Director of International Law, Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy

15 September 2021

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. The ICRC works to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.

The ICRC seeks applications for its future Director of International Law, Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy, a leadership role responsible for ensuring that the ICRC remains the reference organization on IHL and other relevant bodies of law that protect people in situations of violence and strengthening its role in that regard.

The Department of International Law, Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy leads the design of ICRC's influencing strategies and steers the strategic development of its policy and humanitarian diplomacy.

The ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Excellent credentials and proven track record in IHL, policy and humanitarian dialogue and diplomacy at the multilateral and intergovernmental level.
  • Significant leadership experience within the ICRC or International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, with experience of ICRC field leadership a distinct asset.
  • In-depth understanding of the political and humanitarian environment in which the ICRC operates and the related legal and policy implications.
  • Ability to support and shape the ICRC's global public position in the field of law and policy, together with the Presidency, the Executive Office of the Director-General and other relevant departments; proven track record as an experienced mediator, smooth negotiator and strategic thinker.
  • Ability to strengthen the synergies between departments, ensuring ICRC's policy and diplomacy work supports its operational ambitions and activities.
  • Thought leadership with significant experience in leading cross-functional teams and collaborating across departments.
  • Proven track record of collaborative leadership style, with excellent communication and negotiation skills and with a demonstrated expertise in representing institutional interests (not necessarily ICRC).
  • Fluency in English; fluency in French an asset and in additional relevant languages a distinct advantage.
  • Advanced university degree in law, with a specialization in IHL.

The Director of International Law, Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy is accountable for:

  • Co-leading with the Department of Protection and Essential Services on transversal collaboration, alignment and orchestration to achieve Strategic Orientation #1 of the Institutional Strategy 2019-2024 – 'Influencing behaviour to prevent violations of IHL and alleviate human suffering' - under the oversight of the Executive Office of the Director-General.
  • Promoting, clarifying and developing IHL; ensuring the inclusion of IHL and other norms in relevant structures and systems.
  • Developing strategies for putting IHL and humanitarian policy issues at the top of the agenda of States and actors and networks of influence, both in capital cities and in multilateral fora, in collaboration with the Department of Operations, the Department of Protection and Essential Services and the Department of Mobilization, Movement and Partnerships.
  • Designing and delivering effective policymaking, diplomatic strategies, plans and products to achieve institutional humanitarian diplomacy and policy objectives in support of affected people.
  • Collaborating with the Executive Office of the Director-General and the Directorate, shaping ICRC's global public position on all law and policy matters.
  • Strengthening ICRC's humanitarian diplomacy and fostering acceptance of ICRC's humanitarian action, principles, and policies in close coordination with the Presidency, the Director-General's Executive Office, and relevant departments.
  • Ensuring that ICRC policy and diplomacy work supports (and is strategically coherent with) its operational ambitions, in collaboration with the Department of Operations.
  • Leveraging engagement with others, including through partnerships within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, in support of ICRC's law, policy and humanitarian diplomacy objectives.
  • Enhancing the quality of research at the ICRC and developing and maintaining its archives, records and library strategy in support of the Institutional Strategy and in line with ICRC's efforts to embrace the digital transformation.

To apply:

  • Submit your CV and cover letter to the dedicated mailbox: by 31 October 2021. Applications will be treated confidentially by the Executive Office of the Director-General and our chosen third-party executive search team.
  • Expected start date in the role: April 2022 (allowing for transition period ahead of the official start of the new Directorate on 1 July 2022).
  • The ICRC values diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates.