Intern, Office of the Western Balkans Foundations
Open Society Foundations - New York, NY

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The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.

We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check.

We help to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights.

We implement initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.

We build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information.

Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.

The Office of the Western Balkan Foundations oversees the programmatic, administrative, legal and financial operations of local foundations and/or major grant programs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia.

Purpose of Position
The objective of the internship program with the Office of the Western Balkan Foundations is to train participants on some of the methodologies used by public interest advocacy groups like the Open Society Foundations to foster and encourage reform, inclusion, human rights, and justice.

Interns will be instructed, and receive hands-on training, on many of the broad range of activities involved in effecting reform, inclusion, human rights, and justice, including but not limited to the identification of an injustice to be remedied, the formulation of a comprehensive action plan, and the research and writing involved in studies associated with a project. The interns will receive their training in the context of the Office of the Western Balkan Foundations.

With close supervision by an assigned mentor, interns will learn about the various tools available for researching issues, and for engaging in oral and written persuasive techniques, related to human rights related initiatives, such as activities aiming to empower minority groups (LGBT, the Roma, etc.) in the context of the EU accession process.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities
  • Monitor local and international media, perform online research, gather information on current events, and prepare briefings for Regional Director
  • Draft newsfeeds and assist with department’s electronic newsletter, Western Balkan Dispatch
  • Track EU Progress Reports for countries covered by the Office of the Western Balkan Foundations
  • As part of a special project, perform and assist with research on foundations’ partner organizations and other constituencies, relevant to foundations' mission
  • Translate relevant documents from Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian into English and vice versa
  • Manage department library and keep current on new publications, addressing issues relevant to the region
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Education / Experience
For this internship program, the Open Society Foundations are seeking individuals currently enrolled in a relevant graduate international affairs degree program who are highly motivated and have demonstrated excellence in prior endeavors. The ideal candidates will have strong communication, interpersonal and computer skills, a demonstrated ability to write effectively and analyze and summarize complex information, and a desire to function in a team environment. They also must be able to multi-task while remaining attentive to detail.

Skills Required
  • Excellent written, verbal, organizational, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to fluently speak, read, and write in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian; knowledge and comprehension of Cyrillic alphabet
  • Excellent computer skills, proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Ability to pay attention to detail and to prioritize multiple tasks
  • Pleasant, diplomatic manner and disposition in interacting with co-workers and the general public
  • Integrity and professional discretion required

Work Environment and Physical Demands
Position is 30 hours per week.

Unpaid, lunch provided

Application Instructions
Upon acceptance, interns will need to provide a letter from their university indicating that they are receiving credit and/or funding for the internship.

Please email a letter of interest and resume experience before July 1, 2013. Include the internship code "WBI" in the subject line.

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