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APRRN Co-Secretaries General (2 Positions)

Terms of Compensation

We will offer the following support

  • 1.9 million Thai Baht annual compensation
  • Benefits include basic health insurance. APRRN will also cover costs associated with securing a visa in Thailand.
  • Provide financial resources (in the region of €50,000) as a runway for the incoming Co-Secretaries General to help them realize their vision for APRRN. The incoming Co-SGs will take the lead in determining the use of flexible funding, in close consultation with APRRN  leadership and membership. This may include new initiatives, mechanisms, and spaces for: 
    • Promoting the leadership and inclusion of persons with lived experience in APRRN’s decision-making, advocacy, staffing, and ways of working. 
    • Shifting mental models by helping individual stakeholders understand how they can positively contribute to the changes at APRRN and the importance of their role in the future of the network. 
    • Participatory feedback loops that inform leadership on how the change is progressing.

APRRN will also offer independent professional coaching or training for the incoming Co-SG, or other tailored support as needed.   


The co-Secretaries General will be identically compensated and both positions are fulltime.




APRRN is changing its leadership structure! We are looking for two new, co-Secretaries General to lead APRRN as it begins a new stage in its development.


APRRN has been changing in recent years to more meaningfully include the contributions and leadership of those with lived experience of forced displacement. APRRN has made good progress across its work and among its Secretariat staff and governance bodies, and is now looking for two Secretaries-General, with at least one of these positions requiring lived experience.


We are looking for two dynamic leaders committed to mutual learning and organizational transformation to guide APRRN in the years to come, together. If you would like to be involved in this exciting new chapter in APRRN’s history, implementing the change we want to see across the sector, please read on...


The Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) 

The Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) is an open and growing network consisting of more than 200 civil society organizations and individuals from 30 countries, committed to advancing the rights of refugees and other people in need of protection in the Asia Pacific region. The region is often characterized by a vibrant civil society, despite the restrictions imposed on it. Our membership is diverse including community-based organizations, refugee-led organizations and initiatives (RLOs and RLIs), international and regional NGOs, national civil society organizations, committed individuals, human rights advocacy groups, research institutions, and law firms providing pro bono legal aid. The network is supported by a Secretariat, based in Bangkok.


APRRN’s vision for the Asia Pacific region is one in which all people affected by displacement and statelessness have equal and adequate access to assistance and protection, and to timely durable solutions as needed. Our goal is to work towards a future in which refugee communities, civil society,  States, UNHCR, and other actors collaborate effectively towards the common purpose of protection. 


APRRN is one of the very few regional civil society networks worldwide that brings together local,  national and global civil society organizations, including refugee-led organizations, for joint advocacy and cooperation in the field of refugee rights. The inclusion of all types of organizations creates opportunities for information exchange and collaboration that would not otherwise exist. APRRN  works to create a community of rights activists mutually supporting each other’s work to increase  impact, effectiveness, and inclusion of refugees and other people in need of protection.  


A Time of Transition and Transformation 

The conditions of the humanitarian system and refugee protection remain heavily defined and controlled by leaders and policymakers without lived experience of forced displacement. Refugee leaders often feel unwelcome in spaces that should, in contrast, place them at the center. Many of  APRRN’s members — especially RLOs and RLIs — have been actively engaged in “changing the narrative” and claiming space for some time; but shifting a narrative with a long history of legitimacy requires a movement. As APRRN’s influence in the region and globally grows, so too does our potential to influence the ways that NGOs, institutions, and other key humanitarian actors operate. We have a  critical role to play in ensuring there is a shift in how power and resources flow through the refugee protection space in the Asia Pacific. To be meaningful and effective, that change must start from within. 


APRRN’s leadership must reflect the diversity of the populations that we exist to represent, support,  and advocate for and with. As a growing network, we also require new expertise and competencies.  For two years, APRRN has been transforming the way it works. In 2021, APRRN members elected a  new Steering Committee; almost half of the new committee have lived experience of forced displacement and APRRN’s Chair and Deputy Chair, Hafsar Tameesuddin and Sitarah Mohammadi, are former refugees from the Asia Pacific region. Throughout 2022, APRRN engaged a greater number of staff and consultants with lived experience, and we changed the way we work, internally and with member-RLIs, to promote greater meaningful participation of those with lived experience of forced displacement.  


