ROBERT F. KENNEDY HUMAN RIGHTS
Since 1968, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has advocated for a more just and peaceful world. Our organization works alongside local activists to ensure perpetual, positive change within government institutions and corporations. Our goal is to pursue strategic litigation on key human rights issues, educate millions of students in human rights advocacy, and foster a social good approach to business and investment both nationally and abroad. Our programs are designed to serve individuals from every background and demographic; however, we specifically focus on audiences who have been systematically oppressed by authoritative powers and historically excluded from leadership positions.
Business and Human Rights Fellow
New York, NY OR Washington, D.C.
Hybrid or Remote: Hybrid*
Supervisor: Associate Director, Inclusive Economies
Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing entities, even outside the financial sector, are embracing ESG (environmental, social, and governance) as a critical measure of success. With the current administration promising a return to stronger governmental oversight of financial and ecological compliance, ESG took on growing importance in 2022 and beyond. However, with no single ESG programming, assessment, and reporting mechanism, organizations face a rapidly evolving ESG landscape of competing rankings and principles. As organizations are increasingly being advised to work with an integrated team of consultants to ensure that good intentions lead to good results, the need for lawyers that understand ESG is growing in demand. Working as a Business and Human Rights Fellow, you will receive a bespoke, advantageous learning opportunity, putting you at the forefront of a growing field in the legal and financial industry.
Within the Business and Human Rights program, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Compass Investors program convenes, connects, and catalyzes investment decision-makers on the importance and intersection of social justice issues in their investment processes. Our investors collectively control close to $7 trillion in assets under management and are keenly focused on seeking superior risk-adjusted returns. As a result, our work offers insights and connections for these leaders around the “S” in ESG, economic and racial equity to yield both profits and positive impact for people and the planet. Unfortunately, there is no standardized, actionable DEI measure that all private market participants can leverage as a baseline or benchmark for measuring accountability and progress. Any benchmarks that do exist in the market are arbitrarily applied, exclude many investors from participating, and lack a comprehensive framework for capturing the DEI in the investment universe. As a Business and Human rights Fellow, collaborating with leading experts in the field, you will be tasked with exploring new and innovative ways to engage and assess the private equity community on action steps to back up their commitments on following a social good approach.
Fellowship responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Engaging with investors, human rights advocates, academia, and others operating at the intersection of business and social justice to share best practices and co-create content that is focused on the thematic priorities of the RFK Business and Human Rights Program
- Tracking progress and commitments towards racial and economic justice, which involves developing criteria for measuring progress towards commitments, including methodology, indicators, participants, outputs, and outcomes
- Working with fund managers and institutional investors to collect data related to the actions of their organizations towards racial and economic justice
- Working with external RFK partners, such as Lenox Park Solutions and the NYU Stern School of Business, to continue the work of defining the S in ESG and develop standardized indicators in the industry to measure social factors in the industry
- Assisting with logistics and content development for virtual and in-person events for the RFK Business and Human Rights network
- Experience working with senior-level executives in the financial services/asset management sector
- Significant experience with conducting research for varied audiences and synthesizing information quickly and coherently
- Strong project management, able to move forward complex projects with many stakeholders
- Interest in working in the non-profit, impact investing, or finance sectors
- Effective and creative Keynote, PowerPoint, or Google Slides skills
- Ability to crunch numbers and utilize systems such as Microsoft Excel & Google Sheets
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Proactive with the drive to propose and execute ideas individually
- High level of integrity and discretion in handling confidential information
- Innovative thinking, willingness to voice your opinions, and a strong work ethic are essential
- Ability to build positive relationships with colleagues and to help others
- Ability to foster inclusivity and work with people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives from your own
REMOTE WORK DETAILS
This is a hybrid position. The fellow will be based in New York or Washington, D.C. and is expected to work from one of the organization’s offices at least 2-3 days a week. Any metro/commuting expenses to and from the office will be covered for the duration of the program.
International Advocacy and Litigation Fellow
Hybrid or Remote: Hybrid*
Supervisor: Vice President of International Advocacy and Litigation
The RFK Human Rights International Advocacy and Litigation team collaborates with partners around the world to create lasting legal change. Through legal advocacy, we have freed political prisoners, defended the rule of law in autocratic regimes, and amplified the voices of human rights defenders in the United States and abroad. We present the annual Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, which recognizes a courageous individual whose activism reflects Robert F. Kennedy’s belief that every individual can make a difference. The award’s recipients enter multi-year partnerships with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, anchoring our advocacy work and strengthening the activists’ ability to make gentler the life of the world.
At RFK Human Rights, our team of lawyers and issue experts forges strategic partnerships with human rights defenders and organizations on the ground to achieve sustainable social change. As a Weil International Advocacy and Litigation Fellow, you will support the legal team in case identification, research, development of legal strategy for precedent-setting decisions by international and regional human rights mechanisms, and advocacy initiatives. Additionally, you will work alongside the team to help organize and successfully execute the annual Human Rights Award, which celebrates courageous human rights defenders from around the world.
Fellow responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:
- Conducting factual research and drafting memoranda on the human rights situation in countries of interest to the organization and on thematic issues (e.g., the right to freedom of expression, right to nationality);
- Conducting research on the application of international human rights norms to country conditions, developments in the domestic legal systems of specific countries and their implications for human rights, and other questions;
- Preparing documents in support of litigation before international tribunals (e.g. Inter-American Human Rights System, African Human Rights System, UN Treaty Bodies), and in support of advocacy before governments, international organizations, and UN special procedures;
- Helping maintain and manage communication with clients, human rights defenders, and civil society partners around the world in support of joint litigation and advocacy;
- Attending and reporting on briefings, Congressional hearings, symposia, and other meetings;
- Monitoring sources of information on countries and issues of concern to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and collect, organize, and analyze relevant research;
- Working closely with programmatic staff to develop long-term strategies, legal actions, and advocacy campaigns;
- Supporting the coordination of the Annual Human Rights Award, including the selection process and Award Ceremony;
- Providing administrative support to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights staff on an as-needed basis;
- Doing your part in keeping our operations running smoothly - tracking your hours and submitting timecards in a timely manner.
- Experience with project management tasks, able to move forward projects with many stakeholders;
- Interest working in non-profits, human rights, and/or the civic space sector;
- Working knowledge and interest in International human rights advocacy and/or litigation (in particular with regional human rights mechanisms and/or United Nations treaty bodies);
- Exceptional analytical skills and an ability to write and communicate clearly and persuasively;
- Strong fact-finding, legal research, writing, and editing skills;
- Strong attention to detail and ability to scope out errors, including a willingness to own and fix mistakes
- Time management, you have the ability to manage multiple tasks and projects (especially relating to human rights issues) at once;
- Innovative thinking, willingness to voice your opinions, and a strong work ethic are essential;
- An ability to work both independently and as part of a small team;
- High level of integrity and discretion in handling sensitive information;
- Teamwork, you are able to build positive relationships with your colleagues and are willing to help others;
- Inclusive, you’re excited to work with colleagues with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives from your own.
REMOTE WORK DETAILS
This is a hybrid position. The fellow will be based in Washington D.C. and is expected to work from the organization’s D.C. Office at least 2-3 days a week. Any metro/commuting expenses to and from the office will be covered for the duration of the program.