Program Assistant

The Open Society Foundations currently seek a program assistant with the Grant Making Support Group (GMSG). The GMSG in the Open Society Foundations is responsible for supporting and advocating for the practice of good grant making. The GMSG does this by cultivating a culture of grant making based on shared values and principles; building an environment that encourages, supports and sustains good grant-making practice; and strengthening the knowledge, skills and abilities of grant makers.

Open Society Foundations

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 one hundred countries. At the same time, many 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, international migration, justice, public health, scholarships, think tanks, and women’s rights. 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. 

Job Profile

The program assistant will work to support the work of the GMSG in carrying out its mission. The role will require regular interaction with colleagues and partners throughout the Open Society Foundations’ global network. The program assistant will report to the associate director of the GMSG and is part of a streamlined, collaborative and fast-paced team. The successful candidate must have experience managing a smooth day-to-day office operation, juggling tasks and logistics for multiple complex projects with shifting priorities and deadlines. S/he will have demonstrated the highest discretion and diplomacy, integrity, excellent judgment, and respect in his or her relationships with colleagues and have excellent skills in communication and cross-cultural collaboration. The ideal candidate will write and edit well in English, focus on accuracy while getting the job done, have a strong ability to take initiative in completing tasks in a time-sensitive and high-quality manner, and a real interest in being a trusted and reliable support for the team.

General responsibilities include the following:

  • Organize logistics of in-person and virtual meetings and workshops in New York and in our global offices and foundations. Tasks will include but are not limited to managing travel arrangements, securing meeting space, handling catering and materials, organizing participant registration, developing materials, and collecting evaluations;
  • Work effectively with colleagues in other departments to deliver seamless event planning support;
  • Maintain and update working files and databases, include a library of materials related to grant making policies and guidance;
  • Process and track contracts and payment requests;
  • Provide administrative support for GMSG team projects;
  • Draft/edit routine correspondence and memoranda;
  • Assist in scheduling appointments and calls;
  • Perform clerical duties, including; faxing and photocopying; preparing expense reports; and generally assist in program administration;
  • Take notes/minutes during meetings;
  • Assist with the preparation of annual budgets and work plans, and monitor spending;
  • Perform other duties as assigned;
  • Occasional travel may be required.
Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university, and one to three years of relevant experience or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Proven computer skills, with ability to make full use of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) tools;
  • Basic web programming skills highly desirable, and willingness and ability to learn new software skills;
  • Well-honed organizational and time management skills, strong attention to detail, and ability to handle complex logistics of meetings, events, and projects;
  • Flexibility and willingness to work simultaneously on a wide range of tasks and projects and ability to prioritize tasks, all while under time pressure;
  • Excellent quantitative analytical ability;
  • Professional demeanor and maturity, including the ability to work with people of varied backgrounds and work styles;
  • Show discretion and ability to handle confidential issues;
  • High level of self-motivation and at ease working independently when necessary;
  • Excellent listening and communication skills with sensitivity to cultural communication differences;
  • Sense of humor;
  • Team player.
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.

Compensation
Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.
Application Instructions

Please email resume and cover letter with salary by October 28, 2014, to: humanresources@opensocietyfoundations.org Include job code in the subject line: PA-GMSG.