« Job Posting: Assistant Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies, Colgate University | Main | Fellowships & Funding: 2014 Summer Language Study and Study Abroad with Arizona State University »

October 17, 2013

Job Posting: Open Society Foundations seeks director of Eurasia programs

Deadline: November 8, 2013

The Open Society Foundations (OSF) seeks a full-time director of Eurasia programs, a new position created to oversee a strategic rethinking, reshaping, and aligning of Open Society’s work in Eastern Europe (Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine), Russia, the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan). At the end of two years the director will be expected to present a plan to the Board and senior management outlining how Open Society should focus and organize its work in these countries going forward. The successful candidate will have a three-year contract.

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all citizens. To achieve this mission, the Foundations seek to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal and economic systems, as well as safeguard fundamental rights. At the local level, the Open Society Foundations support and implement a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health and independent media. At the same time we build alliances across borders and continents to promote transparency and accountability and to combat corruption. The Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.

Investor and philanthropist George Soros established the first of the Open Society Foundations in 1984, and our activities have grown since then to encompass the United States and more than 70 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Each foundation relies on the expertise of boards composed of eminent citizens who determine individual agendas based on local priorities.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

The director will organize OSF’s existing work in the region and lead the process of rethinking its strategy and operations. S/he will coordinate the work of the different Open Society foundations, programs, and offices engaged in the region to ensure the highest level of potential for collaboration and cooperation. At the end of the second year of the contract term, s/he will present a cohesive plan to OSF’s Board and senior management concerning the Foundations’ work in the region going forward. The director will oversee a current staff of 18 persons, redefining responsibilities and building a team that reflects the new broad mandate, growing expectations for collaboration, and the need to adapt OSF’s work in the region to the changing social, political, philanthropic, and organizational environment.

The director will manage a portfolio of grants for countries in the region where OSF has not established a national foundation, and for transnational initiatives. S/he will oversee and coordinate the work of the existing Open Society national foundations (in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Ukraine). S/he will coordinate and facilitate the regional cooperation, advocacy, and research, and the program’s participation in OSF’s global initiatives. The director will collaborate closely with other OSF network programs, which work globally and in the region to ensure that all activities across the Foundations are well aligned with open society values and the overall priorities of the Foundations. The director will provide OSF’s senior management with up-to-date information and strategic insights about the region. S/he will represent OSF in communications with other donors, international organizations, national public offices, academic audiences, journalists, and a wider public in the region.

The director will report to an associate director of OSF.

The position could be based in any of the OSF offices in New York, London, or Budapest, and will require frequent travel to the region.

Education / Experience

The successful candidate should demonstrate personal integrity and commitment to open society values, combined with expert leadership and networking skills. Cross-cultural sensitivity, respect for local knowledge, and attention to the changing environment in which we work will be of primary importance. Simultaneously, we expect the successful candidate to have an interest in larger geopolitical trends and cross-cutting issues, and an ability and enthusiasm to participate in current international debates.

We are looking for an individual who is a critical thinker and a doer. The successful candidate should have excellent interpersonal communication skills and command respect with his/her thinking, public presence, and leadership.
Knowledge and Experience

· An advanced degree in a relevant field;

· Demonstrated and extensive knowledge of political and social dynamics in the region;

· Five or more years of professional experience in the region, with experience living or working in more than one Eurasian country;

· Experience in positions of authority in nonprofit organizations, foundations, government, or academic institutions;

· Experienced and comfortable working in a complex, decentralized, and multicultural organization;

· Experience interacting with NGOs, international organizations, and/or grantmaking institutions; background in grant-making will be an advantage;

· Understanding of the challenges and logistics involved in working in hostile environments and closed societies;

· Fluency in English and Russian languages.

Skills Required
Management Skills Required

· Excellent managerial skills in a decentralized and multifunctional office;

· Ability to build effective and motivated team with diverse talent;

· Collaborative and respectful in communications with partners and stakeholders inside and outside of the organization;

· Excellent communication skills; highly articulate and persuasive; has a compelling manner and the ability to motivate others to pursue common objectives;

· At ease in a front-facing role and as an advocate;

· Builds strong networks and coalitions (internally and externally) to advance ideas and agendas;

· Maintains excellent relationships with the members of the global OSF network.
Personal Skills Required

· Highly ethical with strong judgment; able to navigate political and/or controversial situations with integrity;

· Has a passion for the region and for the role of OSF there;

· Holds a high capacity for work;

· Resilient; handles setbacks without losing confidence or drive;

· Energetic, motivated, decisive.

Work Environment and Physical Demands

Essential functions are typically performed in an office setting with a low level of noise. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Application Instructions

Please email resume and cover letter with salary requirements to:humanresources@opensocietyfoundations.org. Include job code in subject line: DIR-EP.


Posted by jmkirsch at October 17, 2013 02:51 PM