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Interim Senior Director, Latin America

Department: International Programs
Location: Remote

About KIND:

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every childís rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. KIND has accepted over 23,000 referrals of children seeking legal representation in their immigration proceedings. KIND has welcomed more than 41,000 attendees to trainings since its founding, cultivating partnerships with over 670 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.

KINDís social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children Ė who have often endured trauma Ė receive counseling, educational support, medical care and other comprehensive services.

To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.

KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.

Position Summary:

KIND seeks an Interim Senior Director, Latin America to lead the development and implementation of KINDís programs and initiatives in Central America and Mexico. KINDís work in Central America and Mexico combines programming, advocacy, and research in order to address the root causes of child migration and increase protection and support for migrant children in the region. The Interim Senior Director, Latin America will work closely with the Vice President, International Programs. They will provide high-level leadership to a growing team, supervising staff members for Central America and Mexico to include the Director, Reintegration Programs; Director, Gender & Migration Initiatives; Director, Partnerships and Training; Director, Mexico Advocacy; Monitoring and Evaluation Officer; and Regional Manager, Southern Mexico. They will oversee the development and implementation of programs and advocacy for Central America and Mexico. They will also identify strategies and opportunities for leveraging KINDís expertise to support initiatives within Mexico and Central America to bolster child protection, expand programming to address the root causes of migration, and KINDís reputation.

The Interim Senior Director will play a key role in providing oversight, guidance, and support to the team during a period of significant growth and will work with the Vice President to ensure successful implementation of new projects in southern Mexico. Additionally, they will oversee the development of funding proposals and timely completion of grant deliverables. They will participate in hiring as needed and will engage regularly with counterparts in different components of KIND including Finance, Human Resources, Legal Programs, Policy and Advocacy, and Communications.

This position is 100% remote and can be based in the U.S., Mexico or Central America.

Essential Functions:

  • Work closely with Vice President, International Programs to define the strategy and direction for KINDís Central America and Mexico work and to re-examine structure as the team grows.
  • Design, oversee, and seek to expand KINDís programs that advance regional protection of unaccompanied children through including its programming focused on gender-based violence prevention, reintegration of returning children and youth, livelihoods, and programming to strengthen access to protection for unaccompanied children in Mexico including by pursuing new funding streams such as US government sources.
  • Supervise the Director, Gender & Migration; Director, Reintegration Programs; Monitoring and Evaluation Officer; Director, Partnerships and Training, Mexico; Director, Advocacy, Mexico; and Regional Manager, Southern Mexico.
  • Work with the Vice President to oversee the successful standup of new programs in southern Mexico.
  • Identify and advocate for changes to policy and practice to protect unaccompanied immigrant and refugee childrenís rights, wellbeing, and access to justice throughout the region and with regional representatives in the U.S.
  • Represent KIND at conferences, networks, high level meetings, congressional briefings and other policy briefings in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America.
  • Develop new and build on existing relationships with key public, private, and civil society stakeholders, networks, and regional advocacy partnerships and collaborate in discussions that promote a childís best interests, safety, and well-being in countries of transit, destination, and return.
  • Collaborate with KINDís Policy and Advocacy, Communications, Legal Programs, and Development teams to promote KIND's Latin America work, advance regional solutions, educate policy makers and the public on the root causes of migration, and coordinate strategies and fundraising across KIND components.
  • Participate in fundraising efforts for KINDís Central America and Mexico programming, including drafting concept papers, proposals, budgets, and grant reports, and participate in meetings with prospective donors.
  • Ensure timely completion of grant deliverables.
  • Manage budget(s) for Latin America programming in collaboration with the VP for International Programs.
  • Serve as hiring manager when needed.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Graduate degree in Latin American Studies, migration or refugee studies, foreign policy, international affairs, public policy, social sciences, or other relevant field involving research and analysis. Experience is program development and program evaluation.
  • A minimum of 8 or more years of experience working in the field of programming and/or advocacy and/or research related to Central America and/or Mexico and/or migrant children from Central America and/or Mexico.  
  • Management and supervision experience.
  • Program or project development and management in the areas of international development, humanitarian assistance, and/or international legal or protection programs, across a broad range of programs and including U.S. government funded programs or projects.
  • Experience working in youth violence prevention programming, and/or gender-based violence prevention or response programming, and/or livelihoods or economic empowerment programming.
  • Experience developing and leading monitoring and evaluation for complex programs or projects.
  • Exceptionally strong written and oral communication and presentation skills and ability to write for a diverse range of purposes.
  • A strong record of cultural sensitivity and cross-cultural communication skills and the ability to build partnerships and collaborate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America.
  • Diplomacy skills.
  • Experience developing advocacy strategies and/or activities.
  • Experience working with civil society and governments in Central America and/or Mexico.
  • Flexibility and ability to shift directions or focus in response to changing realities on the ground and priorities.
  • Demonstrated ability to draft funding proposals, reports, and budgets.
  • Fluency in Spanish.
  • Ability to advance work on multiple projects at the same time.
  • Experience working in multi-disciplinary team.
  • Ability to travel to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico and occasional travel to other locations.

KIND requires all staff be COVID vaccinated with the exception of those who have medical or religious beliefs exemptions.

Application Instructions:

Please be advised that an employment application will need to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter, in order to be considered for the desired role.

KIND has an organization-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to create a work environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. Individuals from historically underrepresented or underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.





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