Job Directory Senior Program Associate, SAFE Network - NYC/DC

Senior Program Associate, SAFE Network - NYC/DC
New York, NY

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Job Description

Are you interested in joining an organization working to secure equal justice, a fair day in court for immigrants, end mass incarceration, and strengthen families and communities around the country? Do you enjoy working collaboratively on a team, as well as taking initiative and managing projects independently? Do you enjoy brainstorming and coming up with creative and sustainable solutions around advocacy and program management, specifically for individual program sites? Are you values-driven and want to be part of building a national immigration movement? Does the chance of splitting your time between the office and traveling regionally and nationally seem captivating to you? If so, this may be the ideal position for you!

Who We Are

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, envisions a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for everyone.

* We study problems that impede human dignity and justice.
* We pilot solutions that are at once transformative and achievable.
* We engage diverse communities in informed debate.
* We harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice.

What We're Doing

We are helping build a movement - among government leaders, advocates, and the immigration legal services community - towards universal legal representation for immigrants facing deportation. In the face of stepped-up immigration enforcement, millions of non-citizens are at risk of extended detention and permanent separation from their families and communities. In 2017 Vera convened the Safety and Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Network, a group of diverse local jurisdictions that have committed public taxpayer dollars toward legal representation for immigrants in their communities facing detention and deportation. We partner with local government leaders, a closely-connected network of legal defense programs, and advocates to establish publicly funded deportation defense programs around the country and use our expertise in program design, research, and communications to advance our vision of government-funded counsel for all immigrants facing deportation.

The Position

Vera's Center on Immigration and Justice seeks a Senior Program Associate to work on its SAFE Network team. We are looking for someone who feels at home developing and maintaining relationships with project partners, including local government stakeholders and legal service providers, and promoting publicly-funded universal representation as a policy tool to local and state governments. The examples of core responsibilities provided below are illustrative and other responsibilities may be added over time.

* Partner with local and state government as well as legal service providers to design and implement publicly funded universal representation programs serving detained immigrants;
* Help manage a Network of legal services programs providing legal defense to detained immigrants facing removal, including overseeing contracts with legal service providers and creatively brainstorming solutions for challenges experienced by program sites;
* Coordinate among public officials and government staff, legal service providers, and advocacy groups to build and sustain support for program;
* Devise, manage, and coordinate technical assistance to program sites in the form of in-person trainings and convenings, webinars, and Network conference calls, and other means as appropriate;
* Conduct site visits of program sites, which strategic stakeholder meetings, includes plane travel and driving, and drafting site visit memoranda;
* Assist in the preparation of reports to government partners using case data and client stories;
* Collaborate with our communications team on strategic goals to support local communication campaigns and raise awareness about the need for counsel nationally among the public and policymakers;
* Continuously identify promising practices among programs and devise ways to disseminate information about such practices to encourage implementation elsewhere;
* Represent SAFE and the Center in local and statewide coalition meetings, public speaking engagements, press conferences with our partners and speaking with media as needed;
* Assist on other projects as assigned.

What You Bring

* The successful candidate will possess many of the following qualifications and attributes. If you aren't sure but are excited about the position, we encourage you to apply! *

You have demonstrated knowledge of immigration law and other justice areas, and are able to manage work on multiple projects effectively and efficiently. You are able to work collaboratively in a team, as well as take initiative and manage projects independently. You have a desire to effectuate change in partnership with the local government.

* A J.D, or strong familiarity with the provision of immigration legal services and at least four years of legal, government, or policy work experience.
* Strong writing and research skills;
* Strong communication and facilitation skills;
* Strong data analysis skills;
* Ability to successfully balance travel responsibilities with office-based responsibilities;
* Experience representing detained immigrants is a strong plus;
* Experience engaging local governments and broad coalitions to build consensus on policy reform issues is a strong plus;
* Ability to read and communicate effectively in Spanish is a plus;
* Ability to work closely and effectively with a team in Vera's offices in New York and D.C.;
* A valid driver's license.


Salary starting from the high 70Ks, based on experience, with excellent benefits.


The position is available in Vera's New York or DC office. National travel to events and partner sites will also be required.

How to apply

Please submit cover letter and resume. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until position is filled.

Online submission in PDF format is preferred.

However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to:

ATTN: People and Culture / SAFE Network

Vera Institute of Justice

233 Broadway, 12th Floor

New York, NY 10279

Fax: (212) 941-9407

Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.

No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.

For more information about Vera and CIJ's work, please visit

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