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 Latin America Program addresses rights and governance issues within Latin America primarily through grantmaking, advocacy, and network-building. It is developing key areas of focus in supporting Latin American efforts to reform democratic institutions in ways that are more open and responsive to citizens, defending minority rights, and reducing homicides in a region that suffers high levels of violence. We are committed to advancing government accountability and transparency, public access to information, citizen security, human rights, drug policy reform, and the protection of the rights of migrants in the Mesoamerican corridor.
The Latin America Program acts as funder, connector, and catalyst, helping partner organizations develop capacities and networks that strengthen their effectiveness. Extensive knowledge of regional dynamics and relationships with key actors allow us to identify opportunities, engage with partners in the design of strategies for change, and to facilitate collaborative action. Within Open Society, the program coordinates overall institutional engagement in Latin America.
The Latin America Program is expanding from a small Washington, D.C.–based team to a team that will deepen its geographic reach and expertise by placing professional staff in priority countries throughout Latin America. This position is initially located in Washington, D.C., with the expectation of later relocation to Latin America.
Open Society’s Latin America Program is seeking a program officer to help develop initiatives within two of the program’s principal focus areas: catalyzing the reform of democratic institutions for more effective citizen engagement, and addressing the constellation of issues needed to reduce high levels of homicide. The program officer will be responsible for developing and executing program strategy, including all stages of relevant grantmaking, and for strengthening connections between the Latin America Program and the broader priorities of Open Society. He/she will be responsible for developing relationships with state and non-state actors within a particular country or sub-region, and facilitating effective and coordinated engagement of Open Society programs in the region.
We are looking for analytical, organized, and creative candidates with significant knowledge of national-level issues, actors, and dynamics related to democratic institutions and civic engagement in Latin America. The successful candidate will be highly self-motivated and directed, as well as a communicative team player, and capable of working in multiple teams with members based in different locations. He/she will have prior experience working in Latin America in civil society organizations or government offices, with an ability to identify trends and changes in operating context, along with the judgment to understand and communicate about their implications for overarching program goals. He/she should be fluent in Spanish or Portuguese, and have excellent written and spoken English.
Include the following:
- Contribute to program strategy development, including the design of initiatives and program portfolios;
- Manage the development of particular program initiatives as directed, including planning, implementation, and reporting;
- Work with regional director and other staff to plan, develop, and implement grantmaking strategies and priorities;
- Analyze institutional strengths and limitations of grantee and prospective grantee organizations;
- Prepare and participate in assessments and evaluation of the effectiveness of program strategies, including reviews of program initiatives or portfolios;
- In coordination with regional director and other staff, engage in direct advocacy, or provide strategic support and feedback to grantees and allies involved in advocacy;
- Work with the regional director to ensure close collaboration with other Open Society programs and to identify opportunities for complementary programming;
- In coordination with regional director and other staff, write occasional blog posts, op-eds, or position papers that offer perspectives or recommendations on issues relevant to Open Society strategy in Latin America;
- Encourage collaboration and strategic alliances among organizations and fields with related goals, constituencies, and interests, cultivating and maintaining institutional relationships with grantees and other allies, and participating in program-related meetings;
- Analyze financial and budget information, including the review and assessment of narrative and financial information of grantees;
- Assist in the planning and development and monitoring of annual budget;
- Frequent travel required.
- 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;
- Advanced degree in a relevant discipline strongly preferred;
- Experience in grant making or advocacy, with demonstrated project management experience, including managing consultants and project budgets;
- Substantial prior work within a civil society organization or government institution in Latin America;
- Demonstrated commitment to open society values of human rights, transparency, and accountability, and good governance.
- Demonstrated strengths in analysis, program implementation, and learning;
- Critical thinking and capacity for creativity and innovation;
- Knowledge of key organizations and networks active in the field; demonstrated in-depth understanding of issues, major actors and political dynamics related to democracy, human rights, and good governance in at least one country within Latin America;
- Flexibility, ability to prioritize, and willingness to work simultaneously on a wide range of tasks and projects;
- Experience in managing multiple priorities under time pressure;
- Relevant experience in a policy or campaigning role, or in developing advocacy strategies and representing advocacy concerns;
- Adept in the use of social media and technology for advocacy;
- Excellent organizational and analytical skills;
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills, including active listening and communication with sensitivity to cultural differences;
- Effectiveness working both independently and as a member of multiple teams, with a high-level of self-motivation and self-directedness;
- Ability to work efficiently and effectively from a distance or within working groups whose members are based in different locations;
- Professional, diplomatic demeanor with the ability to represent a global organization;
- Ability to identify and resolve sensitive matters and situations;
- Excellent computer skills, proficient in Microsoft Office.
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 by March 28, 2014, to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Include job code in subject line: PO-LAP.