The Open Society Public Health Program (PHP) is seeking a Program Officer with the International Harm Reduction Development Program.
The Public Health Program (PHP) advances a human rights approach to health, with an emphasis on social inclusion and reclaiming the public good in health. We work to make justice systems more responsive to health, to shift power dynamics in health-related decision-making, to challenge the health establishment to advance human rights, and to influence the funding environment for health and rights. The PHP is unique in explicitly focusing on the political nature of health, not seeing it solely or primarily as a technical issue.
Are you looking for an opportunity to develop grant making to advance the health and human rights of people who use drugs? Do you have a deep understanding of how criminalization impacts the health of marginalized populations, and how grants to civil society might improve this? Are you experienced in work with programs in East Africa or Asia, and with the particular concerns of women who use drugs? Have you thought about connections between community mental health and harm reduction movements? If so, this is your opportunity to apply to join the International Harm Reduction Development (IHRD) team of the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program (PHP).
The Public Health Program works to build open societies where all people enjoy health and human rights.
We work to fight discrimination and abuse in health care and support communities that receive minimal or substandard care because of who they are—including Roma and other minorities, transgender and intersex people, people with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities, sex workers, people who use drugs, and migrants and refugees.
We also seek to advance this inclusive vision by reclaiming health as a public good—so that health care is available to all, laws and policies governing health are transparent and democratically accountable, and medical innovation delivers solutions that are accessible to everyone, from affordable medicines to palliative care.
More information about the work we support can be found here: osf.to/health
PHP’s International Harm Reduction Development team seeks a full-time Program Officer based in New York to develop and implement grant making that advances the health and human rights of people who use drugs. The Program Officer collaborates with other colleagues in PHP and across the Open Society Foundations to support organizations that work to increase community-driven health services for people who use drugs, and that connect harm reduction programming to larger issues of mental health, economic support, and access to justice. This position works with colleagues in in International Harm Reduction Development, with colleagues in the division of community health and criminal justice in which IHRD sits, and with colleagues across PHP and OSF. The work is multinational scope, with significant current emphasis in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe.
The Program Officer will manage an existing body of grants with scope for further development. The funding priorities includes organizations and initiatives that:
- contribute to advocacy for development and implementation of community-based health services that do not require abstinence from drug use as a precondition for support;
- improve health and rights protections of women who use drugs, including by improving access and adequacy in health care and reducing violence;
- supports connections between harm reduction and mental health, and moves beyond a harm reduction approach focused primarily on prevention of blood-borne infections
- engages people who use drugs in the formation of policies and programs, and broadens the base of allies supportive of this work.
Typical duties and responsibilities include the following:
Portfolio Design and Grants Management
- Construct, and regularly review, portfolios that combine grant making, advocacy, convening, communications, and other tactics, to advance the health and human rights of people who use drugs and those who work with them
- Responsible for grant-making activities including soliciting and reviewing grant proposals, assessing the health, capacity and effectiveness of potential grantees, conducting grantee site visits and other monitoring activities, and evaluating grants
- Develop, plan and organize program-related workshops, trainings and events
- Supervise consultants and manage special projects as necessary
- Stay abreast of developments in the field through research and attendance at conferences and/or meetings
- Write strategy/position papers that provide direction on policy and capacity-building issues impacting the fields and/or offer suggestions about strategic project development
- Participate in OSF task forces and working groups as requested
- Build and establish strategic relationships with other philanthropic partners and NGOs
- Forecast and plan annual budgets
- Execute budgets and manage financial reports to track spending and ensure compliance with internal accounting protocol
- Administrative responsibilities
- Extensive travel is required
- Bachelor’s degree in human rights, public health, political science, or related fields
- Demonstrated experience and understanding of the health impacts of criminalization, stigma and discrimination on marginalized groups, particularly women who use drugs
- Seven to ten years of relevant experience or equivalent working on issues related to the health and/or human rights of people who use drugs
- Knowledge of key organizations and arguments in fields of harm reduction and drug dependence treatment
- Experience working with or in non-governmental organizations
- Project management experience, with grant making experience preferred
- Excellent written and oral English skills required, with fluency in one additional language (French, Swahili, Russian, Asian language) strongly preferred
- Experience working in Africa, Asia, or Eastern Europe, preferably on drugs-related issues
- High level of emotional intelligence including the ability to grasp and work within a complex organizational environment, to show sensitivity and respect for people working in different roles, and to empathize with different points of view
- Exceptional collaboration skills including the ability to identify opportunities from working with others and to innovate and increase impact based on synthesis of different topics and portfolios
- Excellent strategic and analytical skills including the ability to combine external and internal inputs into a compelling strategy and theory of change
- Superior adaptability with the ability to work in conditions of change and ambiguity, and to stretch oneself to adopt new skills for changing circumstances and challenges
- Willingness to undertake extensive travel
Position based in NY (preferred) with possibility of London
* To apply, please submit a cover letter and CV as one document.
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.
About the Organization
The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.
We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check.
We help to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights.
We implement initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.
We build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information.
Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.