Program Administrative Assistant at WITNESS Human Rights

Program Administrative Assistant – US

Programs Brooklyn, New York

Employment Type


Minimum Experience



$42,775 – $43,417


We are a global human rights organization, a collective of passionate human rights activists with (mostly remote) team members all over the world. WITNESS’ mission is to help people use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. We are a 35-person multi-disciplinary team with staff based across 5 continents. While we’re legally a non-profit that is registered as a 501(c)3 in the U.S, we are a global collective: our staff members (as well as consultants, interns, fellows and a vast community of partners and collaborators) are based around the world and reflect a group of activists with diverse skills and backgrounds.


WITNESS pairs grassroots community support with advocacy at a systems level. Our team works holistically on a global scale to understand how communities are using and want to use video and technology for human rights. With a cellphone camera, anyone can become a human rights defender and expose injustice, making it harder for perpetrators to hide or for systems of oppression to remain invisible. But using video for community organizing, justice and accountability can be dangerous – videos can put defenders (or those they film) at risk, can be used against communities in court or deceitfully discredited by tired old power narratives. Filming is almost never enough – for videos to make a difference they need to work alongside strong advocacy or legal strategies; they also need to be created, preserved and shared in ways that avoid creating more harm or trauma.
New threats to human rights are emerging at the intersection of artificial intelligence, misinformation and disinformation and a global wave of rising authoritarianism.

When it comes to systemic challenges we are on the watch for both existing problems like how large amounts of critical human rights footage are lost because of the arbitrary decisions of platforms but also emerging threats and opportunities, such as those posed by deepfakes’, new ways to manipulate media to make it look like someone said or did something they never did.

Program Administrative Assistants help ensure Program leads are supported in meeting program goals, and also ensure smooth functioning of administrative systems at WITNESS. They will be responsive to the operation’s team requests to support the smooth functioning of our systems across WITNESS: financial, human resources, security, technology, external reporting and donor tracking.



  • Provide general administrative support to WTNESS’s Program work in your region
  • Assist with the management of WITNESS databases, updating and tracking partner’s and other important contact information
  • Assist with organizing materials for in person and online trainings and presentations
  • Assist with coordinating travel and logistics for conferences based in the region
  • Assist the team as necessary with other tasks to support our Program work.

Cross Team Support and Collaboration

This role will act as the primary liaison between the Regional Program Team and our core support functions Fundraising, Finance, HR and IT.

The position will be focused on ensuring the effective flow of information, supporting compliance, reporting and the correct application of our policies and procedures. There will be a strong need for effective cross-team collaboration and communication, ensuring that expectations are well communicated and deadlines are met.

Typical support tasks will include:


  • Provide support with budgeting, tracking spending and the timely completion of expense and credit card reconciliations, along with other finance related requirements of Program leads
  • Lead on working with the Finance team to address Visa card and payment issues as they arise.

Human Resources

  • Support the team with HR reporting requirements including timesheets, vacation, sickness and other time off reporting, updating calendars and meeting required deadlines
  • Support with the process of recruitment, pre-hire setup and coordination of onboarding new team members and regional consultants

External Relations (Fundraising and Communication)

  • Support with information requests for donor reports, funding applications, the updating of contact databases, and helping to arrange Donor meetings

Information Technology

  • Assist with the management of the regional team’s hardware and software requirements
  • Troubleshoot with Tech team on computer problems and with equipment shipping as needed


  • Assist in creating and updating travel memos and other security assessments and reports


Experience: Human Rights Background in (or passion for) human rights; understands networks, grassroots organizing and how activists mobilize online. Committed to social justice and WITNESS’ values/mission and to a global, human rights lead approach.

Languages: We are a global team who use English as our shared language, as such this role requires a high proficiency of written and spoken English. Additional languages are a plus!

Other Important Skills:

  • Applicants will need to demonstrate organizational skills including attention to detail, time management, taking initiative, and to take ownership of assigned tasks.
  • Strong communication will be essential
  • WITNESS works as a digital team and a comfort and familiarity with technology will be essential.
  • Experience communicating via email, using online calendars, documents, spreadsheets and creating presentations will be required.

Characteristics: Strong interpersonal skills and aptitude for cross-cultural communication. Team-minded. A doer. Is organized and follows through. Espouses good humor under pressure; inspires others.

Education: You can tell us about your degrees, but we’re more interested in what your passions are and what you can do. If your degrees are part of that story, great! (But no formal education required).

