Program Officer, Youth Exchange

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    May 25

Position description

Program Officer, Youth Exchange. New York. Posting Date: 05/24/2019. Deadline: 06/06/2019

The Strategy Unit helps Open Society staff create, implement, and assess "living strategies" that can be used to signal plans, share new ideas, align actions, clarify authority, budget resources, and hold themselves accountable. We add value by bridging various perspectives throughout the strategy and budget cycle, soliciting staff input and serving as their advocates while advancing the goals of OSF's leadership. In all our efforts, we try to embody values that OSF strives for in its internal culture: transparency, collaboration, responsibility, inclusion, and informed risk-taking. These characteristics are enabling conditions for living strategy at OSF.

Job Profile

The Program Officer for the Youth Exchange will manage projects and is responsible for effective deployment of time, money, and other OSF staff. These projects, which will be network-wide and will involve similarly complex coordination, require effective communication and collaborative problem-solving. Building and maintaining strong, trust-based relationships internally and in the field of specialization across cultures and geographies is an important function of the Program Officer role.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for all grant-making activities relating to youth engagement. Operates with considerable autonomy and makes decisions related to authorizing/declining co-funded grants within an approved budget reflective of own field experience/expertise.
  • Working within the broader program strategy, designs, makes, and assesses grants and makes use of other appropriate tools for advancing goals.
  • Builds collaborative relationships within and outside OSF (e.g., with existing grantees, prospective grantees, experts in the community, etc.) that advance youth inclusion and youth participation. .
  • Contributes to the development of overall program strategy and conducts research to support program design.
  • Manages projects that connect thematic programs and regional foundations and external stakeholders as appropriate.
  • For occasional program and/or administrative support needs, coordinates the work of relevant staff.
  • Responsible for strengthening connections between OSF's geographic and thematic programs around trends and opportunities for collaborative youth engagement initiatives.
  • Ad hoc tasks as required by the Senior Program Manager.


Candidate Profile

  • 7 -10 years of progressively responsible experience in a situation, generally in an organization other than a foundation, relevant to the duties of this role is typically necessary to develop the skills required for this role.
  • Deep understanding of and vision for change based on experience and/or knowledge and is able to use that understanding to develop and implement a strategy for achieving the vision. Demonstrated success in advancing social change strategies, including planning and implementing modifications in response to an evolving situation.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the implications of the power differential inherent in the funder-grantee relationship and has demonstrated the ability and the willingness to handle such relationships properly and respectfully.
  • Comprehensive understanding of the structure and workings of both formal and informal organizations (NGO/non-profit organizations), networks, and movements within varied contexts and as appropriate to the program.
  • Must have ability to exercise measured and appropriate judgment, rooted in analysis and often under circumstances in which insufficient information is available and/or the circumstances are highly volatile.
  • Requires mastery of analytical approaches and options, and ability to make sound informed judgments.
  • Requires project management skills, including the ability to direct others to effectively gather evidence and research to inform decisions or judgments.
  • Ability to build collaborative relationships - in OSF, peer foundations, and with grant seekers and grantees, and others in the field - to further programmatic goals.
  • Comprehensive, specialized knowledge in the designated field, including familiarity with current controversies/issues and leading figures/thinking.
  • Ability to exercise effective and inclusive leadership in cross-cultural settings.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English are important.


Application Instructions: Please upload a 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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