Program Administrative Officer

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    May 26

Position description

The Open Society Foundations’ Latin America Program seeks a full-time Program Administrative Officer in its New York or Washington DC office.

The Latin America Program (LAP) addresses rights and governance issues in Latin America primarily through grant making, network-building, and together with partners, the development of specific initiatives. We focus on supporting Latin American efforts to reform democratic institutions in ways that are more open and responsive to citizens, defending minority rights, and reducing homicides in a region that suffers high levels of violence. We are committed to advancing government accountability and transparency, public access to information, citizen security, human rights, and drug policy reform, primarily through grant making to civil society actors in these fields. Within the broader network of the Open Society Foundations, the Latin America Program seeks to provide added value through sharing its understanding of political context, facilitating contacts, brokering relationships, and identifying strategic opportunities in the region.

Job Profile

The Program Administrative Officer for grant making will manage the Latin America Program’s grants administration, the analysis of grants-related data and related graphics production; and will provide specialist support for team grant making operations. This role will report to the division director responsible for the Latin America Program’s division for Operations and the Integrative Role and will coordinate closely with the Program Administrative Officer for operations. Together with the operations team, he/she will ensure clear and efficient policies and practice for grant making operations.

This unit develops systems and processes that support program effectiveness and efficiency, including strategy and budget development and monitoring, liaising with other Open Society Programs and offices on new or modified policies and practices, strengthening good practices and capacity for grant making, as well as results assessment, learning and reflection.

We are looking for analytical, organized, and creative candidates that are highly self-motivated and directed, as well as detail-oriented, exceptional communicators demonstrating sound judgment, and capable of working on multiple priorities at once. The successful candidate will have a strong administrative, systems management, data analysis and graphics production background or aptitude, as well as the ability to collaborate well with local and remote staff.

Grant Making Operations
  • contribute to developing and maintaining efficient grant making operations policies and practice within the Latin America program team, including grant review processes and strong common practices for grant making across the team
  • build collaborative relationships, particularly with OSF departments such as Grants Management, the Budget Office, and the Strategy Unit to develop and maintain comprehensive information tools that are readily accessed to address program questions, problems, opportunities and challenges
  • facilitate initiatives within LAP related to managing and improving our grant making
  • shepherd LAP’s working group on grants process and adherence to grant targets
  • lead the analysis and evaluation of LAP’s grant making processes and delegated authority plan and the implementation of that plan; as well as recommendations for changes
  • act as LAP’s liaison with network-wide initiatives related to strategy, budget and grant making operations
  • support the development of meaningful learning, monitoring and assessment practices within LAP, as well as connecting those practices to assessment work taking place elsewhere in the network
  • train program officers and program specialists on aspects of grant making operations during orientation of new staff and for updated systems
  • liaise with other departments within OSF, including Grants Management, the Grant Making Support Group, Office of the General Counsel, the Committee on Grant making, and any relevant cross-network initiatives
  • lead and coordinate LAP’s participation in relevant cross-network initiatives
  • stay abreast of relevant policies and compliance requirements, and assists staff with understanding, operationalizing, and adhering to relevant policies and guidelines;
  • contribute to the development of grant-making policies, software tools, protocols, and practices within the program and in collaboration with network programs

Grants Administration
  • conduct advanced and independent grants administration processing and monitoring for the Latin America Program, contributing to timely, efficient and clear workflow of information for program staff and grantees
  • coordinate with program staff, grantees, and Grants Management to ensure timely and efficient grants administration and policy compliance. The candidate will develop and oversee grants administration dashboards that facilitate effective program management, conduct strategic analysis of dashboard data, and create graphic visualization of grants and other programmatic data on a regular and ad-hoc basis.
  • act as owner of all grant records within Foundation Connect; shepherding grants through compliance review
  • coordinate with program officers to address any issues that arise related to grant administration
  • manage and update the LAP grant making resource center.
  • guide the implementation of new policies and act as a resource to all staff regarding the LAP coding structure, various administrative policies, and OSF general policies
  • monitor LAP’s contracts for quality, ensuring that all staff are complying with procurement principles and new guidelines
  • acquire in-depth competencies using grants administration software tools and contribute to their ongoing development

Data Analysis
  • provide complex grant making or other data visualization, helping develop reporting tools and templates for effective program design, management and evaluation
  • work with the broader program objectives and strategies, to design, anticipate, formulate, and operationalize information solutions that will facilitate the work of the program
  • manage, analyze and communicate data regarding LAP’s grant-making targets
  • tailored communication to various audiences of relevant grant making data, i.e. for budget or strategy presentations or presentations to the Global Board or Advisory Board
  • work with program officers to determine and produce relevant data analysis for portfolio planning and design, and for portfolio reviews.

  • may be asked to take on other operational responsibilities, including managing the team’s budget as it relates to grants administration and other administrative support as needed
  • occasional travel is required

Candidate Profile
  • 5-7 years of work experience in a situation relevant to the duties of this role, sufficient to develop demonstrable competence in relevant skills.
  • fluency in Spanish and English, written and spoken. Proficiency in Portuguese is a plus.
  • administrative and data analysis experience, ideally at a large and complex international organization.
  • experience working with a grant processing system requiring in-depth knowledge of grant making policies, guidelines, and processes.
  • demonstrated proficiency in using data management and visualization platforms and databases (e.g. Salesforce, NetSuite, Foundation Maps, etc.) and aptitude to quickly learn new capabilities and systems
  • demonstrated ability to develop processes, systems, and workflows and ensure adherence and follow-up.
  • experience in developing effective policies, procedures, and standard operating procedures; demonstrated familiarity with planning for, implementing and adjusting administrative systems.
  • experience with record keeping, budgeting management, and finance administration.
  • proven ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment, troubleshoot and follow projects through to completion, delivering consistently at a high level of quality on schedule, without loss of attention to detail
  • high level of self-motivation and ease working independently, and understanding of the need to consult colleagues on more complex or sensitive matters when necessary
  • flexibility and ability to work simultaneously on a wide range of tasks and projects and ability to prioritize tasks, particularly under pressure
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with a demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds
  • experience making administrative, procedural decisions and judgments on sensitive and confidential issues.
  • familiarity with complex administrative policies and procedures and operating within them and ability to quickly understand and use policies and procedures.
  • demonstrated ability to use discretion and judgment regarding sensitive and confidential issues.
  • collaborative, collegial working style.
  • commitment to the values and goals of the Open Society Foundations.

Application instructions: Please upload a cover letter and resume as one document when submitting an application. Candidates will be considered on a rolling basis.

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

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