Program Officer (Temporary)
Open Society Foundations - New York, NY

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The Open Society Foundations' U.S. Programs supports people and organizations that advance a more open society within the United States and around the world. U.S. Programs envisions a society that allows all people to participate actively and equitably in political, economic, and cultural life; encourages diverse opinions and critical debate on public issues; protects fundamental human rights, dignity, and the rule of law; and promotes broadly shared prosperity and human security. U.S. Programs supports grantmaking, programming, and policy initiatives to advance justice, equality, and democracy in the United States, with a particular focus on communities that have faced the greatest historical and present-day barriers to achieving equity.

U.S. Programs’ Special Initiatives and Partnerships unit has a dual mission: (1) to address breaking, often time-sensitive advocacy opportunities or challenges that arise and (2) enhance strategic partnerships with leading institutions that are uniquely positioned to advance multiple open society priorities. In 2013, priority areas for work include economic equity, including employment and fiscal policy research and advocacy.

Purpose of Position
Strategy development and grantmaking for assigned program and for developing the connections between the assigned program and the broader priorities of OSF. Work is based in New York City and carried out independently/under general supervision. This position is a one year assignment with a possibility for an extension.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities
Essential duties and responsibilities include the following. OSF may add, change, or remove essential and other duties at any time.

  • Develop, plan and organize program-related events;
  • Work with Program Director and within a five person team to develop grantmaking strategies, priorities, and guidelines;
  • Work with the Program Director to ensure close collaboration with other program directors and staff, convene cross-program working groups as needed, and advance research and development and rapid response grantmaking opportunities;
  • Stay abreast of developments in the field through research, professional relationships, and attendance at conferences and/or meetings;
  • Draft strategy papers that provide direction on policy issues and/or offer suggestions about strategic program development for funders and grantees;
  • Perform special assignments, including participation with other OSF programs and foundation task forces and working groups;
  • Build and establish strategic relationships with other philanthropic partners and organizations;
  • Work with Program Director to develop framework for evaluation and performance measurement of the program and its grantee partners; and
  • Contribute to strategic communications efforts through periodic writing, blog posting, and participation in events or forums;
  • In conjunction with the Program Director and other staff/consultants, develop grantmaking strategies, priorities, and guidelines;
  • Review and assess letters of inquiry and make funding recommendations and declinations to the Program Director;
  • Invite grant proposals from selected funding applicants;
  • Work with applicants to develop and finalize grant proposals;
  • Review grant proposals and participate in the preparation of written grant recommendations as part of grant dockets preparation process;
  • Perform site visits of prospective and current grantee organizations;
  • Monitor grants through site visits and review of narrative and financial reports that are required under the terms of grantee contracts; and
  • Interact with grantees and other field professionals and participate in program- and field-related meetings and convenings;
  • Travel will be required.

Education / Experience
  • Bachelor's degree from a four-year college or university and five to eight years relevant experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Strong background with programs advancing social justice through community organizing, civic engagement, advocacy campaigns, legal advocacy, research, or policy reform work.

Skills Required
  • Effectively manage to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment, troubleshoot and follow projects through to completion, with strict deadlines and without loss of attention to detail, budget and reporting;
  • Excellent written, verbal, organizational, analytical and interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent computer skills, proficient in Microsoft Office and experience with internet research and database management;
  • Exercise good listening and communication skills with sensitivity to cultural communication differences;
  • Effectively work as a team member and independently, with a high-level of self-motivation and ability to set and meet goals;
  • Show discretion and ability to handle confidential issues;
  • Knowledge of key organizations and networks active in the field; and
  • Pleasant, diplomatic manner and disposition in interacting with colleagues and the general public;

Program Specific Requirements
  • Grant making experience is helpful, but not required;
  • Familiarity with nonprofit issue advocacy strategies and tactics;
  • Demonstrated concern for the roles that race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, and economic status play in the construction and implementation of public policy; and
  • Awareness of demographic trends and federal, state, and/or local policymaking processes;

Work Environment and Physical Demands
Essential functions are typically performed in an office setting with a low level of noise. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.

Application Instructions
Please email resume and cover letter with salary requirements before May 28, 2013 , to: . Include job code in subject line: TPO-SIP .