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Chief of Staff to the Executive Director

  • Requisition no: 514072
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Morningside
  • School/Department: School of International and Public Affairs
  • Grade: Grade 13
  • Categories: General Administration
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range: commensurate with experience

Position Summary

The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia/SIPA seeks a Chief of Staff to the Executive Director to act as an advisor and implementer across all aspects of the Executive Director’s portfolio. The successful candidate will engage with high-level content and help ensure streamlined activities within the Executive Director’s office. The incumbent will work closely with the Executive Director and handle day-to-day processes and information flow as well as support forward-looking planning activities.

The Chief of Staff to the Executive Director will require excellent interpersonal, organizational, and oral and written communication skills as well as the ability to exercise discretion, independent judgment, strategic thinking, and trusted handling of confidential information. Interest in the mission of the Center and Columbia/SIPA is key. Knowledge of the global energy system and issues related to energy and climate policy is preferred. The position will report to the Center’s Executive Director.


  • Support the Executive Director through a combination of project management, writing and editing, research, and high-level administrative management, and relationship support functions.
  • Research and prepare materials, briefings, talking points, and presentations on a variety of strategic initiatives and operational matters for key internal or external audiences. Follow up on the Executive Director’s internal and external meetings. Participate in such meetings with or in place of the Executive Director.
  • Participate in meetings, task forces and working groups both internally and externally on behalf of the Executive Director.
  • Coordinate with the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director to manage the Executive Director’s Office, strategically managing the Executive Director’s time by organizing and prioritizing daily and weekly action-items. Utilize a shared dashboard to record progress on these items, what follow-up is required and what resolutions were reached. Identify and develop systems to facilitate the smooth operation of the office of the Executive Director.
  • Manage internal communications, anticipating and coordinating necessary inputs from scholars and administrators, including the Center’s Founding Director and directors of Research, Development, Communications, Publications, and General and Financial Administration, to ensure the Executive Director’s involvement at the appropriate time to facilitate effective decision making by the Executive Director in support of CGEP’s mission and strategic objectives. Responsible for identifying ways to improve the efficiency and efficacy of the Director’s time and decision making.
  • Support the flow of communications with the Board of Advisors, Executive Committee of the Board of Advisors and other committees, as required, as well as the coordination of quarterly and semi-annual meetings of the Board of Advisors, Executive Committee, etc. Generate and distribute on behalf of the organization, regular newsletters to the Board of Advisors.
  • Assess all inquiries to the Executive Director, coordinating with and/or delegating to the appropriate individual(s) to determine the proper response and course of action (e.g. for staffing requests, coordinates with the Director of Finance and Administration). Engages key stakeholders in the Executive Director’s activities, using collegial, tactful and effective customer service in interacting with internal and external constituencies.
  • Under the guidance of the Executive Director and in collaboration with the Research Director’s offices, manage cross-organizational high-priority projects designed to achieve the Center’s mission and strategic vision; builds and maintains successful working relationships and coordinates with a wide range of offices, staff, and stakeholders, internal and external to the Center.
  • Provide analytical and specialized administrative support to relieve Executive of and/or assist with complex details and administrative duties.
  • Keep abreast of the Executive Director’s immediate and long-term commitment and plans; identify conflicts, flag problems for intervention and correct course as appropriate.
  • In collaboration with the Finance and Administration office, recruit and supervise student assistants to support the operational needs of the Executive Director’s office.
  • Promote an inclusive and equitable environment for all students, faculty and staff. Lead with integrity and maintain the highest standards of confidentiality.
  • Contribute to the overall success of the Center by performing all other duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and four years of directly related professional experience with organizations focused on energy, climate change and/or geopolitics.

  • Three years of project management experience, including two years of supervisory experience.

  • Ability to anticipate and secure the necessary components of an engagement.  Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.  Superior research, communication, interpersonal and writing skills.  Ability to exercise discretion and handle confidential information.  Ability to work under pressure on competing responsibilities with resilience, discretion, and diplomacy. Ability to identify, analyze and address a wide variety of issues and problems in a high-intensity environment.

  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team.  Ability to utilize computer technology for communication, data gathering and reporting activities, including Microsoft Office Suite, Google platform, Slack, etc.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in policy, economics, international relations or a related field. 

  • 5+ years of directly related professional experience with organizations focused on energy, climate change and/or geopolitics.

  • Strategic planning skills.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

Applications open: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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