Sunday, February 16, 2014

Job: Advocacy Director, Open Society Foundations, New York

Cross-posted from Open Society Foundations:

Start Date
As soon as possible
New York

Advocacy Director

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.
The Open Society Justice Initiative uses law to protect and empower people around the world. Through litigation, advocacy, research, and technical assistance, the Justice Initiative promotes human rights and builds legal capacity for open societies. We foster accountability for international crimes, combat racial discrimination and statelessness, support criminal justice reform, address abuses related to national security and counterterrorism, expand freedom of information and expression, and stem corruption linked to the exploitation of natural resources. Our staff is based in Abuja, Amsterdam, Bishkek, Brussels, Budapest, The Hague, London, Mexico City, New York, Paris, Santo Domingo, and Washington, D.C.
Purpose of PositionPart of a small senior management group reporting to the Justice Initiative executive director, the advocacy director leads a core advocacy team in surveying, identifying, prioritizing and seizing advocacy opportunities across the wide-range of justice-related activities to secure the fullest impact of the Justice Initiative’s current work. The advocacy director will provide strategic direction to the Justice Initiative’s advocacy work across all thematic fields and will support Justice Initiative staff in their development of advocacy initiatives at the international, regional and national levels. The advocacy director will collaborate with Open Society advocacy staff in Brussels, Washington, D.C., and other locations to insure that Justice Initiative advocacy complements and reinforces Open Society Foundations’ overall advocacy priorities.
Essential Duties & ResponsibilitiesThis position will have the following principal responsibilities:
  • Oversee a core team of Justice Initiative advocacy officers;
  • Working closely with the executive director and other senior personnel, serve as the Justice Initiative’s senior advocacy strategist, focusing on institutional priorities and matters requiring broad collaboration among staff throughout the Justice Initiative;
  • Maintain a strategic overview of the range of Justice Initiative work, help to select core advocacy priorities, and support their consequent implementation;
  • Collaborate closely with Justice Initiative program and, where appropriate, Open Society staff in developing advocacy strategy and/or policy briefs/position papers for major justice-related initiatives including how to maximize our ability to convince targets to do what we advocate;
  • Monitor and evaluate existing advocacy efforts;
  • Mentor, advise, train, and assist Justice Initiative staff to engage effectively in justice-related advocacy, ensuring that lessons learnt are captured and shared with the Justice Initiative team and, where relevant, the broader Open Society network;
  • Monitor influential government and IGO positions on selected matters of interest; identify types of information that should be monitored;
  • Identify, cultivate, and expand a network of contacts among donors, NGOs, government officials, regional and international organizations, academics and journalists;
  • Establish and secure compliance with an internal system for efficiently managing all stages of advocacy and coordination of the work flow;
  • Coordinate and support those Justice Initiative projects that fall within the “Rule of Law” cluster by ensuring  the effective functioning of, and adequate communication among, all project teams within the cluster and the completion of projects in accordance with approved workplans and budge.
In addition, this position will be initially and primarily responsible for the following responsibilities:
  • Participation in and contribution to the Justice Initiative senior management team;
  • Representation of Justice Initiative in relevant Open Socxiety advocacy coordination efforts;
  • Strong working relationship with the Justice Initiative Communications officers.
Education / Experience
  • Advanced degree in law, international relations, or a related field;
  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience of human rights or justice-related advocacy work, preferably at the international level;
  • Experienced manager and facilitator of participatory processes and teams; 
  • Deep experience with strategy development and execution practices—optimally from an Open Society perspective.
Skills Required
  • Demonstrated integrity, excellent judgment, and respect in his or her relationships with colleagues and grantees;
  • Excellent skills in communication, cross-cultural collaboration, team management, group facilitation, and staff development; 
  • Ability to think across initiatives and maintain a strategic perspective on choosing targets, drawing on allies and supporters, using staff resources etc.;
  • Substantive experience in shaping and leading justice reforms national, regionally and/or internationally; 
  • Capacity to foster independent and creative thinking through questions and suggestions about aims and options;
  • Astute political and institutional judgment, complimented by an ability and discipline to seek out as needed advice/information to ensure good decision making with regard to the development of realistic targets and “asks”; 
  • Strong personal commitment to the aims of the Open Society Foundations;
  • Ability to collaborate and build partnerships;
  • Demonstrated creativity, tenacious resiliency, with ability to thrive and contribute in a complex, international multicultural organization under demanding assignments;
  • Effective in working together with a wide range of colleagues in a large organization to develop effective advocacy initiatives targeting policy makers in different environments;
  • Ability to think creatively with a strong awareness of operational and reputational implications of work at country and regional levels;
  • Familiarity with advocacy counterparts at major justice and human rights organizations;
  • Strategic thinking and proven ability to seek out and create innovative solutions;
  • Proven capacity to plan, prioritize, and manage multiple demands efficiently in a challenging, fast-paced environment;
  • Effective team management and ability to lead teams that grow;
  • Excellent English written and oral communications skills; foreign language fluency a plus.
Work Environment and Physical Demands
Essential functions are typically performed in an office setting with a low level of noise. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

CompensationCommensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.
Application InstructionsPlease email resume and cover letter with salary requirements by February 28, 2014, to: humanresources(at) Include job code in subject line: AD-OSJI.

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