Program Director for American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good
$135,000 – $150,000 • yearly
American Academy of Arts & Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences invites qualified candidates to apply for the Directorship in American Institutions, Society and the Public Good (AI). Within the AI program area, the Academy aims to leverage the extraordinary breadth, diversity, and reach of its membership to strengthen the relationships between our national institutions, civil society, and the citizens they serve through short- and long-term projects and convenings. With guidance from the Chief Program Officer (CPO), the Program Director for AI will work with Academy Fellows and senior staff to develop and carry out policy and research initiatives related to the areas within this portfolio. The Program Director has direct responsibility to steward and grow a select portfolio of projects including the current Commission on Remagining our Economy and ongoing implementation work for the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship (the Our Common Purpose report) and the Making Justice Accessible project. They will supervise Academy staff who may manage a subset of programs or initiatives within their designated area.
The Program Director will build a meaningful and robust portfolio of project work focused on socially relevant and interdisciplinary/cross-sector work in American Institutions and foster partnerships that build on the Academy’s strengths, visibility, and impact in this area.
The Program Director helps to articulate the intellectual direction of their area(s) in full collaboration with the CPO, Director of Strategic Implementation, program advisory committees, and in consultation with the President and the Academy’s Governance Bodies. The Program Director is expected to articulate the programmatic priorities of the areas and identify, pursue, and maintain opportunities for strategic partnership with a wide range of institutions to advance scholarship, knowledge, and policy solutions in this domain. The Program Director also works closely with the CPO and other Program Directors to help develop the strategic direction and best practices of the Programs area.
The Program Director upholds and advances the mission and values of the American Academy and strives to maintain excellence in its programmatic work to advance the common good. The Academy is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion and looks to all its staff members to foster and promote these values.
The position is a hybrid role with a presence near Academy Headquarters in Cambridge, MA preferred. Occasional travel (typically less than 10%) and some nights and weekends are required to support project activities.
Major Areas of Responsibility
- Work collaboratively with Academy members, committee members, partner organizations, and Academy staff to ensure the success of the current projects in their portfolio, to carry out policy initiatives, and to identify and develop new projects;
- Marshal and steward the creative and intellectual resources of Academy members, stakeholders, and staff;
- Oversee the organization of project workshops and symposia and help produce programmatic content for these and other Academy events, including member meetings and lectures;
- Maintain general administrative oversight of all projects within their assigned area(s)
- Supervise and mentor staff working in the program area; define responsibilities, motivate staff, and foster professional development of individual staff members;
- Work with the academy leadership and communications team to raise the visibility of Academy studies, including through institutional partnerships;
- Oversee communications among committee/panel members, staff, consultants, and other applicable parties;
- Usher projects through approval and oversight by governance and advisory groups;
- Work with Finance and Development to develop and track budgets for the program area and individual projects within the portfolio;
- Work with Development to identify potential sources of funding, write grant proposals and assist in fundraising for new studies and ongoing stewardship of project donors;
- Facilitate discussions with Academy members, Academy leadership, and other experts to identify and design new initiatives within their portfolio;
- Supervise and conduct background research related to Academy projects;
- Supervise the design of workshops, committee meetings, conferences, and exploratory meetings. Provide guidance and support to those committees in the conduct of their work;
- Develop background research and draft reports for internal project use as well as final publications including proceedings, white papers, and formal reports. Draft and edit materials for publication;
- Communicate the findings and recommendations within reports to external audiences;
- Work with the Academy’s Communications team and the Director of Strategic Implementation to develop communication strategies to external audiences of project findings and recommendations;
- Other responsibilities as needed.
- Ph.D. in the social sciences or a field related to the program area, or equivalent experience;
- Five to seven years of project management and/or administrative experience, ideally at a university, foundation, learned society, think tank, or non-profit;
- Strong leadership skills with the ability to work collaboratively and effectively in a team environment and manage and mentor direct reports;
- Demonstrated interest in and passion for issues related to the program area’s portfolio (political economy, democracy reform, and/or civil justice); related experience and expertise in one or more of these areas.
- Deep research experience and excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ability to synthesize and summarize research findings and recommendations to a variety of audiences;
- General knowledge of the policy making process and relevant policy issues, including existing research programs, policy and program interventions, and experts and key players in the field for the associated subject matter;
- Demonstrated ability to lead and build relationships with diverse constituencies and stakeholders and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace;
- Experience working with senior faculty, university presidents, business and non-profit executives, government officials, and policy leaders;
- Experience advising executive staff on strategic matters;
- Demonstrated ability to effectively engage and build relationships with a wide variety of internal and external groups, including funders; academic, policy, and research institutions; and other potential partners
- Successful grant writing expertise and familiarity with private foundations and other funding sources.
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