Department: Buffett Inst Global Affairs Salary/Grade: EXS/12
Job Summary: The Senior Director, Operations and Chief of Staff is the chief operating officer at Northwestern Buffett, responsible for implementing the Executive Director's vision through strategic planning and management of major initiatives, staffing, and business operations. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Senior Director is a key player in the growth and positioning of Northwestern Buffett as a world-class research institute and a hub for Northwestern's globalization efforts. The Senior Director leads the operations team, including managing the administrative support staff, and also supervises staff members on the research team. Further, the Senior Director provides operational oversight of research programs and administrative units within Buffett, including the Global Learning Office, the Office of Global Safety and Security, and the Office of International Scholars and Student Services.
The Senior Director coordinates work across units and programs within Northwestern Buffett, including the offices listed above as well as the Keyman Modern Turkish Studies Program and the Equality, Development, and Globalization Studies center. The Senior Director is also responsible for building strong relations and working collaboratively with the schools, central units, including the Office of the Provost, the Office for Research, and the Office of Global Marketing and Communications, and Northwestern institutes, such as the Institute for Sustainability and Energy (ISEN). The Senior Director staffs the Northwestern Buffett External Board, the Northwestern Buffett Faculty Advisory Council, and the Global Council.
Specific Responsibilities: Strategic Planning and Implementation
Advance the Executive Director's strategic vision by developing and overseeing programs and strategic initiatives while ensuring that the budget, staff, and priorities are aligned with the Center’s multi-dimensional mission and the University’s strategy.
Work with the Executive Director to prioritize among competing goals and initiatives, to identify and develop solutions to organizational challenges and to find creative and sustainable ways for Northwestern Buffett to lead laterally across university units to further university-wide globalization objectives.
Establish robust administrative support structures for all units and programs in the Northwestern Buffett umbrella.
Oversee the financial condition of the organization including developing long and short range financial plans; develop budget with faculty director and senior staff that sets financial priorities to ensure the organization is operating in a manner that supports the strategy and mission of the Institute.
Provide leadership and direction to all senior staff, and ensure the continued development and management of a professional and efficient organization; establish effective processes that will enable the Institute to achieve its long- and short-term goals and objectives. Ensure that administrative operations are in full compliance with all applicable policies and regulations.
Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Office of the Provost and other central units, the schools, and other research institutes at Northwestern to further the Institute’s collaborative vision and ensure open communication about financial, programmatic, and resultant impact toward strategic goals.
Management – Units and Programs
Support the planning, development, and allocation of resources for Institute activities to ensure the delivery of high quality, interdisciplinary research and programming while managing for current and future growth. Oversee the administrative support for these programs, some of which include:
Centers, Institutes, Research Groups and Programs. Provide high-level strategic and administrative support for faculty-led activities in the Institute, including affiliated University Research Centers, Faculty Research Groups, Global Partnerships, and Faculty Working Groups.
Global Learning Office, Office of International Students and Scholars and Office of Global Safety and Security. Provide high level operational and budgetary oversight and administrative support.
Global Collaborations team and faculty governance groups both at Northwestern and at alliance partner institutions. Provide high level operational and budgetary support and ensure strategic alignment between the vision and directives of Northwestern Buffett leadership and the priorities and activities of the team and groups.
Visiting Faculty, Distinguished Visitors, and Visiting Scholars programs. Support faculty in the strategic recruitment of visiting researchers and teaching faculty to fulfill the goals and purposes of relevant programs; support the visitors in terms of appointments, visas (when needed), travel, housing, etc. Support senior Northwestern and Buffett leadership in the identification and recruitment of distinguished visitors.
Graduate Student Training and Research Support. Includes administrative support and oversight of the competitive Buffett Institute Graduate Student Fellowship program, dissertation research grants, conference grants, graduate student colloquium and graduate student affiliate program.
Special initiatives. Coordinate with the Director of Communications, Outreach, and Engagement to convene and lead a cross-functional team approach to special large scale events and public-facing initiatives.
Establish and implement processes as they relate to new or ongoing programs and initiatives.
In collaboration with the Executive Director, lead the senior team of the Institute to ensure alignment across units and drive strategic results for the organization
Board Relations and Development
Support the proceedings of the Faculty Advisory Council, the Global Council, and the Board of External Advisors; oversee the implementation of their decisions.
Provide strategic input and support the director in donor relations and alumni and development activities.
Management – Staff
Oversee the attraction, retention, and development of high-performance staff throughout the Institute. Develop and implement professional development plans as appropriate for each individual.
Support and motivate the organization's staff, faculty affiliates, graduate student affiliates, and undergraduate constituents to contribute to the success of Institute programs, research and activities.
Manage, train, develop and assesses staff throughout the Institute. Develop and model a culture of ethical conduct in operations and personal interactions.
Facilitate collaboration and strong internal communications with faculty and staff leaders throughout the organization.
Create and promote a positive work environment that supports consistency throughout the organization's strategy, operational methods, and evaluation.
Management – Space Resources
Manage the management of the Institute’s administrative and collaborative space through strategic allocation.
Work collaboratively with the Office of the Provost and Facilities to plan for growth and the associated need for additional space; develop designs and project plans for renovation and associated construction, reassignment of space, movement of faculty/staff/student offices, etc. This will be especially important during 2020-2025 to manage the planning for, and move of, all Institute operations into the Jacobs Center.
Develop, implement and oversee optimal processes for the use of conference/event, shared office, and classroom spaces assigned to the Institute.
Performs other duties as assigned.
7 years’ work experience with progressively larger responsibilities, or equivalent of education and experience. Work experience should include at least 5 years supervisory experience.
Experience or strong interest in the business of higher education, globalization, and/or research.
Available for occasional evening and/or weekend events. Potential for infrequent domestic and/or international travel with advanced notice.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Demonstrated leadership ability and excellence in organizational management with the proven ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams in a higher education context.
Culturally competent: associates effectively with people from different cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, and identities. Able to create an environment of understanding and acceptance.
Demonstrated competency in organization management and financial stewardship.
Demonstrated ability to set and achieve strategic objectives.
Able to work independently and also be an accomplished team player.
Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal skills.
Excellent analytical and abstract reasoning skills.
Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders including faculty, university administrators, staff, alumni, students, benefactors, and external partners.
Able to maintain confidentiality, act diplomatically, and handle difficult situations.
Adept at developing and improving processes; proficient in project management.
Able to work under pressure, prioritize, and meet deadlines.
Proactive, energetic, innovative.
Master’s degree in business administration, higher education administration or other relevant discipline.
Foreign language skills.
Background and/or strong interest in the humanities, creative arts and/or social sciences.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Broad knowledge of international and global issues.
Experience building international partnerships.
Experience in supporting philanthropic development
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.