In 2023, APRRN will transition to a co-leadership model through the appointment of two Co-Secretaries General (Co-SG) to replace the current Secretary General. At least one of the two co-SG positions requires lived experience of forced displacement. Both positions require an openness to mutual learning and development and a desire to lead APRRN as it continues its transformation process. In 2023, APRRN will also develop its new four-year organizational strategy - looking critically at how we will redistribute power and resources in our structures, policies, and governance to centre and promote refugee leadership and other lived intersectional identities. Both co-Secretaries General will play a key role in the new plan’s development.  


As a network, bridge-builder, and a trusted convenor, APRRN is uniquely placed to catalyze the transformation of relationships between people and organizations who make up the system, creating new possibilities for allyship and solidarity in movements for change. While actions to change policies,  practices, and resource flows in migration systems can have powerful effects, in order to meaningfully contribute to transformative change, we - as civil society leaders, organizations, and movements - must also be brave enough to understand how our own ways of thinking and acting must change as well.  



About the Role

APRRN is seeking two energetic and visionary co-Secretaries General to coordinate and provide strategic support to our dynamic, member-led network. The Secretaries-General we seek are passionate about advancing the rights of refugees and other people in need of protection, who will use their skills and knowledge to help us achieve our network's goals and support the collaborative efforts of our diverse membership.


The successful candidates will be values-based leaders who are passionate about system transformation and disruptive change to promote refugee inclusion in the refugee protection and humanitarian systems. 


The Co-SGs will work together, as equal partners in co-leading APRRN’s strategy and operations. The distribution of responsibilities will be co-defined by the Co-SGs, in consultation with the Steering  Committee, Board, and Secretariat, after the new appointments are made.  


The partnership between the Co-SGs is envisaged with the following spirit: 

  • Executives in co-leadership roles often feel comfortable challenging each other in ways that other staff members might be reluctant to do. This will enable APRRN to model the forms of collaboration it wants to see within the network, while demonstrating an alternative type of power structure that prioritizes lived experience. 
  • Co-leaders with different perspectives learn from each other’s competencies, backgrounds,  and perspectives. Furthermore, co-leaders with different opinions can also be a powerful force in modelling discussion in the wider organization, which can lead to better decision-making. 

Mutual learning is considered crucial to this role. Because we understand that refugees and former refugees have often been denied formal education and work roles, APRRN will provide a tailored package of support and training and does not require that a co-Secretary General with lived experience is formally qualified.  


Duties and Responsibilities (all are shared by the co-Secretaries General):


  • Seek direction from the APRRN Board and Steering Committee and provide updates on progress on terms agreed with APRRN’s Chair. Ensure full and strict compliance with regulations and good practice for managing a not-for-profit organization. 
  • Participate with the Board and Steering Committee in continuing to develop a vision and strategic plan, informed by the APRRN membership, to guide the network.


Operational management and strategic planning 

  • Lead and manage the implementation of APRRN’s strategic plan and associated monitoring and evaluation.
  • Ensure the effective development and implementation of APRRN membership support services, special projects, and network events.
  • Lead in the facilitation of the development of common advocacy positions and collaborative activities on key issues in the region for joint advocacy.
  • Guide and support the implementation of other activities laid out in the strategic plan as well as in APRRN’s working groups.
  • Coordinate strategic interventions in regional and international refugee policy-setting arenas.
  • Provide overall financial oversight and budget management including reporting to donors and to APRRN’s Board and Steering Committee.


