Program Officer
  • Employer: Open Society Foundations
  • Reference: OSF/20/119940
  • Published: Fri 24/01/2020, 15:30 PM
  • Closing on: Mon 24/02/2020, 23:59 PM
  • Working Pattern: Full Time
  • Hours: To be confirmed
  • Salary: Minimum of £57,000 Based on Experience
  • DBS Check: No
  • Location: Westminster

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Program Officer

Do you want to help make the world a better place by confronting the most significant threats to open society through change in information technology? We are currently seeking a Program Officer based in London. The Program supports the field to understand the impacts of technological change, and to take risks with inventive ways to engage with these changes. The work is built around three pillars: a resilient public sphere, rights in the digital environment, and access to knowledge.

The Open Society Foundations (OSF) work to build vibrant and inclusive democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. We are active in more than 120 countries, making us the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights.

The Information Program confronts the most significant threats and opportunities for open society that are spawned by change in information technology. These technologies transform the ways that governments and corporations exercise power, and the ways citizens communicate and mobilize to keep that power accountable. For more information about our programs, please click here.

As a Program Officer (PO) at Open Society, you will:

  • Work to confront the threats to open society created by information technology; in close collaboration with other POs, you will manage the Program’s work to confront disinformation, protect free expression, and advance a resilient public sphere;
  • Implement the strategy of the assigned area of work, using a range of tools including grant-making, fellowships, litigation and program-related investments;
  • Evolve the strategy of the assigned area of work, lead regular internal reviews, including with the Program’s Advisory Board, and present the Program’s work to both internal and external audiences;
  • Manage relationship with grantees and other social change partners and make funding decisions with considerable autonomy within an approved budget and strategy;
  • Build collaborative relationships outside OSF (e.g., with existing grantees, prospective grantees, experts in the community, etc.) as well as across the OSF network to advance rights and justice in the quantified society;
  • Monitor fields of interest to the Information Program and OSF and participate in the development of the Information Program’s overall strategy.

What we are looking for:

  • Demonstrated success in advancing social change strategies, including the ability to adopt those strategies in response to an evolving situation;
  • Substantial years of experience in a leading role at an NGO, government agency, or research institution focused on the interplay between technology, rights, and justice, and understanding of the structure and workings of both formal and informal organizations, networks, and movements within varied contexts;
  • Mastery of the key issues in the area of technology, rights, and justice, including familiarity with current controversies and thinking in the field;
  • Recognition of the power differential inherent in the funder-grantee relationship, and an ability to handle this relationship with humility and respect (prior experience in philanthropy or grantmaking is not required);
  • Project management skills, including the ability to direct others to gather evidence and research to support a key decision or judgment;
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English.

What we offer:

  • Ample opportunities to learn and grow, from annual professional development allowances to onsite trainings and brown bag lunches with visiting experts;
  • 25 paid holiday, flexible work arrangements, private medical coverage, a generous retirement savings plan, up to one year of paid parental leave, reproductive and family planning support, sabbatical opportunities, and much more;
  • A commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace that enables everyone to bring their full self to work and make a positive impact on the world.

See what a day in the life of a Program Officer at Open Society is like.

If this sounds like the position you have been looking for, please submit a cover letter that addresses the specific skills and experience that OSF requires for Program Officers (guidance is located here) and CV; we look forward to learning more about you.

We aim to build an inclusive workforce that is reflective of the populations we support, and actively seek applications from those who are marginalized and underrepresented. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and colleagues with disabilities.

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