Senior Advocacy Officer, Refugees & Safe Water

Strategy & Programs Los Angeles, California Washington D.C., District Of Columbia


International hotelier Conrad N. Hilton established the grantmaking foundation that bears his name in 1944 to help people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage worldwide. Today, the work continues, concentrating on efforts to ensure healthy early childhood development and sustainable livelihoods for youth, support young people transitioning out of foster care, improve access to housing and support services for people experiencing homelessness, identify solutions to safe water access, and lift the work of Catholic sisters. Additionally, following selection by an independent, international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to an organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. The Foundation is one of the world’s largest, with approximately $8.5 billion in assets. It has awarded grants to date totaling more than $2.4 billion, $339 million worldwide in 2021. Please visit for more information.

*Please submit a cover letter for consideration*

Job Summary

The Senior Advocacy Officer (SAO) will report to the Director of Legacy Initiatives, and work in partnership with Senior Program Officers for the Refugees and Safe Water Initiatives to establish and oversee advocacy strategies that contribute to the Foundation's goals in these two areas. The Refugees and Safe Water Initiatives both focus on support to Uganda and Ethiopia. The Refugees Initiative is also focused on Colombia and Ecuador; while the Safe Water Initiative has an additional focus on Ghana.

The SAO role will help to develop and execute clear and measurable advocacy strategies that support the foundation’s programmatic goals and by creating enabling environments, advancing policy and funding goals for greater impact. The SAO reports to the Director of Legacy Initiatives and is based in Washington, DC, or Los Angeles, CA.  


Strategic Planning, Implementation and Management

  • The Senior Advocacy Officer will co-create, manage and implement advocacy and communications plans to support the foundation’s programmatic goals for Refugees and Safe Water
  • With program colleagues, manage a complex portfolio of advocacy and communication grants. Provide clear, concise and insightful analyses and recommendations for funding to the Senior Program Officers
  • Oversee outside firms and consultants related to advocacy and communications, to monitor the public conversation and public reports, including media, and provide expert council, thought partnership, and recommendations about how the Foundation should invest advocacy resources, convene, use its voice, and how to keep the board and program committee both informed and engaged
  • Work with Senior Program Officers and Learning and Evaluation team to create success metrics around related efforts and methods to capture relevant data with grantees and contracted partners
  • Lead the coordination of a donor and government relations function for the Refugees and Safe Water Initiatives. Use your network to build and maintain strong relationships with influential stakeholders; ensure a “one foundation” approach to our engagement with key external partners
  • Work with other initiatives at the Foundation to align advocacy efforts, where appropriate

External and Internal Representation

  • Maintain a strategic calendar of external events, networks, and relationships; develop and execute strategies for the Foundation's participation and leadership in such events and groups
  • Identify media opportunities and work with the Foundation's Communications department to leverage those to the benefit of the Refugees and Safe Water goals
  • Develop and support team members to develop talking points, political analyses and preparatory materials for key events and media opportunities
  • Represent the foundation to key external constituencies, as appropriate, on committees related to area of expertise and responsibilities of the position
  • Represent the Safe Water and Refugees Initiatives within the Foundation; support teams to develop clear messaging related to each initiative; develop and share powerful stories representing the Initiatives' work for internal learning



  • Bachelor's degree in public health, public policy, social sciences, social welfare or a related field
  • A minimum of ten (10) years of relevant experience in country- or municipal-level advocacy.
  • Experience in the refugee and/or safe water fields with international organizations, including substantial experience working in any of the following countries: Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda
  • Extensive network with major refugee actors and the humanitarian and development architecture, including governments, NGOs, UN agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors, and other stakeholders
  • Knowledgeable of humanitarian and refugee response policy at global, federal, state, and local levels
  • Recognized internally and externally as an expert within either the refugee and or water sectors
  • Achieved demonstrable results influencing international public policy
  • Proven ability to lead and influence others in a constructive manner and to build and foster collaborative relationships
  • Experience as technical resource to teams and leadership on advocacy, communications, and influence
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and ability to synthesize information for diverse audiences and build consensus
  • Strong quantitative analytic skills


  • Graduate degree in public policy, social welfare, or a related field preferred
  • Experience in philanthropy or as a donor funding advocacy work.
  • Experience and comfort with public speaking, writing speeches, supporting, and organizing advocacy events

About our Benefits

  • We value the health and well-being of our employees, some of the benefits we offer include:
  • Comprehensive and generous health and life insurance options
  • Relocation Pay
  • Fitness benefits
  • Paid holidays, time off, and parental leave
  • Flexible work schedules and technology benefits
  • Foundation funded retirement savings plan
  • Professional learning and development and educational assistance
  • Employee matching gifts to qualified non-profit organizations

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is an equal opportunity employer with values grounded in promoting equality and inclusion and embracing diversity. We welcome qualified applicants of all races, colors, gender identities, sexual orientations, economic classes, ages, religions, national origins, and ability/disability statuses. Veterans and individuals with lived expertise are encouraged to apply. We respect and seek to empower every member of our Foundation community. We support and celebrate our collective array of cultures, backgrounds, perspectives, skills and experiences; fully realizing that such diversity is what makes our organization flourish and better enables us to fulfill our mission in the world.