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The Open Society Institute works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Open societies are characterized by the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; market economies in which business and government are separate; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check. 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 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. In addition to the National Foundations, OSI in some regions carries out directly some regional or national activities. OSI has expanded the work of the Soros foundations network to encompass the United States and more than 60 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Each national foundation relies on the expertise of boards composed of eminent citizens who determine individual agendas based on local priorities.

The Regional Director for Africa oversees implementation of the work of three Regional Foundations—the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), and Open Society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA)—as well as the national foundation in South Africa and has principal staff responsibility for ensuring coordination between these foundations and other OSI programs and entities. The Regional Director provides strategic guidance and leadership on pan-African initiatives and coordinates staff implementation of initiatives developed by the Africa Advisory Board. The Africa Regional Director reports to the Director of International Operations.

Principal Responsibilities

* Serve as the principal liaison between OSI regional/national foundation executive directors in Africa and the Director of International Operations on all matters related to foundation programming, strategy, management, governance and budget;
* Provide the Director of International Operations with regular written and verbal assessments of the political environment, and analysis of the opportunities and challenges facing the regional/national foundations in Africa;
* Provide strategic guidance and leadership on pan-African initiatives that do not fall under regional/national foundations in Africa, in coordination with the Africa Advisory Board (AAB).
* Play a key role in organizing the AAB meetings, in coordination with the Director of Programs and the Director of International Operations. Facilitate the implementation of ideas and projects developed by the AAB;
* Facilitate and ensure effective coordination and collaboration between OSI regional/national foundations in Africa and other OSI entities and programs engaged in programming related to Africa. Recommend policies, procedures or decisions needed to ensure such collaboration and coordination to OSI senior management for adoption;
* Manage a grant-making portfolio to support regional strategies and emergency-response activities in countries not covered by regional/national foundations. Oversee the solicitation, evaluation, and review of applications for funding;
* Provide advice and guidance to OSI senior management on overall OSI strategy in Africa;
* Travel regularly to Africa in order to carry out responsibilities;
* Maintain regular communication with the National Foundations to assist them in troubleshooting administrative, programmatic, strategic, management, personnel and other problems, including through regular trips to the foundations to meet with the Executive Director, board members, program staff, locally based donor representatives, and other external partners and grantees, as necessary;
* Manage the annual budget drafting and submission process of the National Foundations in collaboration with the Director of International Operations and other relevant senior managers;
* Serve as the primary contact for the finance staff on budgetary questions, and with Human Resources on personnel issues related to regional sub-boards, national foundations, and the Regional Director’s own support staff;
* Develop, execute, and coordinate special projects as requested by the Director of International Operations and other OSI officers;
* Supervise two program staff.


* Demonstrated and extensive knowledge of political/social dynamics in countries of Southern, West and East Africa;
* Minimum of ten years experience in advocacy, policy analysis or management related to Africa;
* Demonstrated experience in managing inter and intra-organizational relationships in complex organizational environments;
* Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
* Masters degree or relevant advanced degree/experience;
* Fluency in English and French;

Start Date: Immediately

Compensation: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.

To Apply

Please email resume and cover letter with salary requirements before December 4, 2009 to: [email][email protected] Include job code in subject line: RD-Africa


Open Society Institute
Human Resources – Code RD-Africa
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.