Accountability Counsel is seeking an experienced professional to join us as a full-time Policy Associate to be based in Washington, D.C. We envision this as a one-year position with the possibility for extension. 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 a system where effective and robust accountability systems deter abuses. The position reports to Accountability Counsel’s Policy Director.

About Accountability Counsel

Accountability Counsel amplifies the voices of communities around the world to protect their human rights and environment. As advocates for people harmed by internationally-financed projects, we employ community driven and policy level strategies to access justice.

We specialize in non-judicial accountability offices established to receive community complaints about human rights and environmental abuses. We accomplish our mission through our work in three program areas: (1) Policy Advocacy, ensuring that accountability offices are accessible, transparent, and fair tools for justice; (2) Communities, providing grassroots legal support and assisting communities to use accountability offices effectively; and (3) our Research program, providing concrete research and tools for the movement for accountability more broadly. We work closely with civil society partners and community members to help voice their complaints. Our work pays particular attention to women, girls, and other marginalized groups, who are often the most deeply harmed by abuses.

Founded in 2009, Accountability Counsel is an award-winning non-profit organization with headquarters in San Francisco, a Washington D.C. office, and a presence in South Asia and Africa.


A. Policy Advocacy (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 independence, fairness, transparency, professionalism, accessibility, and effectiveness at existing accountability offices. The Policy Associate will also join our work on the creation of new accountability offices (see our Policy Advocacy page for a listing of the primary institutions on which we focus).

Main responsibilities include:

  • advancing business case arguments for 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 coalition building, research, and relationship management;
  • supporting case-specific advocacy related to Accountability Counsel’s Communities Program;
  • attending and providing leadership at 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.

B. Other (20%)

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


The Policy Associate must have the following qualifications:

  • professional or advanced degree in business, finance, law, international relations/economics, public policy, or other relevant field;
  • at least 3 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, 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 small but highly committed team of professionals toward shared goals.

The following qualifications are highly valued:

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

Compensation and Benefits

Accountability Counsel offers competitive compensation and benefits packages commensurate with experience. Benefits include full health, vision, and dental coverage, and other benefits.

Estimated Start Date: As soon as possible

Application Process

To apply, please fill out the form below and upload a cover letter (stating your qualifications as they relate to the stated responsibilities and including whether you are legally eligible to work in the U.S.) and your resume.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Position to be filled as soon as possible, so please apply right away. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted regarding further 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, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, and all qualified persons to apply for this position.