Senior Advocacy Adviser (Afghanistan)

London, UK, Washington D.C., US or Islamabad, Pakistan | Full time; 2-year fixed term contract

Salary range:

UK – £61,700 to £65,400

US – $86,800 to $92,100

Pakistan – Rs9,359,768 to Rs10,816,500

I. Position Summary

Reporting to the Global Advocacy and Government Relations Director, the Senior Advocacy Adviser (Afghanistan) is responsible for the development and implementation of Malala Fund’s advocacy priorities in relation to Afghan girls’ education. They will have a particular focus on advocacy towards governments in the MENA region, driving continued support for Afghanistan’s women and girls’ and ensuring they use their leverage with the de facto regime to overturn repressive policies. The Senior Advocacy Adviser (Afghanistan) will work closely with colleagues in Global Advocacy and Country Programmes and Advocacy departments, as well as Malala Fund’s network of Afghan Education Champions, in order to influence coordinated action for Afghan girls’ education across the wider international community and in Afghanistan itself.

The desired candidate will have strong knowledge of the context, culture and politics of Afghanistan, strong experience working on policy advocacy in the MENA region and an understanding of diplomacy in the region. They will be a strong project manager, able to effectively coordinate cross-organisational working.

II. Responsibilities

Leadership and Coordination

  • Under the strategic direction of the Director, Global Advocacy and Government Relations, shape and implement Afghanistan advocacy strategies, objectives and workstreams.
  • Regularly update Malala Fund’s positioning on key policy and advocacy issues related to Afghanistan and ensure the organisation reacts to external policy developments in a timely and strategic manner.
  • Working with Global Advocacy and Communications colleagues, help identify and develop strategic campaign actions in support of Afghanistan advocacy objectives.
  • Working with the Chief Global Advocacy Officer and the Executive Office, identify and advise the co-founders on their own advocacy strategies and activities in relation to Afghanistan.
  • Identify opportunities to engage external partners – including Afghan girls, activists, scholars, experts and Malala Fund’s Education Champions – to inform the direction of Malala Fund’s Afghanistan advocacy and participate in advocacy activities.
  • Provide coordination across teams and roles to ensure effective, joined-up action towards shared advocacy objectives and a shared understanding of roles and responsibilities.
Advocacy and Government Engagement
  • Identify and build Malala Fund's relationships with key governments, with a particular focus on the MENA region, to advance Afghanistan advocacy objectives.
  • Develop and disseminate policy briefings, blogs and articles, in collaboration with Education Champions and staff.
  • Represent Malala Fund’s policy positions and research findings in media, at policy events and in advocacy meetings.
  • Leverage education events in the Middle East to advance Malala Fund’s advocacy objectives on Afghanistan.
  • Identify and leverage opportunitiess in intergovernmental summits and processes in the MENA region to raise Afghan women's and girls' rights.
  • Track commitments made at MENA regional meetings on Afghanistan and use Malala Fund's channels to publicly and privately hold governments to account.
  • Identify and support opportunities for Afghan activists to participate in regional influencing "moments" and processes.
External Representation and Network-Building
  • Develop and maintain a strong network of contacts in relation to Afghanistan, ensuring Malala Fund is operating with the latest political and sectoral intelligence and high-level relationships are being effectively managed and leveraged in line with initiative objectives.
  • Scope and develop strategic regional alliances and partnerships in the MENA region to center girls’ and women rights and amplify regional voices and actors in support of girls' education in Afghanistan.
  • Lead delegations to key conferences and meetings related to Afghanistan, identifying opportunities for Malala Fund’s Afghan Education Champions and Afghan girl activists to undertake high-level advocacy and have their voices heard by decision-makers.
  • Represent Malala Fund in relevant platforms, forums and working groups to develop a shared understanding of the situation of girls and women in Afghanistan.
  • Strengthen a South-South exchange on girls' education and women's rights in the Islamic world through networking-building and the development of strategic partnerships.
Organisational Culture
  • Upholds the values of Malala Fund.
  • Actively contributes to making Malala Fund a diverse and equitable workplace through inclusive practice and openness to different perspectives, cultures and ideas.
  • Maintains behaviour and conduct that uphold the highest standards for safeguarding, professionally and personally.
  • Acts as a role model for a ‘learning organisation’ culture by seeking insight and using problems as opportunities to learn.

III. Knowledge, Experience and Behaviours


  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree in a related field.
  • Significant experience in girls’ education and/or women’s rights and work in advocacy or programmes in Afghanistan.
  • Strong knowledge of the context, culture and politics of Afghanistan, geopolitics related to the country and an understanding of regional diplomacy.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience developing and implementing influencing strategies using a wide range of tactics and approaches, especially in highly-pressurised situations and contexts.
  • Ability to relate with individuals from a variety of cultural backgrounds across different time zones; high degree of diplomacy.
  • Solid judgement and problem-solving skills; proven attention to detail, accuracy, and quality.
  • Strong commitment to Malala Fund’s mission, purpose and values.
  • Strong commitment to gender equality, anti-racism, anti-discrimination, decolonisation and social justice.
  • Strong commitment to professional development and continued learning.
  • Excellent team player with ability to work independently and in collaboration with colleagues at all levels across departments and external stakeholders.
  • Project management experience, especially with delivery focus, as well as managing the work of others to achieve the same.
  • Fluency in written and spoken Dari, Pashto and English.
  • Experience with child protection best practices or safeguarding is strongly preferred.
  • Ability to travel periodically.

Malala Fund is committed to racial equity and social justice. We actively seek applicants from diverse backgrounds, experiences and identities, to provide a wide range of perspectives, ideas, views and insights into the strategy, policies, culture and ambitions of Malala Fund. We would particularly welcome applications from candidates who have lived in countries in which Malala Fund is operating.

IV. About Malala Fund

Registered as a public charity in the U.K. and U.S., Malala Fund is working toward a world where all girls can learn and lead. With more than 130 million girls out of school today, we're breaking down barriers that hold girls back.

Malala Fund advocates for resources and policy changes needed to give all girls a secondary education. The girls we serve have high goals for themselves and we have high expectations for leaders who can help them. We invest in local education leaders and front-line organisations — the people who best understand girls in their communities — in regions where most girls are missing out on secondary school. We give girls the tools they need to advocate for education and equality in their communities and a platform for the world to hear their voices. We believe girls should speak for themselves and tell leaders what they need to learn and achieve their potential.

V. How to Apply

Please submit your CV/resume and cover letter through the application link by 30 March 2023.

Applicant must have right to work in the location they are applying and will be expected to work from that location.

Please be aware we are reviewing applications on a rolling basis and reserve the right to close the vacancy should a suitable candidate be identified before the closing date.

Please note that due to the very high number of applications we receive when positions are posted, we are only able to respond directly to candidates with whom we wish to move forward in the interview process.

Malala Fund is an inclusive organisation and welcomes applications from under-represented and intersectional groups including BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and persons with disabilities. We are seeking people from different backgrounds, cultures, age, experience and identities, to provide a wide range of experience, ideas, views and insights into the strategy, policies, culture and ambitions of Malala Fund.

Malala Fund is committed to ensuring the safety of those involved in our work. Our first priority is protecting everyone who comes in direct or indirect contact with our organisation. Malala Fund has a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and exploitation by any of our staff, representatives or partners. We commit to ensuring that those who work with Malala Fund or on our behalf are able to work in an environment that is free from harm. To this end, Malala Fund reserves the right to conduct background checks on prospective and current employees.