The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.
We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check.
We help to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights.
We implement initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.
We build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information.
Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.
The Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative supports civil society efforts to advance freedom of expression, ensure government accountability, uphold justice, and empower marginalized groups to exercise their rights. We believe that the protection of civil and political rights will lead to a more peaceful and prosperous future for all people in the region. The Burma Project was established by the Open Society Foundations in 1994 to increase international awareness of conditions in Burma and help the country make the transition from a closed to an open society. Today, the Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative makes regional and country-based grants to organizations primarily focused on work in Burma, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
The program officer will work closely with the director, the Rangoon office director, and a team of New York and field-based staff to support the Initiative’s programmatic goals in the region. The program officer will focus on developing and implementing grantmaking strategies for Burma. The program officer will report to the director. Work is carried out independently, under general supervision. After an initial training period in New York, the program officer will be based in Rangoon.
Essential duties and responsibilities include the following. OSF may add, change, or remove essential and other duties at any time.
- In conjunction with the director and other staff, develop grant-making strategies, priorities, and guidelines related to the Burma grants portfolio;
- Review and assess letters of inquiry and proposals, and make funding recommendations and declinations to the director;
- Invite grant proposals from selected organizations;
- Work with applicants to develop and finalize grant proposals;
- Review grant proposals and write grant recommendations for grant dockets process;
- Conduct site visits of prospective and current grantee organizations;
- Monitor grants through site visits and review of narrative and financial reports;
- Ensure that grantees submit narrative and financial reports as required under the terms of the contract;
- Interact with grantees, donors, and partner organizations at program-related meetings and functions.
- Develop, plan, and organize program-related events;
- Write and edit program materials and guidelines;
- Write blog pieces and press releases on critical issues relevant to the project;
- Work with director, staff, and advisors to develop strategies, priorities, and guidelines;
- Work with the director to ensure close collaboration with other program programs and convene cross-program working groups and strategy meetings as needed;
- Stay abreast of developments in the field through research, site-visits, and attendance at conferences and meetings;
- Write strategy/position papers that provide direction on or offer suggestions about strategic program development;
- Provide updates on grantee advocacy efforts to OSF advocacy offices;
- Participate in foundation-wide task forces and working groups;
- Identify joint programming opportunities and efforts with external funders and partners;
- Build and establish strategic relationships with other philanthropic partners and NGOs.
- Manage financial and budget reports to track grant and program spending;
- Assist in the planning and developing of annual budget.
- Travel is required;
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university and five to eight years relevant experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- NGO or relevant philanthropy experience essential.
- Work effectively and efficiently in a fast-paced environment, troubleshoot and follow projects through to completion;
- Excellent written, verbal, organizational, analytical, and speaking skills;
- Excellent computer skills, proficient in Microsoft Office and experience with internet research and database management;
- Exercise good listening and communication skills with sensitivity to cultural communication differences;
- Effectively work as a team member as well as independently, with a high-level of self-motivation and ability to set and meet goals;
- Show discretion and ability to handle confidential issues;
- Ability to connect a variety of issues to broader trends;
- Strong awareness of the social change organizational ecosystem and the relationships that currently (or could) exist between sectors, organizations, constituencies, and communities;
- Knowledge of key organizations and networks active in the field;
- Pleasant, diplomatic manner and disposition in interacting with colleagues, grantees, and the general public.
- Advanced degree in international relations, public policy law, or other related field preferred;
- Grant-making experience is helpful, but not required;
- Background in advancing civil and political rights in Southeast Asia;
- Familiarity with Burma civil society and human rights networks and organizations;
- Burmese or local language skills preferred;
- Experience with media advocacy helpful;
- Ability to work effectively as part of a close-knit, collaborative team.
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.
Please email resume and cover letter with salary requirements to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Use job code PO-BP/SEAI.