Mexico-based Strategic Advisor, International Interventions (IIT)

Job Type

Full Time

Salary

Details: Salary commensurate with experience.

Published

08/31/2018

Address

Chihuahua
Chihuahua
Mexico

Description

The National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC) at John Jay College is seeking a full-time, Chihuahua-based Strategic Advisor to support our violence reduction work in Chihuahua, Mexico. The Advisor will be a senior member of the International team, which provides hands-on strategic advising to partner cities implementing NNSC’s interventions internationally. This is a Chihuahua-based position and requires living and working in Chihuahua State, Mexico.

In the summer of 2018, NNSC launched a new partnership with FICOSEC and USAID to support violence reduction efforts in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua City. The Advisor would be the on-the-ground representative of NNSC to the city-based partnerships, providing technical and strategic advising support through all aspects of intervention implementation. The Advisor will work with all necessary partnership agencies and actors, including, but not limited to local and state level law enforcement, elected officials, non-governmental and community organizations, and public sector agencies. 

The Advisor will receive significant support from NNSC’s home office in New York, including initial training, peer exchanges and participating in regular technical workshops. The Advisor must fully appreciate the technical aspects of NNSC’s violence reduction approach and work in concert with New York leadership on appropriate adaptation innovations to fit the Chihuahua context. Working collaboratively both with Chihuahua-based partners as well as the New York office, this position requires both substantive expertise and a proven track record of managing relationships, including distance relationships. 

The Advisor will report to the Director of the International Interventions Team (IIT). S/he will work with a Strategic Advisor hired to support the Mexico work who will be based in New York, and will conduct regular travel to Chihuahua. The Advisor will also work very closely with our local partner, Seguridad y Justicia. 

This will be the first application of Focused Deterrence in Mexico. NNSC is also in conversation about working in other locations in Mexico and it is anticipated that there will be additional Advisor positions hired in other States in the near future. Additionally, NNSC is setting up partnerships with other institutions focused on violence reduction work in Mexico in order to ensure positive collaborative space and significant room to grow, learn, and share experience with others. The Chihuahua partnership has been funded for an initial three-year period with the title, Estrategia Sistematizada Contra La Violencia En Chihuahua (“CLAVE”).

Technical Responsibilities

  • This position is substantive and highly technical. It is also relational and highly interpersonal. The ideal candidate will have significant experience working collaboratively on highly sensitive matters of violence or community safety, be willing to take and receive feedback and critique, and be highly emotionally intelligent. The Advisor will: 
  • Provide support to the local project management team[1] with a specific focus on providing technical guidance and ensuring retention of the core principles. This will be done through in-person communication, regular advising calls, reach-back to the New York office, and fostering peer exchanges with Mexico and U.S. city partners.
  • Build and manage strong, functional and collaborative relationships with high-level government, community and law enforcement leaders; partner organizations; and academics.
  • Draft internal and external reports, including quarterly and annual reports as needed.
  • Represent NNSC’s Chihuahua-State based portfolio in public, for example at conferences and roundtables both in Mexico and the U.S. 
  • Design and execute collaborative learning opportunities including peer exchanges and working sessions to support Mexican-based adaptations.
  • Report outcomes, challenges, and innovation opportunities to Director, IIT and the NNSC-New York team. Participate in ongoing development and refinement of the application of contextualized Group Violence Intervention approaches as part of the International team. 
  • Oversee maintenance of up-to-date, accurate site-specific information (contact information for key partners, high-level implementation summary, call and meeting notes, etc.) in NNSC’s project management system.
  • Support the Director, IIT with organizational strategic planning, fundraising, budgeting, and identifying areas for programmatic improvement. Help to guide NNSC as it shifts into working more deliberately and regularly in Mexico. 
  • Support partners in determining best methods through which to measure progress against specific goals and outcomes. A full evaluation will not be in the scope of work of the Advisor, but s/he will provide input to the evaluation team (to be hired by USAID). 
  • Continuously review operational data to achieve desired public safety outcomes by incorporating the best available evidence.

Organizational Relationships

  • The Advisor will work closely with the Seguridad y Justicia team, NNSC’s implementation partner in Ciudad Juarez. In addition, s/he will be required to work closely and collaboratively with a range of local actors, as stated above. For those reasons, a proven track record of and interest in working with across communities of practice is essential. 
  • Support the functioning of CLAVE governing structures, including the Executive Steering Committee, which will comprise representatives from FICOSEC, State Police, Municipal Police, the Governor’s office, Mayor's Offices, States Attorney’s Office, USAID, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Consulate, and staff at Seguridad y Justicia. Other Governing structures to include a Law Enforcement working group, Social Services Working Group and Community Working Group. 
  • Work closely with Chihuahua (Seguridad y Justicia) and NYC-based teams to monitor ongoing initiatives, troubleshoot common challenges, and build on established violence-prevention best practices.
  • Work with a diverse range of experts to garner their input and expertise in ways that could contribute to positive pro-peace outcomes. 
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with partners at USAID and FICOSEC to ensure the timely preparation and submission of all required grant reports, including progress, quantitative, and qualitative performance, annual, and final reports.

Qualifications

We are looking for a highly-organized individual with experience in providing strategic advising and a desire to contribute to more safe and peaceful communities. The candidate must also have experience in project management and monitoring large-scale projects; bring an established knowledge of proven strategies that reduce violence and improve public safety; and be skilled in fostering cross-sector communication and building collaborative partnerships with law enforcement, government, and community officials. Specific qualifications include:

  • Bilingual fluency in both written and verbal English/Spanish essential.
  • Master degree in criminal justice, political science, public policy or related field.
  • Minimum of 7 years of experience in project management, strategic advising, violence reduction efforts, or related fields. Proven commitment to supporting peaceful, healthy communities.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills, in both Spanish and English, and experience working with interdisciplinary teams.
  • Demonstrated success in organizing and leading new projects in partnership with other stakeholders. Specifically, experience effectively managing international projects, interdisciplinary teams and coordinating among multiple collaborative structures.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and professionally develop a team.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills including confidence, tact, and nuance, critical for correspondence with senior political and law enforcement personnel.
  • Strong knowledge of Mexican criminal justice issues, actors, and trends, and deep commitment to addressing injustices thereof: e.g. endemic corruption and the subsequent effects on access to justice/impunity, the causes and consequences of incarceration, the police-community trust deficit, violence dynamics in a “border state,” cartel violence and relationships with local street gangs, and disproportionate state and community violence.
  • Experience and ability to work with law enforcement (police, military, prosecutors, etc.) agencies, communities, government officials, and social service agencies to implement multi-disciplinary initiatives.
  • Organized and detail-oriented, with demonstrated initiative, persistence, and optimism towards work that can be immensely rewarding and immensely taxing; enthusiasm and humor are advantages.
  • Expert level of experience with entire Microsoft Office suite; proficiency in Microsoft Excel also required.
  • Flexibility to travel, both national and internationally. It is expected that the Advisor will travel regularly between Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua City
  • Ability to live and work legally in Mexico required. Position to be based in Chihuahua State. Flexibility on residence in either Ciudad Juarez or Chihuahua City.
  • Ability to make independent decisions regarding planning, organizing and scheduling work.

Level of Language Proficiency

Bilingual fluency in both written and verbal English/Spanish essential.

Professional Level

Professional

Minimum Education Required

Master's degree


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