Climate Displacement Program Manager 

Each year, tens of millions of people across the globe are driven from their homes by floods, storms, droughts, and other weather-related disasters. And as the adverse effects of global climate change induce more extreme weather, growing food insecurity, and rising sea levels—that number is expected to rise. Tragically, it is the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities that are hardest hit.

While often referred to as “climate refugees,” the fact is that those who lose their homes in disasters or who are forced to relocate because of climate change are not recognized as refugees. This is because the 1951 Refugees Convention does not include those fleeing the effects of climate change, but only those fleeing war and persecution. This leaves a significant gap in international law which Refugees International is leading efforts to address.

In 2009, RI launched the Climate Displacement Program to advocate for improved assistance, protection, and solutions for vulnerable communities and individuals uprooted in the context of extreme weather and climate change. Informed by field-based missions to countries experiencing climate-related humanitarian crises, RI was among the first organizations to boldly call on national governments, UN agencies, donors, and others to address the increasing impacts of climate change on displacement, migration, conflict, and human insecurity.

Our Approach

The Climate Displacement Program builds upon RI’s long history of lifesaving advocacy on behalf of refugees and displaced people. We draw upon the organization’s expertise and proven track-record of catalyzing action to better respond to displacement crises. Central to our approach is ensuring that responses to climate-related displacement and migration are informed by our fact-finding missions to the field, inclusive of affected communities, and embrace a human-rights-based approach.

Climate Displacement Program Manager

The Climate Displacement Program Manager is responsible for leading RI’s strategy and advocacy to enhance the legal, policy, and operational responses and solutions to displacement and forced migration arising in the context of disasters and climate change. The Climate Displacement Program Manager maintains relationships with key networks and advocacy targets relevant to the portfolio. The Climate Displacement Program Manager also carries out field missions which focus on climate-related displacement and natural disasters.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Devise and carry out advocacy strategies to pursue the objectives on climate displacement in RI’s strategic plan. Work closely with colleagues to develop and carry out the agreed-upon strategy.

  • Help create and track new policy and strategic directions on climate displacement issues within organization as applicable.

  • Conduct field missions to assess climate-related displacement and natural disasters. Analyze gaps in response to population needs for assistance and protection.

  • Write field reports and policy papers that analyze the impact of climate-related displacement and natural disasters. Devise and carry out an advocacy strategy toward achieving the recommendations outlined in these reports and papers.

  • Hold frequent meetings with U.S. government officials, UN agency personnel, and other relevant actors to advocate on climate displacement priorities in a specific crisis or on matters of overall policy and strategy.

  • Write articles for publication in media outlets, including newspapers and scholarly journals. Prepare testimony or statements for Congressional hearings, briefings or debates, and advocacy letters to relevant officials.

  • Develop media contacts and conduct interviews to advance the advocacy agenda of the organization.

  • Represent the agency at coordination meetings organized by NGOs, the U.S. government, the UN, think tanks, and other relevant institutions.

  • Strategize and, where appropriate, lead relevant coalitions to enhance RI’s visibility and impact.

  • Contribute to grant proposals and reports related to the climate displacement program. Provide briefings and background in support of RI’s development team.

  • Perform other reasonably related duties as assigned.

Desirable qualifications:

  • At least six years of experience working on programs or initiatives related to the adverse impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations including displacement and forced migration.

  • Experience working on programs or initiatives related to natural disasters.

  • Advanced degree in international affairs, law, or other relevant discipline.

  • Knowledge of relevant international policy and institutional frameworks including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the task force on displacement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the UN Global Compact for safe, regular and orderly migration, as well as those relating to human rights and climate change, food security, and resilience.

  • Proven track record of conducting successful advocacy, especially to the U.S. government, Congress, major donors, and the United Nations.

  • Experience working or traveling abroad, conducting field-based research, and interacting effectively with affected communities and/or local civil society organizations.

  • Excellent writing, analytical, presentation, and interpersonal skills.

  • Sense of humor; collegiality.

Application instructions

To apply please send an email to:

Applications should include a cover letter, writing sample, and resume. In the subject line, type RI Climate Displacement Program Manager and your family name. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Expected Salary: $85,000-$95,000, depending on background and experience.