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Program Officer / Media (Mental Health Initiative)

Open Society Foundations
Location: Budapest
Last Date: September 1, 2011
Email: (Reference:


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

Investor and philanthropist George Soros established the Open Society Foundations, starting in 1984, to help countries make the transition from communism. Our activities have grown to encompass the United States and more than 70 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Each Foundation relies on the expertise of boards composed of eminent citizens who determine individual agendas based on local priorities.


The Open Society Mental Health Initiative (MHI) is part of the Public Health Program at the Open Society Foundations and is based in Budapest, Hungary. MHI seeks to ensure that people with mental disabilities (mental health problems and/or intellectual disabilities) are able to live as equal citizens in the community and to participate in society with full respect for their human rights. MHI promotes the social inclusion of people with mental disabilities by supporting the development of community-based alternatives to institutionalization and by actively engaging in policy-based advocacy. MHI is both a grant making and an operational program, providing training and technical assistance to its partner organizations.

MHI seeks a full-time program officer to contribute to the development and implementation of its media strategy. The program officer will closely coordinate this work with the Health Media Initiative (HMI), part of the Public Health Program. HMI seeks to strengthen the capacity of civil society leaders and organizations to effectively advocate for health and human rights policies through successfully engaging with and utilizing media. The geographic focus of the work will be Central and Eastern Europe and East Africa.
The Program Officer is involved with program development and implementation and reports to the MHI Program Director.


• Contributes to the development and implementation of MHI’s media strategy, including its annual work plan and budget related to this strategy in collaboration with the Health Media Initiative;
• Works collaboratively with MHI’s grantees to strengthen their capacity to refine advocacy strategies and effectively utilize the media to advance their advocacy goals;
• Identifies and facilitates media-related technical assistance for grantees and partners;
• Helps to develop and oversee a portfolio of grants, including evaluation of proposals, preparation of related documentation, and on-site monitoring of grantee activity;
• Participates in and coordinates on-site monitoring and technical assistance visits in collaboration with MHI staff and consultants, including preparation of written reports;
• Identify joint programming opportunities with external funders and partners;
• Conceptualize and convene meetings, seminars and training workshops for MHI’s partners;
• Represent MHI at relevant events, meetings and conferences;
• Undertake other duties as requested by the Program Director.


• Graduate degree in communications, journalism or other related social science field;
• A minimum of 5 years work experience in strategic communications and advocacy;
• Experience in working collaboratively with NGOs, including an understanding of civil society approaches to conducting advocacy;
• Experience collaborating with/providing technical assistance to civil society organizations in developing advocacy strategies and media activities;
• Up-to-date knowledge of digital and social media and their use by human rights activists, including knowledge of key organizations and networks active in the field of digital and social media;
• An understanding of, and demonstrated commitment to, advancing the health and human rights of marginalized people;
• Experience in grant-making and project management;
• Excellent oral and written English skills;
• Excellent analytical and organizational skills;
• Ability to work as a team member and independently, with high level of self-motivation;
• Ability to listen and communicate clearly and effectively with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds;
• Ability to effectively manage several projects simultaneously in a fast-paced working environment;
• Willingness to travel internationally on a frequent basis.


START DATE: Immediately.

TO APPLY: Send curriculum vitae, cover letter, salary requirements, and a maximum 2 page writing sample in English about how using media can play an important role in advancing the advocacy goals of grass root organizations to:

Subject line: MHI Program Officer/ Media

For more information about the Open Society Mental Health Initiative, please see

The Open Society Foundations are an Equal Opportunity Employer which supports diversity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

TM and Copyright © 2011 Open Society Foundations. All rights reserved.


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