The Open Society Foundations seeks two (2) Program Specialists to work as part of its Justice team within U.S. Programs. U.S. Programs works to build a vibrant society that invites all people to participate fully in civic, economic, and cultural life. It supports efforts to advance equality, fairness, and justice with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized communities and the most significant threats to open society in the U.S.
Within U.S. Programs, the Justice team seeks a society whose justice systems are fair and equitable for all, especially those who are most vulnerable, and whose public policies and institutions promote individual and community health and safety. Through grants to a diverse array of organizations working nationally and in key states, a range of fund-led activities, and individual fellowships, the Justice Fund supports a maturing criminal justice reform field across a wide spectrum of issues.
We seek to end mass incarceration and mass criminalization through efforts to reduce jail and prison populations; abolish the use of the death penalty; advance alternative approaches to address violence and community safety grounded in principles of harm reduction, accountability and respect, and led by those directly impacted by the criminal legal system; promote fair and effective policing; and foster new approaches to drug policy, with an emphasis on work that supports non-punitive, health-centered approaches to serving populations currently targeted by punitive drug law enforcement.
Under the guidance and delegation of Program Officers, the Program Specialist will contribute to programmatic activities such as the identification of new grantee partners, the assessment of organizations in the field, the design of grants, and the assessment of grants and portfolios. The Program Specialist may also be delegated to lead on projects or issues – such as research initiatives, convenings, or advocacy efforts – as determined by the team.
The Program Specialist role may include any or all of the following and/or similar activities:
The successful candidate will have knowledge and understanding of the U.S. criminal justice system, as well as a perspective on the social justice ecosystem and the forces that threaten it. The candidate also must have a strong commitment to social justice and understanding of the impact of race, ethnicity, and wealth on full participation in our democracy. Prior experience is preferred in one or more of the following: advocacy at the local, state, and/or federal level; civic engagement and/or community organizing; organizational capacity building; leadership development. The Program Specialist must have demonstrated capacity to translate the Program’s strategic plans into action and to assess impact. We also strongly encourage candidates with lived experiences in the criminal justice system to apply.
The successful candidate will also have the following qualifications:
Location: New York (preferred) or Washington D.C.
Application instructions: Please include a cover letter and resume, and upload as one document when submitting an application.
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 fulfill the essential functions of the job.