The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to criticism, whose laws and policies are open to debate and correction, and whose political institutions are open to the participation of all people. We seek to strengthen justice and the rule of law; broaden respect for human rights, including the rights of minorities; encourage pluralism and a robust diversity of opinion; deepen democratic practice and participation; expand economic equity; support effective governance; and invest in individuals, public and private organizations, and social movements that advance these goals.
We are a global network of foundations committed to local knowledge and national expertise. Our network includes national foundations, regional foundations, and other geographic programs operating in more than 100 countries. At the same time, about 20 programs with global reach operate from our four headquarters in Europe and the United States, including programs on digital information, documentary photography, drug policy, early childhood, education, fellowships, fiscal governance, higher education, human rights, independent journalism, international migration, justice, public health, scholarships, and think tanks alongside the Women’s Rights Program. Still other programs advance our special commitment to Roma communities. In addition to making grants to organizations and individuals, the Open Society Foundations engage in policy advocacy, legal advocacy and litigation, program-related investing, and public communications, as well as providing direct assistance to governments. Most programs and foundations in the network are governed or advised by their own boards.
The Open Society Foundations are the global philanthropies of George Soros, who, as chairman, plays an active role in the work of the foundations.
The Open Society Foundations are seeking a New York–based director for the Women’s Rights Program, a grantmaking program that seeks to enlarge economic justice for women, advance sexual and reproductive rights of women, and reduce violence against women. The program also supports a limited number of local and national organizations that seek to advance women’s rights across multiple issues and controversies. The program succeeds the International Women’s Program which focused from 2007 to 2013 on reducing violence against women in selected conflict and post-conflict countries.
The director of the Women’s Rights Program leads a team of professionals based in New York. The program is currently in formation and will be presenting its first full strategic plan to the Global Board of the Open Society Foundations in 2014. The plan will include financial support to local and national organizations in collaboration with other elements of the Open Society network, as well as a few focused initiatives in the general areas of economic justice, sexual and reproductive rights, and violence against women.
The successful candidate will be respected and experienced participant in one or more branches of the women’s rights movement or as a respected expert on the movement itself. The director is expected to remain up-to-date on the trends, debates, and innovations relevant to the field, and maintain familiarity with the individuals and organizations that play significant roles in the field.
The director is the principal strategist on women’s rights for the Open Society Foundations, articulating the goals and crafting strategies of the global program and serving as a resource to those designing and implementing the strategies of the national and regional foundations and the various geographic programs in the network. That role necessarily entails collaboration with colleagues and partners inside and outside the Open Society Foundations—especially with the program’s Advisory Board—and approval of those goals and strategies by the president and the Global Board.
The director must also be a skilled manager and team leader. The director is expected to provide effective supervision of program staff members, including attending to individual performance and professional development, and build constructive relationships with the chair and the members of the program’s Advisory Board.
In sum, the strategic and management role of a program directors require constructive participation in the Open Society Foundations as a whole, including effective collaboration with other thematic programs, geographic programs and foundations, and the many other departments, units, boards, and entities within the complex. The director will be called upon from time to time to participate in working groups and discussions on topics other than women’s rights related to the Open Society Foundations as a whole.
The position is based in New York and reports to a member of the Senior Management Committee designated by the president of the Open Society Foundations.
The director should expect to be traveling frequently throughout the world, and will be expected to manage responsibilities, collaborations, and reporting relationships across substantial distances.
- Demonstrated mastery of the field of women’s rights through a combination of professional experience, academic training, and/or familiarity with relevant literature, institutions, and leaders in the field;
- Detailed knowledge of the state of women’s rights in at least two countries where the Open Society Foundations are active, along with curiosity about the situation in other countries and regions;
- Engagement at the intersection of women’s rights and other themes prominent in the mission and work of the Open Society Foundations an advantage.
- Excellent written, editorial, and spoken skills in English;
- Proficiency in other languages a great advantage;
- Skills as a facilitator, presenter, instructor, or discussant;
- Demonstrated cross-cultural competence and substantial life experience with multiple cultures;
- Diplomatic and problem-solving abilities as well as broad intellectual curiosity, comfort with robust debate, and a good sense of humor;
- Eagerness for continued professional growth while focused on the promotion and professional development of grantees, partners in the field, and colleagues;
- Demonstrated skills as a supervisor, manager, and team leader;
- Experience in executive leadership not necessary but advantageous;
- Articulate about strengths and limitations as a manager, coach, and group leader;
- Experience in more than one sector (public sector, commercial sector, nonprofit sector) a benefit but not essential.
Please email resume and cover letter with salary requirements before March 28, 2014, to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Include job code in subject line: D-WP.
Note: At this time, recruitment for this position is only open to candidates employed by an entity within the Open Society Foundations.