Back to top

Protection Manager – The Americas & Sub Saharan Africa

Job Description

Job Title: Protection Manager – The Americas & Sub Saharan Africa

Reports to: Head of Protection
Staff reporting: 6 Protection Coordinators, 3 regional fellows
Based at: Blackrock, Dublin, Ireland
Hours: 35 hours per week (Monday to Friday)
Contract: Fixed Term
Probation period: All new appointments are subject to a probationary period of 6 months
Salary: Minimum annual remuneration: €49,000 (Negotiable based on experience)
To Apply: Applications in the form of a cover letter and CV should be sent in a single PDF document titled with applicant’s last name, first name to Meerim Ilyas, Head of Protection, by 27 June 2021 at Please include the job title in the subject line of your email. Only candidates invited for interview will be contacted.

Download the full job description.

Front Line Defenders: Front Line Defenders was founded in Dublin in 2001 with the aim of protecting human rights defenders (HRDs) at risk - people who work, non-violently, for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Front Line Defenders addresses the protection needs identified by HRDs themselves.  Front Line’s programmes for HRDs are: Protection Grants; Advocacy; Capacity Building in Protection and Risk Assessment; Digital Protection; Visibility & Communications; and Rest and Respite.

Our values are:

Inclusivity: We focus on the primacy and centrality of HRDs, we seek to be inclusive at all times, demonstrating profound respect and empathy for HRDs in all their diversity.

Agility: We strive to meet the needs expressed by human rights defenders in a fast, flexible and relevant manner.

Solidarity: We believe in the importance of solidarity. We commit to being present in a meaningful way when HRDs are most at risk; steadfast and relentless in our actions.

Integrity: We perform with dedication, professionalism and accountability, acting with independence and integrity at all times.

Background (role and team)

The Protection Manager – The Americas & Sub Saharan Africa sits within the Protection Team, the largest team in the organisation. It currently consists of one Head of Protection, two Protection Managers, 11 regional based Protection Coordinators and two Protection Advisors, 6 Dublin and field-based fellows and the Dublin-based Frank Jennings Fellow, and Dublin-based HRD Memorial Coordinator. In response to demand, the Protection Team has rapidly expanded in recent years, with capacity doubling in the past four years.

The team is responsible for Front Line Defenders’ outreach to human rights defenders at risk and the coordination of protection responses when they are in need of urgent support. The Protectn Team drives the organisation’s strategic priorities on behalf of HRDs in each of the regions and is closely involved in directing rapid response and advocacy on their cases via close collaboration with the grants team, the EU office and others as necessary.

Job Purpose

The purpose of the Protection Manager is to support the Head of Protection in the organisation’s strategic response to human rights defenders at risk in the Americas and Africa regions, ensuring holistic and effective protection and support are provided at a global level. The Protection Manager manages 4 field-based Protection Coordinators and 3 Fellows.

Key Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

In close collaboration with the Head of Protection, contribute to the vision and leadership for the development, implementation and review of robust and innovative strategies, systems and processes to effectively provide rapid, comprehensive and holistic support to Human Rights Defenders on a global level.

Keep abreast of trends to ensure significant developments impacting the protection of human rights defenders are clearly understood, and Front Line Defenders is proactive and responsive.

Assist with ensuring a balance between an immediate and a long-term vision for HRD protection needs particularly in the regions under your management while supporting staff’s well-being, sustainability and growth.

Model leadership in accordance with the culture and vision of the organisation, and ensure the staff you manage embody Front Line Defenders’ ethos and values

Management of the Protection Coordinators and Fellows

Management of field-based protection coordinators and a number of field and Dublin-based fellows.

A balanced delegation of tasks and responsibilities to the staff you manage, hiring and training of new staff, and team building and collaboration.

Assist the Head of Protection with risk assessment and security management in relation to the travel across the organisation. Carry out regular reviews and annual appraisals with the staff you manage.

Protection Programming

Assist with setting short-term and long term goals and strategic direction for the work of the Protection Coordinators and Team as a whole to ensure the work aligns with the organisation’s Strategic Plan.

Work with the Protection Coordinators and Fellows to assure we are reaching the most vulnerable defenders, including land, indigenous peoples’ and environmental defenders, WHRDs, LGBTIQ+ defenders and refugees and migrants rights defenders.

Provide strategic guidance and input on protection responses, including in the development of written materials.

Ensuring that the staff you manage use, maintain and draw on the organisation’s database for their work, including ensuring that cases are filed and tracked accurately and outcomes recorded.

Research and Advocacy

Contribute to the management of the Urgent Appeal system and to decision making on advocacy strategies.

Assist the Head of Protection with the coordination of the annual Global Analysis, quarterly briefings and other reports with the aim of establishing FLD as the key source for up to date information on trends and responses relating to HRDs at risk.

Identification of emerging trends and recommendations for how to address them in collaboration with other programme areas.

Internal Collaboration & Communication

Monitor and encourage collaboration between the Protection Coordinators and Fellows and other programme areas.

Assist the Head of Protection to work with other Heads of Programme to establish, develop and implement communication protocols.

Support the monthly regional meetings planning, facilitation, and follow up.

Key Relationships

Key relationships need to be maintained and fostered internally and externally. Internally, it is essential that the Protection Manger has constructive working relationships with the second Protection Manager, Head of Protection and with all of the Protection Coordinators. It is also expected that the Protection Manager will engage with the various other programme areas as it relates to the regions that they manage.

Key external relationships include advocacy targets in the regions that they manage, including regional mechanisms, diplomats and other NGOs. Relationships with key donors must also be maintained in collaboration with the Fundraising team, to respond to analysis requests and to advise on where further funding for protection is necessary. Finally, collegiate relationships with other protection organisations are also a priority to ensure a unity of purpose, especially in key advocacy demands.


Person Specification:

Required qualifications, knowledge and experience

At least three years direct experience of working with human rights defenders at risk

Experience in responding rapidly to HRDs at risk and familiarity with a wide range of protection strategies

Experience of exercising sound political judgement and working in hostile environments

Knowledge of the protection landscape in relation to HRDs, including for WHRDs, LGBTIQ+ defenders and collective protection

Knowledge of advocacy actors and leverage points in relation to HRDs

In-depth knowledge of the specific situation of HRDs in the Americas

Fluency in English and Spanish required

Excellent understanding and practice of digital security

Desirable qualifications, knowledge and experience

Management experience highly desirable

Knowledge of the specific situation of HRDs in the Sub Saharan Africa

Fluency in the Portuguese language

Coaching/training skills

Knowledge of feminist analysis of holistic protection models is highly desirable