Program Officer

The Open Society International Migration Initiative designs and supports initiatives to reform the most abusive aspects of the migration process. The program organizes its work around migration corridors, pursuing coordinated action in countries of origin, transit, and destination. It focuses on improving labor protections for migrants; reducing rights violations in migration enforcement policies and practices, as well as in immigration and border controls; and protecting migrants’ rights through more effective governance structures and norms.

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 officer will engage in strategy development, grantmaking, and advocacy for the International Migration Initiative, in close collaboration with the Latin America Program. Work will focus on advancing protections for migrants in the Central America/Mexico Corridor, strengthening norm setting on migration at the national and regional level, and ensuring that migration enforcement policies comply with human rights norms. The program officer will develop linkages between the assigned areas of work and the broader priorities of the International Migration Initiative, Latin America Program, and Open Society. Work is carried out independently/under general supervision.

Position is based in Washington, D.C.; candidate must be willing to relocate in future years to one of the regional offices when they are established.

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


  • Work with the director and other staff to develop and implement grantmaking, learning and assessment, capacity building, and advocacy strategies;
  • Ensure close collaboration with other program directors and staff, particularly the Latin America Program and U.S. Programs;
  • Represent Open Society in the donor collaborative CAMMINA (Central America and Mexico Migration Alliance); take part in grant reviews, monitoring, strategic planning, and related activities;
  • Write strategy/position papers that provide direction on policy issues impacting the field and/or offer suggestions about strategic program development for funders and grantees;
  • Write and edit program materials and articles for publication;
  • Develop, plan, and organize convenings and program-related events;
  • Stay abreast of developments in the field through research and attendance of conferences and/or meetings;
  • Perform special assignments, including participation with other programs and foundation task forces and working groups;
  • Identify programming opportunities and efforts with external funders and partners;
  • Build and establish strategic relationships with other philanthropic partners and NGOs.


  • Review and assess letters of inquiry, invite grant proposals, work with applicants to develop and finalize proposals, and write funding recommendations;
  • Conduct due diligence of organizations, monitor institutional health and performance, and write formal assessments of grantees;
  • Perform site visits of prospective and current grantee organizations, ensure timely submission of reporting materials, and monitor grants through site visits and review of narrative and financial reports.


  • Manage financial and budget reports to track grant and program spending;
  • Assist in the planning and developing of annual budget.


  • Travel will be required;
  • Perform other duties as assigned reports.
  • Bachelor’s degree (BA) from a four-year college or university and five to eight years relevant experience and/or training, or equivalent combination of education and experience;
  • Experience in grantmaking and project management, including managing consultants and developing and managing project budget;
  • NGO experience and knowledge of the region essential;
  • Strong background with programs advancing social justice through community organizing, legal advocacy, research, or policy reform work;
  • Excellent written and communication skills in both Spanish and English mandatory;
  • Demonstrated expertise advancing social justice, implementing advocacy strategies, and working with policymakers and diverse sectors;
  • Ability to identify trends and opportunities and rapidly develop strategies to respond to them;
  • Track record of moving projects from concept to successful implementation;
  • Excellent analytical and critical thinking, ability to communicate effectively and persuasively to diverse audiences;
  • Knowledge of migration issues and Central America, Mexico, and Latin America;
  • Knowledge of key organizations and networks active in the field;
  • Effectively work as a team member and independently, with a high-level of self-motivation, ability to set and meet goals and to multi-task without loss of attention to details;
  • Show discretion and ability to handle confidential issues;
  • Exercise good listening and communication skills with sensitivity to cultural communication differences;
  • Pleasant, diplomatic manner and disposition in interacting with colleagues and the general public;
  • Excellent computer skills, proficiency in Microsoft Office, and experience with internet research and database management.
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 July 25, 2014, to: Include job code in subject line: PO-IMI.