Program Associate

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, women’s rights, and independent journalism. 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. 

Purpose of Position

The program associate is part of a tightly-knit, collaborative, and fast-paced team. The program associate is responsible for the administration and programmatic contribution to the team. He/she should have strong writing and research skills, an understanding of Chinese political/geographical landscape, and experience with multi-tasking with sharp time management. Bachelor’s degree required and language skills a plus.

The program associate will provide administrative and programmatic support as part of a team; work is carried out under general supervision.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

The Open Society Foundations may add, change, or remove essential and other duties at any time.

  • Provide administrative support to the director;
  • Generally assist in program administration and carry out office duties, including: photocopying, faxing, mailings, preparing expense reports, and updating electronic and paper files;
  • Coordinate logistics for internal meetings, including scheduling, booking rooms, preparing materials, and setting up conference calls;
  • As directed, coordinate travel including arranging itineraries, tickets, visas, and travel authorizations for project staff and non–Open Society colleagues;
  • Handle correspondence for program/department staff as needed;
  • Provide administrative support to the grants management, legal, and finance departments as needed in order ensure smooth and timely processing of grants, contracts, and payments;
  • Process and track payment requests and budget allocations;
  • Act as a point of contact (telephone and/or e-mail) for grant and program-related inquiries and respond to routine telephone and written inquiries from applicants and others;
  • Assist in the preliminary reviews of the quality and completeness of documentation of proposals and request additional information from applicants as directed;
  • Prepare necessary internal paperwork to ensure timely payment of grants; produce pro-forma financial reports on grant spending;
  • Track and monitor consultancy payments;
  • Attend and observe strategy meetings with program staff in order to take notes and complete routine documentation;
  • Assist in compiling, editing and drafting program material, including updates to the public website;
  • Perform research and assist with special projects as requested;
  • Perform other duties as assigned;
  • Travel may be required.
Education / Experience

Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university and minimum of two to three years of relevant experience and/or training, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Skills Required
  • Excellent written, verbal, organizational, analytical, and interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent computer skills, proficient in Microsoft Office;
  • Excellent listening and communication skills with sensitivity to cultural communication differences;
  • Show discretion and ability to handle confidential issues;
  • High level of self-motivation and at ease working independently when necessary;
  • Poised and works well under pressure, attentive to detail, and prioritizes and works well under pressure;
  • Flexibility and willingness to work simultaneously on a wide range of tasks and projects and ability to prioritize tasks;
  • Pleasant, diplomatic manner and disposition in interacting with senior management, co-workers, and the general public.
Program Specific Requirements
  • Mandarin Chinese language strongly preferred, Korean or Japanese language ability a plus;
  • Basic financial skills related to preparing and monitoring annual administrative budgets;
  • Knowledge of Chinese and Northeast Asian politics, economic situation, and social trends and general political awareness.
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 requirements by May 2, 2014, to: humanresources@opensocietyfoundations.org. Include job code in subject line: PGA/CNEAP.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and early submissions are strongly encouraged.