Program Officer, Public Health Program

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Mar 14

Position description

Program Officer, Public Health Program. New York. Posting Date: 03/13/2019. Deadline: 04/03/2019

The Open Society Public Health Program is seeking a Program Officer to work in its Access and Accountability Division. This post will be based in New York.

Public Health Program

The Open Society Public Health Program (PHP) advances a human rights approach to health, with an emphasis on social inclusion and reclaiming the public good in health. We work to make justice systems more responsive to health, to shift power dynamics in health-related decision-making, to challenge the health establishment to advance human rights, and to influence the funding environment for health and rights. The PHP is unique in explicitly focusing on the political nature of health, not seeing it solely or primarily as a technical issue.

Job Profile

The Program Officer will work in collaboration with other PHP colleagues to develop and implement portfolios of grants, plan and oversee strategic convenings and manage consultancies. The position will initially have a dual focus on access to medicines and innovation, as well as palliative care. PHP's work on access to medicines and innovation centers on transforming the profit-centered medical ecosystem to one that delivers medicines and innovation in the public interest. We recognize that medicines are public goods, and that there is a public responsibility to ensure medicine development, availability and accessibility for those who need them. Our focus has shifted from access to specific medicines on the ground and how they will be paid for, to a fundamental questioning of why medicines are so expensive to begin with, and to work with activists in the global south and north to think about transformational change in the dominant models of biomedical innovation.

Our work on palliative care supports the field of strategic advocacy for palliative care as a government responsibility. It supports advocacy to secure public financing of palliative care, and to combat the impact of a disproportionate emphasis on drug control on access to controlled medicines for palliative care.

The specific tasks will change over time and may be adapted depending on the skills and experience of the successful candidate, as well as the needs of the program. This position is ideally suited to a highly experienced and flexible professional, who is familiar with the key trends, stakeholders, issues and tensions in the field of health and human rights and related fields.

Essential duties and responsibilities include the following:

  • Contributes to crafting and executing strategy for allocated bodies of work, including developing new bodies of work in line with the overall PHP strategy and in collaboration with supervisor and colleagues;
  • Constructs and regularly reviews, portfolios of work that combine the use of multiple tools, chiefly grant making but also advocacy, strategic convening, communications, and others;
  • Leads the grant-making for allocated portfolios, exercising approval authority over grants in line with PHP thresholds, and managing the approval process for grants above Program Officer approval limit;
  • Assesses organizational capacities of key grantees and provides capacity building opportunities in order to strengthen the field;
  • Builds collaborative relationships within and outside OSF (e.g. with existing grantees, prospective grantees, experts in the community, policy makers, multilateral agencies) that advance portfolio goals. Identifies joint programming opportunities with external funders and partners;
  • Conducts regular on-site monitoring and technical assistance visits in collaboration with PHP staff and consultants, including preparation of written reports;
  • Conceptualizes and convenes meetings, seminars and training workshops for relevant PHP partners;
  • Participates in the development of overall PHP strategy and conducts research to support program design;
  • Manages complex projects that include staff within/outside OSF and that may be regional or global in nature;
  • Manages financial and budget reports to track spending and assist in planning and development of annual budgets
  • Represents PHP at relevant events, meetings and conferences;
  • Undertakes other duties as requested by the Public Health Program.

Candidate Profile

  • 7-10 years of progressively responsible experience in a field related to health and human rights;
  • Strong analysis and knowledge of key trends, donors, stakeholders, decision making and accountability processes in relation to the field of health and human rights;
  • Demonstrated commitment to advance the human rights of marginalized populations and of engaging in structural determinants of human rights violations;
  • Deep knowledge and experience of civil society and related actors working to advance health and human rights at both global and national levels, including understanding of tensions in the field;
  • Experience and demonstrated success in advancing social change in the field of economic and social justice, including through innovative approaches;
  • A focus on access to medicines, palliative care, or related areas is desirable;
  • Experience of living and working in low or middle income countries, in particular in Africa or Latin America;
  • Complex project management experience;
  • Excellent written and oral English is required; knowledge of French or Spanish is an asset;
  • Ability to exercise measured and appropriate judgment, rooted in analysis and often under circumstances in which insufficient information is available and/or the circumstances are highly volatile;
  • Ability to grasp and work within a complex organizational environment, to show sensitivity and respect for people working in different programs and departments, and to empathize with different points of view;
  • Exceptional collaboration skills including the demonstrated ability to capitalize on opportunities for effective working with others, recognizing the value of diverse geographic and thematic experience;
  • Excellent strategic and analytical skills including the ability to combine external and internal inputs into a compelling strategy and theory of change, and to implement that strategy, synthesizing complex information to make and articulate well justified operational decisions, to assess progress and adapt as appropriate;
  • Adaptability and ability to work in conditions of change and ambiguity, and to stretch oneself to adopt new skills which respond to changing circumstances and challenges;
  • Ability to work with a high degree of autonomy while contributing to strong and effective cross cultural teams;
  • Willingness to undertake regular international travel.

Please upload a cover letter and CV, ideally as one document.

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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