degree in a relevant field and a minimum of ten years of program related experience in the field of international human rights are required.




  • The Director must be well accomplished in the field of international human rights.
  • The individual must have well-established relationships with high level representatives of the U.S. and foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations, especially the United Nations, and international and local human rights defender non-governmental organizations.
  • Proven strong leadership and management skills, including solid program design and strategy development experience, supervision of staff, budget management, as well as solid understanding of program resource needs for effective monitoring and evaluation is essential.
  • S/He/They must demonstrate effective verbal and written communication skills, and familiarity with new communication technologies and social media.
  • Fluency in English and one other U.N. language, preferably French as well as extensive international human rights experience in one or more countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, or Latin and South America is preferred.


NOTE: This role will be granted the opportunity to work from home temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic, with intent to return to an Emory University location in the future.  Emory reserves the right to change remote work status with notice to employee.

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