Program Officer, New Executives Fund

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Nov 02

Position description

Program Officer, New Executives Fund, Open Society Fellowship, New York, Deadline: 11/21/2018

The Open Society Fellowship Program builds individual and institutional capacity in fields that are central to the Open Society Foundations' (OSF) core mission. The Open Society Fellowship encompasses several different initiatives, each of which seeks to contribute to the intellectual life and rigor of the network.

This role works primarily with one of the program's initiatives, New Executives Fund, which supports newly appointed executive directors and chief executive officers who show promise to grow as leaders in their respective fields. Selected grantees receive funds that can be used flexibly to support projects undertaken early in their organizational leadership tenures.

To learn about other Fellowship Program initiatives please click here .

Job Profile:

The Open Society Fellowship Program is seeking a fixed-term Program Officer to work primarily with the New Executives Fund (NEF) for 18 months. The ideal candidate is a dynamic, collaborative and mature person who can help shape the the Fund's future evolution.

The Program Officer's overall mandate will be to lead the NEF portfolio, including its grantmaking and strategy. They will primarily lead the competitive selection of grantees, engage with current and former grantees to monitor the grants, and consolidate learnings. They will be responsible for deepening NEF's understanding of the non-profit leadership space through participation in donor affinity groups and facilitating an internal OSF community of practice on leadership transitions. They will also contribute to overall program development and strategy of the Open Society Fellowship program.

Duties and Responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing the NEF selection cycle, including reviewing nominated materials, conducting due diligence internally and externally, leading interviews with Executive Director (ED) candidates, and helping make final selection decisions;
  • Leading programmatic grant-making activities including assessing the organizational health of prospective grantees and writing grant recommendations as part of the grant approval process;
  • Analyzing applicants' and grantees' financial and budget information;
  • Working with applicants to develop and finalize grant budgets and project plans;
  • Conducting active outreach across the OSF network to increase diversity of nominations received;
  • Monitoring the progress of current grantees through regular check-ins with EDs, board members and other donors, site visits, as well as review of narrative and financial reports;
  • Building collaborative relationships within and outside OSF (e.g., with existing grantees, prospective grantees, experts in the community, etc.);
  • Contributing to a culture of internal learning and reflection, including facilitating a community of practice within OSF, and organizing brown bag discussions.
  • Co-leading the ongoing development of NEF's strategy and program design;
  • Developing and implementing grant-making strategies, priorities, and guidelines;
  • Writing and editing program materials and guidelines;
  • Preparing and leading assessments and evaluation of the effectiveness of program strategies and policies;
  • Staying abreast of key issues, developments and events in the non-profit leadership space, and participating in donor affinity groups, in order to identify trends and connect them to programmatic efforts;
  • Performing special assignments, including participation in other Fellowship and OSF program activities, as requested.


Candidate Profile

  • 7 to 10 years of progressively responsible experience in relevant civil society, multilateral, humanitarian or development organizations;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and execute a strategy in collaboration with internal and external partners;
  • Ability to navigate the sensitivities and power dynamics inherent in a grantee/funder relationship and cross-cultural contexts;
  • Demonstrated understanding of organizational health and governance and ability to assess organizational effectiveness;
  • Knowledge of nonprofit management and capacity-building, as well as the field of nonprofit leadership;
  • Ability to build and maintain relationships and deliver hard messages when necessary;
  • High-level analytical, writing, communication, and critical thinking skills;
  • Excellent judgement and complex problem-solving skills;
  • Sensitivity to cultural differences and commitment to inclusion and respect;
  • Willingness to travel internationally.


Application instructions: Please include a cover letter and resume (both required), and upload as one document when submitting an application.

*Please note that all shortlisted candidates will be asked to submit a separate written statement to demonstrate that they possess the skills, abilities, and sensitivities, needed to excel in the Program Officer role as they relate to the candidate profile above.

Competitive rates of pay apply.

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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