Access Now is hiring an Executive Director (remote position): Apply Now!!!

Spread the love

About Access Now

Access Now is an international human rights organization dedicated to defending and extending the digital rights of people and communities at risk around the world. By combining direct technical support, strategic advocacy, grassroots grantmaking, and convenings such as RightsCon, the organization fights for human rights in the digital age.

Since its founding in 2009, Access Now has grown into a team of more than 130 experts working to advance our mission in centers of political power, technical innovation, and civic action around the world, including across Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA), the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East/North Africa (MENA), and the United States. It has matured into one of the world’s leading NGOs in the digital rights sector.

Every day, Access Now sees the emergence of new technologies and digital tools with the potential to disrupt human rights. To mitigate the threats as they emerge, the organization has its eyes on both today’s developments and the horizon, reacting to what we see and anticipating what lies ahead. With the indispensable support of partners, donors, and allies, Access Now fights to defend inclusive and pluralist democracies; preserve spaces for civil society to flourish; and empower individuals to control their own information, privacy, and identities in data-driven societies.

About the Role

The Executive Director will take the reins of an established organization with a proven track record for achieving results and in its second year of its current five year plan (2022-2027). They will have ultimate responsibility for the delivery of the organizational mission (“to defend and extend the digital rights of people and communities at risk around the world”) and for the success of an ambitious grassroots-to-global program that aims to shift the way that human rights are experienced in the digital age. Additionally, the Executive Director will oversee the growth of the organization, ensure its financial viability through uncertain economic times, and serve as a global leader and ambassador for its diverse team of experts, activists, and technologists.

We are looking for a highly capable, intuitive leader who has a lived experience and/or extensive knowledge of the issues to which Access Now is committed to, as well as a significant track record in the field of digital rights and/or a deep understanding of the human rights framework. They must have the ability to navigate grassroots activist spaces as easily as global multilateral fora.

Given the breadth of topics that Access Now addresses, as well as our grassroots-to-global model, the ideal candidate should have a solid understanding of global political and digital trends and frameworks, as well as a strong appreciation and respect for regional and local nuance. They must moreover have a demonstrated belief in an open, secure, and rights-respecting digital sphere, be able to spot relevant technology developments, and know how to triage and prioritize.

Importantly, they should be able to inspire and lead a team that spans the globe and is on the frontlines of the fight for human rights in the digital age. They should have the ability to motivate the team, delegate effectively, celebrate diversity, manage performance, and attract and recruit top talent. They should be a strong and generous advocate of the professional careers of others and support the growth and development of the team wholeheartedly.

The successful candidate should have experience in fundraising and raising the resources needed to sustain an organization. They should know how to pitch a potential donor, liaise with existing donors, and report back to those entities that grant money to Access Now. They should be comfortable engaging with the philanthropic sector, but never at the expense of the organization’s independence, programmatic autonomy, or reputation.

As the chief executive of Access Now, the Executive Director is the primary leader interfacing with the Board of Directors and its subcommittees, including the Finance Subcommittee. The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Directors, and supervises the following direct reports: Chief Operating Officer; Executive Assistant; and the Directors of Development; Legal; Campaigns & Rapid Response; Policy & International Programs; Communications & Engagement; Helpline; and RightsCon. The Executive Director is also responsible for leading the senior management team at Access Now and for building strong and genuine working relationships with relevant regional and programmatic staff.

Applicants should have a high degree of integrity and forethought in their approach to decision making; act with transparency and accountability; be capable of adapting to and leading others through complex situations; and always take into account what is best for the organization. Above all, the Executive Director should be self-reflective and aware of their own limitations; lead by example; and drive the organization to continuously improve by being open to feedback about the organization’s practices and ways of working.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

This is an unrivaled opportunity to take the reins of an established and unique global organization at the intersection of technology and human rights around the world. As the chief executive of Access Now, the Executive Director is ultimately responsible for the organization’s mission, program, strategy, and values; its fundraising, finances, and operations; its partnerships and communications; the management of its team; and its governance.

