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Director of Advocacy

International Social Impact | New York, NY | Full Time

Job Description

Sesame Workshop is seeking an experienced Director of Advocacy to lead Sesame Workshop’s evidence-based advocacy for early childhood development (ECD) in humanitarian settings. The Director will work closely with the Humanitarian Programs team and Strategic Communications team to lead advocacy efforts for Sesame Workshop’s humanitarian initiatives for children and caregivers in the Middle East (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria) and Bangladesh. The Director will oversee the design and execution of a comprehensive Advocacy Plan (including the identification of needs and objectives, target audiences, key messages, and tactics). The function will involve advocacy related to ongoing humanitarian crises as well as longer-term issues related to ECD in humanitarian settings.

The right candidate will have extensive experience managing high-visibility, rights-based, evidence‑backed advocacy efforts and a proven track record of successfully advocating for issues related to early childhood and humanitarian response.

The position is based in New York, NY, with occasional international travel.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Design and execute Sesame Workshop’s multi-year Advocacy Plan for ECD in humanitarian settings, working closely with Strategic Communications, Marketing, Philanthropic Development, and Special Events team members to align objectives and synchronize activities
  • Produce advocacy products to be used at national, regional, and international levels, which reflect programmatic priorities, are evidence-based, and are sensitive to the nuances of ongoing humanitarian operations
  • Strengthen strategic advocacy networks and represent Sesame Workshop in advocacy-related meetings with relevant stakeholders, including beneficiaries, government partners, NGOs, research organizations, the UN, donors, and other stakeholders
  • Provide high-quality analysis of ongoing developments and trends, using this analysis to maintain relevant and up-to-date advocacy products
  • Create and maintain an internal database to house contact lists, opportunities for engagement, and advocacy products
  • Monitor and report on progress against Advocacy Plan milestones and activities as well as advocacy outcomes to internal and external stakeholders
  • Design and lead trainings on program and rights-based advocacy for internal project teams, and keep teams informed of ongoing advocacy activities
  • Provide support to Philanthropic Development as needed, including input on fundraising strategy, proposal development, donor reporting, and other grants requirements



  • 7+ years of professional experience working in advocacy on humanitarian issues with ECD- or education-focused stakeholders, including donors, implementing agencies, and national governments
  • Experience working in humanitarian settings (experience in Syria response region or Rohingya response region a plus)
  • Strong working knowledge of relevant networks, such as INEE, ECDAN, No Lost Generation, Education Cannot Wait, etc.
  • Extensive relationships and working knowledge of the humanitarian sector
  • Significant professional experience in the creation and execution of advocacy strategies and activities
  • Demonstrated ability to be flexible, self-directed, and work well independently, under pressure and in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong research and analytical skills and ability to synthesize complex information into concise and compelling messaging
  • Exceptional written and oral communication and relationship management skills
  • Excellent organizational skills, including keen attention to detail and the ability to manage time effectively, track and follow-up on various tasks, and multi-task
  • Ability to work effectively in multi-cultural settings


  • Master’s degree in International Development, Education, or related field
  • Knowledge of one or more languages other than English

Department Information 

Sesame Workshop’s International Social Impact department, a division of Social Impact and Philanthropy, develops and implements Sesame’s powerful initiatives to serve children and families around the world, builds strong partnerships and coalitions to maximize reach and impact. Building upon the familiarity and appeal of the trusted, beloved Sesame Street characters – and their global counterparts – we create and disseminate unique educational resources and tools for families most in need. Sesame’s research-driven initiatives reach many children who would otherwise have little or no access to early childhood education, and support all aspects of children’s development – including healthy habits, cognitive development in areas such as early literacy and math, and social-emotional well-being and resilience. We reach and engage children and the important adults in their families and communities using multiple media platforms and innovative strategies – from television and radio to digital media, mobile technologies, books, E-books, magazines, classroom materials, teacher/provider training, social media, and more.