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Special Assistant

OSF - Open Society Foundations

Brussels, Belgium

This is an opportunity to work with the director of a dynamic team at a time of change, challenges and opportunities for the open society in Europe. The Open Society European Policy Institute is the EU policy arm of the Open Society Foundations. Our role is to propose positive measures that will sustain the open society and widen the political constituency that supports it, and to defend against efforts to undermine the founding principles and fundamental values of the European Union. We bring evidence and recommendations from the work of OSF in more than 100 countries to EU decision-makers. This role offers a chance to put research into practice, see EU-level politics at first hand, and learn how to effect change through policy advocacy.

Candidate profile

We are looking for a Special Assistant to provide direct, high-level research and project support to OSEPI’s director. The Special Assistant handles a variety of projects and assignments for the Director, particularly research and preparing presentations for her external representation of the Open Society Foundations. We are looking for a flexible, self-starting innovator with sharp analytical and writing skills, and a solid understanding of the factors of political change at EU level. Extensive research experience is essential, on the European Union, its policies, laws and institutions, and related subjects.

The employment contract will be fixed term for two years in the first instance. The work location is Brussels, with travel as required. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds and experiences.

Please apply with a cover letter explaining what your experience would bring to the role, a writing sample, and a compelling description of your most interesting research so far.

Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent written and spoken communication in English, including outstanding drafting and editing skills, plus proficiency in at least one other European language;
  • Bachelor’s degree and post-graduate degree in a relevant field of study, plus several years of progressively responsible experience in a situation relevant to the role and skills required; or equivalent combination of education, research experience and accomplishment;
  • Strong qualitative and quantitative research skills using online and offline, official and unofficial sources, including rapid collection and sifting of research material.
  • Experience in preparation of presentations, including data visualisation and relevant technology;
  • Extensive knowledge of the European Union, including institutions, actors, processes and policies; and of public policy and what influences it;
  • Sound professional judgment on issues requiring sensitivity, confidentiality and discretion;
  • Ability to work constructively with colleagues at all levels in the organisation as well as with external partners;
  • Commitment to open society values of rights, justice, accountable governance, human dignity and democratic practice.

Closing date: 28 August 2017.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations, and we welcome and actively seek applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

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