Consultant, Engaging Lawmakers On Civilian Protection

InterAction Published: March 13, 2017
Washington, D.C.
Job Type
Experience (minimum)
5-10 Years
Education (minimum)
Travel Required?
Not specified


Consultant | Engaging Lawmakers on Civilian Protection

About InterAction:

InterAction is the largest alliance of international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the U.S., with nearly 190 members working in every developing country.  Members are large and small, faith-based and secular, with a focus on the world’s most poor and vulnerable populations. The U.S. public, foundations and governments support the work of our members who collectively invest and manage over $18 billion a year. InterAction’s own funds come from dues and generous grants from others, such as foundations, corporations and governments. Using its collective voice, InterAction seeks to shape important policy decisions as wide range of foreign assistance, relief, development, environmental and other issues that advance human dignity.


About the Position

Position: Consultant, Engaging Lawmakers on Civilian Protection Position Type: Short-term, 5 months (start date March 20) Location: Washington, DC Travel: Domestic (within Washington, DC) Reporting to: Director of Protection (Humanitarian Policy & Practice Team)


Primary Relationships

Reporting to the Director of Protection, the consultant will work alongside the Senior Director for Public Policy, Legislative Affairs Coordinator, and Policy Coordinator for Humanitarian Policy and Practice, as well as with humanitarian NGOs concerned with respect for IHL and who seek to encourage measures to mitigate harm to civilians, to develop educational materials on civilian protection for engagement with the U.S. Congress. Externally, this position liaises with InterAction members, U.S. government representatives (specifically Congressional staff), and other humanitarian and human rights actors.


Purpose of project

There is a need to educate and provide technical expertise to Congressional staff on civilian protection and harm mitigation issues, especially as the U.S. transfers arms and provides technical support to other states and groups participating in conflicts throughout the world. Congressional oversight on U.S. security cooperation and military authorization provides a unique opportunity to improve U.S. policy and practice on civilian harm mitigation and IHL compliance; for example, Congress could require training packages on civilian protection in specific arms sales or mandate reporting on civilian harm by the Department of Defense. This position is intended to serve as a temporary surge, building on the existing capacities of InterAction staff and members to address civilian protection issues through legislative engagement.


Desired outcome and key activities

Lawmakers gain a broader understanding of measures that can be taken to mitigate civilian harm in the context of U.S. military operations and U.S. security cooperation through U.S. policy and practice and this understanding is reflected in legislation and subsequent U.S. policy and practice. To achieve this outcome, the consultant will work with InterAction members and other NGOs to:

  1. Draft a comprehensive package of materials that can inform legislators or staff on a range of U.S. actions to mitigate civilian harm to, in the short term, recommend be included in the NDAA and, in the long term, be prepared for relevant legislative opportunities as needed. Such materials may include background papers, fact sheets, letters, and suggested legislative language.
  2. Coordinate and facilitate educational briefings and meetings with Congressional staff to discuss civilian protection concerns, possible measures to address them, and opportunities to mitigate harm to civilians through legislative action.
  3. Conduct a mapping exercise of relevant stakeholders and events, to include the expertise and concerns of Congressional offices, forecasting of future legislation, and identifying upcoming opportunities for briefings and educational meetings.
  4. Conduct and draft an “after action” review to document successes, challenges, and lessons learned from this process.


Key Responsibilities

The candidate will:

  • Provide high-level expertise and experience on defense policy to assist a coalition of INGOs seeking to enshrine civilian harm mitigation measures into law;
  • Help a coalition of INGOs draft and submit authorizing and appropriations language on mitigation of civilian harm to the Armed Services and Appropriations committees;
  • Identify, target, and organize community meetings with potential congressional champions on the Armed Services and Appropriations committees on both sides of the aisle. This task will include:
    • developing talking points and leave-behind materials for such meetings;
    • providing our coalition a perspective informed by experience working with DOD and the Armed Services committees, including identifying and addressing potential concerns, as well as communicating community priorities in a way that resonates with defense policy experts;
  • Provide research and analysis of other avenues to advance civilian harm mitigation and broader respect for international humanitarian law both on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon.



  • 5-10 years professional experience in legislative affairs.
  • Experience working on defense policy and/or civilian protection, for example with the Department of Defense, House or Senate Armed Forces or Foreign Affairs Committees, or the State Department;
  • Strong understanding of U.S. Congressional activities and calendar, including appropriations, draft legislation, and security agreements;
  • Understanding of international humanitarian law, civilian protection, and civilian harm mitigation;
  • Excellent briefing and representational skills, capable of both presenting on behalf of the collective, and preparing members and InterAction staff to do so.
  • Strong written, organizational and verbal communications skills, including presentation experience;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience managing and representing the interests of diverse constituencies;
  • Demonstrable commitment to a collaborative approach;
  • Master’s degree in a relevant field or equivalent work experience;

Physical Requirements

There are no extraordinary physical requirements for the performance of the essential functions of this position. InterAction will make reasonable accommodation to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.


Salary & Benefits
This is a temporary, 5-month consulting position with consultancy fees offered at a competitive rate for experienced individuals.


To Apply

Please email the following to with subject line containing “Consultant, Engaging lawmakers on civilian protection,” by March 22, 2017.

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Description of approach for this project (no more than 800 words)
  • If you have an existing writing sample, please send as well


The description document should briefly explain the approach that would be taken to achieve the desired outcome and facilitate the key activities described above. Applications received before March 22 preferred, but will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. A written test may be requested.


Due to the expected volume of applications, only finalists will be notified.


All applicants must be able to provide documentation that they are legally eligible to work in the United States for an extended period of time.


No phone calls please.

Only registered members can apply for jobs.

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