Program Administrative Specialist, Education Support Program

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    Berlin, Germany
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    May 21

Position description

Program Administrative Specialist, Education Support Program. Berlin. Posting Date: 05/20/2019. Deadline: 06/16/2019

The Open Society Education Support Program is seeking a Berlin or London-based Program Administrative Specialist.

The Education Support Program (ESP) is a global program that operates in Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and Europe. ESP works collaboratively and co-funds Programs with twenty national and regional foundations. Additionally, ESP cooperates with a network of over 200 organizations in the Open Society Foundations' education universe, utilizing a plethora of competencies to further its' mission in education; policy research and knowledge production, advocacy, demonstration piloting, network-building, capacity building and resource mobilization. Additionally, ESP staff are spread across a range of locations: Berlin, Cluj, London and New York. The priorities of the Education Support Program (ESP) are shaped by a mission to further education justice. This provides a largely 'political' lens through which to address issues of inequality and discrimination within the education sector while attending to inherent systemic, professional and resource challenges.

Job Profile



This is a full performance administrative/operational role requiring skills specific to OSF programs and processes that advance the program's work. The role is integrated into the unit/subunit(s) of which it is a part, and its incumbents are included in the flow of information about, and contribute to program directions, strategies and other relevant developments. Work on assigned projects, processes, and/or areas of responsibility are carried out with considerable independence.

In addition to knowledge of OSF-specific matters, the role calls for specialized knowledge of the required subject matter and/or technical skills. This role is responsible not only for completing work in assigned areas with limited supervision, but also for identifying problems and resolving them in consultation with others and, as necessary, with guidance from a supervisor. The incumbent has a high level of responsibility for establishing and maintaining effective and constructive working relationships both internally and externally and may also be responsible for managing projects of some complexity. Typical responsibilities include:
  • provides advanced administrative support for grant making activities, engagement of consultants, and/or other program functions by performing operational work that helps achieve the goals/plans of the Open Society Education Support Program. Includes managing most issues independently, identifying new administrative/operational needs and developing/implementing solutions
  • reviews reports and other documents submitted by grantees and consultants for compliance, accuracy, and readability; this may include review of data to assure that it is accurate and complete in accordance with appropriate protocols
  • stays abreast of relevant policies and compliance requirements and assists staff with understanding, operationalizing, and adhering to relevant policies and guidelines
  • assists with processing grants as well as identifying and implementing grants-related best practices
  • provides administrative support to ESP program staff, including support with travel arrangements, as needed
  • assists in complex events planning and managing related travel, logistics, and budgets, including but not limited to meetings of the General Education Advisory Board. Liaises with vendors (e.g. event planners, translators, etc.) and negotiates contract terms and conditions. Manages administrative issues related to the work of retained consultants (and their logistical support)
  • provides complex grant making or other data review and visualization. May help develop reporting tools and templates
  • manages the budgets of the portfolios assigned, including planning, tracking, and variance monitoring and reporting.
  • Ad-hoc responsibilities: may occasionally be involved in conducting basic research; reviewing grantee updates; collecting, compiling, and analyzing data in support of eligibility assessments; and other similar tasks


Candidate Profile

  • bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study or equivalent experience/education
  • 3-5 years of progressively responsible experience in a situation relevant to the duties of this role
  • experience in project management, including managing consultants and developing and managing project budgets
  • strong background providing operational support to programs or organizations advancing social justice through community organizing, legal advocacy, research, or policy reform work
  • experience managing complex logistics and event planning preferred
  • administrative experience at a large and complex organization
  • experience with grant making or other related policies, guidelines, and processes preferred
  • proficiency in managing data in a complex environment is critical; proficiency in using data management and visualization platforms and databases preferred (e.g. Salesforce, NetSuite, Foundation Maps, etc.). Must be comfortable learning new proprietary software systems
  • ability to set up processes, systems, and workflows and ensure adherence to procedures and follow-up
  • experience with record keeping, budgeting management, and finance administration is important
  • experience with multi-tasking and working independently on complex administrative tasks is necessary in this role
  • ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds within a complex organization
  • experience making administrative and procedural decisions and judgments on sensitive and confidential issues is useful
  • exercise good listening and communication skills with sensitivity to cultural communication differences


Application Instructions: Please upload an English cover letter and resume as one document when submitting your 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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