Location: WITNESS operates as a globally distributed organization and the preferred location for this position is the United States, there is some room for flexibility provided some overlap of working hours with the rest of the team can be ensured. WITNESS is registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the U.S and currently retains an office in New York City. However, since 2020, its staff is currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The successful candidate must have the legal right-to-work in the location in which they will be based. We are unable to sponsor visas or relocations for this role.

Compensation: The gross salary range for this position is $42,775 – $43,417 based out of New York City. The salary will be localized considering relative cost of living in the applicable country using the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) Post Adjustment Multiplier- a metric system that is regularly revised and that WITNESS uses to determine salaries globally.


  • Health: WITNESS also offers competitive and robust medical benefits that cover an individual’s medical, dental and vision at 100% and covers a % of the individual’s dependents.
  • Life Insurance & AD & D: WITNESS provides life insurance and AD&D payable at one time (1x) the employee’s salary, to the beneficiary, in the event an employee were to expire while employed by the organization.
  • Remote Work Stipend: WITNESS recognizes that flexible working arrangements are key to equity and inclusion in the workplace and we provide a $175 USD monthly remote work allowance, we are happy to talk about the type of flexible arrangements that might work best for you. This remote work stipend is provided to all staff members to pay for extra equipment, electricity, stationery, internet, wellness, or whatever an employee deems necessary in order to work remotely. Please note that a computer and basic accessories are provided to all employees at the time of hire.
  • Pension Contributions: After 1 year of service at the organization, WITNESS will contribute 3% of an individual’s gross salary towards a global retirement fund.
  • Paid Time Off: WITNESS offers a range of benefits, depending on the location of the individual, and 15-20 days of paid annual leave in addition to public holidays and end of year leave. Regular full-time Employees are authorized to accrue up to ten (10) paid sick days and five (5) paid personal days per fiscal year.
  • Reading Days: WITNESS also provides Reading Days to our staff, at (1) per month, schedule permitting. These days serve as an opportunity for an employee to take time away from meetings and read up on the field, connect to peers, or learn about WITNESS projects, institutional information or to learn about items pertinent to their work.
  • Wellness Days: WITNESS will periodically do a review of overall staff morale and mental health and provide mental health days to all staff to give everyone a chance to recharge. This year, for example, we added (3) Wellness days to our end of year break.
  • Work/ Life Balance :WITNESS believes in creating a healthy work environment in which flexible schedules are available, we also understand that sometimes an employee may just require a few hours to take care of personal issues in which case they can adjust their hours to make up for the time instead of taking a full day of leave. Both are allowable once agreed upon with the departmental supervisors.
  • Mental Health Policy: WITNESS feels that all employees should feel supported both physically as well as mentally while they are at work and realizes that many times the issues that we deal with, the materials that we watch and the events surrounding some of the work that we do, can lead to feeling unwell and not in a good space.
    Should a situation arise in which an Employee requests support on mental health, WITNESS will award (10) days of WITNESS paid leave.
  • Sabbatical Leave: common in educational institutions, is unusual for nonprofit organizations. WITNESS offers this policy because we believe that it will help our long-term Employees develop new insights, greater knowledge, and better skills. All of these inevitably aid our programs and WITNESS.

Sabbatical Leave is with full pay(up to 10 weeks) and benefits currently elected by the Employee, and eligibility begins upon completion of ten (10) consecutive years of employment at WITNESS.

  • Professional Development: WITNESS also provides several professional development and growth opportunities for our staff through the HR professional development budget.

Reports to: Program Leads

Start Date: ASAP

Principle Relationships: Program Leads, Finance team, HR, IT Team

Title: Program Administrative Assistant- Region

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled; early applications encouraged. Please note that due to the volume anticipated, we will not be able to respond individually to each applicant. We kindly ask that you do not send duplicate applications via mail or email, and no phone calls.

WITNESS is a global human rights organization and aims to build an inclusive workforce that is reflective of the communities we work with. We are interested in building a talented team that brings their true selves with diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives. We are interested in receiving applications from those who are marginalized and underrepresented.

WITNESS is an equal opportunity employer. People of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, genders, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, and individuals protected by any other statuses under international federal, state or local laws, including but not limited to, disability, marital, domestic partnership, familial, caregiver, transgender, military or veteran statuses, are encouraged to apply.