Mission, Vision, Strategy, and Values

  • Leads on, upholds, and ensures focus on the organization’s mission, vision, strategy, and values
  • Provides strategic advice, visioning, and support for the global implementation of the organization’s work, across both program (from RightsCon to Grants, the Digital Security Helpline, and Advocacy) and operations (including Human Resources, Finances, Security Operations, and Legal)
  • Facilitates strategic and operational planning, and ensures the management of the organization’s growth and resilience

Fundraising, Finances, and Operations

  • Ensures the fundraising of necessary resources to support the organization’s budget, building and maintaining strong relationships with key institutional and other donors toward that end, in coordination with the Director of Development and Organizational Growth
  • Works closely with the Chief Operating Officer to maintain the fiscal integrity of Access Now, including through the submission of annual budgets, quarterly financial reports, and annually audited accounts to the Finance Subcommittee and the Board of Directors
  • Oversees legal compliance of the organization through oversight and consultation with Access Now’s General Counsel
  • Ensures the successful navigation of the organization through complex operating environments, including through the thoughtful management of existing and emerging risks, in coordination with the Chief Security Officer

Partnerships, Program, and Communications

  • Acts as a spokesperson and ambassador for Access Now, representing and promoting its mission and work across the digital rights sector, in the media, and in the public sphere more broadly
  • Strengthens and maintains partnerships, coalitions, and alliances with stakeholders from a variety of different sectors and communities in support of the organizational mission
  • Provides thought leadership and effective advocacy on digital rights issues affecting people and communities at risk
  • Works with relevant team members to help steer the overall framing, content, and messaging of the organization’s programmatic work

Team Management and Organizational Culture

  • Provides strategic leadership and guidance to the senior leadership team of the organization
  • Manages direct reports, assisting with the creation of individual objectives and work plans in alignment with team and organizational goals and providing advice, direction, and high-level support where useful
  • Fosters a healthy, mission-driven, and team-centric organizational culture that practices transparency and accountability and prioritizes staff safety, security, and well-being
  • Works with the Chief Operating Officer and Director of People and Culture to understand the challenges the organization and the staff face and to successfully navigate the team through internal and external issues
  • Works closely with the Security Operations team to ensure staff safety, understand and anticipate potential risk to team members, and preemptively address and/or respond to risks as they emerge

Board Governance

  • Serves as the primary liaison for the Board and any subcommittees, including the Finance Subcommittee, and works closely with the Board Chair(s) to manage the Board’s agenda and priorities
  • Develops, partners with, activates, and motivates the Board to support and advance the organization’s mission and programming
  • Supports efforts to recruit and retain new Board members as needed

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics

  • A significant track record in the field of digital rights and/or a deep understanding of the human rights framework
  • Extensive work experience in similar or related role leading an international non-profit organization with significant global operations
  • An instinct for effective high-level strategic thinking and planning coupled with experience in setting direction and helping a team to prioritize and focus on what matters
  • A deep understanding of how to lead, motivate, organize, and manage an organization that priorities decentralized decision making how to to cultivate a relationship of trust and accessibility with team members at every level of the organization
  • An approach to leadership, management, and decision making centered on transparency, integrity, equity, empathy, participation, accountability, and inclusion
  • Proven ability to build strong relationships with current, potential, and future donors and successfully fundraise on behalf of programs
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, with experience in public speaking and the ability to speak persuasively and compellingly about the organization to a broad and diverse set of stakeholders across civil society, the private sector, and the public sector
  • Exceptional analytical, reasoning, and problem-solving skills
  • Adaptable and responsive to fast-paced environments
  • Knowledge and experience with working in oppressive or closed environments, with an understanding of risk assessment, conflict resolution, and crisis management
  • Familiarity with financial nonprofit management, including budget preparation, analysis, decision making, and reporting
  • Experience and skill in working with and supporting an international Board of Directors


This is a full-time position with a strong preference for the successful candidate to ultimately be based in (or relocate to) a location where Access Now has an established presence and staff (San José, Costa Rica; New York, USA; Brussels, Belgium; or Berlin, Germany). Candidates from all regions are encouraged to apply. Relocation support is available for the right candidate. At this time most Access Now team members are working through hybrid office arrangements, combining remote at-home work with intermittent use of offices and/or co-working spaces. Regular travel will be required.


Access Now offers competitive compensation and benefits packages that align competitively with locations and regions around the world. Salary for this role varies depending on location and experience, and begins at:

  • €10,175.00 EUR gross monthly (Belgium)
  • $8,996.00 USD gross monthly (Costa Rica)
  • €10,677.00 EUR gross monthly (Germany)
  • $12,475.00 USD gross monthly (United States)

How To Apply

Please submit the following documents no later than March 31, 2024:

  • Résumé/CV (removing all personally identifying information such as age, gender, marital status, address, and photo); and
  • Thoughtful cover letter outlining your suitability for the role, with particular attention to your experience with the core functions.

Please note that our Strategic Vision will be shared with applicants during the interview process.


For more opportunities such as this please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, What’s App, TwitterLinkedIn and Telegram

Related Articles

Back to top button