Associate Director for Program Development


Associate Director for  Program Development- Human Rights Initiative

Location: London, New York or Washington DC 

The Human Rights Initiative (HRI) works across issues and geographies to promote a comprehensive vision of human rights that recognizes that a diverse and powerful human rights movement is critical to the ongoing struggle of all people to realize our rights. Given the challenging context the human rights movement faces, the Human Rights Initiative supports efforts of the movement to reinvigorate itself and adapt to this context by expanding the way it advances rights. Across issues and geographies, we support the movement to engage directly with the public to elevate support for human rights values, prioritize the voices of activists rooted in and able to mobilize communities, and ensure greater solidarity across rights struggles and social movements. Our vision is one where the human rights movement is effective in grounding its activism in communities, is able to build partnerships with actors from within and outside the movement, has skills for developing and communicating its message with impact, and is able to push back against the growing politics of fear while standing up for both civil and political as well as economic-social rights.

Job Profile

The Associate Director for Program Development will work with colleagues within HRI as well as across Open Society Foundations, including the Grant Making Support Group, Grants Management, and Strategy and Budget Unit. The  Assocat Director will report to the Deputy Director of the Human Rights Initiative and will be a part of the senior leadership team. This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced professional with in-depth experience to develop, help implement and monitor strategies to advance human rights. The role may include any or all of the following and/or similar responsibilities:

  • create and help lead processes for developing program strategy, connecting conversations of strategy and program implementation to budget development and expenditure, working to ensure effective program oversight with a view to deepening our collective impact, and supporting cross-program learning
  • lead a small team to ensure program-wide excellence in grant making and program implementation
  • develop and lead program efforts to document and monitor the impact of our engagement in order to draw lessons from our work and inform the development of our strategies and work plans
  • contribute to the vision and leadership of the Human Rights Initiative as part of its senior leadership team, assist in identifying and implementing its core operating values and approaches to grant making
  • stay abreast of key issues and developments in the human rights field with the aim of connecting new trends to programmatic efforts of refining strategies
  • collaborate across the Initiative to develop program-wide processes for documentation and program development, work to engage the Advisory Board of the Human Rights Initiative in the development and assessment of programmatic strategies, and build and develop strong connections with other programs and units within the Open Society Foundations
  • support the growth and maintenance of the Human Rights Initiative’s relationships with key influencers including activists and advocates, legal experts and litigators, donors and development specialists, and other partners in order to understand how we can assess our own role in the fields we support as well as provide insight to how the fields we support define their impact.

Candidate Profile

  • 10-15 years of relevant experience or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • diverse experience leading processes to engage program teams in a process of strategy development, reviewing, and learning
  • experience working within organizations to develop and execute human rights strategies, preferably with a working knowledge of national, regional, and international human rights mechanisms
  • demonstrated experience working with civil society groups to advance rights-based strategies and campaigns
  • excellent writer, editor, and speaker and skilled as a facilitator and presenter, instructor, or discussant
  • management experience supporting diverse teams to develop strategies and learn from program implementation
  • excellent analytical, interpersonal and organizational skills with sensitivity to cultural communication differences
  • diplomatic and problem-solving skills with a good sense of humor
  • able to work effectively in a highly collaborative environment and as a member of multiple teams;
  • knowledge of a foreign language strongly preferred

Location: London, New York or Washington DC

Application Instructions: Please upload a cover letter and resume as one document when submitting an application.

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. 

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations, and we welcome and actively seek applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences