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Vacancy: Head of Protection

Deadline: 17th January 2022

Front Line Defenders is looking for our next Head of Protection. The Head of Protection (HoP) is a critical senior leadership role in the organisation, managing a large global team and directing crucial organisation strategy on HRD protection in countries and regions. The HoP has overall responsibility for the management, sustainability, cohesion and well-being of the Protection Team. Together with Protection Team Managers, they provide and support the strategy and direction of timely and appropriate responses to human rights defenders at risk globally, ensuring holistic and effective protection support.

The HoP holds a strategic overview of the trends, challenges and responses for HRD protection, and shapes our organizational position through ensuring this is reflected in strategy, communication and representation, and our various holistic protection responses. The Head of Protection is also part of the organisation management team, directly supporting the Directors in the strategy, planning, management and evaluation of the all aspects of the organisation.

Download the full advert here.

The successful candidate will have:

Knowledge and Skills:


  • considerable knowledge and understanding of international human rights work and the role and protection needs of human rights defenders and will have demonstrated strong strategic and analytical skills. They will have a very good understanding of the political environment for human rights defenders and holistic protection.

  • Significant management experience in a multicultural environment.

  • Strong communication skills and a high level of interpersonal skills and will lead by example to motivate staff and ensure the values and culture of the organisation are maintained.

  • Excellent political judgement, demonstrated through experience in senior human rights roles, including the ability to make strategic choices based on sound analysis of potential costs and benefits.

  • Personal leadership, initiative and proactivity. Capable of identifying and resolving potential problems before they arise. Sound decision making, extremely well organised and structured in approach.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills in English is essential.

  • In addition to a high level of competence in English, a second language is required (one of the Front Line Defenders working languages: Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish).


  • An understanding of international human rights law and the relevant parts of the UN system.

  • Excellent research and writing skills.



  • At least five years of working at a senior level for the protection of human rights defenders and/or equivalent experience in a human rights based activity/organisation in a leadership role and have experience of management, budgeting, planning and evaluation.

  • Experience of working in an international context for the protection of human rights/human rights defenders. Ideally experience of working in an international or regional human rights/human rights defenders NGO.

  • Experience of working with gender-focused initiatives, including but not limited to gender policies and gender-sensitive programming. Proven understanding of how gender intersects with race, disability, class and sexuality and other attributes and identities in human rights defenders' lived experiences and their protection needs.

  • Management experience in a relevant field that includes financial management, people management, staff well-being, strategic planning and evaluation.

  • Experience of building and working successfully with teams of people with different professional and/or cultural backgrounds.

  • Experience of managing remote staff and experience of working across multiple time zones.

Hours: 35 hours per week, full time Monday to Friday

Place of Work: FLD Head Office, Blackrock, Dublin, Ireland

Salary: 62,720 - 77,940

Benefits include: pension scheme, life insurance, income protection, support towards health insurance, employee assistance programme, well-being support

Reporting to: Deputy Director

Direct Reports: Protection Managers, Protection Co-ordinators, fellows and Frank Jennings fellow.

Term: Permanent

Probation period: 6 months

    To apply send a CV and cover letter, in one PDF file, addressed to Olive Moore, Deputy Director at by 17 January 2022.

    Please indicate the FULL title of the position you are interested in the subject heading of the email. Please note that due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.