Director of Information Security

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Operations and Program Departments

Location: TBD

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking a forward-thinking and experienced Director of Information Security who can guide a globally dispersed organization that reports on the most sensitive human rights issues to optimal digital security practices for the varied and complex environments in which it operates. This position will help defend one of the world's top human rights organizations that works in over 45 countries from advanced nation-state and other threat actors. The Director of Information Security must be on top of evolving threats, protections and technology; work well with non-technical staff to motivate and problem-solve; lead the organization towards best practices and create a culture of digital security; collaborate with both internal and external security advisors; and ideally have experience in real-time crisis management. This position reports to the Deputy Executive Director of Operations and the Deputy Executive Director of Program both based in New York. However, this position may be based in one of HRW’s major offices.


  1. Identify, monitor and remediate technology risks for our staff;

  2. Understand potential threats, protect communications and defend data;

  3. Advise on technical security concepts pertaining to network security, email security, remote data and third party security;

  4. Collaborate regularly with the chief information technology officer and the director of security to maintain organization wide information security and ensure that information assets are adequately protected and best practices are developed, propagated and internalized;

  5. Work with the director of security to advise on operational security measures and measures for all HRW staff;

  6. Proactively work with all HRW departments to craft policies and solutions that mesh well with how HRW staff work; Implement practices that will ensure the highest levels of protection of organizational assets;

  7. Develop and lead the creation of organizational policies, standards, guidelines and trainings to enhance protection of staff communication internally and externally with the greater human rights community and ensure successful implementation;

  8. Serve as a resource for staff (and partners) on technology issues as they pertain to programmatic research especially around HRW’s particularly sensitive work on net freedom issues including surveillance and global internet technology;

  9. Proactively identify and analyze attempts at compromise and offer solutions to prevent future compromise;

  10. Stay informed of and recommend leading, innovative solutions for applicable information security applications, as well as keeping up with industry trends and changes; and

  11. Perform other duties as necessary.

Duration: Initial fixed-term employment for one year with likelihood of extension.


Education: An advanced degree in computer science, informational security, or a related field is preferred. Equivalent experience will be considered.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  1. Extensive and varied experience in information security and information risk management is preferred.

  2. Security management experience and/or prior director level role in a related field is required.

  3. Working knowledge of the risks associated with human rights and/or civil society activism and/or journalism globally is required.

  4. Familiarity with data encryption techniques and best practices is required.

  5. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required; Demonstrated ability in translating highly technical concepts for non-technical audiences is essential.

  6. Creativity with excellent analytical skills, ability to multi-task and strong project management skills are required.

  7. Successful track record of delivering high quality work in a fast-paced and dynamic environment is required.

  8. Experience working with highly diverse teams and communities are required. Other: Willingness to partake in extensive global travel is required. Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. HRW offers a relocation assistance package and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.

Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices and, in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

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.

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