OSI Public Health Program - Recruitment of a Senior Program Officer

11 June 2010

Application Deadline: June 30, 2010

The Open Society Institute works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve its mission, OSI seeks to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. On a local level, OSI implements a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, OSI builds alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. OSI places a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of marginalized people and communities.

Investor and philanthropist George Soros in 1993 created OSI as a private operating and grantmaking foundation to support his foundations in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Those foundations were established, starting in 1984, to help countries make the transition from communism. OSI has expanded the activities of the Soros foundations network to encompass the United States and more than 60 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Each Soros foundation relies on the expertise of boards composed of eminent citizens who determine individual agendas based on local priorities.

Founded in 1995, the International Harm Reduction Development Program (IHRD) of the Open Society Institute works to advance the health and human rights of people who use drugs. Through grantmaking, capacity building, and advocacy, IHRD seeks to reduce HIV and other drug-related harms and to end policies and practices that marginalize and discriminate against drug users. Our work is based on the understanding that people unwilling or unable to abstain from illicit drug use can make positive changes to protect their health and that of their families and communities.

IHRD is a part of the Public Health Program (PHP), which aims to build societies committed to inclusion, human rights, and justice, in which health-related laws, policies, and practices are evidence-based and reflect these values. PHP works to advance the health and human rights of marginalized people by building the capacity of civil society leaders and organizations, and by advocating for greater accountability and transparency in health policy and practice. PHP engages in five core strategies to advance its mission and goals: grantmaking, capacity building, advocacy, strategic convening, and mobilizing and leveraging funding.

The Open Society Institute seeks a full-time senior program officer in its New York office for the International Harm Reduction Development Program (IHRD).


The senior program officer for yreatment monitoring and advocacy will be responsible for the oversight and coordination of grantmaking, technical assistance, and advocacy strategies to increase drug users' access to integrated and high quality treatment, including HIV, TB, Hepatitis C and drug treatment. The senior program officer works with program officers, the network of Soros Foundations, and partner organizations in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa, to identify and remove barriers to treatment access, increase international awareness of treatment dynamics impacting people who use drugs, and support advocacy for change. The senior program officer reports to the director of IHRD, and works as part of a team of Public Health Program staff members, including IHRD staff, working to increase community engagement in the formation and implementation of treatment-related policies and practices.

Program Management and Grantmaking

  • In collaboration with other IHRD program officers and national foundation staff, develops calls for proposals and coordinates grant competitions to support monitoring and advocacy work which advances specific policy objectives at the local level, in alignment with overall IHRD strategic priorities;
  • Identifies strategic opportunities to mobilize community-based monitoring and advocacy efforts in support of national policy reform related to the quality of and access to drug, HIV, TB and Hepatitis C treatment for drug users, as well as to inform IHRD advocacy efforts taking place at the regional and/or international level;
  • Provides technical assistance, and/or identifies appropriate technical assistance resources for grantees to support effective community organizing and monitoring work, campaign development, coalition building, and engagement of drug users in advocacy work. Supervises technical advisors and consultants providing assistance in these areas, in coordination with other IHRD program officers and national foundation staff;

Provides strategic and practical guidance to IHRD and National Foundation staff on community-based monitoring and advocacy capacity building approaches.

Policy and Advocacy

  • Documents and publicizes best practices from the region in community-based monitoring and advocacy which involves drug users, for IHRD use in regional and international forums and publications;
  • Identifies advocacy opportunities with the United Nations, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, bilateral donors and key partners in public health community to increase or improve drug user access to treatment and care;

Works with other IHRD staff and other PHP programs on advocacy campaigns on access to treatment as needed.

General IHRD support

  • Supervises and works as a team with other IHRD and PHP staff to strengthen and implement IHRD's program strategy and work plans;
  • Contributes to the general administration of IHRD and OSI's Public Health Program;
  • Participates in meetings and workshops;

Helps organize conferences and events.


  • Masters degree in related field or equivalent;
  • Minimum of six years relevant work experience in issues related to drug treatment, harm reduction, human rights, drug use and/or HIV, TB and Hepatitis C;
  • Management experience, preferably including supervision of staff in multiple locations;
  • Direct experience in working with community-based groups on the development and implementation of advocacy strategies and campaigns with demonstrable policy impact;
  • Proven ability to inspire local actors to strengthen their service delivery efforts through monitoring and advocacy for policy change, and to equip them with the appropriate tools and knowledge to do so;
  • High familiarity with international funding mechanisms and advocacy relevant to treatment for vulnerable groups preferred;
  • Commitment to harm reduction principles and knowledge of specific treatment issues of relevance to people who use drugs;
  • Ability to listen and communicate effectively with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds;
  • Excellent oral and written English skills;
  • Proficiency in Russian language desirable, but not required;

Willingness to travel internationally on a frequent basis.

Start Date

July 2010


Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.

To Apply

Please email resume and cover letter with salary requirements before May 16, 2010, to: Include job code in subject line: SPO-IHRD


Open Society Institute
Human Resources - Code SPO-IHRD
400 West 59th Street
New York, New York 10019
FAX: 212.548.4675

No phone calls, please. The Open Society Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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