Vacancy - Head of Programme: Protection of Human Rights Defenders

The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union Office in Brussels is welcoming applications for the open position “Head of Programme: Protection of Human Rights Defenders” as of 1 October 2020.


The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung is a political foundation affiliated with the German Green Party. We are a green think tank, an international policy network for green visions and projects. Headquartered in Berlin we have more than 30 offices around the world. Our main tenets are ecology and sustainability, democracy and human rights, self-determination and justice. We place particular emphasis on gender democracy, meaning social emancipation and equal rights for women and men. 

The programme’s objective is to provide protection to human rights defenders from the international network of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. 

The Head of Programme will be responsible to design and implement the programme activities. Specifically, he/she will

  • conceptualise, coordinate, implement, monitor and evaluate the programme in consultation and cooperation with the Head of Unit “Global Support for Democracy” at the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union in Brussels, 
  • develop and implement strategies and best practices how to protect human rights defenders in consideration of European and international programmes and the individual needs of human rights defenders,
  • establish and maintain a network of relevant actors in the frame of the programme (including European institutions, international organisations and relevant civil society actors),
  • draft concepts and organise events, workshops and visitor programmes,
  • assume principal responsibility for the programme reporting, including regular updates, preparation of reports, and other information, 
  • manage funds in consultation with the Head of Unit and in close cooperation with the Financial Coordinator, including budget planning, expense monitoring, and financial reporting, 
  • establish and maintain liaisons with the headquarters and foreign offices of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, 
  • undertake literature review, policy research, and writing assignments.


  • University degree in a field relevant for this programme
  • Minimum 5 years of international work experience in a human rights based activity, preferably related to the protection of human rights defenders. Work experience in the non-profit sector is preferred.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and working experience with European and international institutions. This includes knowledge of the institutional mandates of relevant human rights organisations as well as their policies and procedures.  
  • Experience of working with gender-sensitive approaches, including a thorough understanding of women human rights defenders’ situation.
  • Oral and written fluency in English, a good command of French and/or German is of advantage
  • Strong organisational and analytical skills 
  • Experience in the management of publicly funded projects
  • Ability to work in a team, strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to organise work assignments, set priorities and meet deadlines
  • Gender awareness
  • Genuine interest in the values and mission of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

The job location is Brussels. The position is full-time (37 hours/week, employment contract).

Please send your application by e-mail to 
The deadline for applications is 9 August 2020.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.