Temporary Program Officer
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.

Purpose of Position
Strategy development and grantmaking with a specific focus on education policy and program development to support OSF’s partnership with a component of New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative. The Expanded Success Initiative (ESI), a five-year initiative, is a part of the Young Men’s Initiative, which U.S. Programs is co-funding with New York City and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Led by the city Department of Education, ESI aims to increase, by 10,000, the number of black and Latino male students who graduate from New York City public high schools prepared for college and employment. The Department of Education will evaluate ESI so that the most effective interventions can be disseminated to the City’s other schools, thereby ensuring that more black and Latino males are successful in the future. U.S. Programs staff plays an active role on the Working Group that advises the initiative, which offers an opportunity to ensure that participating schools and the initiative, more generally, incorporate discipline policies and student supports to increase student engagement and attendance. 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
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 Campaign Manager and other staff to develop grantmaking strategies, priorities, and guidelines;
  • Work with the Campaign Manager to ensure close collaboration with other program directors and staff, convene cross-program working groups as needed, to advance research and development and rapid response grantmaking opportunities;
  • Write and edit program materials and guidelines;
  • Stay abreast of developments in the field through research and periodic attendance at conferences and/or meetings;
  • Write strategy/position papers that provide direction on education policy issues impacting the field 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;
  • Identify joint programming opportunities and efforts with external funders and partners;
  • Build and establish strategic relationships with other philanthropic partners and organizations seeking to advance black male achievement.
  • Work with Campaign Manager to develop framework for evaluation and performance measurement of CBMA and its grantee partners.
  • Contribute to the strategic CBMA communications strategies through periodic writing of blogs, participation in in-house events issues forums and outside convenings that promote CBMA priorities.
  • In conjunction with the Campaign Manager and other staff/consultants, develop grantmaking strategies, priorities, and guidelines;
  • Review and assess letters of inquiry and make funding recommendations and declinations to the Campaign Manager.
  • 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;
  • Ensure that grantees submit narrative and financial reports as required under the terms of the contract;
  • Interact with grantees and other field professionals and participate in program- and field-related meetings and convenings;
  • Manage financial and budget reports to track grant and program spending;
  • Assist in the planning and developing of annual budget;
  • Travel will be required;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Education / Experience
  • Bachelor's degree (B.A.) from a four-year college or university and five to eight years relevant experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Master’s degree in Education preferred;
  • Experience in grant making, project management, including managing consultants and developing and managing project budgets;
  • NGO experience essential.

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;
  • Pleasant, diplomatic manner and disposition in interacting with colleagues and the general public.

Program Specific Requirements
  • Grant making experience is helpful, but not required;
  • Ability to connect a variety of issues to broader trends and new paradigms;
  • Entrepreneurial mindset;
  • Strong background with programs advancing social justice through community organizing, legal advocacy, research or policy reform work;
  • Strong awareness of the intersection of race, gender and class;
  • Excellent public speaking and presentation skills.

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 3/8/13 to: humanresources@opensocietyfoundations.org with the code: PO-CBMA.

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