Researcher, Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Posted by

Physicians for Human Rights

Published 22 days ago

About Physicians for Human Rights

For more than 30 years, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has used science and medicine to document and call attention to severe human rights violations around the world. A global organization founded on the idea that health professionals, with their specialized skills, ethical duties, and credible voices, are uniquely positioned to advocate against human rights violations, PHR shared in the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its contributions to the international effort to ban landmines.

PHR’s investigations and expertise are used to document mass atrocities, advocate for the protection of persecuted health workers and medical facilities under attack, prevent torture, and hold those who violate human rights accountable. PHR is poised for even greater growth and impact. As part of that strategy, we are seeking committed activists with a passion for human rights.

Role Description

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) seeks an experienced researcher to document and expose health-related violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with a focus on Syria and Yemen. 

Reporting to the director of research and investigations, the researcher is a fluent Arabic speaker who will develop a strategy for PHR’s work in the region and conduct research related to a range of violations, including attacks on health care facilities, blocking of humanitarian aid, and the health consequences of conflicts, among other human rights violations.

The researcher represents PHR’s MENA work with the media, advocacy targets, and other partners, in coordination with PHR’s advocacy and communications teams. The researcher coordinates the MENA work in close collaboration with the director of research and investigations. 

Reports to:     Director of Research and Investigations

Location:       New York, New York


  • Research, document, and monitor human rights violations through the systematic collection and analysis of Arabic-language open-source research, eyewitness accounts and other field sources, such as survivors, health workers, medical associations, NGOs, witnesses, journalists, diplomats, officials, and media, among others.
  • Organize and lead fact-finding field missions, including preparing security assessments; travel the United States, Middle East, and beyond as required for research/advocacy work. 
  • Provide timely, well-substantiated, and objective analysis and expertise on the MENA region internally and externally. 
  • Conceptualize new research projects and produce content on an ongoing basis in consultation with colleagues and external partners.
  • Produce research materials (reports, issue briefs, policy papers, correspondence with governmental and inter-governmental agencies, etc) and communications content (press releases, briefing papers, opinion pieces, blogs, etc) based on research findings.
  • Represent PHR and liaise with external audiences, including the media, human rights groups, medical professional associations, intergovernmental organizations, and other advocacy targets in public/private fora.
  • Work closely with the advocacy and communications departments to develop and implement impact-driven strategies that bring about meaningful change in policies, laws and practices; work with the development and finance department to provide subject matter input into grant proposals and manage and track programmatic deliverables and expenditures, among other tasks.
  • Collaborate closely with other PHR research staff in analyzing trends in data and support the research and investigations director in coordinating the work of the MENA team, with a view to streamlining research output, ensuring methodological adherence, and maintaining the integrity of a database containing sensitive human rights data.
  • Coordinate the training and supervision of research interns (including research review) and facilitate the hiring and managing of independent contractors when needed; assist with other research and programmatic support as needed.

Skills and Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Graduate degree in law, international relations, regional studies, journalism or social sciences a plus  
  • Excellent analytical, writing, and verbal skills in English
  • Fluency in spoken Arabic required; fluent written Arabic strongly preferred
  • Minimum four years of research/writing experience, ideally related to human rights and humanitarian issues in the MENA region; prior experience with Syria/Yemen is strongly preferred     
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically about how research and investigations can change policies, laws, and practices
  • Media/public speaking skills; ability to convey human rights issues to many audiences
  • Outstanding organizational skills, attention to detail and follow-through 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, creativity, resourcefulness, flexibility, sound judgement 
  • Passion for PHR’s mission and experience working collaboratively, effectively, and professionally under pressure with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds/experiences
  • Expertise in health and human rights and experience working with medical and scientific communities preferred
  • Prior work with graphic and sensitive human rights material (testimonies, images, videos) preferred 
  • Experience directly or indirectly supervising staff preferred

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time position located in New York; candidate must be authorized to work in the United States and currently working in the United States. Salary is commensurate with experience. PHR offers comprehensive employer-paid benefits, including medical, dental, disability, and life insurance, a retirement savings plan, and generous vacation.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to including “Researcher, MENA, PRO-18-001” in the subject line. The deadline is rolling, but applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Please indicate where you saw this job posting in your cover letter.

Physicians for Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer. We recruit and hire without regard to race, national origin, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, prior conviction, arrest history, disability, marital status, veteran status, or age.

About Physicians for Human Rights

For more than 30 years, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has used science and medicine to document and call attention to severe human rights violations around the world. A global organization founded on the…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • 4-Year Degree Required

Level of Language Proficiency

Fluency in spoken Arabic required; fluent written Arabic strongly preferred

Fluency in spoken Arabic required; fluent written Arabic strongly preferred


New York, NY

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