Open Society Foundations
Berlinwww.opensocietyfoundations.orgBranchen: Politik, Recht & Verwaltung500+ Mitarbeiter/innen1984 gegründet5 offene Jobs




Open Society Foundations
Berlinwww.opensocietyfoundations.orgBranchen: Politik, Recht & Verwaltung500+ Mitarbeiter/innen1984 gegründet5 offene Jobs

Program Officer (f/m/x) Higher Education Support Program

Ab sofort, London, Vereinigtes Königreich, Berlin, New York City, Vereinigte StaatenVollzeitProdukt-/Projektmanagement

Über uns

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to criticism, whose laws and policies are open to debate and correction, and whose political institutions are open to the participation of all people. We seek to strengthen justice and the rule of law; broaden respect for human rights, including the rights of minorities; encourage pluralism and a robust diversity of opinion; deepen democratic practice and participation; expand economic equity; support effective governance; and invest in individuals, public and private organizations, and social movements that advance these goals.

We are a global network of foundations committed to local knowledge and national expertise. Our network includes national foundations, regional foundations, and other geographic programs operating in more than one hundred countries. At the same time, many programs with global reach operate from our four headquarters in Europe and the United States, including programs on digital information, documentary photography, drug policy, early childhood, education, fellowships, fiscal governance, higher education, human rights, international migration, justice, public health, scholarships, think tanks, and women’s rights. In addition to making grants to organizations and individuals, the Open Society Foundations engage in policy advocacy, legal advocacy and litigation, program-related investing, and public communications, as well as providing direct assistance to governments. Most programs and foundations in the network are governed or advised by their own boards.

The Open Society Foundations are the global philanthropies of George Soros, who, as chairman, plays an active role in the work of the foundations.

Do you want to help make the world a better place with your expertise in global higher education? We are seeking a

Program Officer (f/m/x)

that can be based in New York, London or Berlin to manage a grants portfolio focused on access to higher education for disadvantaged groups.

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 Higher Education Support Program (HESP)

aims to leverage higher education as a means towards developing and strengthening open societies around the world. HESP works with grantees in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East to promote innovative teaching and research at higher education institutions, to improve access to higher education for marginalized groups, to protect intellectual freedom, promote good practices and support the role of higher education in advancing social justice. HESP works with leading thinkers in education to stimulate discussion of higher education policy and the role of universities and scholars in the development of open societies.

As a Program Officer at Open Society, you will

  • Lead and refine existing portfolios of grants with a focus on higher education for disadvantaged groups, including refugees. This responsibility includes 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
  • Collaborate with HESP colleagues and senior program leadership to contribute to the development and implementation of strategy for existing bodies of work and new bodies of work in line with future strategies
  • 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
  • Assess organizational capacities of key grantees and provides capacity building opportunities in order to strengthen the field
  • Conceptualize and convene meetings and seminars with relevant program partners
  • Manage financial and budget reports to track spending and assists in planning and development of annual budgets

What we are looking for

  • Seven to ten years of relevant field experience in relevant higher education, civil society, multilateral, development, government and/or consulting organizations
  • An experienced higher education professional who can demonstrate a complex understanding of the role of universities as drivers of social change, especially in the main geographies where Open Society operates
  • Deep knowledge and experience in the field of global higher education, including understanding of main policies, actors, trends and controversies
  • Good familiarity with key dynamics and tensions in the field of higher education for refugees;
  • In-depth knowledge of and practical experience in developing or emerging countries; knowledge of the Middle East and North Africa region will be an asset
  • Willingness to be flexible as areas of work may expand to a broader focus in the future depending on the skills and experience of the successful candidate, as well as the needs of the program
  • Ability to think creatively about the role of higher education in advancing open society mission and values;  excellent strategic and analytical skills Excellent collaboration skills including demonstrated ability to work effectively with others, recognizing the value of diverse geographic and thematic experiences
  • Commitment to the Open Society Foundation’s values of diversity and inclusion
  • Willingness to undertake international 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 perks designed 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 ( 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.



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