Lois Weber's Shoes (1916) The hand of poverty. Courtesy: Milestone Films (link: https://www.milestonefilms.com)

Program Associate – Archives


Program Associate – Archives (full-time)


Brooklyn, NY USA

Application Date

January 01, 1970

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We are a global human rights organization, a collective of passionate human rights activists with (mostly remote) team members all over the world. WITNESS’ mission is to help people use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. We are a 35-person multi-disciplinary team with staff based across 5 continents. While we’re legally a non-profit that is registered as a 501(c)3 in the U.S, we are a global collective: our  staff members (as well as consultants, interns, fellows and a vast community of partners and collaborators) are based around the world and reflect a group of activists with diverse skills and backgrounds.


WITNESS pairs grassroots community support with advocacy at a systems level.   Our team works holistically on a global scale to understand how communities are using and want to use video and technology for human rights.  With a cellphone camera, anyone can become a human rights defender and expose injustice, making it harder for perpetrators to hide or for systems of oppression to remain invisible.  But using video for community organizing, justice and accountability can be dangerous – videos can put defenders (or those they film) at risk, can be used against communities in court or deceitfully discredited by tired old power narratives.  Filming is almost never enough – for videos to make a difference they need to work alongside strong advocacy or legal strategies; they also need to be created, preserved and shared in ways that avoid creating more harm or trauma.
New threats to human rights are emerging at the intersection of artificial intelligence, misinformation and disinformation and a global wave of rising authoritarianism.

When it comes to systemic challenges we are on the watch for both existing problems – like how large amounts of critical human rights footage are lost because of the arbitrary decisions of platforms – but also emerging threats and opportunities, such as those posed by ‘deepfakes’, new ways to manipulate media to make it look like someone said or did something they never did.


The WITNESS Archives Program is uniquely positioned at the intersection of archives, human rights, and video and technology to support grassroots activists to collect, manage, and preserve valuable documentation of human rights advocacy and evidence of abuses. As a cross-regional program within WITNESS, the Archives Program collaborates with and supports multiple teams and partners globally to address archiving-related questions and challenges within our projects. We continually learn from our work and stay active in the archives field so that we can continually provide practical expert advice, create and share accessible tools and guidance, and respond effectively to emerging technology threats and opportunities.


The Archives Program Associate will support the growth and sustainability of the Archives Program. As part of the Archives Program team, the Archives Program Associate will help to develop the field of practice around grassroots human rights archiving by collaborating on programmatic projects, and sharing knowledge through training, training resources, and outreach. The Archives Program Associate will work closely with the Archives Program Manager as a collaborator and thought-partner (although the Manager will provide guidance, oversight, and be ultimately accountable for the delivery of the program).

The Archives Program Associate will work primarily in Programs, but will also play a small role in supporting an short-term archivist who will be working with WITNESS’s own archives.

Primary Responsibilities

Strategic Analysis and Program Implementation

  • Support the Archives Program Manager in listening, assessing, and developing plans around projects and partnerships that further WITNESS’s strategic objectives and that grow the field of practice around grassroots human rights archiving.
  • With the Archives Program Manager, collaborate with other programmatic leads and WITNESS partners on projects that require archiving support. Perform a range of activities according to needs of a project, which may include logistics and planning, documentation, creating training materials, hands-on archiving work, and consultation and training.
  • Help to identify opportunities where emerging technologies, such as the decentralized web, can address needs of grassroots archival initiatives.

Resource Maintenance, Development and Sharing

  • With the Archives Program Manager, perform a range of activities to facilitate the development of new archiving resources and maintenance of existing resources, such as logistical support for collaborations, providing input on drafts, reviewing materials, working with designers or other consultants, and uploading/publishing content.
  • Research and create accessible guidance and communications, such as blog posts and tipsheets, that broaden the field of practice around grassroots human rights archiving.
  • Support WITNESS Regional Communications team to understand, adapt, and creatively share WITNESS’s archiving guidance in ways that are accurate, clear, and compelling.


  • Foster relationships with allies and other key stakeholders around human rights archiving.
  • Engage with the archival community to keep abreast of new developments in the field and to encourage understanding of human rights needs and values.
  • Contribute to WITNESS’s online engagement with key audiences, including amplifying our work in relation to grassroots human rights archiving on social media, including employing creative audiovisual/visual forms to do so.

Operational Support / Admin

  • Contribute expertise to appropriate policies, processes, and systems relating to ingest, cataloging, and media management for WITNESS’s own media collections, and to the organization’s transition to cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Perform administrative activities as needed, such as reporting, processing expenses, and adhering to organizational policies and procedures to ensure our accountability for our work.


Experience: Master’s degree in archival studies, or equivalent understanding of core archival knowledge areas, plus 2+ years experience implementing archival projects or programs, preferably in relevant areas such as community-based archives, digital audiovisual materials and/or human rights content, audience engagement or education, or archival advocacy. You are comfortable communicating in various public formats (e.g. social media, blog posts, short videos, presentations and public speaking), and sharing archival knowledge with non-archivist audiences.

Language: Fluent English required to work with a global team who uses this as a shared language. Additional languages are a plus. Native speaker of English not required.

Other skills / characteristics: 

  • We are an entirely remote team. You must be comfortable working remotely and self-sufficiently, and proficient with various online work and communication platforms such GSuite, Signal, Slack, etc.
  • We are a global team. You must have strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate cross-culturally. You may need to be flexible with your schedule to accommodate meeting times in different time zones (offset in your weekly workload as work-life balance is a core value for WITNESS).
  • You are good-humored, patient, collaborative, flexible, hard-working, and organized.

Location: The location is flexible provided some overlap of working hours with the rest of the team can be ensured. WITNESS is registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the state of New York, USA, and currently retains an office in New York City. However, since 2020, its staff is currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compensation: WITNESS offers a range of benefits, depending on the location of the individual, and 15 days of paid annual leave in addition to public holidays and end of year leave.

WITNESS also offers additional monthly “reading days” where employees may request one day in the month to do reading/further study related to WITNESS work.

WITNESS also offers competitive and robust medical benefits that cover an individual at 100%.

WITNESS recognizes that flexible working arrangements are key to equity and inclusion in the workplace, so we are happy to talk about the type of flexible arrangements that might work best for you.

Equivalent to mid-$40K in NYC. Salary will be localized considering relative cost of living in the applicable country using the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) Post Adjustment Multiplier- a metric system that is revised monthly and that WITNESS uses to determine salaries globally. For example, in this case the salary for a candidate based in Mexico is USD mid 30s.

Reports to: Archives Program Manager

Start Date: As soon as possible

Principle Relationships: Archives Program Manager, Program Team, Global Engagement Team, Short-Term Archivist.

Title: Archives Program Associate


To apply, send your cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 references to archivejobs@witness.org with the subject line “Job” [Your name]”.

Please include a cover letter. We are interested in hearing about what you’ve done, what you can do, and what you want to do at WITNESS.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled; early applications encouraged. Please note that due to the volume anticipated, we will not be able to respond individually to each applicant.  We kindly ask that you do not send duplicate applications via mail or email, and no phone calls.

WITNESS is an equal opportunity employer. People of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, genders, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, and individuals protected by any other statuses under federal, state or local laws, including but not limited to, disability, marital, domestic partnership, familial, caregiver, transgender, military or veteran statuses, are encouraged to apply. Authorization to work in the U.S. is not required.