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Program Officer, Latin America Program- Human Rights


Open Society

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to criticism, whose laws and policies are open to debate and correction, and whose political institutions are open to the participation of all people. We seek to strengthen justice and the rule of law; broaden respect for human rights, including the rights of minorities; encourage pluralism and a robust diversity of opinion; deepen democratic practice and participation; expand economic equity; support effective governance; and invest in individuals, public and private organizations, and social movements that advance these goals.

Program Officer, Latin America Program- Human Rights. Bogota. Posting Date: 10/04/2019. Deadline: 11/01/2019

Do you want to help make the world a better place with your expertise in human rights in the Latin America Region? We are seeking a full-time Program Officer that can be based in Mexico City, Bogota, or Rio de Janeiro to lead a portfolio focused on broadening public support for human rights on key issues related to gender-based and racial discrimination, police abuse and state violence, and drug policy reform through storytelling and other creative tools that promote empathy, solidarity, and trust.

The Open Society Foundations works to build vibrant and inclusive democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. We are active in more than 120 countries, making us the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights.

The Latin America Program addresses rights and governance issues in Latin America primarily through grant making, network-building, and the development of specific initiatives. We focus on supporting Latin American efforts to reform democratic institutions in ways that are more open and responsive to citizens, realizing human rights, and reducing homicides in a region with extremely high levels of violence. The Latin America Program works with other programs within the Open Society Foundations to share its understanding of political context in the region, facilitate contacts, broker relationships, and identify strategic opportunities in the region.

As a Program Officer at Open Society you will:

  • Design a portfolio that can influence public discourse on human rights issues and foster a more strategic use of creativity among non-traditional actors (i.e. artists, comedians, journalists, and technologists), and more creative activism among human rights organizations
  • Lead the portfolio’s development, including the review and assessment of narrative and financial information of grantees and write grant recommendations
  • Assess the organizational capacity of potential grantees and provide feedback to develop grant proposals
  • Monitor grants and maintain regular contact with grantees, contractors, and other stakeholders, including regular onsite visits to grantee organizations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Provide strategic support and feedback to grantees and allies involved in advocacy
  • Encourage collaboration and strategic alliances among organizations and fields with related goals, constituencies, and interests, cultivating and facilitating effective and coordinated engagement of OSF programs working in key priority countries

What we are looking for:

  • Seven to ten years of progressively responsible experience working in a relevant field related to artistic practices, communication, media, and culture; or equivalent combination of education
  • Experience working on initiatives related to human rights and democracy issues; knowledge of gender-based and racial discrimination, marginalization of social groups, criminalization, access to justice, drug policy issues, and dynamics and actors working in the arts, culture, entertainment, media, educational, and communication sectors in Latin America preferred
  • Experience in storytelling and cross-platform product development
  • Prior work within a non-government organization, educational or cultural institution, or for-profit institution with a public interest angle in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Fluency in Spanish, with excellent written and spoken English; Portuguese proficiency is a plus
  • Commitment to open society values, human rights, inclusion, diversity, and empowerment of marginalized groups


  • Familiarity with advocacy, public policy and political processes as tools for social change
  • Familiarity or interest with the issues surrounding grant-making, including an understanding of the power dynamics in the fund-seeker/grant-maker relationship, and ability to handle this relationship properly and respectfully
  • Experience or interest for project management tasks, including managing consultants and project budgets

What we offer:

  • Ample opportunities to learn and grow, from annual professional development allowances to onsite trainings and brown bag lunches with visiting experts.
  • With some variability according to location, benefits include generous time off, flexible work arrangements, private medical coverage, generous retirement savings plan, progressive paid parental leave, reproductive and family planning support, sabbatical opportunities, and much more.
  • A commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace that enables everyone to bring their full self to work and make a positive impact on the world.

See what a day in the life of a Program Officer at Open Society is like here.

If this sounds like the position you have been looking for, please submit a cover letter that addresses the specific skills and experience that OSF requires for Program Officers (guidance is located here) and CV; we look forward to learning more about you.

We aim to build an inclusive workforce that is reflective of the populations we support, and actively seek applications from those who are marginalized and underrepresented. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and colleagues with disabilities.

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