Program Officer (Fixed Term), Global Drug Policy Program

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    May 09

Position description

Program Officer (Fixed Term), Global Drug Policy Program. New York. Posting Date: 05/08/2019. Deadline: 05/26/2019

The Global Drug Policy Program (GDPP) of the Open Society Foundations seeks to shift the policy paradigm on illicit drugs from today's punitive approach to one rooted in human rights, sustainable development, and public health. Grant-making and advocacy are the principal tools of GDPP. GDPP provides financial support to organizations around the world that are engaged in improving national drug policies as well as human rights and sustainable development groups that seek to include drug policy into their portfolios.

Job Profile

The Program Officer is a pivotal role at Open Society. The role has responsibility for engaging with fields of interest to OSF, developing appropriate strategies and tools for fostering desired social change, while also developing and managing relationships with other entities including potential and current grantees. The Program Officer works collaboratively both within OSF and with external entities whose goals are aligned with the Global Drug Policy Program.

This is a fixed term position to cover a parental leave vacancy (June 2019 - Feb 2020).
  • responsible for all grant-making activities relating to Asia and contributes to grant-making in other regions and thematic portfolios. Operates with considerable autonomy and makes decisions related to authorizing/declining grants within an approved budget reflective of own field experience/expertise.
  • works within the broader program strategy designs, makes and assesses grants and makes use of other appropriate tools for advancing goals.
  • builds collaborative relationships within and outside OSF (e.g., with existing grantees, prospective grantees, experts in the community, etc.) that advance drug policy reform efforts in Asia.
  • participates in the development of overall program strategy and conducts research to support program design.
  • prepares written evaluations of partner organizations, drafts funding rational, and other internal documents.
  • work with Director and other staff to develop program advocacy priorities for Asia.
  • responsible for strengthening connections between OSF's geographic and thematic programs consistent with OSF's broader priorities, identifying opportunities where a shared approach might have the potential to create a broader impact.
  • perform special assignments, including participation with other OSF programs and foundation task forces and working groups
  • identifies joint programming opportunities and efforts with external funders and partners;
  • stays abreast of developments in the field through research and attendance of conferences and/or meetings;


Candidate Profile

  • 7-10 years of progressively responsible experience in public policy with focus on developing countries
  • deep understanding of and vision for change based on experience and/or knowledge and is able to use that understanding to develop and implement a strategy for achieving the vision.
  • demonstrated success in advancing social change strategies, including planning and implementing modifications in response to related to drug policy reform
  • demonstrates an understanding of the implications of the power differential inherent in the funder-grantee relationship and has demonstrated the ability and the willingness to handle such relationships properly and respectfully
  • he/she has a comprehensive understanding of the structure and workings of both formal and informal organizations (NGO/non-profit organizations), networks, and movements within varied contexts and as appropriate to drug policy reform
  • must have 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
  • requires mastery of analytical approaches and options, and ability to make sound informed judgments
  • requires project management skills, including the ability to direct others to effectively gather evidence and research to inform decisions or judgments
  • ability to build collaborative relationships - in OSF, peer foundations, and with grant seekers and grantees, and others in the field - to further programmatic goals
  • comprehensive, specialized knowledge in drug policy, human rights and/or development, including familiarity with current controversies/issues and leading figures/thinking.
  • he/she must have the ability to exercise effective and inclusive leadership in cross-cultural settings
  • excellent written and spoken communication skills in English are important.


Application Instructions: Please upload a cover letter and resume as one document when submitting an application. Cover letters are required for all applications.

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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