Program Administrative Specialist

Job Type

Full Time




New York
New York
New York

United States


Are you looking for the opportunity to support work in the field of health and human rights globally? If so, we are looking for people like you to join the administrative support team of the Open Society Foundation’s (OSF) Public Health Program (PHP). Our program advances a human rights approach to health, with an emphasis on social inclusion and reclaiming the public good in health. We work to make justice systems more responsive to health, to shift power dynamics in health-related decision-making, to challenge the health establishment to advance human rights, and to influence the funding environment for health and rights. The Public Health Program is unique in explicitly focusing on the political nature of health, not seeing it solely or primarily as a technical issue. More information about the Public Health Program can be found here .

Job Profile

OSF’s PHP seeks a full-time Program Administrative Specialist based in New York. The Program Administrative Specialist is responsible for performing administrative duties, relying principally on basic skills, but acquiring OSF-specific knowledge in the course of performing assigned duties. The assistant is also responsible for timely and appropriate completion of assignments in accordance with established procedures and direction from their supervisor. This position supports our work on the areas of harm reduction and access to justice, and works with marginalized and criminalized populations of people who use drugs. The successful candidate will be comfortable working on these topics. They will also work with limited supervision and be able to identify problems and seek guidance in resolving them with their supervisor. The Program Administrative Specialist also builds and maintains collegial relationships internally in order to accomplish shared goals. This role is fully integrated into the Public Health Program, and basic knowledge of and alliance with the OSF mission and manner of operation is important.

Essential duties and responsibilities:
  • Provide administrative support to two Division Directors within the Public Health Program and to Public Health Program staff working on Harm Reduction and Legal Empowerment related to grant making activities and/or other program functions; this includes processing, submitting, and managing approval flows for grants and consultancies, processing payments, assisting in document drafting and editing, occasional research and synthesis of information, and ad-hoc administrative tasks related to particular events, meetings, and program and/or foundation-wide operations.
  • Review reports and other documents related to grant making and consultancies for compliance, accuracy, and readability; this may include review of data/figures to assure accuracy and completeness, in accordance with program-wide and foundation-wide protocols.
  • Stay abreast of relevant policies and compliance requirements and assists staff in understanding, operationalizing, and adhering to relevant policies and guidelines; this may include training of staff on grants or other processes/workflows.
  • Assist in large event/convening planning and managing related travel, logistics, and budgeting; this includes liaising with vendors (e.g. event planners, translators, graphic designers, etc.) and negotiating contract terms and conditions, liaising with participants to coordinate travel and logistics, and day-of event facilitation and coordination.
  • Provide executive support in travel planning including working with OSF vendors to book hotels and flights, managing trip meetings schedules.
  • Provide grant making or other data review and visualization; this may include developing reporting tools and templates.
  • Identifying new administrative/operational needs and develop/implement solutions.
  • Ad-hoc responsibilities; these may include other significant operational responsibilities such as overseeing translation or communications-related projects, reviewing grantee reports and updates, collecting and analyzing data in support of eligibility assessments, and other similar tasks.

Applicants must be eligible to work in the US without restrictions.
Candidate Profile
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study or equivalent experience/education.
  • More than three years of progressively responsible administrative experience, preferably in a large and complex organization, NGO or foundation.
  • Interest in, and a commitment to, addressing issues affecting marginalized populations, specifically people who use drugs, people with mental illness, and sex workers; some academic or professional knowledge or personal experience in a relevant field is desirable.
  • Demonstrated aptitude or proficiency with the office technology used by the Open Society Foundations, including Microsoft Office Suite, Salesforce and NetSuite, and ability and willingness to learn new proprietary software systems.
  • Experience administering travel and expenses, catering, office security, and scheduling personnel appointments and maintaining calendars.
  • Experience tracking budgets, taking minutes, making payments, arranging travel.
  • Demonstrable strong written, verbal, organizational, and interpersonal skills, including experience drafting fluent communications in English.
  • Proven ability to prioritize among a wide range of tasks and projects, to multi-task, and work well under pressure.
  • Experience working independently on complex administrative tasks, as well as working in a team environment.
  • Understanding of cross-cultural issues and ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and sensitivity in making administrative judgements and handling information in a confidential manner.

Interviews for successful short-listed candidates will take place during the second or third week of June 2018

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and are committed to providing reasonable accommodations so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required