Position

Accountability Counsel is seeking a senior-level team member to join us as a Policy Consultant to focus on accountability for Asian financial flows, including a focus on Chinese overseas finance. This is an unusual opportunity to be part of a growing, fast-paced, leading organization that works to amplify the voices of communities to protect their human rights and environment. The position reports to Accountability Counsel’s Policy Director. The position will be based in Asia. We are seeking a full-time Consultant for an initial 12-month period, with the possibility of renewal.

About Accountability Counsel

We seek a world where communities harmed by abuses can secure remedy to realize rights. We are creating an ecosystem where effective and robust accountability systems deter abuses.

Accountability Counsel’s mission is to amplify the voices of communities to protect their human rights and environment. Our team of world-class attorneys work directly with communities challenging abuses financed from abroad. We do not litigate in courts, but instead specialize in the non-judicial accountability offices that have been created to address community-led grievances. Our team of policy advocates works to ensure that those accountability offices are transparent, independent, fair, accessible, and effective. We conduct research to track grievances and expose patterns in data that can be used to prevent harm. We also convene a global network of advocates to foster a movement for accountability in international finance. We have been recognized as a high impact social enterprise by Echoing Green and the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation.

In the 11 years since our founding, our team has partnered with communities in over 50 countries to defend their rights, demand justice, and achieve historic victories. We have helped Chinanteco communities in Oaxaca, Mexico stop a hydroelectric project from destroying their critical natural and cultural resources, Haitian farmers reach historic agreements for restoration of land and livelihoods, and nomadic herders in the Mongolian South Gobi desert negotiate a series of agreements that help address harm from a mine that threatens their traditional livelihoods. We have improved accountability policy at every multilateral development bank, at four U.S. agencies, and within international institutions. Our advocacy has led to the creation of several new accountability offices. Our research is, for the first time, exposing patterns in the global system of accountability that show advocates, policy-makers, financial institutions, and the accountability offices themselves best practice and where improvement is needed most. 

Our approach employs respect-based methods to ensure that marginalized people, particularly women and girls, are included as full participants in community strategies seeking accountability.

Specific Responsibilities

This role in our Policy Advocacy program is focused on narrowing accountability gaps in Asia generally, with particular focus on Chinese overseas finance. 

A. Policy Advocacy related to Chinese overseas investments and financial flows in Asia (90%)

The Asia Policy Consultant is responsible for working closely with Accountability Counsel’s Policy Director on the design and implementation of Accountability Counsel’s strategies to increase accountability and access to redress for environmental and human rights abuses in Asia. This means advocating for and advising on the creation of an accountability system dedicated to Chinese overseas investment.  This also includes strengthening the transparency, independence, fairness, accessibility, and effectiveness at existing accountability offices, including those at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). For a listing of the primary institutions on which we focus, please visit the Policy Advocacy page of our website.

Main responsibilities include:

  • advancing arguments for diverse audiences on why Chinese financial institutions should adopt robust social and environmental due diligence measures, accountability frameworks, and commitments to remedy abuses;
  • collaborating with a coalition of Asia-based organizations committed to advancing good governance for environmental and social safeguards through improved accountability;
  • conducting policy reviews of Asia-based institutions through formal and informal opportunities for review of accountability policies. Advocacy to ensure policy changes reflect best practice and lessons from specific cases. Such policy reviews require strategic coalition building, research, and relationship management;
  • supporting case-specific advocacy in Asia related to Accountability Counsel’s Communities program;
  • attending and participating in meetings and conferences, both domestic and international, to further the Policy Advocacy and Communities program goals; and
  • participating in key partnerships as they relate to implementation of the Policy Advocacy program strategies.

B. Other (10%)

As requested by the Policy Director or Communities Director, additional duties include providing logistical, communications, and administrative support to the program; supervision of policy fellows and interns; and supporting Accountability Counsel’s knowledge- and capacity-building efforts.

Qualifications

The Asia Policy Consultant must have the following qualifications:

  • professional or advanced degree in law, international relations/economics, business, finance, public policy, or other relevant field;
  • 5-8 years of professional work experience related to corporate accountability, international financial institutions, and/or business and human rights in Asia and preferably China;
  • familiarity with relevant domestic and international legal frameworks, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights;
  • fluent spoken and written English and Mandarin 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 in a city where other colleagues are not based;
  • demonstrated ability to work within tight deadlines across time zones, set priorities, and produce under pressure; 
  • willingness to travel both domestically and regionally, as safety and health guidelines permit; 
  • passion for learning about and implementing Accountability Counsel’s mission; and
  • a commitment to working with a growing and highly committed team of professionals toward shared goals, and with a respect-based approach.

The following qualifications are highly valued:

  • knowledge of the workings of Chinese financial institutions, particularly related to environmental and social standards and/or overseas development projects;
  • knowledge of the workings of international financial institutions, particularly their accountability offices;
  • experience in international development, regulatory/corporate compliance, sustainable investing and/or sustainable business practices, or project finance;
  • experience living and/or working in emerging market and developing countries; and
  • fluency in languages in addition to English and Mandarin.

Compensation

Accountability Counsel offers competitive compensation and support to our team and consultants, consistent with organizational values. 

Application Process

To apply, please complete the application form below. Your application should include:

  • a cover letter stating your qualifications, including legal ability to work in a country in Asia and your consulting fee expectation;
  • a resume; and
  • a short advocacy-oriented writing sample (no more than 5 pages).

The position is to be filled as soon as possible. Due to the expected high volume of responses, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted regarding next 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, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, and all qualified persons to apply for this position.

Application Form