Africa Program Manager, Vance Center for International Justice

Job Type

Full Time


Details: The salary will be commensurate with experience. Employment at the New York City Bar Association includes full benefits, subject to terms of the personnel manual, including health insurance and employer-matched retirement account.



Start Date:


Application Deadline:



42 W. 44th St.
New York
New York
United States


The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice seeks qualified candidates for the position of Africa Program Manager. Reporting to the Executive Director of the Vance Center, the Program Manager will take the lead in managing and expanding current programs and building new ones to strengthen the Vance Center’s engagement in certain countries and key issues in Africa.

The Vance Center advances global justice by engaging lawyers across borders to support civil society and an ethically active legal profession. A program of the City Bar Fund, a New York State non-profit corporation affiliated with the New York City Bar Association, the Vance Center has a current staff of eight lawyers and one administrator and offices at the Bar Association.

The Vance Center has two principal focuses: 1) providing pro bono legal representation, in partnership with more than 500 lawyers from more than 150 law firms in 75 countries, to international, national, and local human rights and environmental organizations, through three thematic program areas; and 2) strengthening ethical practice in the Latin American and sub-Saharan African legal professions through promotion of pro bono engagement, professional responsibility, and diversity. Notably, the Vance Center’s African Legal Fellows Program over the past 16 years has selected annually two or three lawyers of color, initially from South Africa and now from other African countries, to work for one year in an international law firm or corporate legal department in New York City.

The Vance staff and Committee members participate actively in New York City Bar Association committees and activities, including the board of the City Bar Fund, the Council on International Affairs, and the Committees on International Human Rights, Inter-American Affairs, and African Affairs. The Vance Center organizes, hosts, and co-sponsors frequent public and Bar Association members-only conferences, meetings, and other events, often co-hosted with Vance Center partners like the Coalition on the International Criminal Court and the International Coalition on the Responsibility to Protect. The New York City Bar Association supports the Vance Center’s public and internal communications and its financial, technology and human resources management.

The Vance Center is expanding current programs and building new ones to strengthen the Vance Center’s engagement in certain countries and key issues in Africa. Two years ago, we broadened the scope of the re-named African Legal Fellows Program to include a formal pro bono practice component and include lawyers from Kenya and Nigeria, and we plan to add other countries, as well. This expansion coincided with the Vance Center’s efforts to engage more NGOs and law firms in Africa through our pro bono representation program, and we currently are pursuing these efforts most actively in Kenya. We are coordinating with law schools and bar associations in East and Southern Africa, are developing programs for judges in East Africa and plan to pursue greater activities with and in regard to the African Court and Commission on Human and People’s Rights. In addition, the Vance Center is exploring opportunities for pursuing its Women in Profession Program in Africa, starting in South Africa and Kenya. To support this multi-faceted expansion, we are recruiting Africa practitioners to the Vance Center Committee, where we have established an Africa Program Sub-Committee, and are seeking foundation and other funding for the Africa program. 

This full-time position, based in New York and reporting to the Executive Director of the Vance Center, has overall responsibility for the Vance Center’s Africa Program, including managing the African Legal Fellows Program and the Women in Profession program in Africa, liaising with the directors of the pro bono representation program and the pro bono partnerships program in developing pro bono practice and identifying pro bono clients and lawyers in selected African countries, and supporting the Africa Program Sub-Committee of the Vance Center Committee, as well as pursuing funding proposals and managing grants for the program.

  • Law school degree and admission to practice, both preferably in the United States, and/or substantial (5+ years) of legal training and experience in law firm, pro bono legal clearinghouse or similar organization;
  • Extensive experience living, studying and/or working in one or more sub-Saharan African countries, preferably Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and/or Uganda;
  • Well-developed understanding of legal, political, and business conditions in sub-Saharan African countries identified;
  • General familiarity with the legal profession in the United States and sub-Saharan Africa, including understanding of pro bono legal practice;
  • Sustained experience identifying sources of nonprofit grant funding and drafting grant proposals, as well as managing restricted grants;
  • Ability to gather, synthesize, analyze, and present qualitative and quantitative data;
  • Professional, confident and personable manner facilitating questioning and discussing with business contacts regarding complex and sensitive matters;
  • Careful attention to detail and schedule;
  • Willingness to travel to Africa and other locations;
  • Ability to work independently based on agreed work plan and schedule.
  • U.S. federal work authorization

The ideal candidate will have: 

  • First-hand familiarity with large law firm culture and practice, preferably in the United States and/or the United Kingdom;
  • Experience with programs similar to those in the Africa Program and other Vance Center programs;
  • Professional contacts in one or more law firms in one or more African countries identified;
  • Deep understanding of civil society in general and social justice NGOs in particular;
  • Strong commitment to social justice, public interest, and civic engagement.


Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter with salary requirements, and resume to Alexander Papachristou, Executive Director, The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, by email at human Please note that we cannot respond to all applications or to any follow-up inquiries.