MENA Program Director


4 April 2024117 views

Expires in 12 days

Job Announcement
MENA Program Director

The International Legal Foundation (ILF) is hiring a program director to help advance the development of the ILF’s public defender programs in Tunisia and the West Bank. The ILF program director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) will lead the ILF’s long-term efforts in the region to build a culture of defense through practical skill-building and case-based mentoring, as well as project implementation aimed at strengthening the quality and effectiveness of defense services. This is a great opportunity for an experienced criminal defense lawyer to join a global team of experts who are fighting injustice and discrimination while transforming legal systems around the world.
Driven by the belief that every person accused of a crime deserves to be represented by a well-trained lawyer, the ILF has established pioneering public defender programs in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Tunisia and the West Bank of Palestine, and is providing technical assistance to legal aid providers in the Republic of Georgia and Indonesia, who are leading the fight for equal access to justice for poor and vulnerable accused. The ILF’s uniquely practical and effective approach focuses on incrementally developing the knowledge and skills of local lawyers through mentoring—not simply dropping in and providing one off trainings—empowering them to provide high-quality, client-centered, rights-based legal aid and challenge injustice. In addition to its ground-up work establishing effective public defender systems, the ILF also engages in high-level global advocacy, pushing countries, international institutions, and donors to prioritize legal aid as a fundamental human right.
The ideal candidate will be a passionate, committed advocate with experience training and mentoring lawyers on how to use the law to increase access to justice and respect for the rule of law. They will also have familiarity with performance standards and guidelines for quality defense representation, with successful experience working in an international or inter-cultural setting.
This position is intended to be based out of the ILF’s New York office in Midtown Manhattan, but both hybrid and completely remote opportunities are available. The salary range for this position is $75,000 to $90,000. The ILF considers factors such as (but not limited to) scope and responsibilities of the position, candidate's work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, as well as market and organizational considerations when extending an offer. The ILF offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance and a 403(b) retirement plan.
  • Direct mentoring, both in person and remotely, of Tunisian and Palestinian legal aid lawyers on actual casework and training, as necessary, to improve litigation, trial and advocacy skills;
  • Develop understanding of local law and practice in countries where the ILF works and develop effective litigation strategies to advance the rights of the criminally accused by addressing entrenched rights violations and gaps between the law and actual practice;
  • Oversee the development and updating of the ILF’s practice manuals, training guides and sample motions in existing country programs and/or in new countries that will assist in the mentoring of local staff and identify key issues to be litigated under the specific laws of the country;
  • Work with ILF country office senior management on upholding quality legal aid performance standards, and assist in developing and overseeing the ILF’s monitoring and evaluation systems, including the case management systems used by the ILF’s country offices in an effort to ensure accountability and to track continuous improvement and impact;
  • Draft ILF Case Notes summarizing cases that cover legal issues being addressed in ILF’s program offices, and work with the ILF’s communications team on dissemination;
  • Manage the ILF’s International Fellows Program, which places volunteer lawyers from around the world in our country offices to provide intensive mentoring to local lawyers, including preparation of the Fellows and oversight on progress and challenges;
  • Work with the New York and country program teams on the introduction and implementation of projects, grants and activities that advance early access to counsel and high-quality, client-centered, rights-based and holistic legal aid services;
  • Communicate with donors and stakeholders and help guide growth, expansion and sustainability of the ILF’s public defender programs;
  • Manage the report writing and the development of publications that cover the program and further the ILF’s advocacy;
  • Bring innovation and creativity to interventions and initiatives that aim to build justice sector understanding of the right to counsel and their role in ensuring access to justice;
  • Work effectively with the ILF’s Executive Director and Senior Program Director, and program and communications staff as necessary and appropriate, in supporting the ILF’s mission;
  • Represent the ILF globally, including at conferences and other advocacy forums.

  • Law degree and at least 5 years of practical experience in criminal defense
  • Strong preference will be given to candidates with appellate and public defender experience
  • Strong and demonstrated commitment to the ILF’s mission
  • Experience or knowledge in international and inter-cultural exchange and learning, including in the MENA region
  • Practical lawyering skills training experience
  • Excellent interpersonal and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as in teams
  • Ability to work within strict timelines and handle multiple tasks
  • Strong preference for Arabic and/or French fluency
  • Ability and willingness to travel to ILF country offices, at times for extended periods of time, or be based regionally, as needed to execute the ILF’s work

No telephone inquiries please. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.
Antiracism, diversity, and equity are critical to our organizational values and to the ILF’s mission to secure equal access to justice for all. Our success is dependent upon providing the space, resources, and support that allow our global team to bring their full selves to work, and to thrive. The International Legal Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. We practice inclusive hiring and work to achieve and maintain diversity across races, genders, sexualities, abilities, and experiences. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities to apply. System-impacted people (i.e. people with past involvement in the criminal justice system, directly or through family) are also strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Experience
  • Languages
    English – Expert
    Arabic – Advanced
    French – Advanced
  • Employment
  • Salary
    $75,000 – $90,000 yearly

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