Director - Women's Rights Program

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New York, United States
Apply by 5 March 2018
Executive-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 13 February 2018

Job Description

The Women’s Rights Program (WRP) supports efforts to: (a) strengthen women’s rights organizations and movements; (b) advance sexual and reproductive rights and justice, specifically by linking attacks on these rights to broader challenges of closing civic space; and (c) promote economic justice, with a focus on mobilizing the political power of women in the informal sector. Through an intersectional approach, using grant-making, advocacy, capacity and coalition building, and organizing meetings and exchanges the WRP works to improve the lives of women globally by advancing equality and participation in decision making.

The WRP’s approach is premised upon the understanding that while threats to open society have an outsized impact on women, women also play a leading role in resisting threats and advancing alternatives toward more open societies. As a thematic program operating within the Open Society Foundations (OSF) global network, the program is able to fund bold experimentation at the national, regional, and international levels. It is working to become a leading contributor to cross-movement, cross-border resistance to reactionary illiberal agendas.

WRP’s director leads a team of professionals based in New York. The current strategic plan includes three portfolios of work in varying degrees of development in the areas of economic justice, sexual and reproductive rights, and strengthening women’s organizations and movements. The director will be expected to guide and grow these areas of work or engage in new ones as the needs in the field develop. The ability to clearly articulate the program’s vision and role within the OSF network is critical, as is playing a leadership role across the organization’s substantial body of work on issues relevant to women’s rights.

The successful candidate will be a respected and experienced participant in one or more branches of the women’s rights movement. The director is expected to remain up-to-date on the trends, debates, and innovations relevant to the field, and maintain familiarity with the individuals and organizations that play significant roles in the field.

The director is the principal strategist on women’s rights for the OSF Network, articulating the goals and crafting strategies of the global program and serving as a resource to those designing and implementing the strategies of the national and regional foundations and the various geographic programs in the network. That role necessarily entails collaboration with colleagues and partners inside and outside OSF—especially with the program’s Advisory Board—and approval of those goals and strategies by the Foundation’s president and OSF’s Global Board.

The director must be a skilled manager and team leader and is expected to provide effective supervision of program staff members, including attending to individual performance and professional development, and engaging in recruitment and mentoring as needed. The director is also in charge of recruiting for, and building constructive relationships with, the chair and the members of the program’s Advisory Board.

The strategic and management role of a program director requires constructive participation in OSF’s network as a whole, including effective collaboration with other thematic and geographic programs, foundations, and the many other departments, units, boards and entities within OSF. The director will be called upon from time to time to participate in working groups and discussions on topics other than women’s rights related to the OSF network.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Closing date: 5 March 2018.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and are committed to providing reasonable accommodations so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfil the essential functions of the job.

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