20 days old

Director, Innovation Lab

Human Rights First
Washington, DC 20005


JOB TITLE:                        Director, Innovation Lab

LOCATION:                        DC Preferred

REPORTS TO:                   Chief Technology Officer

JOB CLASSIFICATION:    Full-time; Exempt; Non-Union



Founded in late 2019, the Innovation Lab is a pioneering effort to meet the technology needs of the human rights community.  The director of the Innovation Lab will be responsible for developing and executing the Innovation Labs strategic plans and priorities, establishing and refining the labs innovation process and personnel footprint, liaising with the Technology Advisory Board, supporting the development and fielding of technological requirements from within HRF, as well as external lab relations to include fundraising and public appearances. The Innovation Lab, via a network of trusted Human Rights Defenders and activists,  rapidly fields technology requirements from human rights movements, vets and modifies open source and commercial-off-the-shelf technologies to fulfill those requirements, and where possible, conducts internal experimentation and prototyping of technical tools to fulfill unmet needs. If the prototype is viable, the Innovation Lab leads the scaling of the solution for fielding by human rights movements.



  • Collaborate with the Chief Technology Officer to set and execute the Innovation Labs strategic priorities for the organization.

  • Manage the ideation, research and refinement of technology solutions.

  • Manage HRFs current Technology Programs and Technology Fellows

  • Conduct experimentation and prototyping of technical tools to fulfill unmet needs with partner organizations and technology providers.

  • Develop and maintain relationships with trusted technology partners who are assisting HRF with developing technology.

  • Liaise with the Technology Advisory Board and external lab partners to further HRFs fundraising efforts

  • Work across the organization - advocacy, accountability, refugee representation - to design innovative tools to enhance HRFs work.

  • Take initiative and propose new products/solutions based on research and/or evidence-based practices.

  • Adhere to project plans, development tasks, timelines, and communications.

  • Provide exceptional and collaborative leadership and support to team members.

  • Oversee a cohesive product development process from technology, through field research, and commercialization of inputs.

  • Set development objectives for technology in both product improvement and new product development

  • Set project objectives centered around new product introductions and requests from the field

  • Facilitate technical knowledge updates through reports, website programs, videos, and meeting presentations


  • Bachelors Degree in computer science, computer engineering, software development, hardware development, systems engineering or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience that provides the required knowledge skills and abilities, Graduate degree preferred

  • Minimum 5 years of experience managing an innovation or technology related department

  • Strong leadership and Project Management experience

  • Successful Product Development and Management experience at Director level

  • Experienced in working with external partners including, large strategic partners and small start-ups, on a global arena to create new business offerings

  • Proven experience and understanding of methods such as business model design, Design thinking Lean start-up etc.

  • Excellent communication and presentation skills

  • Successful in building excellent working relationships and operating effectively as a member of a leadership team.

  • A strong network of potential collaboration partners and capabilities to create new partnerships to be leveraged within Innovation Lab

  • Innovative thinker with a track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and output

  • Ability to make decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs

  • Energetic, flexible, collaborative and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical initiatives

  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with senior management, HRFs board of directors, and staff

Human Rights First is committed to recruiting, retaining, and developing staff from a diversity of backgrounds, including members of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, people of all nationalities, and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. We believe that a diverse staff and an inclusive work environment that welcomes a range of perspectives help make our advocacy work stronger and more effective.


To apply for this position, please visit https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/careers


Posted: 2021-05-28 Expires: 2021-06-27

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Director, Innovation Lab

Human Rights First
Washington, DC 20005

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