Relationship management

  • Represent APRRN at international and regional meetings, consultations, and other key regional forums as required.
  • Work with the APRRN Board and Steering Committee on approaches to maintain and further develop APRRN’s relationships with its members and government, community, UN agencies,  research, and industry stakeholders and supporters.
  • Identify grant, sponsorship, and fundraising opportunities and develop associated proposals and applications; maintain excellent working relationships with donors and ensure appropriate, accurate, and timely reporting/communication.
  • Ensure that APRRN and its mission, messaging, services, projects, and events are consistently presented.
  • Lead and support APRRN’s Secretariat to develop and implement effective communications,  PR, media, promotional collateral and resources, and digital and social media.


Leadership and management

  • Ensure APRRN makes tangible progress towards advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in its systems and processes. 
  • Provide effective supervision of APRRN employees and consultants and support for their learning and professional development.
  • Develop and implement systems and processes to support productive teamwork.
  • Oversee the liaison between team members to identify and manage team members’ workload issues.
  • Oversee the recruitment of team members and consultants in accordance with APRRN policy.

Key Selection Criteria

  The Secretaries-General of APRRN will have:

  • Substantial experience (voluntary or paid) in working in the field of refugee rights.  
  • Experience of supervising and managing staff and projects working with and for refugees in the Asia Pacific region. 
  • Excellent interpersonal and people management skills, including demonstrated experience in engaging with people in cross-cultural contexts with openness and compassion.
  • Demonstrated experience of working in a highly collaborative manner with other leaders or staff.  
  • Highly developed advaocacy, negotiation, and written and oral communication skills. 
  • Strong networking and relationship-building skills with demonstrated capacity to communicate, negotiate, and work with a diverse range of people and community groups and agencies. 
  • Excellent financial management skills or a willingness to learn.  
  • Capacity to identify funding opportunities and to build and manage relationships with funding bodies. 
  • Experience working within and leading an organization that functions remotely, with staff and members in a variety of time zones. 



  • Skills and experience in the leadership of a team of staff or organization. 
  • Minimum of five years of work experience (paid or voluntary) in promoting and protecting the human rights of forced migrants (refugees, internally displaced persons, or stateless persons)  and/or providing humanitarian assistance to these populations, preferably at the national level or in regional/international contexts. 
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills and a leadership style that is collaborative, facilitative, and team-oriented.
  • Experience in promoting values-based leadership rooted in community building and anti-oppression.  
  • Familiarity with the refugee protection context in the Asia Pacific from a refugee perspective,  including experience in leading or collaborating with refugee-led initiatives and organizations.
  • Experience in consulting with multiple partners in different contexts to design and implement coordinated responses and initiatives. 
  • Experience or knowledge of issues facing the not-for-profit sector.  
  • Well-developed computer skills and knowledge of online working tools. 
  • Comprehensive understanding of the overall socio-political situation and the human rights situation in the Asia Pacific region. 
  • A demonstrated commitment to the values of APRRN.



  • Relevant tertiary education from a university, college, technical training institute, or vocational school would be well regarded. 
  • Experience working with APRRN members and familiarity with the APRRN structure. 
  • Strong understanding of organizational change and capacity-building processes. 
  • Lived experience of other intersecting identities relating to disability, ethnicity, gender, race,  and sexual orientation.   

Application Details

At least one co-Secretary General position shall be reserved for a candidate with lived experience of forced displacement. Please indicate in your cover letter if you have lived experience of forced displacement.


Please send your application in Word or PDF format in one file to jobs@aprrn.org with subject line  “Application: APRRN Co-Secretary General”.


The application must include: 

  • A resume of no more than three pages. 
  • A cover letter addressing the job description, selection criteria, how you envisage the two positions working together, and the approach you would bring to the position (maximum three pages).
  • Contact details for three referees. 
  • A writing sample, unedited by others.

Please make sure these are saved in one document and the title of the document is  Application_Co-Secretary General_[Your full name].   


Application Deadline 23:59 ICT on 22 January 2023

The successful applicants will be expected to begin their roles no later than April 2023.




APRRN is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We commit to a focus on equitable hiring, training, promotional practices, and policies. We renounce discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or any other protected characteristic.