Program Officer - Information Program

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    May 10

Position description

Program Officer - Information Program. London. Posting Date: 05/10/2019. Deadline: 06/06/2019

Salary is competitive plus benefits

About the Open Society Information Program

The Open Society Information Program confronts the most significant threats and opportunities for open society spawned by change in information technology. These technologies transform the ways that governments and corporations exercise power, and the ways citizens communicate and mobilize to keep that power accountable. As the technologies and the power dynamics around them are evolving rapidly, the Program supports the field to understand the impacts of technological change, and to take risks with inventive ways to engage with these changes. The work is built around three pillars: a resilient public sphere, rights in the digital environment, and access to knowledge.

Job Profile

The Information Program is recruiting a Program Officer (PO) to join our team based at the Open Society Foundations (OSF) office in London. The new staff member will join a team of Program Officers working to confront the threats to open society created by information technology. This includes work to limit surveillance powers of governments and corporations, counter discrimination based on algorithmic decision-making, and confront the manipulation of our public sphere. The successful candidate will be responsible for evolving and implementing the strategy for the assigned area of work and carry out all relevant stages of grant making. The Information Program's areas of work are changing over time to reflect the Foundation's evolving priorities. Priority will be given to candidates with a demonstrated ability to think strategically about opportunities for change in the field of technology and social justice. They will also need to thrive in a team able to work under pressure and respond to a fast-changing environment. Prior experience in philanthropy or grant making is not required.

Responsibilities for the role may include the following:

  • Implement the strategy of the assigned area of work, using a range of tools including grant making, fellowships, litigation and program-related investments.
  • Evolve the strategy of the assigned area of work, lead regular internal reviews including with the Program's Advisory Board, and present the Program's work to both internal and external audiences.
  • Manage relationship with grantees and other social change partners and make funding decisions with considerable autonomy within an approved budget and strategy.
  • Build collaborative relationships outside OSF (e.g., with existing grantees, prospective grantees, experts in the community, etc.) as all as across the OSF network to advance rights and justice in the quantified society.
  • Monitor fields of interest to the Information Program and OSF and participate in the development of the Information Program's overall strategy.


Candidate Profile

  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study or equivalent experience/education; graduate degree preferred.
  • Substantial years of experience in a leading role at an NGO, government agency or research institution focused on the interplay between technology, rights and justice
  • Mastery of the key issues in the area of technology, rights and justice, including familiarity with current controversies and thinking in the field.
  • Demonstrated success in advancing social change strategies, including the ability to adopt those strategies in response to an evolving situation.
  • Recognition of the power differential inherent in the funder-grantee relationship, and an ability to handle this relationship with humility and respect.
  • Comprehensive understanding of the structure and workings of both formal and informal organizations, networks, and movements within varied contexts.
  • Ability to exercise good judgment in the execution of OSF strategies, often under circumstances in which insufficient information is available or circumstances are volatile.
  • Project management skills, including the ability to direct others to gather evidence and research to support a key decision or judgment.
  • Ideally international experience
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English is essential
  • Intellectual humility and an ability to learn from mistakes are a must.


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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