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Director of safety and security

Closing date30 Aug 2022
OrganisationOpen Briefing
External URL https://www.openbriefing.org/blog/hiring-director-of-safety-and-security/
Downloads Job-pack_-Director-of-safety-and-security[13] (585 KB PDF)

Vibrant, diverse, and robust civil societies are essential to achieving peace, human rights, and environmental justice. But most of the world lives in countries with threatened civic spaces and global freedom continues to decline year on year.

Courageous people and communities around the world are fighting to make rights and justice universally possible within this context. But they face attacks, harassment, and censorship from powerful vested interests. Many pay the ultimate price.

This is where you come in.

You will be leading an international team of consultants providing security mentoring and capacity building to organisations and activists under threat in violent environments and closed civic spaces. You will be liaising with international foundations and high-profile nonprofits in the human rights, environmental, and humanitarian worlds. And you will be central to the organisational culture and strategic planning needed to grow our organisation in a sustainable manner.

As our director of safety and security, your primary responsibilities will include:

Lead our safety and security workstream:

  • Continuously develop and promote our safety and security consultancy services to foundation and nonprofit clients.
  • Respond to enquiries from clients and liaise with them and our consultant team through any subsequent contracts.
  • Manage our responses to referrals for fully-funded safety and security support for at-risk activists and low-resource civil society organisations and liaise with referral partners through any subsequent support.
  • Manage an international and multilingual team of 10 consultants and trainers providing safety and security support to clients and recipients, including.
    • Quality assure and provide expert technical input into the work of your colleagues in the safety and security team.
    • Review and approve consultant invoices and timesheets, update our project management system, and conduct annual reviews with team members.
    • Maintain an effective team and recruit and onboard new consultants as required to fill gaps or meet demand.
  • Complete security risk management and duty of care audits and produce bespoke security risk management frameworks and other higher-level products for clients (approximately 20% of time).

Champion our own security risk management:

  • Provide travel security support to our team members, ensure that our travel management procedure is understood and followed, and coordinate any check-ins and loss-of-contact procedures during travel.
  • Review and revise our crisis management procedure, constitute and coordinate the crisis management team, and capacity build where required.
  • Coordinate our response to any security incident or crises involving our team members.
  • Continuously improve and socialise our security risk management framework.

Shape our organisational strategy and culture:

  • Play an active role in defining our organisational strategy and culture as part of our senior management team alongside our CEO, finance director, wellbeing and resilience lead, and digital security lead.
  • Participate in monthly senior management team meetings (strategy) and monthly programme meetings (operations).
  • Contribute safety and security expertise throughout our enterprise risk register annual cycle.

On joining, your early priorities will be getting to know our existing clients and team members, taking over the smooth management of current contracts and projects, and understanding our internal processes and workflows.

You will be supported in your role by a safety and security programme associate (four days a month) and an executive PA (20 hours a month) plus a CEO who believes in servant leadership. We also have an extensive internal knowledge base and an up-to-date project management system. To help you grow as a leader, we will co-design your annual objectives, and you will be offered a 360° review, an annual performance review, and executive coaching.

Person specification


  • You will have at least five years’ professional experience in roles focussed on humanitarian security risk management or the protection of human rights defenders.
  • You will have at least three years’ professional experience in international programme management roles or similar senior roles.
  • You will have at least two years’ professional consultancy experience or similar experience delivering projects for internal clients.
  • You will understand how security risk management interacts with enterprise risk management in the non-profit sector.
  • You will be sensitive to the progressive and rights-based agendas and diverse profiles of our clients and recipients.
  • You will have excellent technical knowledge and experience, and be confident in conducting security risk assessments and security management audits and creating security risk management policy frameworks.
  • You will be an excellent people manager with the ability to build, motivate, and mentor distributed consultant teams.
  • You will have excellent project and budget management skills.
  • You will have lived and worked in violent, austere, and remote environments or closed civic spaces.
  • You will have excellent written and spoken English.


  • You may have a strong understanding of the digital security and psychosocial aspects of holistic security and how they interact with physical security.
  • You may have experience working in a senior management team or board.
  • You may have excellent written and spoken French, Spanish, Portuguese, or Arabic.

Terms and remuneration

This is a full-time staff role for an initial 12 months, renewable long term by mutual agreement and dependent on funding and performance. This is a remote, working from home role and flexible working is encouraged. If based outside the United Kingdom, we ask that you are based in a time zone that is UTC +/- 4 hours in order to collaborate with team members and clients.

If you are based in the United Kingdom, you will be employed by Open Briefing on a salary of £65,000 per annum. We will offer you a range of benefits, including 25 days’ holiday plus bank holidays and up to two sustainable travel journey days. We will provide you with a package of psychosocial support, including private health insurance and an Employee Assistance Programme. And we will make an employer’s pension contribution of 5%.

If you are based outside the United Kingdom, you will be offered comparable compensation through either a consultancy contract or an Employer of Record, depending on your location.
Note, we always seek long-term working relationships over several years with our team members, so this position would not suit someone looking for a short-term contract.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Open Briefing values diversity. We are committed to equality of opportunity, to being fair and inclusive, and to being a place where all belong. We therefore encourage applications from all who meet the person specification and particularly from candidates who are underrepresented in our senior management team. This currently includes those who are black, indigenous, or people of colour.

We will make reasonable adjustments for disabled and neurodivergent people during the recruitment process and any subsequent employment. Please contact Open Briefing’s CEO, Chris Abbott, at chris.abbott@openbriefing.org if you would like to discuss this further.

How to apply

To apply, please email your CV to our CEO, Chris Abbott, at chris.abbott@openbriefing.org. Please also include a cover letter of no more than two pages setting out:

1. What excites you about Open Briefing and the director of safety and security role and motivates you to apply?
2. How do you meet the person specification?

If you would like to discuss the role with our current director of safety and security before applying, please email Peter Wood at peter.wood@openbriefing.org.

– Closing date: 09:00 BST (UTC+1), Tuesday 30 August 2022.
– First round interviews: 12-14 September 2022.
– Second round interviews: 16 September 2022.
– Desired start date: 1 October 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Please let us know in your cover letter if any of these dates are problematic and we will try to accomodate. The successful applicant will need to complete a reasonable vetting process before engagement.

** We reserve the right to close this vacancy prior to the advertised closing date if we receive a large number of applications. If you are interested in the role, please submit your application as early as possible!**


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