Job Title:    Islamic Relief United Nations Representative

Status:        Full-time (2023 to 2025)

Division:     Public Affairs, Research and Policy

Location:    New York (remote)

The Representative to the United Nations will reside in New York and will lead and expand Islamic Relief’s external relations. The Representative will proactively identify and deliver on strategic opportunities to promote Islamic Relief’s work; lobby for and represent the organization externally; build networks with key stakeholders such as UN bodies, Permanent Missions, other NGOs/CSOs, journalists, foundations and major donors; and engage in NY-based policy dialogue and advocacy on issues such as humanitarian response, climate change and women’s rights. Representing Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) and other Islamic Relief members as appropriate, the Representative will also lead our planning and engagement for key events such as the CSW Summit and UN General Assembly. The position will report to the Director of Public Affairs at Islamic Relief USA and work closely with colleagues at Islamic Relief Worldwide based in the United Kingdom. The candidate must show commitment to Islamic Relief’s faith inspired values and principles as well as a commitment to the vision and mission of the organization.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

External Relations:

  • Develops and implements a strategy to expand Islamic Relief’s brand and engagement in New York.
  • Actively identifies new opportunities and strategic areas of engagement for Islamic Relief’s public affairs, advocacy, media, fundraising and interfaith engagement.
  • Represents Islamic Relief to a range of high-level external stakeholders and speaks at public events and policy forums, as well as acting as media spokesperson when needed.
  • Builds, maintains and strengthens relations with stakeholders in New York including relevant UN agencies, Permanent Missions, NGOs/CSOs, interfaith groups, journalists, foundations and other major donors, through regular meetings, discussions, lobbying and networking.
  • Manages Islamic Relief’s engagement at key events such as the UN General Assembly and CSW Summit.
  • Plans and hosts events, and actively identifies opportunities for collaboration with faith and non-faith actors.
  • Engages with relevant policy dialogues to highlight our views and concerns on key issues such as forced displacement, women’s rights, climate change and humanitarian response in fragile contexts.
  • Initiates or leads meetings and seminars on programmatic or substantive issues, making sure to manage the preparation and briefings for all such meetings.
  • Develops or supports development of relevant products and messaging, such as factsheets, briefing papers and video messages. • Liaises with IRUSA President’s Office and IRW CEO’s Office to build profile and influence at the United Nations.
  • Supports NY visits of senior Islamic Relief staff – such as CEOs, directors, trustees and program staff – including logistical arrangements, setting meetings and speaking slots, and preparing letters, briefs, talking points etc.
  • Supports engagement with US government agencies, elected representatives and think tanks in Washington DC.

Support to wider Islamic Relief family:

  • Brings extensive humanitarian experience and insight/analysis of UN systems and the New York context to inform key Islamic Relief colleagues about relevant global policy, political and institutional developments.
  • Participates in relevant calls and working groups, and collaborate with colleagues on how to effectively integrate learnings into wider global policy and practice.
  • Supports senior management to identify and manage reputational risk and crisis communications.
  • Liaises with External Relations and Public Affairs specialists in London, Geneva and Washington DC to maximize impact and ensure alignment in our policies, messaging and engagement.
  • Supports the development of Islamic Relief Worldwide’s new stakeholder engagement strategy.
  • Supports the organization with relevant UN registration processes and reports.
  • Supports IRUSA’s NJ office and Virginia-based public affairs team at major events, and where appropriate helps build relations with key IRW institutional donors.
  • Performs other relevant duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Competencies

  • Masters’ degree in a related field, such as international relations, political science, development or law, required.
  • Minimum of 5-7 years’ relevant and progressively more senior work experience in a related field such as external relations, lobbying or advocacy, ideally with direct experience of working alongside or within the UN system.
  • Field experience in a humanitarian context overseas is a strong plus.
  • Understanding and experience of the humanitarian and non-profit policy sector, including a firm grasp of relevant legislative processes and accompanying policy and advocacy development procedures.
  • Clear understanding of global context and issues in countries in which Islamic Relief operates.
  • Comprehensive understanding of international and UN policies, and knowledge of the humanitarian and faith-based sector in New York.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop and maintain a wide range of stakeholder relationships, including high-level diplomats, politicians, major donors, foundations and journalists.
  • Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication and presentation skills, with proven ability to clearly communicate complex ideas to diverse audiences.
  • Confident public speaker, with ability to digest information quickly and speak authoritatively on a wide range of topics.
  • Sound political judgement, analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Strategic thinker, able to identify new opportunities and translate strategic thinking into actionable plans, outputs and tangible results.
  • Motivated self-starter able to work independently, managing own time and tasks to tight deadlines.
  • Experience of organizing targeted events, such as panel discussions, side events, conferences and press briefings.
  • Collaborative team player with an ability to support needs of different teams and partner offices, including programs and advocacy colleagues.
  • Commitment to Islamic Relief’s faith-based values, humanitarian principles, and our vision and mission.
  • Willing to work flexible hours as needed, including after business hours events and occasional weekends.
  • Ability to travel to Washington DC/Virginia and to the Islamic Relief Worldwide headquarters in the United Kingdom, and conduct other overseas travel, including to field offices, as needed.
  • This is a limited term employment for years mentioned.
  • Must be eligible to work in the United States.

At Islamic Relief USA we are committed to safeguarding and protecting all individuals we come into contact with through our work. IRUSA representatives must adhere to its organizational values: Sincerity, Excellence, Compassion, Social Justice, and Custodianship. In accordance with these values, IRUSA operates and enforces policies on Safeguarding, Code of Ethics, and Anti-Harassment and Discrimination.


This position has been filled.