Regional Director for Eurasia

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Feb 27

Position description

Open Society Foundations (OSF) is a global network of regional and national foundations and of geographic and thematic programs operating in more than 100 countries in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Europe, Latin America & the Caribbean, the Middle East, and the United States. All of these entities cooperate informally as the Open Society Foundations, but they are established and regulated individually in accordance to the laws of the country where they are located. In addition, most programs and foundations in the network are governed or advised by their own Boards.

The several entities that comprise OSF employ collectively approximately 1,600 staff based in 49 offices across 43 countries. No other philanthropic organization maintains this level of human capacity on the ground in so many places. OSF’s large investment in staff and boards also reflects their commitment to local leadership and support for small- and medium-sized organizations, associations, and individuals. The consolidated budget for all operations worldwide in 2018 is approximately one billion USD.

The Eurasia Program, one of OSF’s seven regional programs, works to strengthen civil society, uphold human rights, and maintain space for independent debate and discussion in Eastern Europe (Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus), the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia), Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), and Turkey. These goals are advanced through grant making, advocacy, research, and close engagement with eight national foundations.

The Regional Director is responsible for the strategic direction and effective implementation of OSF’s work in Eurasia through the program’s own initiatives as well as by catalyzing, strengthening and developing collaboration between OSF’s other regional and thematic programs and foundations. The Director leads a staff of seventeen located across three OSF offices: New York, London and Budapest, working across a diverse array of topics such as governance and accountability, media and information, rights and justice and anti-corruption. The overall annual budget for the program in 2018 is $15.6 million.
Job Profile Leadership and Representation
  • provide a bold and comprehensive vision for the Eurasia Program, identifying work that will strengthen existing programming in the region as well as new areas for OSF intervention;
  • represent the program, its mission, and its work to OSF senior leadership and governing board, as well as to other donors, civil society, media, and governments;
  • provide leadership on the program’s strategy, management, governance, and budget;
  • remain current on regional developments and on global issues affecting the region, and develop both responsive and proactive strategies to advance OSF’s mission in Eurasia. Make recommendations for cross-regional learning and activities, and for appropriate integration of Eurasia into the global work of OSF;
  • ensure the Eurasia Program’s strategy is implemented efficiently and is carried out appropriately in rapidly-changing contexts; manage portfolios to support regional and country strategies and emergency-response activities. Oversee the solicitation, evaluation, and review of applications for funding, authorizing/declining grants within an approved budget, and in line with an approved strategy;
  • advise OSF’s senior leadership team and the Global Board on strategic trends, needs, opportunities and challenges in Eurasia;
  • remain current on global developments as relates to open society; synthesizing these with the program’s approach;
  • initiate and sustain strong partnerships with other donors, state and non-state actors within the region; represent OSF with a range of key donors, policy makers, governments, public and private partners, and news media;
  • ensure program quality through consistent use of rigorous assessment, accountability, and learning systems;
  • participate in OSF’s Senior Leadership Group and its global subcommittee and undertake institutional responsibilities for senior management as needed
Staff Performance Management and Development
  • lead the Eurasia program team by creating an enabling working environment, maintaining open and professional relations with colleagues, promoting a strong team spirit and providing guidance, oversight and resources to enable staff to perform successfully;
  • supervise direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, and providing regular and timely performance feedback. This includes providing constructive feedback and counsel on appropriate career paths and professional development for staff;
  • promote and monitor staff growth and well-being. Support appropriate interventions in response to identified needs of staff; champion staff development efforts in collaboration with Human Resources;
  • maintain a healthy office environment that encourages open, honest and productive communication among staff.
Stewardship, Security and Operational Management
  • maintain a close working relationship with the Executive Directors and Board Chairs of the eight local Open Society foundations within the Eurasian region;
  • in collaboration with the Finance department, provide oversight of financial planning and operating budgets, and monitor budget versus spending and audit reports;
  • drive operational excellence to achieve optimal efficiency and cost-effectiveness in all functions and operations of the regional program;
  • ensure team responsiveness and effective collaboration with Legal, Grants Administration, HR, and Finance.
Candidate Profile
  • demonstrated extensive knowledge of political and social dynamics across the Eurasia region; a passionate interest in and intellectual curiosity for global trends affecting the region;
  • a minimum of ten years of experience in advocacy, policy analysis or management related to Europe and/or Eurasia;
  • demonstrated experience building and managing successful programs and teams, and in managing inter and intra-organizational relationships in complex organizational environments;
  • substantial experience as a manager with an understanding of the principles and practices involved in the effective management of a complex institution;
  • previous engagement with or knowledge of non-profit sector and/or philanthropy is strongly preferred, with an understanding of how civil society operates and is resourced, and a demonstrated interest in using grant making in combination with other tactics to effect social change;
  • excellent written and verbal English language skills and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with a diverse array of people and audiences;
  • proficiency in Russian strongly desired;
  • extraordinary initiative, creativity, and capacity to think strategically;
  • ability to work effectively in a highly collaborative environment and as a member of a high level management team;
  • team spirit and respectful working and decision-making style;
  • strong organizational and negotiation skills and close attention to detail;
  • diplomatic manner and professional discretion essential;
  • willingness to travel frequently.

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

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 accommodations so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfil the essential functions of the job.

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