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China Director

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch

Multiple locations
Posted on Friday, October 6, 2023

China Director
Asia Division
Multiple Locations Considered
Application Deadline: 1 November 2023

The Asia Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking applicants for the position of China Director. The Asia Division is one of HRW’s six regional research programs and is made up of about 37 staff.

This position reports to the Director of the division and assists the director in setting strategic goals and priorities. The China Director will ensure the highest standards of research, writing, and advocacy on China, supervising our country team and collaborating with colleagues working on countries where China has influence. The China Director will also raise funds in support of China work and manage staff members with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion; staff wellbeing; and encourage a healthy work/life balance. The full-time position will preferably be based in one of HRW’s offices, though other locations will also be considered.

We aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment for and onboarding of this position.


1. Provide day-to-day management and leadership of the China team, supervise staff, edit published written work (such as reports, press releases, op-eds, dispatches, submissions), and support an environment of collaborative work;

2. Strategically guide and advance the China team’s work, including through the design of innovative and creative research and advocacy projects and plans;

3. Develop and implement the China strategy working closely with colleagues across departments and divisions;

4. Act as a senior representative and advocate lead on China, leading on both domestic and international issues;

5. Work with HRW staff in the Asia Division and in Advocacy and Communications Departments to develop and implement media and advocacy strategies on China;

6. Develop and maintain relationships with governments, UN agencies, international organizations, and civil society partners, at the national, regional and international level;

7. Where possible, work closely with partner organizations to ensure effective coordination, and engage in joint actions when appropriate;

8. Use HRW research to influence decision makers around the world, build access to and stay in regular contact with key policymakers and departments, testify in parliamentary hearings, speak at public events and seminars, and influence think tanks and other policy/advisory bodies on Chinese government abuses;

9. In close partnership with the Development and Outreach Department, assist the Asia Director in identifying, cultivating and successfully executing new fundraising opportunities for China work;

10. Contribute to internal HRW policies and strategic discussions;

11. Develop strategies to ensure and enhance the security of staff working on China; and

12. Perform other responsibilities, as required.

Managerial Responsibilities:

1. Lead, motivate, and mentor direct reports, including communicating clear expectations, clarifying reporting lines and timelines, setting performance objectives, providing regular and timely constructive feedback, and providing guidance on professional growth;

2. Consult closely and regularly with direct reports to ensure that the workload of the staff is manageable and monitor staff well-being as it pertains to stress and resilience issues and self-care;

3. Promote an inclusive, creative, and positive work environment including by soliciting diverse points of views, encouraging staff to participate in efforts to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion, and proactively addressing bias, discrimination, microaggressions, etc.;

4. Model inclusive behavior and consistently adhere to HRW’s internal values;

5. Incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) values and initiatives into the division’s work; and

6. Provide appropriate and timely feedback to the staff on their performance and provide guidance, coaching and training, as necessary.


Education: An advanced (graduate) degree or equivalent work experience in international relations, journalism, law, social sciences, or a related field is required.

Experience: A minimum of seven (7) years of relevant work experience with at least four years in a management role.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

1. Strong knowledge and experience working on China, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet is required.

2. Excellent oral and written communication skills in both Mandarin and English is required.

3. Excellent public speaking skills and a demonstrated ability to inspire, communicate with, and connect to different audiences are required.

4. Passion for and experience working on human rights issues including experience conducting or overseeing remote research is required.

5. Ability to identify research and advocacy opportunities is required. Demonstrated ability to think strategically and solid understanding of how to implement successful advocacy for policy change are required.

6. Ability in navigating complex security issues is required.

7. Ability to write and edit opinion and news pieces as well as longer form documents and experience conducting media interviews, cultivating relationships with journalists are required.

8. Strong initiative and follow-through, ability to shift priorities according to international news developments, and ability to work well under pressure are required.

9. Strong interpersonal skills, in order to work collaboratively with HRW staff in multiple locations globally is required.

10. Willingness to travel internationally is required.

Salary and Benefits: Human Rights Watch offers competitive salaries and comprehensive employer-paid benefits. HRW offers relocation assistance package and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply. If based in the United States, the salary range would be US$121,000 – 133,000. Salary ranges outside of the United States vary based on location.

How to Apply: Please apply immediately or by 1 November 2023 visiting our online job portal at https://careers.hrw.org/ and attaching a cover letter and a resume or CV, preferably as PDF files. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. Human Rights Watch does not discriminate on the basis of disability, age, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or criminal record. We welcome all kinds of diversity. Our employees include people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide span of socio-economic backgrounds and perspectives on the world. Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer.

Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of influential governments and international institutions.