LWOP Project Manager

Human Rights Watch, Los Angeles, United States

Skill Required:, Education AdvisingMedia and CommunicationPolicy/ Advocacy and CampaignProject ManagementProject/ Programme ManagementStrategic AlliancesTraining and Capacity Building
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
20th September, 2021

Job Description


LWOP Project Manager Children’s Rights Division

Location: Los Angeles Preferred

Application Deadline: September 19, 2021

  • Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a Project Manager to lead its project on life without parole (LWOP) sentences in California. HRW has worked to eliminate LWOP sentences since 2004, publishing research in multiple reports on the use of the sentence in the US, successfully leading to the passage of the first retroactive law providing re-sentencing for youth in 2012 in California, and later working to pass SB 394 in California. Since the inception of its LWOP project in March of 2020, HRW has built leadership capacity among people formerly sentenced to LWOP, created a national leadership council of people who were once sentenced to LWOP, initiated a communications strategy, and started a series of survey interviews for ongoing data collection, among other things.
  • The Project Manager will work in the Children’s Rights Division (CRD) and preferably be based in Los Angeles. CRD focuses on issues affecting children around the world including child labor, armed conflict, education, migration, and juvenile justice. The position reports to Elizabeth Calvin, Senior Advocate of the Children’s Rights Division in our Los Angeles office. This is a 1-year fixed-term, non-renewable, full-time (40 hours per week) position.
  • Due to Covid-19, many of our global offices are currently closed or operating in reduced capacities. The successful candidate may be required to work remotely until offices fully re-open. We recognize that this moment, during the pandemic, is a uniquely difficult time for most people, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, and we aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment for and onboarding of this position.


  •  Establish contact and develop relationships with external partners, including incarcerated and paroled individuals;
  •  Create and maintain a filing and archiving system;
  •  Liaise effectively with the CRD Associate and other team members working on LWOP;
  • Work with others to develop strategy for communications campaign on ending LWOP sentences;
  • Plan, schedule, and implement trainings on public speaking, messaging, meeting with policymakers, and the press;
  •  Create communication channels between HRW and formerly incarcerated individuals to ensure that LWOP survivors can help shape reform;
  • Coordinate meetings, roundtables, prison workshops, stakeholder meetings, and special events with visitors, NGOs, and government officials;
  •  Coordinate and serve as a liaison between the National Leadership Council of Former LWOP and HRW and other partners;
  • Maintain strong communication between HRW offices, external partners, people in prison, and families of incarcerated individuals;
  •  Draft communications, including simple letters and emails;
  • Represent HRW in various public events including on panels, conferences, meetings, etc.;
  •  Work with California-based NGOs and coalitions to further HRW work;
  •  Assist with desk and phone research, and electronic clippings; and
  •  Carry out other duties as required.


Education: A Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent level of experience in work and/or leadership roles is preferred. Work and leadership experience gained while incarcerated is highly valued.

Experience: Individuals who have personal experience with the justice system, formerly incarcerated individuals (especially people who had the sentence life without parole), family members of incarcerated people, and crime survivors are highly encouraged to apply.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  • Optimism, a sense of humor, and excitement about joining a supportive, skilled, and diverse team.
  • Strong organizational skills with meticulous attention to detail.
  • Self-motivation and the ability to take initiative, prioritize with minimal supervision, and work independently as well as function as a member of a team.
  • Openness to supervision and re-direction, and willingness to embrace new ways of doing things.
  • Excellent ability to work collaboratively and respectfully with others in multicultural teams, across organizational boundaries and with employees and external partners of all backgrounds.
  • Effective critical thinking/analytical skills, creativity, and a proven drive for quality.
  • Proficiency in computer packages including MS Office applications is highly desirable, or a strong drive to learn these programs and improve skills.
  •  Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required; fluency in other languages (particularly Spanish) is highly desirable.
  • Strong interest in criminal justice reform and international human rights and a commitment to racial, social, and restorative justice.
  •  Ability to work well under pressure while juggling multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions.

Other: Applicants for this position must possess valid US work authorization. Please note that occasional evening work may be required for special events.

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits.

How to Apply:

  • Please apply immediately or by September 19, 2021 by visiting our online job portal at careers.hrw.org and attaching a letter of interest and resume, preferably as PDF files. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
  • If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, please email your questions to hoffmaw@hrw.org. Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.
  • 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.

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