Senior Program Officer, Americas

Position Summary

The Senior Program Officer supports civil society, governments and other key actors of OGP across the Americas (North and Central America and the Caribbean) in using the Open Government Partnership to further their objectives on transparency, accountability and participation. The core focus of this position is to support the national and local members of OGP across the Americas. Reporting to the Deputy Director of Country Support, this role will lead in supporting the development and implementation of high quality, relevant and ambitious OGP action plans.  Additionally, this role will identify and encourage learning between OGP countries and will conduct political strategic analysis to promote open government opportunities in the region and engage development partners, regional and multilateral institutions. 

Key Responsibility Areas

Strategic Leadership and Analysis (25%)

  • Provide strategic leadership in order to promote and strengthen the open government agenda in the region.
  • Conduct and provide political and strategic analysis and planning based on extensive research and intelligence gathering from in-country and regional contacts. 

Country Support (45%)

  • Provide regular and comprehensive insights and updates to civil society and governments on the OGP process and requirements.
  • Provide intensive support to a select member of priority countries, based on a political and strategic analysis carried out at the start of each year. Work across SU, engaging SC and other relevant stakeholders to implement the priority country strategies.
  • Offer strategic advice to OGP stakeholders and broker connections across government, civil society and elsewhere to move the process forward.
  • Work closely with counterparts from the OGP Support Unit including the Independent Reporting Mechanism, Knowledge and Learning Team and Communications team to share progress on national/local open government work and collaborate on cross-team projects.
  • Support strategic communications both during and after the launch of action plans and commitments, working closely with OGP SU communications team.
  • Cultivate strong working relationships with high level and working level government officials, civil society representatives, activists, foreign service and multilateral representatives and national and regional open government networks.
  • Review and analyze country documents and processes (draft commitments, TORs, working group models, etc) in order to identify opportunity areas and provide guidance as needed.
  • Work with officials in government, civil society, multilateral partners and other stakeholders to design and facilitate country visits by OGP Support Unit staff and other key partners (OGP Steering Committee, Envoys, and Ambassadors,) in order to boost the national processes and spur greater ambition. 
  • Promote the fulfilment of annual country contributions to the OGP Support Unit.
  • Support SU and SC members who request information/resources on American countries/OGP processes in the region.

Peer Exchange and Broker of Financial and Technical Support (15%)

  • Broker technical and financial support to countries developing and implementing their National Action Plans from OGP’s Trust fund, OGP’s thematic Working Groups, bilateral and multilateral partners, foundations and other countries with similar experiences.
  • Design interactive in-person trainings using different formats to be delivered at OGP events with the aim of helping to promote learning on emerging best practice of how to implement OGP successfully.
  • Track, document and disseminate examples of peer exchange activities taking place under the OGP umbrella.

Regional Events (15%)

  • Lead in the organization of OGP regional events, in coordination with other members at the SU, governments and civil society 0 including CSO Day and PoC Days.
  • Represent OGP at external events, give presentations, network and develop contacts.

Education/ Experience:

  • Advanced degree in relevant field (e.g. public administration, development, political science, law or international relations);
  • A minimum of 5 years working on governance issues, ideally with a focus on transparency, accountability and open government reform.
  • Experience working in government in a relevant position or regional civil society desirable.
  • Excellent communications skills, including writing, public speaking and facilitating meetings.
  • Familiarity with civil society networks and experts working on governance issues across a range of sectors.
  • Willingness to travel up to 35 percent of the year
  • Must be fluent in English and Spanish.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Self-starter who can work with minimal supervision and like to work as part of a (virtual) team
  • Proactive in sharing information within team members and with partners
  • Detail-oriented, strategic and precise, but with the ability to step back and see the big picture
  • Flexible and creative in the face of obstacles
  • Strategic thinking and leadership
  • Partnership and relationship building
  • Self-directed and resourceful
  • Extremely sound judgment and diplomatic skills, ability to communicate effectively with senior government officials and high-profile civil society leaders
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, including relationship building, communication skills, and coaching experience
  • Humility and a healthy sense of humor; calm and poised under pressure
  • Track record working in civil society organizations on open government, transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement.
  • Strong track record on working effectively with a range of diverse stakeholders from diverse contexts/cultural backgrounds, including senior level national government, civil society, parliament, funders, international cooperation and/or the private sector;
  • Track record of representing organizations regionally or globally.
  • Demonstrable experience leading on the organization of training workshops and events at a regional and global level;
  • Demonstrable in-country work experience across the region desirable (e.g. lived and worked);
  • Understanding of policy, development and socio- political processes in the Americas

Application Details

  • Salary commensurate with education and experience. OGP compensates competitively with other comparable organizations in the Washington DC region.
  • The position is based in Washington, DC.  The selected individual must have the legal authorization to work in the US. In exceptional cases, other locations may be considered.
  • Travel up to 35% may be required.
  • Interested candidates should submit an English CV and cover letter to  Please use the following email title: “SPO, Americas”.
  • Priority consideration given to qualified candidates with the ability to start by April 1, 2019
  • Because of the volume of applications, we will not be able to respond to every applicant. We thank applicants in advance for their expressions of interest.
  • The Open Government Partnership, is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, medical condition (cancer-related) or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions (ARC). Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.
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