Job Opening Description

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Policy Associate


Accountability Counsel is seeking a new team member to join us as a full-time Policy Associate to be based in Washington, D.C. This is an unusual opportunity to be part of a growing, fast-paced, leading organization that works to achieve greater accountability for human rights and environmental abuses caused by development finance. We seek a world where communities harmed by abuses can secure remedy to realize rights. We are creating an ecosystem where effective and robust accountability systems deter abuses. The position reports to Accountability Counsel’s Policy Director. We anticipate a three-month training period for our new team member.

About Accountability Counsel

We amplify the voices of communities to protect their human rights and environment. Our team of world-class attorneys works directly with communities challenging abuses financed from abroad. We do not litigate in courts, but instead specialize in the non-judicial accountability offices that have been created to address these abuses. Our team of policy advocates works to ensure that those accountability offices are transparent, independent, fair, accessible, and effective. We conduct research to track global complaints and expose patterns in data that can be used to prevent harm. We also convene a global network of advocates to foster a movement for accountability in international finance. We have been recognized as a high impact social enterprise by Echoing Green and the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation.

In the nine years since our founding, our team has partnered with nearly 40 communities to defend their rights, demand justice, and achieve historic victories. We have helped Chinanteco communities in Oaxaca, Mexico stop a hydroelectric project from destroying their critical natural and cultural resources, Haitian farmers reach historic agreements for restoration of land and livelihoods, and nomadic herders in the Mongolian South Gobi desert negotiate a series of agreements that address harm from a massive mine that threatened their traditional livelihoods. We have improved accountability policy at every multilateral development bank, at three U.S. agencies, and within international institutions. Our advocacy has led to the creation of several new accountability offices, and we have a new groundbreaking initiative on impact investing. Our research is, for the first time, exposing patterns in the global system of accountability that show advocates, policy-makers, financial institutions, and the accountability offices themselves best practice and where improvement is needed most. Our approach employs respect-based methods to ensure that marginalized people, particularly women and girls, are included as full participants in community strategies seeking accountability.

Specific Responsibilities

Policy Advocacy Program (80%)
The Policy Associate is responsible for working closely with Accountability Counsel’s Policy Director on the design and implementation of Accountability Counsel’s strategies to increase public and private sector accountability and access to redress for environmental and human rights abuses. This includes strengthening the transparency, independence, fairness, accessibility, and effectiveness at existing accountability offices. The Policy Associate will also join our work on the creation of new accountability offices. For a listing of the primary institutions on which we focus, please visit the Policy Advocacy page of our website.

Main responsibilities include:

advancing arguments for diverse audiences on why institutions and corporations should adopt robust social and environmental due diligence measures, accountability frameworks, and commitments to remedy abuses;
conducting policy reviews to ensure that formal and informal opportunities for review of accountability policies reflect best practice and lessons from specific cases. Such policy reviews require strategic coalition building, research, and relationship management;
supporting case-specific advocacy related to Accountability Counsel’s Communities program;
attending and participating in meetings and conferences, both domestic and international, to further the Policy Advocacy program goals; and
participating in key partnerships as they relate to implementation of the Policy Advocacy program strategies.

Other (20%)
As requested by the Policy Director, additional duties include providing logistical, communications, and administrative support to the program; assisting with hiring and supervision of policy fellows and interns, as well as the work of pro bono attorneys; and supporting Accountability Counsel’s knowledge- and capacity-building efforts.


The Policy Associate must have the following qualifications:

professional or advanced degree in law, international relations/economics, business, finance, public policy, or other relevant field;
one to three years of professional work experience related to corporate accountability, international financial institutions, and/or business and human rights;
familiarity with relevant domestic and international legal frameworks, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises;
fluent English language skills;
excellent written, verbal, analytical, and organizational skills with demonstrated attention to detail;
positive attitude and superior interpersonal skills;
ability to work independently and to supervise others;
demonstrated ability to work within tight deadlines across time zones, set priorities, and produce under pressure;
willingness to travel both domestically and internationally;
passion for learning about and implementing Accountability Counsel’s mission; and
a commitment to working with a growing and highly committed team of professionals toward shared goals.

The following qualifications are highly valued:

knowledge of the workings of international financial institutions, particularly their accountability offices and/or OECD National Contact Points;
experience in international development, regulatory/corporate compliance, sustainable investing and/or sustainable business practices, or project finance;
experience living and/or working in emerging market and developing countries; and
fluency in languages in addition to English (in particular Mandarin, Arabic, French, and/or Portuguese).

Compensation and Benefits

Accountability Counsel offers competitive compensation commensurate with experience. Our superb benefits package includes full health, vision, and dental coverage with the option to add a Flexible Spending Account (FSA); 401(k) retirement plans; professional development support; a sabbatical policy; and other unique benefits that make Accountability Counsel a wonderful place to work.

Application Process

To apply, please complete the application form on our website. Your application should include:

a cover letter stating your qualifications, including legal ability to work in the United States;
a resume; and
a short advocacy-oriented writing sample (no more than 5 pages).

The position is to be filled as soon as possible. Due to the expected high volume of responses, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted regarding next steps in the application process.

Accountability Counsel is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other prohibited category. We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, and all qualified persons to apply for this position.


To apply, please complete the application form on our website:

Your application should include:
a cover letter stating your qualifications, including legal ability to work in the United States;
a resume; and
a short advocacy-oriented writing sample (no more than 5 pages).