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Associate Director, Climate Justice - Open Society Foundations

New York City, New York, US
Closing date
Sep 24, 2023

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Climate Change
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Apply by 23rd March 23

The Open Society Foundations work to build inclusive and vibrant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens.

We are a global network of foundations committed to local knowledge and national expertise. Active in more than 120 countries, Open Society is the world's largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights. In addition to making grants to organizations and individuals, we engage in policy advocacy, legal advocacy and litigation, program-related investing, and public communications, as well as providing direct assistance to governments.

The Open Society Foundations are the global philanthropies of George Soros, who, as chair, plays an active role in the work of the Foundations.

Climate Justice - Global Programs

2 Year Fixed Term Contract

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. Open Society's Global Programs works in deep dialogue and collaboration with regional and other Open Society units to maximize transnational impact in the areas of Justice, Equity, Expression, and Climate Justice.

The Climate Justice Global Program seeks to foster just transitions towards low-carbon, resilient and equitable societies, through right-based and democratic approaches, while amplifying the voices and solutions of the most vulnerable people.

Job Profile

The Associate Director is a pivotal role at OSF's Climate Justice team. They share responsibility for engaging with climate justice related fields of interest to OSF, developing appropriate strategies and tools for fostering desired social change in the pursuit of climate action, and developing, engaging and managing relationships with internal and external partners.

For this role, we are seeking a candidate with comprehensive knowledge, deep experience and extensive connections in the field of climate justice. A thorough familiarity with climate justice fields and relationships with key actors in major regions of the global South is essential, especially as they relate to Just Transitions and its financing .

The ideal candidate will be knowledgeable about innovative approaches, current controversies, pressing issues, key stakeholders and leading figures and cutting-edge thinking on climate justice, as the Associate Director will share responsibility for bringing one or more complex strategies to fruition in a manner that makes effective use of OSF tools and resources in pursuit of our mission.

We seek candidates who can exercise solid judgment in their work, using supervisory consultation for more complex issues, but making initial determinations and recommendations based on their own insights as informed by dialogue and collaboration with others.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Grant-making: Developing, managing, and monitoring impact-based portfolios rooted in grant making plans.
Partner Engagement: Managing relationship with strategic partners in the private, public, civil society and philanthropic sectors on climate action and climate justice; connecting them grantmaking, investment and advocacy work of the team and Open Society.

Research and Knowledge: Providing foresight and analysis of systems level trends in c climate justice, especially as related to: (i) adaptation, loss and damage, (ii) sustainable, accessible, equitable development and climate finance, and (iii) the interactions of climate politics, human right, democracy and populism.

Strategy Development and Management: Assistance with the development, management and delivery of innovative portfolios of work in a team-centered context, making recommendations to senior management to inform their selection and pursuit of results-oriented strategies around transnational climate justice.

Communications and Advocacy: Engaging stakeholders to carry out a constructive and effective dialogue on programmatic goals; contributing to shaping long term advocacy or communications plans to advance Climate Justice's priorities or strategic objectives; and establishing and nurturing relationships with key parties.

Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning: Shaping learning strategies and methods for and gathering key learnings from investments, grants, and policy engagements in order to improve program delivery; designing and executing on program related research; working with OSF's strategy team to monitor and evaluate Climate Justice portfolio strategies for iteration and adaptive management; and providing learning expertise to colleagues.

Skills and Competencies
  • Substantial knowledge of just transitions (energy and beyond, including implications on value chains and the use of critical minerals), as well as strong networks in these fields.
  • A deep understanding of how climate is implicated in the interaction of economic development and democracy.
  • A commitment to advancing diversity, equity & inclusion, including to a diversity of perspectives and voices, especially from the global South.
  • An ability build and manage collaborative relationships with an array of stakeholders, and a capacity to coordinate networks of them.
  • An understanding of and sensitivity to the power differential inherent in the funder-grantee relationship and a demonstrated ability and willingness to handle such relationships properly and respectfully.
  • An ability to consider multiple options to achieve long-range goals, appropriately balancing risk and reward, selecting the best strategies for success.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English.

  • Comprehensive, specialized knowledge in climate justice related fields, including familiarity with current controversies and issues, leading figures and thinking, and especially actors in the Global South.
    7 -10 years of progressively responsible experience working in policy, advocacy, grassroots mobilization, and/or green commercial solutions as related to climate change issues in the global South, especially equitable development, democracy, human rights and/or justice.
  • Experience with grantmaking a plus.
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent knowledge of in environmental sciences, economics, political economy, economic sociology, public policy or other related field; graduate degree or equivalent expertise preferred.

Benefits include:
  • Opportunity to work with a dynamic and diverse team in a role where you can grow.
  • Allowances for professional development and generous benefits, including paid health insurance, retirement savings plan, paid parental leave, reproductive and family planning support, and potential sabbaticals.

Location: Berlin, London, Nairobi, New York, and Washington

Work Environment and Physical Demands:

Essential functions are typically performed in a hybrid (home and office) setting. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions. Travel 20-25% of time is expected.

"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.

For our office in New York City, the salary range for this role is 102,500.00 - 189,600.00 USD Annual plus benefits. The final offer is influenced by a wide array of factors including but not limited to skill set and level of experience.

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

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

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