Since 2001, the Human Rights Program (“Program”) has served as the energetic hub for creative and interdisciplinary research, teaching, and outreach in the field of human rights. The Program’s three-fold mission is to: 1) advance human rights scholarship through support for research and publications; 2) educate the next generation of human rights scholars and professionals; and 3) engage with serious human right issues through timely projects, public programs and internships places it at the forefront of educating emerging human rights leaders. The Program creates and sustains multidisciplinary and multi-institution capacities and highly impactful initiatives.
The Human Rights Program works with the leadership of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs to support the Master of Human Rights (MHR), a two-year professional degree program for aspiring human rights advocates. The MHR program offers a dual degree opportunity (MHR/MPH) with the School of Public Health and a concurrent degree program (MHR/JD) with the University of Minnesota Law School. The Program manages the Human Rights Initiative (HRI) to support interdisciplinary and impactful engaged research. To date, the HRI has awarded more than $770,000 to support inspired faculty research initiatives on human rights issues.
Together with the Law School's Human Rights Center, the Human Rights Program runs the Human Rights Lab to incubate human rights projects and works with faculty across many units to carry out the “Minnesota Model for Human Rights Research,” promoting long-term partnerships between academics and practitioners aimed at knowledge production that simultaneously protects and advances human rights. These funding initiatives support more than 25 interdisciplinary projects, with faculty leads spanning more than 15 disciplinary fields. The Program also works with CLA and Humphrey School leadership to host mid-career human rights professionals as “practitioners-in-residence” for 1- to 2-year terms to provide additional networking and project-based opportunities for students and to foster synergies with faculty that grow and nurture academic and practitioner partnerships.
The Executive Director will provide intellectual leadership for the Human Rights Program across all of its activities, including:
Cultivating and building partnerships with key human rights actors including community groups, NGOs, and institutions at the local, national and international levels, and coordinate community-engaged research projects for undergraduate and graduate students
Designing and supporting projects to support human rights research
Carrying out community outreach
Engaging with a vibrant multidisciplinary community of faculty engaged in human rights scholarship
Hosting conferences, symposia, and events.
The Executive Director will promote equity and diversity, with a focus on racial justice and gender equity, in all aspects of the program's work.
The Executive Director is responsible for the planning and establishment of priorities that lead to innovations and improvements in the curriculum, research, and engagement in the broad area of human rights.
The Executive Director is responsible for and oversees the Program’s finances, including establishing budgetary priorities and ensuring that resources are deployed to achieve Program goals.
The Executive Director will identify and pursue external funding opportunities to support the research and outreach activities of the Program.
The Executive supervises a staff of high-level professionals, including an Associate Director and a team of talented graduate assistants and undergraduate student workers. Additional administrative support is provided by the professional staff of the Institute for Global Studies.
Teaching and Curricular Engagement 30%
The Executive Director will contribute to the preparation of students for careers and post-graduate education by:
Teaching two courses per year (generally one undergraduate and one graduate level course)
Creating new opportunities for students to participate in community engage research and practica
Mentoring and advising undergraduate and graduate students
Supervising capstone projects and independent study
Serving on graduate student committees
Preparing Master of Human Rights students for professional careers
Contributing to the collaborative curriculum for the graduate minor in human rights
The Executive Director will collaborate with multi- and interdisciplinary groups of faculty and staff to support these opportunities for students by:
Serving as a member of the Human Rights Governing Council, a robust and deeply engaged multidisciplinary faculty committee which provides guidance to the Master of Human Rights degree program, the graduate minor in human rights, the Human Rights Initiative research fund, and the Human Rights Lab
Working with the Council’s Chair to define research priorities for the Program and to bring engaged research opportunities to students
Serving as a member of the Institute for Global Studies faculty group to ensure the incorporation of human rights content into the global studies curriculum.
The Director will develop and coordinate effective communication and collaboration with related College, University, and community partners to advance Program and College goals related to human rights. This includes working with College of Liberal Arts departments, the Humphrey School, and other campus units to develop human rights initiatives. Collaboration also may include service on College and University committees or service with community partners.
Terminal degree in a field relevant to Human Rights and 8 years of experience, or advanced degree in a field relevant to Human Rights with 10 years of experience.
Proven record as a collaborative and effective leader, with a deep knowledge of human rights issues and advocacy methods, based on a minimum of five years of professional experience to advance human rights, through research or advocacy.
Teaching experience, including a capacity to educate students at the undergraduate and graduate levels about human rights norms, institutions, advocacy and ethics; the ability to mentor human rights students to work professionally in the field.
Management experience, including a record of cultivating and supporting a diverse and equitable team of staff and/or volunteers and managing their effective performance in a fair and empathetic manner.
Evidence of excellent interpersonal communication skills to include verbal and written, active listening, critical thinking, persuasiveness, and ability to work with diverse groups to achieve results.
Advanced skills in institutional and philanthropic fundraising, short and long term strategic planning, analysis and problem-solving
Demonstrated political and organizational acumen within a complex environment including a record of developing and maintaining effective working relationships with diverse individuals across sectors and organizational levels.
Demonstrated ability to implement the highest research and ethical standards in accordance with best practices in the human rights field and academia.
Evidence of deep connections and experience with key actors and institutions in international human rights and the ability to enhance the Program’s work through those connections.
Strong record of academic teaching experience, including positive teaching evaluations in an institution of higher education.
Experience in bridging practitioner and scholarly environments.
Grant writing and / or other philanthropic fundraising experience.
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.