Open Society Foundation seeks Program Officer for Latin America Program in New York or Washington D.C.

Open Society Foundation seeks Program Officer for Latin America Program in New York or Washington D.C.

Deadline: January 30, 2016

The Open Society Foundations’ (OSF) Latin America Program is looking for a full-time Program Officer to work with their Latin America Program in either New York or Washington, DC. The Program Officer will work throughout Latin America, with a focus on advancing human rights through democratic institutions and processes.

The position will be based either in Mexico City, Bogotá, or Rio de Janeiro, after an initial period of between three and twelve months in OSF’s New York or Washington DC office.

Job Responsibilities

The Latin America Program’s human rights portfolio focuses on advancing rights in Latin America through democratic institutions and processes. They aim to foster experimentation with new approaches and tools for realizing rights, especially those aimed at engaging and influencing public opinion on key human rights issues.

  • The program officer is responsible for implementing, monitoring and helping to develop and evaluate the program strategy to realize human rights in Latin America through democratic participation.
    • This includes carrying out all stages of relevant grant making, managing relationships with other entities including potential and current grantees and other civil society and social change organizations, participating in collaborative decision making both within OSF and with external entities, and monitoring the human rights field in Latin America.
  • The program officer is also responsible for strengthening connections between the Latin America Program and the broader priorities of OSF, and facilitating effective and coordinated engagement of OSF programs in the region.

Under the guidance of the Latin America Program’s division director for human rights and citizen security, the program officer will:

  • be responsible for the Latin America Program’s human rights grant making portfolio
  • form part of a small team working with local and national-level actors to help design and fund initiatives that contribute to reducing high levels of homicide, and to making homicide reduction a public policy priority
  • play a lead role within the Latin America Program for at least one country in Latin America, developing and sharing analysis of political context, building relationships with relevant state and civil society actors, and identifying strategic opportunities relevant for OSF


  • bachelor’s degree (B.A.) from a four-year college or university; advanced degree in a relevant discipline strongly preferred
  • seven to ten years of progressively responsible experience working in a relevant field; or equivalent combination of education, experience and accomplishment
  • extensive knowledge of current issues, actors and dynamics related to human rights in Latin America; in addition, knowledge of issues, actors and dynamics related citizen security and drug policy reform in Latin America preferred
  • a sophisticated understanding of the interplay between media, politics, and policy as tools for social change
  • substantial prior work within a civil society organization or government institution in Latin America
  • fluency in Spanish, with excellent written and spoken English; Portuguese proficiency is a plus
  • demonstrated commitment to open society values of human rights, transparency and accountability, and democratic governance
  • demonstrated success in advancing social change strategies, including planning and making changes in response to an evolving situation
  • experience in grant making or advocacy, or demonstrated project management experience, including managing consultants and project budgets, preferred
  • high emotional intelligence, humility and empathy; the ability to relate to people across cultures; and excellent inter-personal skills, with the diplomatic demeanor and political astuteness necessary to represent a global organization
  • familiarity with the issues surrounding good grant-making, including an understanding of the power dynamics in the grantee/grant-maker relationship, and ability to handle this relationship properly and respectfully
  • strong organizational, analytical and critical thinking skills


NOTE: Please include a cover letter and resume when submitting an application.

For more information, visit Open Society Foundation Job.