Team Manager - Restitution of African Cultural Heritage Initiative

Job Summary

Do you want to help make the world a better place using your vision for how art and culture advance vibrant, open societies?

  • Minimum Qualification: Unspecified
  • Experience Level: Management level
  • Experience Length: 3 years

Job Description/Requirements

Team Manager - Restitution of African Cultural Heritage Initiative

Competitive salary + excellent benefits package


Do you want to help make the world a better place using your vision for how art and culture advance vibrant, open societies? The Open Society Culture and Art Program is seeking a Team Manager to oversee the Open Society Foundations’ Restitution of African Cultural Heritage Initiative. This position for a fixed-term duration of two years and can be based in West, East or Southern Africa.

The Team Manager will be responsible for leading Culture and Art’s Restitution Initiative, including developing a 2-year strategy and accompanying work plans. They will work closely with the Director of Culture and Art and with Open Society African offices and foundations such as the Africa Regional Office (AfRO), Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Open Society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA), Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), and Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA).


The Open Society Foundations (OSF) work to build vibrant and inclusive democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. We are active in more than 120 countries, making us the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights.

Launched in 2019, Culture and Art seeks to advance diverse artistic practices and strengthen locally-led cultural spaces around the world. It addresses the aesthetic, political, and capacity needs of arts leaders, individual artists, and cultural activists working at the intersection of culture, art, and social change. Through grants, fellowships (the Soros Arts Fellowship and the Moving Walls Fellowship), convenings, and public programs, it connects, convenes, and sustains a global network of locally-led cultural organizations and initiatives.

As a Team Manager at Open Society, you will:

  • Provide leadership in building the Restitution Initiative’s work to achieve its objectives by maintaining responsibility for full project design of the Restitution Initiative within Culture and Art, and by effectively managing time, budget, stakeholders, and network-wide or similarly complex coordination;
  • Make proposals (often of considerable scope, complexity and urgency), suggest alternatives, and in other ways advance the strategic direction and collective interests of the Restitution Initiative;
  • Spearhead and lead on collaboration and consultation between multiple OSF programs and foundations, as well as external partners, with an eye toward equitable participatory design and project management. This includes: supporting and supervising the contributions of others; establishing and nurturing relationships with internal and external colleagues as an integral element of communication; and exercising considerable discretion;
  • Lead and/or suggest a portfolio of grants to organizations and/or individuals working on African-centered restitution projects and initiatives;
  • Identify opportunities for and lead the design and hosting of international convenings, symposiums, and meetings to advance research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration;
  • Remain attuned to developments in global, continental, and regional discussions related to the restitution of African cultural heritage.

What we are looking for:

  • Active participation and significant relationships in the field of African cultural heritage restitution, as well as familiarity with the African continent and knowledge of its cultural landscape;
  • Deep knowledge of the history of and contemporary issues in African cultural restitution and reclamation;
  • Deep knowledge and experience with museums in European and American contexts that are engaging with the topic of African restitution;
  • Extensive knowledge of the unique issues that emerge from conversations between European and American museums that hold collections of African cultural objects and remains, and African institutions and communities seeking restitution (including African restitution advocates, arts organizations, and artists);
  • Commitment to continuous learning and growth in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, antiracism and social justice;
  • Commitment to listening and working with humility; ways of working that are respectful to all people; and that support space and voice for all diverse perspectives in our workplace;
  • Working knowledge of written and spoken English. Knowledge of other languages spoken in countries that are actively engaged in the restitution of African cultural heritage is valued.

Application Instructions: If this sounds like the position for you, please submit a cover letter and resume that address the specific skills and experience that Open Society requires for the Team Manager. We look forward to learning more about you.

Closing date: 22 August 2021.

We aim to build an inclusive workforce that is reflective of the populations we support, and actively seek applications from those who are marginalized and underrepresented. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and colleagues with disabilities.

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