Chief of Staff to the President

Job description

Chief of Staff to the President

Brooklyn, NY
Open Date:
Sep 9, 2019

The Pratt Institute seeks applicants for the Chief of Staff to our 12th President, Frances Bronet. S/he will serve as a trusted advisor and primary supporter and staff to the President. The position provides overall support for the operation of the President’s office. The Chief of Staff with the support of the Executive Assistant, coordinates the execution of Institute-wide projects undertaken by the President as well as handling questions, concerns, issues and requests on the President’s behalf.

At the request of the President, the Chief of Staff provides advice and counsel in administrative policy development and implementation, institute communication, administration, shared governance, faculty, student and staff welfare, and research and economic development to further the mission and success of Pratt Institute. S/he, in coordination with the Executive Assistant, is responsible for executive oversight of the operations of the President’s Office, including budgets, personnel and workflow.

The Chief of Staff serves as a key member of the President’s Cabinet and coordinates the activities of this group.

Essential Duties, Skills and Responsibilities

  • Works collaboratively with the Provost as well as the vice presidents, deans, faculty and staff to coordinate all phases of the President’s agenda. Responsible for managing the timely and accurate completion of special projects that cross organizational lines.
  • Serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet, preparing the Cabinet agenda in consultation with the President and Cabinet colleagues and provides follow-up on presidential and cabinet initiatives.
  • Assists the Vice President for Communications and Marketing in the development and implementation of the communications strategy for the President, for both internal and external constituencies. S/he also acts as the point person on behalf of the President for crisis management.
  • Provides assistance and outreach to key stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, members of the community and others. The Chief of Staff manages priorities, anticipates problems, critical issues, and opportunities as they arise and recommends appropriate action to the President. S/he attends events with and on behalf of the President.
  • Acting on behalf of the President, the Chief of Staff will take on specific responsibilities related to current and future presidential initiatives, including serving on, chairing, or staffing presidential committees and commissions.
  • Coordinates and plays a lead role in government relations with the President’s office and the Institute. Establishes and maintains good relationships with borough, city, state, and federal elected officials on behalf of the institution. On behalf of the President, helps to facilitate Pratt’s connections with external partners including multicultural, community-based and civic organizations.
  • Helps to facilitate strategic management processes, provide expertise, and program management for specific strategic initiatives out of the President’s office that are critical in meeting the Institution’s strategic goals. Responsible for interacting with colleagues across the Institute to ensure institutional alignment and synergy with the goals of Pratt’s strategic plan.
  • Interacts with members at all levels of the Pratt community for the purpose of defining, advancing and assessing the work of the Office of the President to ensure its continued effectiveness.
  • Liaison to the Board of Trustees on key executive matters as delegated by the President. Works in collaboration with the administration as liaison to the Board of Trustees.
  • Exercises considerable judgment in his/her capacity with responsibility for analyzing policy issues, identifying Institute-wide impacts and coordinating responses to the President on strategies and alternatives for dealing with the issues.
  • Serves when requested as the presidential representative and/or chair on search committees for executive positions.
  • Prepares and/or contributes to the preparation of reports, proposals, briefings, and presentations, responses on institutional and strategic issues.
  • Assists the President with correspondence dealing with issues and subject matter that may require considerable sensitivity, discretion, judgment or negotiation.
  • Builds and nurtures relationships to serve as a resource for the President and designated point of contact for key constituents to resolve complex issues and help move forward strategic priorities.
  • Participates in key meetings with faculty, administrators, and others as needed and delegated.
  • Accurately represents the President's position in internal meetings and discussions to help drive understanding and move decision-making forward.
  • Facilitates needs of senior staff to raise critical issues with the President and receive needed responses, guidance and decisions.
  • At the direction of the President, assists in all aspects of Institute administration.
  • Represents the President at meetings, as requested.
  • Handles and directs special projects as assigned by the President.


Education & Experience Required

  • 8+ years of experience working in complex organizational environments, preferably higher education.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience influencing and working closely with executive level leaders.
  • Proven track record of developing effective partnerships across disparate groups to organize and facilitate decisions and ensure implementation.
  • Extensive executive level experience and relationships with government bodies, thorough understanding of the higher education and political landscape in New York City.
  • In-depth understanding of higher education policies and procedures.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills, highly intuitive, strong network builder.
  • Highly resourceful and possesses strong emotional intelligence and organizational savvy.
  • Ability to supervise staff, work well with people and tolerate ambiguity.
  • Demonstrated commitment to maintaining collegial relationships with a diverse group of constituencies.
  • Ability to interact and influence at the most senior levels of an organization and to work collaboratively across functions, levels and departments toward shared objectives.
  • Sound management skills and business judgment.
  • Ability to think strategically while balancing several complex agendas, strongly oriented to results.
  • Adaptability, flexibility, diplomacy and resourcefulness required.
  • Demonstrated ability to function independently, prioritize work, and manage multiple and competing priorities, along with unexpected situations, while meeting deadlines. Possess a system and process approach.
  • Solid understanding of budget preparation and fiscal management
  • Experience balancing strategic leadership with detailed involvement in support of accountabilities.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage challenging situations and multiple priorities through to completion, solve problems effectively, and work both independently and as a team member.
  • Demonstrated strategic and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to exercise discretion and respond to changing priorities and crisis situations.
  • Excellent demonstrated judgment and diplomacy in working with diverse groups to address complex issues.
  • Unquestioned integrity.
  • Master’s degree required, terminal degree preferred.

Supervisory Responsibility: This position directly supervises staff within the Office of the President.

Work Schedule: Due to the nature of the position, frequent work beyond regular hours (to include evenings and weekends) will be necessary to meet the requirements of the position.

Application Instructions:

Please attach a cover letter and resume/CV as your application for the position. Any additional documents maybe added that you feel appropriate for consideration. References will be asked for during final candidate selection.




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Job No:
Posted: 9/9/2019
Application Due: 12/8/2019
Work Type: