The Open Society Foundations is looking for a Program Manager – Gender Race and Power (multiple locations): Apply!!


Deadline: 05/31/2024

Location: Dakar, Nairobi, Johannesburg

Opportunity Description

The Gender, Race and Power Opportunity focuses on advancing locally-rooted gender and racial justice policies, leaders and organizations, and connecting these efforts to cross-regional and global goals.  Areas of exploration will include identifying, supporting, and connecting these efforts across the Global South and leveraging them to advance democratic principles.


Role Purpose

The aim of opportunities is to dynamically organize staff, strategies, and budgets around the demands of each opportunity. It balances the need for sustained attention to complex problems and demands rigorous planning and evaluation, while also providing leaders with the autonomy to pursue radical ideas and approaches.

The Program Manager is a leader with deep understanding and recognition of the gender and racial justice fields and will be responsible for day-to-day liaison and coordination with grantee and partner organisations. The Program Manager will play a critical role with implementing the opportunity, which may use a variety of OSF’s strategic capabilities, including advocacy, impact investing, strategic litigation, in addition to grant making. The expectation is that the Program Manager is a subject matter expert in the specific opportunity with expertise in their region.

Key Responsibilities

As Program Manager, you will:

  • Support the Director of Programs to deliver on the opportunity’s outcomes with professionalism
  • Deliver on day-to-day liaison with grantees to ensure the opportunity is designed, launched, implemented, and exited according to the outcomes defined
  • Work collaboratively with other members within the opportunity team and with colleagues across OSF to ensure the opportunity is effectively leveraging OSF’s capabilities to reach the agreed outcome
  • Effectively manage the grant-making process by communicating with grantees for proposal submission, assisting in grant record preparation, grants processing, payments, reporting, and other related processes
  • Build a strong understanding of the gender and racial justice fields and partnerships, in developing and designing the grant selection processes
  • Manage relationships with partners, in close coordination with Geographic Policy Groups as relevant, and work with them to achieve OSF’s strategic objective through the opportunity
  • Work collaboratively in developing, assessing, and revising program strategies
  • Work with leadership to maintain grant-making practice aligned with OSF’s approach to grant-making and in compliance with organizational and external standards and regulations
  • Assist in the construction, maintenance, and assessment of grant making portfolio(s), sharing responsibility for strategy design with manager
  • Contribute to larger opportunity strategy
  • Process and oversee progress of consultant contracts
  • Monitor progress implementation, project risks, and other relevant status updates and communicate to Director of Programs regularly


Key internal relationships

Director, Programs; Managing Director Programs; Core

Partners, Special Advisors, Grants Management, Operations


Key external relationships

External Partners



Person Specification




  • Educated to a degree-level (or equivalent)



  • Post-graduate education relevant to the types of Opportunities that Open Society Foundations will invest in




  • Multiple years’ experience (in one or multiple organisations) where proficiency in the gender and racial justice fields has been comprehensively developed
  • Extensive expertise in the specific topic area as set out in the “Opportunity Description” above
  • Prior working experience of operating within the non-profit community (for example multi-lateral, NGO, foundation or ambassadorial working environments)
  • Fluent in local language where the role is based
  • Relevant expertise in topic area (thematic and/or geographic) specific to the opportunity



Functional Competencies:  

  • Conceives, designs and manages cross-department, cross-program or similarly complex projects; expected to effectively manage time, budget and stakeholders and network-wide or similarly complex coordination
  • Able to generate, capture and organize information and knowledge to deliver prescribed outcomes
  • Ability to conduct research to drive decision making by management
  • Skilled in drawing out patterns
  • Experience in budgeting, strategic analysis and planning
  • Working well with a variety of public, private and NGO stakeholders
  • Building and maintaining networks of stakeholders
  • Promote strategic cooperation with governmental and other sectors
  • Knowledge of grant making best practices and the field of philanthropy
  • Ability to build synergies, strengthen movements, and identify and fill capacity gaps across fields
  • Demonstrate care and concern about partner organizations and the people who work in them


Personal Competencies:

  • Able to build consensus with diverse audiences/stakeholders
  • Possesses cultural sensitivity to work respectfully and effectively in different settings
  • Ability to work independently and being self-motivated
  • Demonstrates commitment to OSF’s core values of humility, commitment, collaboration, respect, inclusivity and integrity
  • Proven experience in collaborating with multi-country stakeholders
  • Willingness to adjust working hours to include calls and discussions with colleagues and vendors located in various geographic regions
  • Commitment to continuous learning and growth in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, antiracism and social justice



  • An excellent knowledge of English is required.
  • In addition to English, a good working knowledge of French is preferred.
  • Knowledge of other languages would be an asset


Subject to local laws, regular employment contracts may be converted to fixed-term contracts to align with the intended duration of the employment for the purposes of working on that opportunity; or alternatively the current permanent contract will be kept in place, with a side letter confirming the duration of the assignment to the time-limited project.


Competitive rates of pay apply.


Open Society Foundations is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, and to building a diverse staff that reflects the movements, issues and communities that our mission serves. Candidates from all underrepresented backgrounds, identities and communities are encouraged to apply.   

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We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and colleagues with disabilities.


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