Program Manager

The Grant Making Support Group (GMSG) is responsible for reviewing and assessing current grant-making practice in order to support ongoing improvement and learning across the Open Society Foundations. It advises the pesident of Open Society on policies regarding grant making, provides support to individual programs and foundations within the network in the implementation and execution of those policies, and identifies and promulgates good practice and a distinctive professional culture of effective grant making. Directors of individual programs and the directors and boards of individual foundations are responsible for the integrity of grant making itself; the GMSG provides support through the establishment of standards, development of guidance, initial and continuing training, and other forms of professional development. 

In collaboration with the Office of Grants Management, the GMSG reviews and assesses the making of grants and the relations between staff of the Open Society Foundations and our past, current, and prospective grantees. Assessing grant-making practices includes the development and implementation of activities (such as surveys or focus groups) to gather information from staff and grantees about our practices. The GMSG may also manage institutional relationships with third-party providers of data and other resources for grant makers, and oversee a small portfolio of grants and contracts in support of these activities.

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 manager reports to the associate director of the Grant Making Support Group and is part of a small, tightly-knit, collaborative, and fast-paced team. The program manager will be primarily responsible for producing and fostering skills and knowledge to the staff of Open Society and the Grant Making Support Group as a whole. The ideal candidate will have a strong training background, understanding of peer learning, experience in grant making, and an ability to work seamlessly among cross cultural offices.

Essential duties and responsibilities include the following. Open Society may add, change, or remove essential and other duties at any time.

  • Design, test, facilitate, and manage in-person and online training workshops, seminars, and peer- learning sessions (formal and informal, for large and small groups) aimed at building stronger grant-making skills and culture across Open Society;
  • Develop materials (i.e., case studies, role plays, games, etc.) that serve to build grant-making skills and culture;
  • Work with other Open Society units to coordinate, improve, and calibrate professional development opportunities across the network;
  • Design and facilitate ongoing efforts to foster discussions on emerging issues in grant making, including but not limited to institution-wide network calls, podcasts, etc.;
  • Develop, convene, and support peer-learning activities and communities of practice related to grant making across Open Society network;
  • Develop evaluations and other mechanisms to measure effectiveness of learning and training initiatives;
  • Identify and assess quality of external grant-making trainings, courses, and materials to build “library” of resources for Open Society grant makers;
  • Serve on internal committees and otherwise assist in connecting GMSG to broader Open Society network;
  • Work with GMSG team to move other projects forward;
  • Manage consultants and contracts as needed;
  • Assist in the development, planning, and evaluation of the annual strategy, activity plan, and budget of the GMSG.
  • Bachelor’s degree (BA) from a four-year college or university and seven to ten years relevant experience and/or training, or equivalent combination of education and experience;
  • Graduate degree preferred;
  • Experience in developing and facilitating training and learning events for adults;
  • Experience in grant making and philanthropy a strong plus;
  • NGO experience preferred;
  • Experience in project management, including managing consultants, developing and managing project budgets;
  • Strong background with programs advancing social justice through community organizing, legal advocacy, research, or policy reform work;
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully develop and deliver professional development programs or other adult education courses;
  • Proficient in methodologies, curriculum development, application of educational tools and practices to ensure maximum effectiveness of professional development activities;
  • Listen and communicate clearly and effectively with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds;
  • Strong presentation and facilitation skills;
  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written;
  • High energy, enthusiastic, motivational training style;
  • Strong organizational, planning, project management, attention to detail and quality, problem-resolution skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Must have a consultative, customer service, relationship-building approach;
  • Good sense of humor and ability to laugh about oneself;
  • Regular international travel is required.
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.

Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.
Application Instructions

Please email resume and cover letter with salary requirements by to: Include job code in subject line: PM-GMSG.