Program Officer, International Migration Initiative

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    Nov 22

Position description

Program Officer, International Migration Initiative. New York. Posting Date: 11/21/2019. Deadline: 12/19/2019

We seek a Program Officer based in New York to advance strategies to protect and include refugees and migrants. As a key member of the Welcoming and Inclusive Cities division of the International Migration Initiative, you will work on a range of exciting issues at the intersection of city diplomacy, inclusion, refugees and migration in cities, digital rights and migrants' rights.

The Open Society Foundations works 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 International Migration Initiative works to improve protections for refugees and vulnerable migrants, to stop the exploitation of migrant workers, to build stronger ties between host communities and newcomers, and to support vigorous advocacy, the creation of multi-stakeholder partnerships, and engagement with the private sector, among other areas of work. In addition to its presence in NYC, IMI also operates out of Open Society offices in London and Washington, D.C., and works with partners around the world.

As a Program Officer with the International Migration Initiative you will:

  • Assist in the development and implementation of the overall strategy, grantmaking and advocacy portfolios of the Welcoming and Inclusive Cities Division of OSF.
  • Lead and implement the strategy of an assigned area of work at the intersection of city diplomacy, inclusion, refugees and migration in cities, digital rights and migrants' rights, using a range of tools including grant-making, advocacy, litigation and program-related investments.
  • Carry out annual grant planning, writing grant recommendations, identifying and working with prospective grantees, conducting organizational assessments, negotiating project budgets and contracts, and undertaking periodic reviews of progress with grantees.
  • Manage relationships with new and existing grantees, funders and other partners.
  • Engage in direct advocacy, convening, exchange of experiences, learning related to the welcoming and inclusion of refugees and migrants and city diplomacy.
  • Write strategy and position papers to provide direction on specific policy or capacity-building issues in the field and to support OSF's collective efforts on related topics.
  • Build 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.

What we're looking for:

  • Seven to ten years of progressively responsible experience in advancing strategies to protect and include refugees and migrants.
  • Deep understanding of migration and refugee issues internationally, nationally and locally, with field experience in a southern context, and exposure to inter-city network ecosystem preferred (i.e. trans-national city actions).
  • Understanding of issues related to digital rights and technology as it relates to migrant and refugee communities.
  • Project management skills, including the ability to manage consultants, and to direct others to gather evidence and research to support key decisions or judgments.
  • Superb communication, presentation and drafting skills in English.
  • Willingness to undertake frequent travel.


  • Prior experience in philanthropy or grant-making is strongly preferred, with deep understanding of the power differential inherent in the funder-grantee relationship, and an ability to handle this relationship with humility and respect; grantee experience is not required but preferred.
  • Fluency in a second language (Spanish, French, Arabic)

What we offer:

  • Ample opportunities to learn and grow, from annual professional development allowances to onsite trainings and brown bag lunches with visiting experts;
  • With some variability according to location, benefits include generous time off, flexible work arrangements, private medical coverage, 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 .

If this sounds like the position you have been looking for, please submit a cover letter that addresses the specific skills and experience that OSF requires for Program Officers (guidance is located here ) and CV; we look forward to learning more about you.

Competitive rates of pay apply.

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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