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Executive Director of the Promise Institute for Human Rights

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The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law is seeking an Executive Director with sustained experience in human rights to provide bold leadership, strategic vision, and creativity to help build a newly-established center for human rights education, research and advocacy. The new Institute is by design a dynamic one and the inaugural Executive Director will have significant opportunity to creatively shape the Institute’s mission and initiatives together with key faculty and leaders at UCLA School of Law. The Executive Director will engage with students and faculty at UCLA, as well as leading human rights lawyers, scholars, activists and policymakers from across UCLA campus and beyond to cultivate a vibrant and far-reaching intellectual community. The Executive Director will oversee the Institute’s core programs, fundraising, and operations; convene symposia, conferences, and new initiatives; work with faculty to launch research and policy projects that improve knowledge and understanding of factors that promote human rights, and address the crucial human rights crises of our time; conduct outreach to build a human rights network connected to the Institute; and develop innovative curricular opportunities to prepare UCLA Law students to become the next generation of human rights leaders. The Executive Director may also teach courses within our program, but this is not primarily a teaching position.

About the Promise Institute at UCLA Law

The Promise Institute at UCLA Law was founded in 2017 with a visionary $20 million gift to create a hub for human rights work on the UCLA campus and across the region. The Institute was established to train the next generation of human rights lawyers and leaders; generate vital scholarship; disseminate research and policy work; develop programs for on-the-ground assistance to address the most pressing contemporary human rights concerns of our times; and to build a dynamic network for human rights advocacy centered at UCLA.

The Institute is situated within UCLA School of Law, which, founded in 1949, is the youngest major law school in the nation. With approximately 100 faculty and 1,100 students, the school is very well ranked in the field of international law. The Institute will also coordinate its work in collaboration with UCLA School of Law’s International and Comparative Law Program (ICLP).

Executive Director of the Promise Institute

Working with the Institute’s Faculty Director(s), core faculty, Assistant Director and other relevant law school administrators, and an Advisory Board, the Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibilities for the Institute’s programming, staff, fundraising, budget, and mission. The Executive Director will help map out the overall goals of the Institute and be responsible for their day-to-day implementation. The Executive Director will also help expand a sustainable fundraising framework for the Institute. In addition to successful experience as a manager and innovative leader, the Executive Director must have the capacity to collaborate with the broad spectrum of the Institute’s audiences and build an intellectual community for leaders in the human rights field, and the substantive expertise and communication skills to serve as an effective leader and representative of the Institute. The Executive Director must be dedicated to working toward creative solutions to human rights crises across the world.

The ideal candidate will have a J.D. (or equivalent degree) and at least 7+ years of successful senior management and leadership experience, a track record of innovation and program building, and extensive experience and engagement with human rights related law and policy issues. Knowledge and understanding of law, politics, economics, and history related to human rights is crucial, as well as a demonstrated commitment to empowering communities and individuals using a human rights frame. Experience interacting with the United Nations system, or international human rights courts or tribunals (including international criminal courts or tribunals) would be an asset. We are also looking for candidates with demonstrated administrative and organizational skills, and success in fundraising and managing a budget. Successful candidates will be creative, motivated, have an entrepreneurial spirit and be passionate about the Promise Institute’s mission. The individual will have an established track record for organizing and leading a strong team and a demonstrated ability to create and maintain productive relationships with colleagues, constituents, donors and advisory board members. Extremely strong verbal and written communications skills are essential, and the successful candidate will be able to represent the Promise Institute to the press, policymakers and the public. This is a full-time, year-round, non-tenure track, academic position. The salary and level of appointment will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. This appointment is subject to the rules and regulations of the Regents of the University of California, which are mostly embodied in The UCLA CALL and the University of California Academic Personnel Manual. (See; and

Confidential review of applications, nominations and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue until an appointment is made. To ensure full consideration, applications should be received by Monday, October 23, 2017 but will be considered thereafter until the position is filled. Please apply online at by submitting pdf copies of a cover letter, current curriculum vitae, and the names and addresses for at least five professional references.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy ( The University of California seeks candidates committed to the highest standards of scholarship and professional activities and to a campus climate that supports equality and diversity.

Job location

Los Angeles, CA

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Document requirements
  • Cover Letter - A letter discussing your interest, qualifications and/or experience.

  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • List of References - Names and contact information for at least five (5) professional references

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Statement addressing past and/or potential contributions to diversity through research, teaching, and/or service. (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 5-8 references required (contact information only)