Chief Operating Officer

Physicians for Human Rights | New York, New York


Location: This position is usually located in our headquarters in New York City, but is remote while offices remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Classification: Full-time 40 hours per week | Exempt

Work Authorization: Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States.

Organization Description

For more than 30 years, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has used science and medicine to document and call attention to mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We investigate and document abuses, give voice to survivors and witnesses, and plant seeds of reconciliation by ensuring that perpetrators can be held accountable for their crimes. PHR uses our core disciplines – science, medicine, forensics, and public health – to inform our research and investigations and to strengthen the skills of frontline human rights defenders. We work closely with hundreds of partners around the world, using facts to wage effective advocacy and campaigning and providing critical scientific evidence so that survivors can seek justice. 

PHR, which shared in the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for our work to end the scourge of landmines, is poised for even greater growth and impact. As part of that strategy, we are seeking committed activists with a passion for human rights.

Job Summary

PHR has reopened its Chief Operating Officer (COO) search. This position will report to the executive director, serve as a member of the executive management team, and hold overall responsibility for PHR’s operational effectiveness. The COO will also lead strategically, work on planning processes, and directly supervise finance, administration, human resources, and information technology. 

Reports To

Reports to: Executive director (ED)


Strategic Leadership

  • Manage strategic and annual work planning processes.
  • As a member of the executive management team, promote organizational effectiveness.
  • Lead, mentor, supervise, and hold accountable a team of five finance, human resources (HR), and operations professionals, in addition to external consultants and vendors.

Financial Management

  • Lead PHR’s financial strategy, ensuring short- and long-term sustainability.
  • Oversee short- and long-term fiscal planning, including monitoring and reporting, budgeting, and forecasting.
  • Optimize PHR’s fiscal policies, controls, and compliance systems, including grant management.
  • Support board finance and audit committees and serve as liaison to board treasurer.
  • Ensure adherence to funder requirements, and oversee compliance with tax, labor, licensing, and reporting requirements in the United States and abroad.

Human Resources

  • Promote best practices in organizational management, performance management, and leadership development.
  • Supervise efforts to recruit, retain, develop, and inspire PHR’s highly qualified and committed staff.
  • Optimize HR policies and procedures to ensure compliance as well as consistency, fairness, accountability, and transparency.
  • Cultivate an organizational culture that reflects PHR’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Support a learning culture that engenders knowledge sharing, feedback, continuous growth, and retention.

Operations and Information Technology

  • Streamline and standardize operations with an eye toward continuous process improvement.
  • Develop PHR’s information technology strategy and systems, including knowledge management and data security; manage external IT consultants and oversee technology.
  • With support from pro bono counsel, manage vendor contracts, real estate leases, memoranda of understanding, and consultant agreements.
  • Manage PHR’s offices, including re-opening post-COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Support efforts to protect physical and digital staff security.


  • 15+ years of senior management experience working cross-functionally across finance, operations, human resources, and IT in complex organizations; nonprofit experience strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated finance expertise, including budgeting, multi-year forecasting, modeling, accounting, and reporting.
  • Commitment to PHR’s mission, cultural competency, and international experience.
  • Proven ability to navigate complex nonprofit compliance and risk management issues.
  • Ability to steward organizational culture, including leading diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
  • Exceptional emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree or equivalent experience preferred.


PHR offers competitive compensation, with options for medical, dental, disability, and life insurance, a retirement savings plan, and generous vacation. PHR observes the last week of the calendar year as an opportunity to refresh, with all offices closed. 

More information about Physicians for Human Rights can be found at

How to Apply

Please combine your cover letter and resume as one pdf or a word document (no longer than two pages) and send it to Indicate your “Last Name/First Name, Chief Operating Officer” in the email subject line.

A complete application consists of:

a) A thoughtful cover letter explaining why you are qualified for/interested in the Chief Operating Officer position with PHR. 

b) Resume/curriculum vitae. 

Only complete applications in the format requested sent to will be considered.

Physicians for Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in its work and staff. We recruit and hire without discrimination based on race, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, prior conviction, arrest history, disability, marital status, veteran status, age, or any other protection afforded by law.

Physicians for Human Rights

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Organization: Nonprofit organizations