Program Officer, International Harm Reduction

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Oct 02

Position description

Program Officer, International Harm Reduction. New York. Posting Date: 10/01/2019. Deadline: 11/01/2019

Do you want to help make the world a better place with your knowledge of harm reduction? We are seeking a full-time Program Officer to manage a grants portfolio that advances the health and human rights of people who use drugs in Latin America.

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and inclusive democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. We are active in more than 120 countries, making us the world's largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights.

The Public Health Program 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.

Harm Reduction is a range of approaches that aim to reduce the harms from drug use, and the harms from efforts to control, contain or punish people who use drugs. Harm reduction recognizes that:
  • Abstinence from drug use should not be precondition for access to services
  • Punishing and jailing people who use drugs perpetuates injustices, leads to negative health outcomes, and does not deter drug use.
  • People who use drugs retain their fundamental human rights


Harm reduction works to transfer resources and power to people and communities at risk, and centers their experiences in the creation of programs and policies to address drug use.

As a Program Officer with PHP's International Harm Reduction Development team you will:

  • Lead and develop portfolios of grants to advance the health and human rights of people who use drugs in Latin America, and possibly other geographies
  • Conduct grantee site visits and other monitoring activities, provide technical and strategic assistance, and identify outcomes
  • Assess the organizational capacity of potential grantees
  • Engage in direct advocacy, convening and trainings, communications, and other approaches to maximize impact
  • Write strategy and position papers to provide direction on specific policy or capacity-building issues in the field
  • Build and establish strategic relationships with other philanthropic partners and NGOs
  • Forecast, plan and track annual budgets


What we are looking for:

  • Seven to ten years of field experience working on issues related to the health and human rights of people who use drugs
  • Work experience in Latin America, preferably in the areas of harm reduction, community development, mobilization of marginalized communities, or work with homeless people
  • Experience working with civil society organizations in Latin America
  • Direct experience working with and for people who use drugs
  • Demonstrated understanding of how criminalization, discrimination and exclusion impact the health and rights of marginalized people who use drugs and their communities
  • A vision for how civil society organizations and social movements can work to improve health and rights
  • Fluency in Portuguese or Spanish, and good written and spoken English
  • Commitment to the values of the Open Society Foundations
  • Willingness to relocate to New York (pending visa approval) and to undertake extensive travel


What we offer:

  • Ample opportunities to learn and grow, from annual professional development allowances to onsite trainings and brown bag lunches with visiting experts.
  • Top-notch benefits and perksdesigned for your well-being and a healthy work-life balance. With some variability according to location, this includes generous time off, flexible work arrangements, employer-paid health insurance, generous retirement savings plan, progressive paid parental leave, reproductive and family planning support, sabbatical opportunities, and much more .
  • A commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace that enables everyone to bring their full self to work and make a positive impact on the world.


See what a day in the life of a Program Officer at Open Society is like here .

Application Instructions: If this sounds like the position for you, please submit a cover letter that addresses the specific skills and experience that Open Society requires for Program Officers (guidance is located here ) and a resume. We look forward to learning more about you.

We aim to build an inclusive workforce that is reflective of the populations we support, and actively seek applications from those who are marginalized and underrepresented. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and colleagues with disabilities.
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