Department Latin America Program
Location Mexico, Brazil, or Colombia
Application Deadline


The Open Society Foundations’ (OSF) Latin America Program seeks a full-time Program Specialist to work as part of its human rights and citizen security division. The position will be based either in Bogotá, Mexico City, or Rio de Janeiro.

The Open Society Foundations’ Latin America Program addresses rights and governance issues in Latin America and the Caribbean primarily through grant making, network-building, and the development of specific initiatives. We focus on supporting Latin American and Caribbean efforts to reform democratic institutions in ways that are more open and responsive to citizens, realizing human rights, and reducing homicides in a region with extremely high levels of violence. We are committed to advancing government accountability and transparency, public access to information, citizen security, human rights, and drug policy reform, primarily through grant making to civil society actors in these fields.  Within the broader network of the Open Society Foundations, the Latin America Program seeks to provide added value through sharing its understanding of political context, facilitating contacts, brokering relationships, and identifying strategic opportunities in the region.

Job Profile

Under the supervision of a Division Director, the Program Specialist will work the Latin America Program division focused on advancing human rights and improving citizen security in the region, including a significant initiative to reduce homicides. The Program Specialist is a professional program role at Open Society, performing a wide range of responsibilities that materially advance program strategies.  This role requires specialized knowledge of human rights and/or citizen security issues in Latin America, and also of how to use the various tools available to the organization for accomplishing its objectives.

Duties and responsibilities will include any or all of the following and/or similar activities:

conducting research and analyzing and synthesizing data/information to be used in decision-making, strategy development, budget planning, monitoring and evaluation of grants portfolios in the relevant division or other program processes
conducting a wide range of activities related to the grant making process and/or analytical work in support of field development, advocacy, and regional projects
analyzing grant proposals (including budget analysis), designing grants (type of support, degree of flexibility, duration, payment structure, reporting/learning expectations, etc.) and drafting grant recommendations
contributing to assessment of organizations
participating in monitoring of grants and in evaluating grant portfolios
partnering closely with program administration staff to ensure efficient flow of grants processing and other similar information
completing administrative tasks or projects as needed and assigned, including processing grants, developing tools and templates, coordinating event logistics, and processing vendor contracts and consultancy agreements
interacting with OSF operational departments and managing internal processes to achieve program goals and to advance organizational objectives
developing and maintaining a network of relationships with key actors, including division partners in the region and within the OSF network
developing the concept and agenda, and engaging with key players in convenings, research initiatives, and advocacy efforts
carrying out ongoing monitoring of specific issues or geographies
frequent travel required
join or lead ad hoc working groups assembled to address specific issues, including responding to unforeseen opportunities or challenges
may take the lead on program-wide projects or issues, as assigned

Candidate Profile

bachelor’s degree (B.A.) from a four-year college or university in a relevant field of study or equivalent experience; graduate degree desirable
a minimum of three years of progressively responsible experience in a situation relevant to the duties of this role
highly skilled in researching and processing information and analyzing its importance in informing program strategy implementation and grant making.
knowledge of current issues, actors and dynamics related to human rights and citizen security in Latin America and the Caribbean
prior work experience within a civil society organization or government institution in Latin America
fluency in Spanish, with excellent written and spoken English; Portuguese proficiency is a plus
ability to recognize and work effectively in compliance with internal policies and external constraints
willingness and ability to exercise sound professional judgment on issues of sensitivity
ability to work constructively and collegially with colleagues at all levels in the hierarchy of the organization as well as with external partners throughout Latin America and the Caribbean
diplomatic, discreet, able to handle confidential matters with a high level of integrity
well-developed emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, self-management, and empathy
organized, strong project management ability, self-directed on work initiatives, strong attention to detail, and ability to manage competing priorities and deadlines
strong commitment to open society values of human rights, justice, transparency and accountability, and democratic practice
strong commitment to inclusion and respect for all colleagues regardless of identity or seniority
collaborative, collegial working style and sense of humor

Application Instructions: Please include a cover letter and resume as one document when submitting an application.

Apply Online : https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/jobs/jr-0000451/program-specialist

Work Environment and Physical Demands:
Essential functions are typically performed in an office setting with a low level of noise. Travel throughout Latin America required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations, and we welcome and actively seek applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

Job posted on 20th January 2017
Please mention Human Rights Jobs when applying to this position

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