Vacancy : PROGRAM OFFICER – LGBTI Rights Budapest

Today we post a job offer from the Open Society Foundation.

Open Society Foundations – Budapest
February 2012

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve this mission, the Foundations seek to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. On a local level, the Open Society Foundations 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 on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. The Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.

Investor and philanthropist George Soros established the Open Society Foundations, starting in 1984, to help countries make the transition from communism. Our activities have grown 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.
The Budapest based LGBTI Rights Program Officer position is shared by two OSF Programs: the Human Rights and Governance Grants Program (HRGGP) based in Budapest and the Rights Initiatives based in Washington, DC.

The Rights Initiatives include a global grant making initiative that specifically focuses on advancing the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people. Since its establishment in 2009, the LGBTI Rights Initiative has been working in partnership with OSF’s vast network of programs and foundations to advance the human rights of LGBTI persons globally. The Initiative works to:

Support strategic efforts that seek to end human rights violations against LGBTI people and that advance non-discrimination protections ensuring that LGBTI people have access to the full range of human rights guarantees and protections;
Strengthen local grassroots LGBTI rights movements that work to carry out advocacy campaigns that advance recognition of LGBTI rights and positively shift public opinion.
Provide overall coordination and support to other OSF efforts to address issues faced by LGBTI populations that violate their rights.

The Initiative provides critical core support to LGBTI rights groups at the national and regional levels as well as for global advocacy on these issues and supports the expansion of donor philanthropy on behalf of LGBTI rights issues. The LGBTI Rights Initiative is global and supports advocacy efforts in different regions of the world with the priority regions for OSF in this rights area being Sub-Saharan Africa and the former Soviet Union.

The Human Rights and Governance Grants Program (HRGGP) is the principal grantmaking body of the Open Society Institute focusing on human rights, accountability, and rule of law promotion in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Mongolia. The program provides direct support to more than 100 human rights watchdog advocacy NGOs across the region that seek to hold governments accountable for respecting fundamental rights through first-hand monitoring and documentation, public interest strategic litigation, and domestic and international advocacy.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. The Program Officer will work with the Rights Initiatives and the Human Rights and Governance Grants program teams and other relevant OSF staff to design and implement a grant-making and advocacy strategy in support of LGBTI rights in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The position requires working as a member of the Rights Initiatives and the Human Rights and Governance Grants Program core teams as well as significant coordination with other OSF staff. This will include continuing to develop new partnerships within the OSF network to advance LGBTI rights. The Program Officer will participate in identifying advocacy opportunities at the national, regional and international level, engage relevant OSF programs and foundations and external partners and develop strategies to act upon these opportunities. The Program Officer will play a key role in managing a grants portfolio, working internationally with a range of civil society organizations at the domestic and regional levels in order to support the development of strong projects and organizations. Overall responsibilities will include: assisting in developing strategic grant-making priorities, identifying possible partners and working with them to develop appropriate proposals; reviewing and preparing grant portfolios for discussion and decision; participating in relevant conferences and workshops and conducting site visits; communicating and negotiating with network representatives, other donors and grantees to advance LGBTI rights and bring resources to the field; and maintaining contact with grantees to support projects through to completion. OSF may add, change, or remove essential and other duties at any time.

Funding Portfolio:
The Program Officer will assist in the planning, development and implementation of the LGBTI Rights Initiative funding strategy. The funding portfolio will seek to advance the rights of LGBTI persons by supporting strategies that seek to end human rights violations against LGBTI people; that advance non-discrimination protections that are inclusive of LGBTI people; that provide redress for rights violations faced by LGBTI communities; and that strengthen grassroots, national and regional organizations working to promote the rights of LGBTI individuals. The Program Officer will play a key role in the overall implementation of the grant-making efforts, evaluate proposals and projects, conduct site visits to grantees and identify resources within the extended network and among partners to support the implementation of effective projects and the development of strong institutions.

Coordination and advocacy:
The Program Officer will coordinate with other OSF programs, projects and initiatives on LGBTI rights issues in order to represent OSF effectively at relevant global and regional meetings, donor affinity groups, and other fora as appropriate. He/she will provide technical assistance to OSF network programs and foundations in integrating LGBTI rights into their advocacy and grant-making portfolios. This could involve convening meetings, seminars and training workshops for OSF staff and/or partners as well as developing resource materials to build expertise on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Program Officer will also work with relevant OSF programs and offices to seize advocacy opportunities, to amplify the advocacy efforts of grantees and partners, and to develop partnerships with other donors.

Program Administration:
The Program Officer will play a key role in overseeing the financial requirements of the LGBTI Rights Initiative grants portfolio in coordination with program management and the OSF grants management team. He/she works closely with the grantees, other team members and the legal and finance departments to ensure procedural compliance. The Program Officer contributes to and supports the development and preparation of program documentation, reporting and evaluation materials. The Program Officer will report directly to the Deputy Director of the Human Rights and Governance Grants program.

· Five to eight years of professional experience in the implementation of policy and advocacy programs to advance LGBTI rights;
· Experience with LGBTI rights issues in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union;
· Four year college or university degree with advanced degree in relevant area of study preferred;
· Demonstrated interest in LGBTI rights particularly in the context of developing countries;
· Understanding of international human rights mechanisms and policy-making bodies;
· Ability to think creatively and develop and implement innovative funding strategies internationally;
· Experience working closely with civil society organizations in developing and transitional countries, building partnerships and facilitating skills exchange;
· and ;
· Excellent writing, verbal and organizational skills and ability to synthesize large amounts of information from a variety of sources to produce concise written analyses for different audiences;
· Attention to detail and ability to work independently and to set and meet goals in fast-paced environment and to prioritize accordingly;
· Team spirit and collegial and respectful working and decision-making style;
· Russian and or other language skills relevant to region a distinct advantage;
· Availability and willingness to travel regionally and internationally.

Start Date: ASAP

Compensation: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.

To Apply:
Please email resume and cover letter with salary requirements by March 1, 2012 to: indicating “LGBTI PO” in the subject line.

The Open Society Foundations are an Equal Opportunity Employer which supports diversity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender identity, age, disability, or sexual orientation.”


About Rene Mertens

René Mertens (33) hat Politik / Spanisch und Erziehungswissenschaften an der Freien-Universität / Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin und an der Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) studiert. Sein Arbeitsschwerpunkt am CSDSO liegt im Bereich LGBTI, Vereinte Nationen und Menschenrechte. Neben diesen Arbeitsbereich beschäftigt er sich mit der Frage, wie die Yogyakarta-Prinzipien in die auswärtige Politik und Entwicklungszusammenarbeit integriert werden können um einen inklusive Politik zu ermöglichen. Kontakt:
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