Open Society Foundations - Program Specialist

The Eurasia Program works to deepen civil society, uphold human rights, and maintain space for independent debate and discussion in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, and in Turkey. The program is advanced through grant making, advocacy and research, regional initiatives, and close engagement with local Open Society foundations. We believe that a vital civil society is fundamental to the promotion of democratic governance and government accountability.

Job Profile

The Eurasia Program is seeking a Program Specialist to be based in London, with the possibility of placement in Berlin. The Program Specialist will be an integral part of our programmatic activities, carrying out field research and analysis, identifying new partners and developing relationships with existing partners, and working closely with the Division Director for Advocacy and Accountability and Program Officers on the strategic direction of the work. The Program Specialist will develop expertise in one or more of the thematic areas in which we work (which include advocacy and campaigning, anti-corruption, and human rights, among others), as well as provide ongoing analysis of the Eurasia region as a whole.

We are an international team based in New York, Berlin and London, working with internal and external partners around the world

Essential duties and responsibilities will include (but are not limited to):

  • Support the program by conducting a wide range of activities related to the grant making and advocacy process, including analytical work in support of field development, regional consultations and integrative activities.

  • Design and carry out field scans and ongoing field monitoring as they relate to the Eurasia Program’s strategic areas of work.

  • Conduct research and synthesize large amounts of data/information to be used in decision-making, strategy development, and evaluation of the grants portfolio or other program processes.

  • Participate in preparing and presenting portfolio reviews, as well as other meeting presentations.

  • Deftly analyze grant proposals and budgets.

  • Contribute to the design, planning and implementation of advocacy campaigns in close collaboration with colleagues in the network.

  • Partner closely with program administration staff to ensure the efficient flow of grants processing and other similar program initiatives.

  • Help develop the concept, agenda, key players, etc. for convenings, training programs, and research initiatives within assigned areas of work.

  • Contribute to the assessment of organizations. This includes assessment of operational environment, organizational finances, and effectiveness in the field.

  • May be asked to take on administrative responsibilities or projects on an ad-hoc basis. These may include processing grants, developing tools and templates, coordinating event logistics, and processing vendor contracts and consultancy agreements.

Candidate Profile

  • 3-5 years of progressively responsible professional experience in relevant role(s).

  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Eurasia region and understanding of the most pertinent challenges and opportunities for engagement with civil society in Eurasia.

  • Expertise in one of the following areas is required: advocacy and campaigning, civil society development, anti-corruption, and human rights. Experience working with civil society organizations in Eurasia is a strong asset.

  • Excellent research and analytical skills as they relate to processing large amounts of information, and honing in on the most relevant insights for informing the Eurasia Program’s grant making strategy.

  • Excellent written and spoken communication in English; Russian language reading and conversational skills strongly preferred.

  • Experience giving grants and/or working with civil society partners on the ground in Eurasia preferred.

  • Well-developed emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, empathy, and sensitivity to cultural communication differences.

  • Intellectual curiosity; keen problem solving skills; and a constant drive to learn and develop.

  • Collegial and collaborative; able to work productively as a member of a team and communicate effectively with others.

  • Strong commitment to open society values of rights, justice, accountable governance, human dignity, and democratic practice.

  • Strong commitment to inclusion and respect for all colleagues regardless of identity or seniority.

  • University degree or equivalent

To apply, please upload a CV and Cover Letter, as well as a recent writing sample (research-based analysis paper or article, maximum 10 pages, attachment or online link). Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Competitive rates of pay apply.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and are committed to providing reasonable adjustments so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.