Executive Director, Institute of Politics

Jul 08, 2017
Executive Administration Jobs
C-Level & Executive Directors
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
About The Unit: About the University of Chicago Institute of Politics The Institute of Politics' (IOP) mission is to instill in young people a passion for politics and public service by exposing them to practitioners in the field and provoking debate and discussion around the issues of the day. It is a resource for students to explore careers in politics and public service and provide exposure to opportunities in politics and policymaking. The non-partisan institute offers students at the University, particularly in the College but across graduate and professional programs as well, extracurricular opportunities to study and participate in civic life at the local, state, national, and international levels. The IOP has a special focus on issues related to communications and politics and is likely to have an urban focus as well. There are four primary programmatic components of the Institute: The Fellows Program presents an opportunity for political practitioners, policy makers, journalists, and others engaged in politics to be in residence at the University of Chicago. Normally four to six Fellows will be in residence in two or more of the quarters in each academic year. Fellows will run a weekly non-credit seminar, interact with students and faculty, and utilize the resources of the University to pursue projects of their own choosing. The IOP runs a powerful, paid internship program for undergraduates and graduate students. The program, which offers over 200 internships annually (both in the summer and across the academic year), builds on the University's successful Metcalf Internship Program, which offers students a range of opportunities to further develop academic knowledge and various professional skill sets in an experiential learning environment. The IOP's Civic Engagement programs provide pathways for students to take an active role in shaping politics and policy in their communities. This program is made up of three main pillars: 1) Leadership Development Programs; 2) Student-Led Civic Engagement Projects; 3) Political Exploration Trips. Nearly 500 students each year engage in the IOP's civic engagement efforts, providing direct impact to Chicago area communities and enabling students to delve into issues that are important to them. The Speaker Series is a visible element of the Institute, hosting nationally and internationally recognized speakers on a wide variety of issues related to the mission of the IOP. Whenever possible, events are designed to provide time for the speaker to interact informally with students as a complement to the larger, more public event.

Unit Job Summary: TThe founder and inaugural Institute Director is University of Chicago alumnus David Axelrod, AB'76, an accomplished political journalist, strategist, and policy adviser. Mr. Axelrod and the IOP is advised by a Board of Advisors consisting of senior professionals from fields related to the IOP's mission. In support of Mr. Axelrod, the University of Chicago is seeking an Executive Director to oversee day-to-day management of the Institute. He/she will manage a staff of approximately ten (augmented by University resources). Major Responsibilities The Executive Director will lead all administrative and financial functions as well as oversee the strategic plan to support programming determined by the Institute Director. In addition, he/she will be responsible for: Management of the Institute's budget, finances, operations, communications, technological infrastructure, marketing (including Website and media relations), facilities, and day-to-day supervision of staff and student workers; Organization and planning of Institute programs, including support of participating Fellows and speakers Effective management of and communications with the Board of Advisors Oversight of fundraising, including proposal development for granting agencies and donor prospects, and related outreach activities Development of partnership relationships with related administrative units of the University

Unit Education: Bachelor's degree required; graduate level social sciences coursework preferred.

Unit Experience: The Executive Director will be an energetic and talented administrator with a record of success in complex, decentralized environments where collaboration and influence management are critical to success. He/she should be equally adept at managing an organization's internal operations and representing an organization to outside constituents. An understanding of the University of Chicago's environment is valuable. Significant experiences in the political, public, communications, and/or policy sectors are essential. Additionally, he/she will have professional experience that includes: Working effectively as part of a senior leadership team characterized by trust, open communication, and shared goals; Optimizing enterprise performance on multiple dimensions including mission, values, and finances; Developing, retaining and, where and when necessary recruiting, a high-performing staff; Working successfully with multiple constituencies and within matrixed governance structures; and, Developing effective communication processes and building relationships at all levels of an organization.

Unit Job Function Competencies: Critical Competencies for Success Entrepreneurial Leader: In a high-visibility organization, lead the development of the physical, administrative, and financial platform, overcoming obstacles where they arise and consistently working to achieve the overarching goals of the Institute in innovative ways. Deploy an effective internal staff in support of Institute constituencies. Identify and realize opportunities to leverage the intellectual resources of the University, and provide context, insight, and options on budgetary, programmatic, and administrative issues to the Institute Director and senior University leaders. Relationship Builder: Quickly gain the trust and respect of the Institute Director, freeing him to focus on programmatic initiatives and constituent interaction. Develop collegial and collaborative relationships throughout the University community to expand the Institute's scope and impact. Build partnerships with federal, state, and local government entities, non-governmental organizations, and multilaterals to create internship opportunities for students and to create awareness among potential Fellows and speakers. Responsive and Creative Problem Solver: In a fluid environment with multiple constituents and high expectations, demonstrate the ability to quickly respond to challenges and opportunities, demonstrating good judgment and communication skills, responding to the needs of individuals and institutional partners, and showing flexibility without losing sight of long-term Institute and University goals. Bring combination of analysis, granularity, and interpersonal skills to resolving issues and setting priorities, ensuring that faculty, students, fellows, practitioners, and institutional partners view the Institute as welcoming and valuable.

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