Job Vacancy: Program Officer, Higher Education Support Program (Amman, Jordan)

Posted on November 18, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

Open Society Foundations
Vacancy Announcement 3 November 2013
Program Officer, Higher Education Support Program

Open Society Foundations works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. The Open Society Foundations’ Arab Regional Office (ARO) was established in 2006 to support local civil society in its efforts to protect human rights and build vibrant and tolerant societies. Based in Amman, Jordan, the office supports a diverse group of civil society organizations, research centers, universities, and media organizations across the Arab world in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, and Yemen.

Higher education institutions and actors are instrumental in the establishment and consolidation of open societies committed to inclusion, critical thinking, human rights, justice, and democracy. The International Higher Education Support Program (HESP) is committed to supporting universities and members of their communities by nurturing their capacity and leadership for well- informed, vigorous, and inclusive social deliberation, specifically in societies in transition. To this end, the program promotes academic autonomy and critical thinking, favors innovation and imagination, and aids in building transparent and effective institutional governance and countering “brain drain.”

The International Higher Education Support Program (HESP) supports initiatives that aim to advance:

Open Minds: developing academics’ intellectual skills - including critical thinking - to prepare them for high-level work and sustainable impact;

Open Universities: institutions that function reflexively in line with the values of open societies, where freedom to think and speak critically and to inquire are respected and encouraged;

Open Teaching: the roles universities play in training intellectually competent and critical students, generating cutting-edge research and cultivating and securing access to the best teaching practices and approaches;

Public Intellectual Activity: reaching out towards the development of a public intellectual sphere vital for strong and vibrant societies.

Reporting to the Director of Higher Education, the Program Officer will focus on the North Africa-Middle East region and will be based in OSF’s Arab Regional Office in Tunis, Tunisia or Amman, Jordan

Purpose of Position

Strategy development and grantmaking for assigned program and for developing the connections between the assigned program and the broader priorities of OSF. Work is carried out independently/under general supervision.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. OSF may add, change, or remove essential and other duties at any time.


  • Develop, plan and organize program-related events;

  • Work with Director and other staff to develop grantmaking strategies, priorities, and guidelines;

  • Work with the Director to ensure close collaboration with other program directors and staff, convene cross-program working groups as needed, to advance research and development and rapid response grantmaking opportunities;

  • Write and edit program materials and guidelines;

  • Stay abreast of developments in the field through research and attendance of conferences and/or meetings;

  • Write strategy/position papers that provide direction on policy issues impacting the field and/or offer suggestions about strategic program development for funders and grantees;

  • Perform special assignments, including participation with other OSF programs and foundation task forces and working groups;

  • Identify joint programming opportunities and efforts with external funders and partners;

  • Build and establish strategic relationships with other philanthropic partners and NGO’s.


  • In conjunction with the Director and other staff/consultants, develop grantmaking strategies, priorities, and guidelines;

  • Review and assess letters of inquiry and make funding recommendations and declinations to the Director;

  • Invite grant proposals from selected funding applicants;

  • Work with applicants to develop and finalize grant proposals; Review grant proposals and participate in the preparation of written grant recommendations as part of grant dockets preparation process;

  • Perform site visits of prospective and current grantee organizations;

  • Monitor grants through site visits and review of narrative and financial reports;

  • Ensure that grantees submit narrative and financial reports as required under the terms of the contract;

  • Interact with grantees and other field professionals and participate in program- and field-related meetings and convenings; Budget:

  • Manage financial and budget reports to track grant and program spending;

  • Assist in the planning and developing of annual budget;
  • Travel will be required;

  • Perform other duties as assigned.

    Education/Experience: Bachelor's degree (B.A.) from a four-year college or university and five to eight years relevant experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Advanced degree preferred;

  • Experience in grant making, project management, including managing consultants and developing and managing project budgets;

  • NGO experience essential;

  • Strong background with programs advancing social justice through community organizing, legal advocacy, research or policy reform work.

Skills Required:

  • Effectively manage to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment, troubleshoot and follow projects through to completion, with strict deadlines and without loss of attention to detail, budget and reporting;

  • Excellent written, verbal, organizational, analytical and interpersonal skills;

  • Excellent computer skills, proficient in Microsoft Office and experience with internet

    research and database management;

  • Exercise good listening and communication skills with sensitivity to cultural

    communication differences;

  • Effectively work as a team member and independently, with a high-level of self-motivation

    and ability to set and meet goals;

  • Show discretion and ability to handle confidential issues;

  • Knowledge of key organizations and networks active in the field;

  • Pleasant, diplomatic manner and disposition in interacting with colleagues and the general public.
Program Specific Requirements:
    • Minimum seven years work experience in international setting;

    • Good understanding of the higher education system and development in North Africa and

      the Middle East;

    • Excellent written and oral English and Arabic;

    • Working knowledge of French would be an asset.

      Start Date:
      Compensation: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.

      To Apply: Please e-mail resume and cover letter with salary requirements before 30th November 2013, to: OSIMENA.Info@opensocietyfoundations.orgInclude job code in subject line: PO-HESP- MENA

      No phone calls, please. The Open Society Foundations is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

    Previous Next



    Leave a reply

    This blog is moderated, your comment will need to be approved before it is shown.

    Scroll to top