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Director of Operations - Pardee Center - Josef Korbel School of International Studies

University of Denver
Colorado, USA, Denver
$120000 - $135000 per year

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Executive Administration Jobs
C-Level & Executive Directors
Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, International Programs
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Job Details

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures uses academic research to inform policy debates about long-term patterns of interaction in global trends. The Centers research, which focuses on patterns of development in human wellbeing (broadly defined), geopolitics and conflict, and sustainability, has informed policy at the highest levels across national governments and international and non-governmental organizations. Its freely available and open-source research helps to shape how people think about the long-term future of human and social development to improve development outcomes for generations to come. The Center maintains 17 full-time benefitted staff members, annually employs approximately 100 students and conducts $2 million of sponsored research each year.

The Center is situated within the University of Denvers Josef Korbel School of International Studies, a world-class academic setting focused on training the next generation of global leaders to address the challenging questions of our time. The work of the Center is embedded in this rich academic culture, engaging with other research centers, faculty, staff, and students in the pursuit of improved decision-making for sustainable development and security.

The Pardee Center is committed to building a culturally diverse faculty and staff who, in turn, are committed to working in a pluralistic environment.

Position Summary

The Director of Operations will report directly to the Pardee Center Director with a dotted line to the Associate Dean for Administration. The Director of Operations will provide leadership in developing organizational and financial plans and work collaboratively with the Director and School leaders to establish the Centers strategic direction, including short and long-term goal setting and aligning resources and staff to the strategy. The Director of Operations will provide supervision, training, and ongoing mentorship for Pardee Center staff, and lead and motivate staff to achieve the Centers strategic vision. The Director of Operations co-leads the Pardee Center Leadership Team with the Director and is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Center, which includes financial, operational and supervisory duties. This position is the main executive decision-making leader and provides independent guidance on all aspects of Center operations.

Due to the wide scope of responsibilities, we invite strong candidates with various backgrounds and experiences from academia, government, non-profit and/or industry to apply.

Essential Functions

The position includes broad responsibilities that require a successful candidate to engage in visionary work related to the future of the Center (set collaboratively with the Center Director and Leadership Team) and on day-to-day administrative responsibilities. The work of the Center changes across time and a successful candidate will balance these shifting needs with the core job requirements.

Leadership Responsibilities:

  • Works directly with the Center Director to develop, refine, and execute the Centers overall growth and resourcing strategy
  • Ensures that strategy, structure and research processes are supportive of and conducive to ongoing contractual obligations and future national grant awards
  • Oversees the Leadership Team of the Center and their contributions to research proposals, reports, and related activities
  • Set and communicate strategic priorities in budget and finance, communication and culture, and staffing
  • Develop a vision for the operations of the Center and communicate this on an ongoing basis to the Center team and the University
  • Serve in a lead role connecting to the broader university (including the Korbel/Pardee Advisory Council, leading communication with the Korbel School Deans Suite, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, etc.)

Human Resources and Project Management:

  • Hires, manages, evaluates and mentors core staff and student employees, ensuring a high level of professionalism and teamwork.
  • Builds a high-performing, collaborative and inclusive culture across staff and student teams
  • Oversee onboarding, performance review, training, and professional development processes
  • Support the varying needs of individual research projects and teams

Budget, Finance, and Contracts:

  • Supervise contract, finance, and business management staff with responsibilities that include overseeing analysis of resource availability and budget planning
  • Ensure compliance with contracts and DU financial processes and systems
  • Oversee the non-research components of proposal submission and reporting
  • Support the Contract and Business Manager in overseeing accuracy of payroll submission

Communications and Culture:

  • Lead the Centers internal and external communications, which includes:
  • Overseeing the development and production of the Centers Annual Review
  • Managing and updating the Centers website
  • Writing articles and announcements and otherwise communicating the Centers mission and work to a broader audience, including the Korbel School and DU
  • Developing and maintaining consistent internal communications, including regular staff newsletters
  • Support and further develop the collaborative, inclusive, diverse, professional, and respectful culture of the Center
  • Organize and implement Pardee Center events, including annual end-of-year and welcome back celebrations, report-launch events, internal celebrations, and others as needed


  • Implement office management processes, including office space and transitions, access to needed office equipment, tracking of office supplies needs, technology support, facilities and custodial requests, and other similar efforts
  • Attend Committee meetings and serve as a liaison between the Leadership Team and committees helping to clarify priorities, identify duplicative efforts and opportunities for collaboration among committees, and serve as a resource to the team when a broad view of committee work may be helpful
  • Report regularly to Director on Center activities
  • Serve as a key liaison between the Center and the Korbel School and other centers across DU
  • Keep abreast of university travel procedures and ensure that staff understand travel policies and practices
  • Other duties as assigned.

In all activities, the Director of Operations is expected to model in their own behavior the desired qualities of all Center employees, including a spirit of courtesy and teamwork, commitment to meeting demanding deadlines, stewardship of Center financial and physical resources, and integrity in all dealings with clients, donors, and sponsors.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • A demonstrated commitment to fostering an environment in which faculty, staff, students, and community partners from diverse backgrounds and cultural identities feel welcome and valued
  • Demonstrated leadership skills
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision, and excellent judgment
  • Ability to prioritize, excellent attention to detail, and an ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Experience in office management, budgeting, and contracting work
  • Strong communications skills
  • Ability to collaborate with and facilitate a variety of groups, including staff, faculty, clients, and Research Aides
  • Ability to support efforts to meet project deadlines
  • Ability to organize and efficiently manipulate data in Microsoft Excel

Required Qualifications

  • Masters Degree
  • Experience working within a team, and meeting deadlines
  • 2 years supervisory experience, including full-time staff members and hourly employees
  • 2 or more years of demonstrated leadership in strategic goal planning and overseeing operations in a research or academic setting
  • Experience with budgets, and sponsored research grants
  • Experience managing multiple projects simultaneously

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in higher education, particularly an understanding of how research is translated into practice through collaborations, training and outreach
  • 5 or more years of demonstrated leadership in strategic goal planning and overseeing operations in a research or academic setting
  • Demonstrated leadership of large teams of researchers across multiple domains
  • 5+ years of experience with research contracting and grant development and reporting

Working Environment

1. Standard office environment.
2. Unexpected interruptions occur often and stress level is moderate to high.
3. Noise level is quiet to moderate.

Physical Activities

1. Ability to sit in front of a computer for an extended period of time.
2. Occasionally required to move about the office/campus with the capability of transporting objects up to 20 lbs.

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) September 18, 2022.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number:
The salary grade for the position is 15.

Salary Range:
The salary range for this position is $120,000-$135,000.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidates sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer. The University of Denver prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age (40 years and over in the employment context), religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, veterans status, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the university's educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; and any other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. For the university's complete Non-Discrimination Statement, please see non‑discrimination‑statement.

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.


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