Program Officer, Women's Rights Program

Open Society Foundations
New York, United States
Competitive Salary
Oct 21, 2020
Nov 19, 2020
Position Type
Programs, Grant Making
Advocacy, Research
Employment Type
Full Time
  Do you want to make the world a better place with your human rights advocacy expertise? The Open Society Foundations’ Women’s Rights Program is seeking a Program Officer, based in New York, to focus on strengthening the ecosystem of women’s rights organizations in order to bolster effective responses to threats to open society that adversely impact women.


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 Women’s Rights Program works to advance the power, voice and agency of women, girls, LGBTI and gender-nonconforming people.  We work to advance reproductive, economic, and movement justice to ensure that that all people—regardless of their gender identities or related identities of race, class, ethnicity, religion, and age—can fully realize their human rights. For more information on the Women’s Rights Program, click here.


As a Program Officer with the Women’s Rights Program, you will:

  • Develop grant making strategies, priorities, and guidelines in conjunction with the Women’s Rights Program Director, leading and designing effective approaches for the implementation of the strategy (through grant making, advocacy, impact investing, or other available tools);

  • Oversee grant making activities relating to a portfolio of work focusing on supporting a critical field of foundational women’s organizations to help women’s rights movements become more resilient, better connected, and creative;

  • Assess the organizational capacity of potential grantees, conduct grantee site visits and other monitoring activities, provide technical and strategic assistance, and identify outcomes;

  • Engage in direct advocacy, trainings, convenings, and communications to maximize impact;

  • Write strategy and position papers to provide direction on policy or capacity-building issues in the field;

  • Build collaborative relationships within and outside OSF (e.g. with existing grantees, prospective grantees, philanthropic partners, 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 working in the field of women’s rights, with demonstrated success in advancing support for women’s rights movements;

  • Strong understanding of intersectionality;

  • Comprehensive knowledge of current global issues, trends, dynamics, key actors/thought leaders, formal and informal organizations, networks, and movements in women’s rights, including young feminist groups;

  • Civil society experience, preferably assisting organizations to think strategically about how to use advocacy and communications strategies to effect systemic change;

  • Commitment to continuous learning and growth in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, antiracism and social justice;

  • Commitment to listening and working with humility; ways of working that are respectful to all people; and that support space and voice for all diverse perspectives in our workplace.



  • Prior experience in philanthropy or grant making is 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;

  • Experience as a grantee is a plus;

  • Fluency/working proficiency in a second language (Spanish, French or Arabic) also preferred;

  • Experience working in Asia, Africa, and/or Latin America is greatly valued.


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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