Program Assistant, Advocacy

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline



Scholars at Risk
411 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor
New York
New York
United States


Scholars at Risk is seeking a highly-organized and team-oriented individual to join the organization as a Program Assistant for Advocacy. The Program Assistant plays a key role within SAR’s Advocacy team, which conducts research, reports on, and responds to attacks on scholars, students, and higher education communities worldwide. The position requires attention to detail and excellent research, organizational, and writing skills. It is ideal for a proactive individual who takes initiative with conducting research, drafting reports, and handling administrative responsibilities. The position also requires timely and professional communication, including with partners, SAR and NYU staff, and the public. The Program Assistant will be encouraged to handle increasing responsibility for these and other activities as appropriate. The position reports primarily to SAR’s Senior Program Officer for Advocacy and works closely with Advocacy and other staff.



70% - Research and reporting on attacks on higher education

  • Research, track, and advocate for cases for SAR’s Scholar-in-Prison Project:
  • Conduct intake assessment for new potential cases, including extensive research on country conditions, the scholar’s academic field and history, and human rights concerns in the country
  • Based on SAR research, draft online alerts, letters of appeal, press releases, and public statements on behalf of Scholar-in-Prison cases
  • With Advocacy staff, develop short- and long-term advocacy strategy for Scholar-in-Prison cases
  • Draft and prepare case materials for partners seeking to conduct advocacy, including SAR sections and Student Advocacy Seminar faculty and students, and suggest and develop new materials where needed
  • Maintain Scholar-in-Prison content management system and case files
  • Research, draft, and circulate reports for SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project:
  • Conduct a daily media monitoring scan of higher education and human rights news to identify potential incidents of attacks on higher education, and update staff on developments in the media
  • Research and draft summary reports on attacks on higher education communities for SAR’s Monitoring Project
  • Circulate published monitoring reports to press contacts, over social media, and on SAR’s website
  • Draft, set up, and disseminate Advocacy alerts, newsletters, and other e-blasts
  • Draft and circulate Advocacy content for SAR’s social media platforms
  • Organize and prepare Advocacy mailing content, including for the annual Free to Think report dissemination

30% - Related operations and program administration

  • Regularly review and update print and online materials in coordination with other staff
  • Manage website updates, and proactively identify and fix website errors and inefficiencies
  • Maintain Advocacy contacts in content management system
  • Research appropriate partners for and provide support for planning of Advocacy events, including the annual Free to Think report launch(es)
  • Research potential speakers for and serve as SAR’s primary contact for planning Student Advocacy Day, an annual event organized in partnership with Student Advocacy Seminars
  • Manage Advocacy-related expenses through SAR’s Emergency Fund
  • Provide other administrative support to Advocacy and SAR staff, including ordering Advocacy materials, as needed


  • Undergraduate degree required
  • Exceptional attention to detail, initiative, and problem-solving abilities
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Experience with non-profits in international education and/or human rights desirable
  • Familiarity with other languages desirable
  • Social media, WordPress, Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop) experience desirable


This is a full-time, at-will position on an open-ended term, subject to program priorities, exemplary performance and availability of funds. The position offers a salary comparable to similar positions at peer organizations in the human rights/NGO field. Scholars at Risk in an independent not-for-profit corporation hosted at New York University (NYU). SAR staff are NYU employees seconded to SAR. As seconded NYU employees, staff are eligible for NYU employee benefits, including generous vacation leave and holidays; medical, dental, vision and life insurance options; and retirement benefits (all subject to terms established by NYU as described at

Professional Level

Entry level

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

PLEASE APPLY IMMEDIATELY (no phone calls or email inquiries, please) by emailing in a single document: (1) a letter of interest, (2) resume, (3) list of references or letters of reference, and (4) a brief, unedited writing sample. Please use “Program Assistant, Advocacy – [Your last name]” as the subject of your email. Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Submit to SAR/NYU is an equal opportunity employer. SAR/NYU does not discriminate due to race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship status, veteran or military status, age, disability, unemployment status, or any other legally protected basis, and to the extent permitted by law. Qualified candidates of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply. (Regrettably, SAR is not able to sponsor work-eligible visas for these positions.)