Policy Officer

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Dec 04

Position description

The International Migration Initiative's (IMI) work is organized around three sets of goals: improving protections for refugees and vulnerable migrants; mitigating the exploitation of migrant workers; and building stronger ties between host communities and newcomers. To achieve these goals, we make grants, advocate, create multi-stakeholder partnerships, and engage with actors across a broad range of sectors, including civil society, national and local governments, international organizations, faith groups, and the private sector.

IMI’s three program areas are:

  • 21st Century Protection Our goal is to renew support among states and publics in select countries for the protection of refugees and vulnerable migrants, by demonstrating how reforms and new operational models can improve upon and complement the existing system.
  • Fair Work:  Our strategy aims to improve government policies and business practices to ensure a fair deal for migrant workers; challenge the culture of impunity by expanding migrants’ access to legal remedies; and build a broader, more resilient field of civil society actors to elevate migrant voices and shape policymaking. 
  • Welcoming & Integrated Societies: We aim to deepen support for refugees and migration through welcoming initiatives that bridge natives and newcomers, and to use insights on public attitudes to inform policy and advocacy. We pay close attention to the concerns of host communities and aim to strengthen their role in integration. 
  • Advocacy & Special Initiatives: This work cuts across our substantive program areas, using advocacy, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and engagement with the private sector to advance our goals. 

IMI undertakes significant advocacy efforts and also incubates novel multi-stakeholder partnerships, such as the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative and the Global Mayors Summit on Migrants and Refugees. The Policy Officer will support IMI’s strategy by helping to lead the program’s advocacy work, and also will play a key role in conceiving and leading new initiatives.

The Policy Officer role may include any or all of the following and/or similar activities:

  • Conceives, develops, and guides the implementation of initiatives related to migration policy and advocacy
  • Plays a critical role in conceptualizing and managing high-impact and complex partnerships and coalitions
  • Develops and drives advocacy strategies, in close collaboration with colleagues inside and outside of OSF
  • Engages and advocates with politicians, decision makers, and other stakeholders 
  • Provides pertinent research, analysis, and strategic thinking
  • Writes and produces informative briefings, reports, email updates, and other materials on key issues related to migration policy and program advocacy
  • Represents IMI at conferences, high level events, and meetings with multilateral, regional, and other institutions and EU Member States


  • Master's degree, and 7-10 years of relevant work experience in public policy, international relations, the private sector, or a related field (preferably with a mix of service in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors)
  • Aptitude to work with flexibility, creative thinking, non-traditional approaches, entrepreneurship, and diplomacy, both individually and as part of a team
  • Deep experience in the conception, design, and execution of policy and advocacy strategies, initiatives, and programs that persuade stakeholders to take action; demonstrated understanding of the role of communications in advocacy efforts
  • Flexibility and ability to work simultaneously on a wide range of tasks and projects;
  • Professional, diplomatic demeanor with the ability to represent a global organization and interact with colleagues from diverse backgrounds;
  • Five or more years of experience working on migration issues is a plus, but it is not required
  • Proven track record of building trust-based relationships with internal and external stakeholders, working at the global and national level with policymakers, civil society, coalitions, and the media
  • Outstanding analytical, written, and verbal communication skills;
  • Experience in project implementation, including partnering with grantees to define objectives, benchmarks, and deliverables, and conducting monitoring and evaluation
  • Working knowledge of the European Union, United Nations, and/or multilateral institutions 
  • Strong command of spoken and written English and of a second language;
  • Ability to undertake frequent travel.

Application instructions

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