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Job Opportunity: Deputy Director, International Harm Reduction Development Program, Open Society Institute

The Open Society Institute works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. 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 a 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. OSI 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.

Founded in 1995, the International Harm Reduction Development Program (IHRD) of the Open Society Institute (OSI) works to reduce HIV and other harms related to injecting drug use, and to press for policies that reduce stigmatization of illicit drug users and protect their human rights. IHRD, which has supported more than 200 harm reduction programs in 26 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Asia, bases its activities on the understanding that people unable or unwilling to abstain from drug use can make positive changes to protect their health and the health of others. Since 2001, IHRD has prioritized advocacy to expand availability and quality of needle exchange, drug treatment, and treatment for HIV; to reform discriminatory policies and practices; and to increase the opportunities for political engagement by people who use drugs and who are living with HIV.

The IHRD Deputy Director is supervised by the program director, and carries substantial responsibility for coordination of four areas: program management, policy and advocacy, grantmaking, and finance and budgets.

Responsibilities in the area of program management include directly supervising the work of three program officers and two administrative staff in areas including community organizing, technical assistance to harm reduction services, NGO strengthening, and policy/advocacy efforts; directing IHRD's approaches to external funders, and overseeing the reporting for and compliance with grants from international donors; establishing and maintaining linkages with IHRD partners including government representatives, health and social care providers, community groups, and international organizations; participating in the management team of the Open Society Institute Network Public Health Program, and representing IHRD as required at meetings of OSI, the Soros network, and at international, regional and national conferences; coordinateing conferences and expert consultations related to drug use and HIV; overseeing development of strategic planning, and reporting on work achieved and planned; and supervising research and technical assistance projects.

Responsibilities in the area of policy and advocacy include helping guide implementation of policy and advocacy initiatives and related strategies at the international, regional and national level throughout the Eastern Europe and Asia; assisting national foundations in the Soros Network with development, implementation and evaluation of strategies on harm reduction; and identifying and managing a team of international consultants working with IHRD to advance policy objectives.

Responsibilities in the area of grantmaking include developing and overseeing calls for proposals or grant competitions to support policy initiatives; and managing the review process, of proposals, grant reports, and identification of expert committees.

Responsibilities in the area of finance and budgets include producing IHRD's annual budget, reports for on spending and priorities, and working with program staff on individual program budgets; monitoring financial allocations & general program expenditures; and tracking and ensuring staff compliance with OSI financial guidelines, accounting procedures and reporting requirements.

Qualifications include a minimum of 5 years relevant work experience in issues related to public policy, human rights, drug use and/or HIV; a commitment to harm reduction principles, advocacy and civil society engagement; a Doctorate or Masters degree (or equivalent) in law, health, medicine, sociology, or relevant field; solid experience in staff, program and grant management, preferably in international public health; excellent spoken and written English, and presentation skills (Russian language fluency preferred, though not required); and the willingness to travel internationally as required.

The salary is commensurate with experience, qualifications. Excellent benefits are offered. The start date in January/February 2008. To apply, please e-mail resume, cover letter, and references before 2/1/08 to [email protected] and include job code "DEPDIR/IHRD" in the subject line. These items can also be mailed to: Open Society Institute, Human Resources -- Code DEPDIR/IHRD, 400 West 59th Street, New York, New York 10019 USA. No phone calls, please. The Open Society Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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