RFK Center - Defending Human Rights In This World
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In The Shadows of Democracy: LGBTIQ Rights in Uganda

Roundtable Discussion on Arbitrary Detentions in Cameroon: the case of Michel Atangana

Monday, May 4

12:30 – 2:00pm

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

1300 19th St. NW, Suite 750

Washington D.C. 20036

*Light lunch will be provided*

Please join us at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights for a roundtable discussion on the use of arbitrary detention in Cameroon. The event will feature Michel Atangana, a former Cameroonian political prisoner, and several international experts working on issues related to arbitrary detentions worldwide.  

Nearly two decades ago on May 12, 1997, Cameroonian security agents apprehended Mr. Atangana without a warrant and placed him in solitary confinement in a basement cell. During court proceedings that did not meet international standards for a fair trial, Mr. Atangana was ultimately sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for the alleged embezzlement of public funds. Mr. Atangana’s punishment is believed to be the result of his support for an opposition candidate who intended to run against Cameroon’s longtime president, Paul Biya. During President Biya’s nearly 4-decade tenure in office, his government has systematically repressed basic human and political rights, as well as civil liberties, including the rights to free speech, freedom of expression, and association. The use of arbitrary detention against dissidents, critics, and human rights defenders, including against Mr. Atangana, has also been a commonly used tactic by the government.

Panelists will discuss the current human rights situation in Cameroon and speak on the available strategies for combating human rights abuses and the use of arbitrary detention to stifle activism. Kindly RSVP to Jeffrey Smith ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by Friday, May 1.



Michel Atangana, Former Cameroonian political prisoner and human rights activist

Malick Sow, former member, U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

Jared Genser, Managing Director of Perseus Strategies and Founder of Freedom Now 

Roland Adjovi, Resident Scholar, Arcardia University, and member of the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

Moderator: Jeffrey Smith, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

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Download this file (DC- Changing Journalism S1 - 24 April Invitation.pdf)Program - First session474 Kb

Job Announcement: Executive Assistant

Executive Assistant (New York, NY)

Location: New York City

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights seeks an Executive Assistant. Reporting to the President and working in conjunction with a departmental assistant, the Executive Assistant will work out of our New York office.

This is an ideal position for someone who has 5-7 years of experience in a support role to a senior executive in a fast-paced non-profit or educational environment. This role would also be suitable for someone looking to transition from a similar role in the private sector. Experience working in an international organization is highly desirable.

We are looking for someone who can think strategically, solve problems, and establish and refine procedures. We are looking for someone willing to commit to the role for at least five years.

Primary responsibilities:

Scheduling and travel preparation

  • Manage the President’s busy calendar, including frequent national and international travel.
  • Independently assess strategic priorities for the President and the organization and incorporate this into scheduling.
  • Assume responsibility for overall execution, planning and related logistics for President’s travel across the US and globally. Organize trip planning calls with internal and external stakeholders. Book travel arrangements. Manage logistics related to the schedule including agenda scope and briefing materials.
  • Develop written, detailed schedules for all trips.


  • Provide administrative, scheduling, and fundraising support for annual multi-million dollar gala.
  • Ensure regular contact between President and major donors by scheduling meetings, phone calls and other correspondence. Prioritize target list.
  • Ensure that Development staff are apprised of President’s fundraising activities.

Board of Directors

  • Schedule quarterly meetings of the Board of Directors and regular sub-committee conference calls.
  • Assume responsibility for logistics of board meetings, including the annual 2-day board retreat.
  • Assist with agenda development for meetings.

Meeting preparation and follow up

  • Ensure that President is briefed and prepared for all meetings.
  • Take meeting notes and establish deliverables and deadlines.
  • Follow up with meeting participants to ensure everyone understands their responsibilities and is making progress.


  • Ensure regular communication of necessary information from the President’s office to staff.
  • Mange the President’s Discretionary Budget (PDB).
  • Serve as an effective gatekeeper for the President.
  • Other duties, including those of a personal nature, as assigned.

Key qualities:

  • Initiative: must be able to find areas for improvement in process management, make recommendations, and act on them. Proactively identify strategic priorities for President and follow up to ensure President has the resources to meet needs.
  • Creative: able to think of novel ways to solve problems.
  • Independent: must have the ability to work independently with little supervision.
  • Confident: must be comfortable and poised when interacting with donors, human rights advocates, government officials, and other VIPs.
  • Results-oriented: able to achieve results and complete assignments in a timely manner.
  • Detail-oriented: strong editing skills and attention to detail.
  • Collaborative: must be able to identify necessary stakeholders in various projects and ensure that everyone is included and up to date on developments.
  • Discreet: able to identify what information should and should not be shared. Able to handle confidential information.

Education, experience, and skills:

  • 5-7 years of experience supporting a senior executive.
  • Strong letters of recommendation and reviews from references.
  • Experience with project management.
  • Foreign language skills are a plus, particularly Italian or Spanish.
  • Technical proficiency or the ability to easily learn a variety of office applications and database systems, including but not limited to Google Apps, Salesforce, and Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Budgeting experience is highly desirable.
  • Bachelor’s degree.

Compensation and Benefits:

In addition to meaningful and rewarding work, the organization provides an excellent compensation and benefits package. 

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and value diversity among our staff.

To Apply

Follow this link

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