Program Administrative Specialist

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jan 07

Position description

Program Administrative Specialist, US Programs, New York, Deadline: 01/07/2019

The Open Society Foundations seeks a Program Administrative Specialist to help advance the goals of U.S. Programs, and specifically its National Security and Human Rights Project. The position will be New York based.

U.S. Programs' Democracy team seeks to promote an informed and engaged public, assure responsive, effective and accountable government, and advance political equality. The National Security and Human Rights Project ("the Project"), located within this team, supports efforts to protect and promote human rights and government accountability in connection with U.S. national security policy. Current issues on our radar include racial, ethnic, and religious discrimination against Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities; surveillance, detention, and interrogation practices; and expansive executive power in the use of armed force, including targeted killings by drone. The Project supports advocacy, litigation, research, communications, and organizing, primarily through grant making; the Project also conducts its own research and convenings.

The National Security and Human Rights Project team includes a Manager, Senior Program Officer, and the Program Administrative Specialist position. The Project coordinates closely with the larger Democracy team and the OSF-DC policy office, as well as with other thematic and regional programs across the Foundations.

Job Profile

The Program Administrative Specialist for the National Security and Human Rights Project functions as part of a close-knit team, reporting directly to the Team Manager and carrying out both operational and programmatic work in support of grant making and other program tasks. The Program Specialist role may include any or all of the following and/or similar activities:

  • Coordinating the efficient flow of grants, ensuring Project compliance and serving as the team expert on grant processes and internal requirements. This may include developing tools and templates, mastering the OSF systems and policies involved, and keeping the team on track.
  • Analyzing grant proposals and budgets, helping to shepherd and review grant submissions, document them in our system, and in some instances assisting with drafting of grant recommendations.
  • Contributing to development of programmatic budgets and work plans, monitoring and tracking grantee progress and reports, and helping the team to assess grantee organizational health.
  • Coordinating event logistics, and processing vendor contracts and consultancy agreements, along with other related administrative responsibilities or projects.
  • Partnering closely with teammates and other staff to meet program needs, such as editing drafts and compiling and presenting information in an accessible way.
  • Supporting programmatic efforts by conducting activities - including research, reporting, and monitoring - related to the grant making process and/or analytical work in support of field and issue analysis, project development, organizational and portfolio assessments, advocacy, and cross-programmatic consultations.
  • Staying abreast of developments in the relevant fields and the landscape of organizations, academic work, and donors related to the Project's work.

Candidate Profile


  • 3-5 years of progressively responsible experience in a situation relevant to the duties of this role. Will ideally have administrative experience at a large and complex organization.
  • Organized; strong project management ability; self-directed on work initiatives; strong attention to detail. Ability to manage competing priorities and deadlines, set up processes, systems, and workflows and ensure adherence to procedures and follow-up.
  • Demonstrated interest in issues addressed by the Project, and by OSF generally, and willingness to learn on the job.
  • Highly skilled in office technology, including the Microsoft Office suite. Also proven strong skills in internet research, processing information, and analyzing its importance in informing OSF programs, strategies, workplans, and budgets. Must be comfortable learning new proprietary software systems.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication in English and ability to write clearly and concisely; editing skills are a plus.
  • Diplomatic, discreet, able to handle confidential matters with a high level of integrity; willingness and ability to exercise sound professional judgment on issues of sensitivity.
  • Demonstrate consistent respect for others' opinions, listen well, and ability to work constructively with colleagues at all levels in the hierarchy of the organization as well as with external partners. Strong commitment to inclusion and respect for all colleagues.
  • Collaborative, collegial working style, and willingness to play a supporting role.
  • Well-developed emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, self-management, and empathy.
  • Strong commitment to open society values of rights, equity, justice, accountable governance, human dignity, and democratic practice.


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

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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