Fixed-Term Program Officer, Global Drug Policy Program

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Nov 03

Position description

Fixed-Term Program Officer, Global Drug Policy Program. New York. Posting Date: 10/01/2020. Deadline: 11/01/2020

Do you want to help make the world a better place with your grant-making skills and knowledge of drug policy? The Open Society Global Drug Policy Program is seeking a fixed-term Program Officer (for a period of six months) based in New York to advance the goals of progressive drug policy reform.

The Open Society Foundations (OSF) 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 Program Officer will engage with fields of interest to OSF and develop strategies and tools for fostering desired social change. They will also manage relationships and build partnerships within OSF and with external entities, including current and potential grantees.

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 through grant-making and advocacy. GDPP provides financial support to organizations around the world that engage in improving national drug policies. It also supports human rights and sustainable development groups that seek to include drug policy into their portfolios.

This is a fixed-term position, of six months, to cover a parental leave.

As a Program Officer at Open Society, you will:

  • Be responsible for all grant-making activities relating to Africa and contribute to grant-making in other regions and thematic portfolios;
  • Build collaborative relationships outside OSF (e.g., with existing grantees, prospective grantees, program consultants, experts in the community, etc.) that advance drug policy reform efforts in Africa;
  • Support the development of overall program strategy and advocacy priorities for Africa and conduct research relevant to the program design;
  • Strengthen connections between OSF's geographic and thematic programs, identifying opportunities for a shared approach towards a broader impact
  • Prepare written evaluations of partner organizations and draft funding rationales;
  • Stay abreast of developments in the field through research, special assignments, and attendance of relevant conferences.

What we are looking for:


  • Seven to ten years of progressively responsible experience in public policy with focus on developing countries (experience on or in Africa preferred) including demonstrated success in advancing social change strategies;
  • Comprehensive, specialized knowledge in human rights/development (experience in drug policy preferred), including familiarity with current issues and controversies;
  • Understanding of the structure and workings of both formal and informal organizations (NGO/non-profit organizations) and networks (knowledge related to drug policy r organizations preferred);
  • A vision for change, based on lived and/or professional experience
  • Ability to build a breadth of collaborative relationships;
  • Understanding of the implications of the power differential inherent in the funder-grantee relationship and the ability and willingness to handle such relationships;
  • An analytical thinker who can exercise measured judgment, often under circumstances in which there is insufficient information and/or circumstances are highly volatile;
  • Strong written and spoken communication skills in English and French.


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 (30 vacation days, flexible work arrangements, private medical coverage, a generous retirement savings plan, six months 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 like of an Open Society colleague is like .

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.

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.


Application instructions

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