Deputy Director/Public Health and Social Policy Lead

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Harm Reduction International is seeking to recruit a full-time Deputy Director/Public Health and Social Policy Lead. 

Founded in 1996, Harm Reduction International is a leading NGO dedicated to reducing the negative health, social and legal impacts of drug use and drug policy. We promote the rights of people who use drugs and their communities through research and advocacy to help achieve a world where drug policies and laws contribute to healthier, safer societies.

The Deputy Director will work with the Executive Director and Head of Finance to oversee all aspects of HRI’s operations, staff and financial management; and contribute to overall strategic direction of the organisation.

The Deputy Director will lead the Public Health and Social Policy team (‘PHSP team’). The PHSP team conducts original research and analysis to track developments in harm reduction and ensure people who use drugs have the health and social services they need.

HRI’s independent analysis focuses on the uptake of harm reduction approaches worldwide, both in terms of policy and service delivery, to support advocacy in the scale-up of harm reduction. Further, HRI tracks innovative reduction programmes for particular populations of people who use drugs, including women and people in prison. HRI’s monitoring of trends in harm reduction helps to inform the evidence-base in this area, and serves as a resource for people working in the fields of public health, human rights and drug use.

Responsibilities include management and organisational leadership, technical and representative duties.

Management and organisational leadership:

  1. Contribute to the strategic plan, monitoring and evaluation, coordination and big picture decision making for HRI, with the Executive Director, Head of Finance and team leads.
  2. Support good governance practices and regulatory compliance; including reporting to, and liaison with, the Board of Directors; formulate and oversee implementation of HRI’s internal policies. 
  3. Lead fundraising and grant applications, build and strengthen HRI relationships with current and prospective funders. 
  4. Provide support for professional development across the organisation, including mentoring staff, as relevant.
  5. Manage staff, consultants and/or interns contributing to HRI’s Public Health and Social Policy work, ensuring delivery of high quality work.
  6. Manage project budgets and donor reporting for the PHSP team.


  1. Define the strategic direction for the PHSP team, identify emerging issues in the harm reduction sector, highlight areas for strategic research and advocacy on identified priorities.
  2. Oversee and/or undertake the research and analysis to strengthen the evidence base for advocacy for harm reduction (including preparation, publication and dissemination of research and analysis); research will monitor major developments in harm reduction policy and programming, civil society action and multilateral commitments.
  3. Lead advocacy for harm reduction at international, regional and national level, as relevant, with a focus on harm reduction in both the community and in prisons, including through engagement with stakeholders and presentation of work at key events. 
  4. Strengthen HRI’s relationships with key academic, civil society, UN, government and the public sector.
  5. Strengthen exchange and build new alliances in related (health and social) sectors.
  6. Support implementation of the biennial Harm Reduction International Conference, including by identifying and encouraging abstract submissions on emerging issues, leading networking activities, and providing strategic inputs to planning processes.
  7. Provide cross organisational support on public health and social policy issues.


  1. Build and maintain relationships with key external partners, including NGOs, networks of people who use drugs, donors, UN agencies and national government representatives.
  2. Represent HRI in consultation with government and UN bodies; including at learning, conference and networking events, including community events, United Nations fora, donor meetings, major conferences and key civil society initiatives.
  3. Represent HRI in the general public via lectures, presentations, and interviews. 

Essential qualifications:

  • A strong commitment to harm reduction, public health, human rights, and social justice. 
  • Minimum of 10 years’ relevant work experience in one or more of the following fields at regional or international level: harm reduction; public health, HIV, HCV or TB; drug policy reform; or related field.
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience managing teams and in team/consultant supervision.
  • Strong background in programme and grant management.
  • Experience in fundraising and making grant applications.
  • Strong diplomacy skills and the ability to bring together diverse partners and interests.
  • Ability and willingness to undertake significant international travel.
  • Ability to work independently, and to juggle multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Excellent spoken and written English, and presentation skills. 
  • Pragmatic approach to team work and the hands on approach required for a small NGO environment.

Desirable qualifications:

  • Proven commitment to civil society work.
  • Fluency in a second language.
  • Understanding of the UN system, and working knowledge of UN agencies and processes related to public health and/or drug policy.
  • Postgraduate degree in a relevant field, or comparable professional experience.

Salary: £43,500-£49,000.

Location: The post will be based at the HRI office in London. 

Application details: Please send cover letter and CV to with a subject line of ‘[NAME]  -Application Deputy Director/Public Health and Social Policy Lead’ before 11:59pm (GMT+1) on Wednesday 29 May 2019

Interviews will be held in early June.

Harm Reduction International is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from all qualified candidates, including people living with HIV and people who use drugs.

© 2019 Harm Reduction International.

Charity number – 1117375 | Company number – 3223265

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