Open Society Foundations | Middle East-North Africa Initiatives (Mena)/ Director for Arab Regional Office

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve its mission, OSF seeks to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. On a local level, OSF implements a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, OSF builds alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. OSF places a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of marginalized people and communities.

Investor and philanthropist George Soros in 1993 created OSF 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. OSF has expanded the activities of the Soros foundations network to encompass the United States and more than 60 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Each Soros foundation relies on the expertise of boards composed of eminent citizens who determine individual agendas based on local priorities.

The Middle East-North Africa Initiatives (MENA) is a program of the Open Society Institute dedicated to exploring possibilities for developing civil society in the countries of the region. Reporting to the Associate Director of OSF, and with the guidance of an Advisory Board, the Director of the Amman-based Arab Regional Office (ARO) would take primary responsibility for developing the grant-making portfolio and engaging in related advocacy and public information activities.

Responsibilities

  • Work with AD and the Advisory Board to help develop comprehensive strategies for the region.
  • Implement existing comprehensive strategies under AD’s guidance, and provide programmatic and logistical assistance to the OSF’s Network Programs engaged in the region.
  • Expand the ARO grant portfolio, and develop cooperative projects with partner organizations.
  • Review and evaluate grant proposals, letters, and reports of various ARO grantees.
  • Conduct necessary correspondence with grantees at all stages of grant process.
  • Prepare grant docket for review.
  • Plan and develop annual budget for the ARO in conjunction with AD.
  • Evaluate annual budgets and strategies, monthly transaction reports, audit reports, and various other legal and grant documentation.
  • Under supervision of AD and with the guidance of the Advisory Board, develop, execute, and coordinate special projects as required. Provide occasional program and administrative support to other projects.
  • Monitor civil society and NGO development in priority sectors of the region.
  • Work with communication and advocacy teams to develop messaging, advocacy strategies, and web content.
  • Communicate with the public, media and other relevant bodies.
  • Supervise the work of program and administrative staff and oversee the day to day administrative functioning of the office.
  • Ensures that the ARO is in compliance with local laws and regulations, and with OSI policies and directives.
  • Other projects and responsibilities, as directed.

 

Grant Management

  • Conduct Pre-grant inquiries for all grant applicants.
  • Monitor grantees, provide reporting guidelines, review interim and final financial and narrative reports.
  • Work alongside OSI-NY Grants Management (GM) Department to ensure all grantees are in compliance with U.S. law and GM requirements.

Financial

  • Prepare ARO budget in collaboration with AD and departmental staff; review budget variance reports on a regular basis.
  • Work alongside OSF-NY and Budapest Finance Departments to ensure all ARO budgeting and accounting is in compliance with OSF Finance Department requirements.

Legal

  • Work with Legal Department to ensure all programmatic activity is compliant with U.S. law; work with local lawyers in region (in conjunction with OSF-NY Legal Department) to ensure local compliance.
  • Review contracts, legal memoranda, etc. for ARO as necessary, in conjunction with AD.

Miscellaneous

  • Compose consultancy contracts and ensure that payments are processed and sent in a timely manner.
  • Engage in research and other projects as needed. Assist AD with relevant projects upon request.

Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree, Masters or above;
  • Extensive knowledge and experience in Middle East and North Africa;
  • Experience working with NGOs, international organizations, and/or grant-making institutions;
  • Fluency in Arabic;
  • Excellent organizational skills, particularly the ability to effectively manage and compile disparate pieces of data.

Start Date: ASAP; Compensation: Commensurate with experience.

To Apply: Please email resume and cover letter with salary requirements before August 31, 2012, to: humanresources@sorosny.org Include job code in subject line:ARO-MENA OR Open Society Institute, Human Resources – Code ARO-MENA, 400 West 59th Street, New York NY 10019 (fax: 212 548-4675). No phone calls, please.The Open Society Foundations is an Equal Opportunity Employer.