Program Specialist, Open Society US

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    May 01

Position description

Program Specialist, Open Society US. Washington, D.C.. Posting Date: 05/06/2019. Deadline: 05/19/2019

The Program - Open Society US (OS-US)

OS-US is committed to building a vibrant, inclusive, and just society in the United States. Through grant making, fellowships, convening, and a special reserve fund used as crises and unexpected opportunities arise, OS-US seeks to promote full participation in the nation's civic, political, and economic life-particularly for communities that are historically marginalized and vulnerable-and to ensure that the core institutions of civil society are effective and accountable to the public.

OS-US and its lobbying affiliate, the Open Society Policy Center, conduct and support advocacy on a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues, including strong human rights policies, cooperative global engagement, better access to public health services, and greater corporate and governmental transparency and accountability.

Job Profile

The Program Specialist will provide skillful, high quality programmatic, research and administrative support to the Executive Director and Deputy Director of OS-US. This position reports to the Executive Director, is based in DC, and is part of the OS-US administrative office. Specific responsibilities include:
  • Serving as lead OS-US coordinator for the State of the Union 2022 project, including creating and staying on top of project plans, liaising with external partners, project consultants, and OSF departments to develop and implement the project in timely ways;
  • Managing special projects for the Executive Director and Deputy Director;
  • Coordinating a transparent process and timely decision making related to incoming OS-US staff requests for opportunity/reserve funds;
  • Vetting grant proposals and letters of interest on behalf of the Executive Director and Deputy Director, including drafting recommendations and follow up responses, coordinating as appropriate with other OS-US staff;
  • Aiding with internal communications in the administrative team, ensuring that the executive assistants and leadership are appropriately abreast of updates, upcoming needs etc.;
  • Drafting meeting briefing notes and assisting with follow up as necessary;
  • Anticipating opportunities of potential interest to the Executive Director and Deputy Director, researching options for new directions and presenting them effectively;
  • Conducting research independently or in collaboration to aid decision-making, strategy development, and monitoring and evaluation;
  • Playing a key role in coordinating the development of the 4 year strategy in partnership with the strategy unit and OS-US strategy team (specifics TBD).


Candidate Profile

This position requires high-level planning, organizing and writing skills, and will attract candidates who are expert at working on a variety of tasks simultaneously. The role also requires a respectful collegial style in dealing with a wide range of people in both senior and junior roles and of diverse backgrounds; strong diplomatic skills, respect for confidentiality and high personal integrity are critical. The successful candidate will be working in a team, but will be expected to perform tasks and take responsibilities with little supervision.

The role requires interest and familiarity with foreign and domestic policy, particularly in themes such as justice, human rights, economic advancement, political participation and inclusion, policy-relevant research and high-level debate. Knowledge of c3/c4 regulations and an ability to interpret and comply with legal requirements is also important.

Specific qualifications, include:
  • 5-7 years of work experience in relevant programmatic and administrative/organizational roles.
  • Exceptional capacity to manage up, helping leadership track and advance moving pieces both assertively and respectfully.
  • Knowledge of OSF contracting, budgeting, and other administrative processes.
  • Track record of being diplomatic and discreet; able to handle confidential matters with a high level of integrity and exercise sound judgment on sensitive issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically about program needs, administrative process and operations.
  • Up-to-date knowledge and experience of project and budget management and organizational tools.
  • Skillful capacity to manage competing priorities and work independently.
  • Ability to effectively use social media and other online communication tools.
  • Demonstrable interest in, and understanding of, a range of open society policy issues and personal commitment to values of rights, justice, accountable governance, human dignity and democratic practice; and
  • Experience working on matters of social change desirable.


Application Instructions: Please include a cover letter and resume, and upload as one document when submitting an application.

Competitive rates of pay apply.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and are committed to providing reasonable adjustments so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.
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