Program Officer, Education Support Program (Fixed-Term)

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jun 08

Position description

Program Officer, Education Support Program (Fixed-Term). London. Posting Date: 06/07/2019. Deadline: 07/10/2019

The Open Society Education Support Program is seeking a fixed-term Program Officer for 18 months to manage a portfolio of grants related to education advocacy and grassroots organizations in Europe and other regions as determined by strategy. This position is open for recruitment in London or Berlin.

The Education Support Program (ESP) is a global program that operates in Africa, Eurasia, Europe, the Middle East North Africa, and Southeast Asia. ESP works collaboratively and co-funds Programs with twenty national and regional foundations. Additionally, ESP cooperates with a network of over 200 organizations in the Open Society Foundations' education universe, utilizing a plethora of competencies to further its' mission in education; policy research and knowledge production, advocacy, demonstration piloting, network-building, capacity building and resource mobilization. ESP staff are based in a range of locations; Berlin, Cluj, New York, and London. The priorities of the Education Support Program (ESP) are shaped by a mission to further education justice. This provides a largely 'political' lens through which to address issues of inequality and discrimination within the education sector while attending to inherent systemic, professional and resource challenges.

Job Profile

The position reports to the Team Leader of the Education Support Program responsible for Migration, Grassroots Engagement, and Social Accountability in Education. This is a full-time position. The successful candidate is responsible for contributing to, communicating, executing, and helping to revise the Education Support Program's strategy related to education in emergencies and social accountability of international assistance in education. This position leads work related to develop programming and strategic recommendations for the Education Support Program related to embedding open society values in education systems, including social accountability and participatory policy development. The majority of this position will be dedicated to continuing a grant portfolio aiming to strengthen the voice and legitimacy of engaged parents, pupils, and teachers in Central Europe. It also includes management of grants to support education social movements in other geographies.

The incumbent has a high level of responsibility for establishing and maintaining effective and constructive working relationships both internally and externally and may also be responsible for managing projects of some complexity. Typical responsibilities include:
  • Responsible for all grant-making activities relating to operates with considerable autonomy and makes decisions related to authorizing/declining grants within an approved budget reflective of own field experience/expertise.
  • Provides leadership for the Education Support Program's potential engagement with key partners to explore work in Europe and new geographies, by also liaising with internal partners and programs, and providing quarterly updates to the Program Director and General Education Advisory Board.
  • Offers expertise and advice on projects related to migration and education in discussions of strategy and in support of other ESP colleagues.
  • Maintains and develops relationships with umbrella organizations for constituency groups in Europe, including confederations of teacher associations, parent groups, student unions, and university networks.
  • Manages the program's engagement with the Global Partnership for Social Accountability with a particular focus on their work in Europe.
  • Contributes to strategy development and assessment of grant portfolios as required.


Candidate Profile

  • 7-10 years of progressively responsible experience in relevant civil society, multilateral, humanitarian or development organizations, government, and/or consulting.
  • Comprehensive, specialized knowledge in education, including current controversies/issues and leading figures/thinking in the sociology of education, education in emergencies, or a related area of the field.
  • Substantial knowledge of organizational and project management and cross-cultural leadership, including work experience with relevant communities in Europe.
  • International comparative understanding of education for inclusion and diversity or a closely related field.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English with knowledge of other European languages preferred.
  • Substantial experience in community and/or grassroots organizing (at least 7 years)
  • Willingness to undertake extensive international travel, up to 50% time.
  • Commitment to working as a member of a team.
  • Ability to listen and communicate clearly and effectively with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues.
  • Strong interest in humanitarian and education issues.
  • Appreciation for geopolitics.
  • Proven ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide array of people with diverse backgrounds within a complex organization/has good field contacts.
  • Demonstrates ability to work with ambiguity and the ability to work efficiently under pressure.


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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