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 Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs supports efforts to advance equality, fairness, and justice with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized communities and the most significant threats to open society in the United States today. It works to further a vibrant democratic society in which all people can meaningfully participate in its civic, economic, and political life and to ensure that the core institutions of civil society are effective and accountable to the public.
Areas of particular emphasis in U.S. Programs’ grantmaking and other activities include:
- The advancement of effective and fair criminal justice and drug policies;
- Support of the rights of racial minorities and other vulnerable groups;
- Support of institutions and practices that advance a more informed and engaged public and responsive and effective government.
Within U.S. Programs, the Equality Fund engages in grantmaking and supports programmatic initiatives to ensure justice and equality, to prohibit arbitrary and discriminatory government action, and to lift barriers faced by marginalized groups. To advance these goals, the Equality Fund supports advocacy, legal, communications, and organizing efforts to stimulate debate and achieve systemic change.
The specific areas in which the Fund is currently engaged include:
- Racial justice: Recognizing the persistent effects of the United States’ history of racial inequality, the Equality Fund focuses on the following areas that have the potential to yield measurable change in improving the conditions faced by people of color: combating racial profiling; ensuring access to quality public education, including by challenging unfair school discipline policies; and fostering the development of a 21st-century racial narrative that affirms the continuing need to remedy racial inequality.
- Immigrant rights and inclusion: As U.S. demographics shift, U.S. Programs is committed to ensuring newcomers are integrated into society, their contributions are recognized, and their rights and dignity are protected. To that end, the Equality Fund is actively involved at present in securing comprehensive immigration reform, and challenging harsh federal and state immigration enforcement laws that lead to profiling, detention, and deportation.
- Affordable housing and fair credit: Building on the work of U.S. Programs’ Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative, which was designed in 2008 as a short-term response to the mortgage and foreclosure crisis, this portfolio focuses on improving economic opportunities for people of color, immigrants, and other vulnerable groups by promoting fair and equal access to economic opportunity through activities related to affordable housing and responsible financial services.
The Fund also houses and oversees the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, a program within U.S. Programs that seeks to address, and help reverse, the ways in which black men and boys are stigmatized, criminalized, and excluded from the U.S. economic and political mainstream.
The program officer will work as part of a team to support the Fund’s work. The program officer’s primary work will involve strategy development and grantmaking relating to the Fund’s work on racial justice issues (likely to include combatting implicit racial bias, school discipline, and the 21st-century racial narrative) and for developing the connections between this work and the other priorities of the Equality Fund, U.S. Programs, and Open Society’s work internationally.
The program officer may also work on other issues of emerging interest to the Equality Fund specifically, or U.S. Programs more generally.
The Open Society Foundations may add, change, or remove essential and other duties at any time.
- Work with the director of the Equality Fund and other staff to develop grantmaking and programmatic strategies, priorities, and guidelines;
- Invite grant proposals from selected funding applicants;
- Work with applicants to develop and finalize grant proposals;
- Review grant proposals and participates in the preparation of written grant recommendations as part of grant dockets preparation process;
- Perform site visits of prospective and current grantee organizations;
- Monitor grants through site visits and review of narrative and financial reports;
- Participate in the development, planning, and organization of program-related events;
- Manage financial and budget reports to track grant and program spending;
- Stay abreast of developments in the field;
- Collaborate with grantees, philanthropic partners, and other field professionals and participates in program- and field-related meetings and convenings;
- Perform occasional special assignments, including participation in U.S. Programs and foundation task forces and working groups.
- 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;
- NGO or government advocacy experience essential;
- Strong background with programs advancing social justice through community organizing, legal advocacy, research, or policy reform work;
- Experience addressing the complex intersection of policy, program, and politics;
- Five to eight years of experience with a broad range of issues related to the work of the Equality Fund.
- Expertise in identifying strategic priorities to further social policy change, including best practices and improvement of internal systems;
- Strong awareness of relationships that currently exist or could be cultivated among social justice sectors, organizations, and constituencies;
- Excellent writing, verbal, analytical, and organizational skills and attention to detail;
- Ability to work independently and to identify and seize opportunities for collaboration;
- Excellent public speaking and presentation skills;
- Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to listen effectively;
- Self-starter with ability to set and meet goals;
- Creative thinker and strong analytical skills;
- Ability to travel;
- Ability to work effectively as part of a close knit, collaborative team;
- Strong computer and social media skills (Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint preferred);
- Proven commitment to the Open Society Foundations mission.
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 31, 2014, to: email@example.com. Include job code: PO-EF.