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Chief of Staff

  • Requisition no: 514901
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Morningside
  • School/Department: School of International and Public Affairs
  • Grade: Grade 14
  • 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 Founding Director to act as a strategist, advisor and implementer across all aspects of the Director’s portfolio. The successful candidate will engage with high-level content and help ensure streamlined activities within the Director’s office. The incumbent will supervise a Special Assistant and work closely with the Director’s Senior Executive Assistant to handle day-to-day processes and information flow as well as support forward-looking planning activities.

The Chief of Staff to the 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. The position will report to the Center’s Director.


Monitors top-line information flow for the Director, anticipating and coordinating necessary inputs from scholars and administrators, including the Center’s directors of Development, Communications, Publications, and General and Financial Administration, to ensure the Director’s involvement at the appropriate time to facilitate effective decision making by the 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.

Manages the execution of specific strategic initiatives as assigned by the Director, deploying the Special Assistant as appropriate. Duties include writing reports, assessments, briefs, conducting background research, and creating and delivering PowerPoint presentations to support the Director’s daily activities and research.

In collaboration with the Executive Director’s and Research Director’s offices, manages 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.

Supervises a Special Assistant to help execute targeted, high-priority initiatives that involve the Director including, among others, the Energy Journalism Initiative, the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, and select research activities.

Serves as critical thought-partner to the Director and management team, while providing sound counsel and maintaining complete confidentiality.

Assesses all inquiries to the Director, coordinating with and/or delegating to the appropriate individual(s) to determine the proper response and course of action (e.g. for media requests coordinates with the Director of Communications). Engages key stakeholders in the Director’s activities, using collegial, tactful and effective customer service in interacting with internal and external constituencies.

Supports the Director in development of critical communications, presentations and correspondence; accompanies the Director to meetings and/or serves as representative at meetings or functions they are unable to attend

Strategically manages the Director’s time by organizing and prioritizing daily and weekly action-items for the Director, in close coordination with the (Senior) Executive Assistant. Utilizes a shared dashboard to record progress on these items, what follow up is required and what resolutions were reached. Identifies and develops systems to facilitate the smooth operation of the office of the Director.

Prepares for and follows up on the Director’s internal and external meetings by developing briefing memos and anticipating and collecting inputs from all relevant units. Participates in such meetings with or in place of the Director.

In collaboration with the Finance and Administration office, recruits and supervises student assistants to support the operational needs of the Director’s office.

Promotes an inclusive and equitable environment for all students, faculty and staff. Leads with integrity and maintains the highest standards of confidentiality.

Contributes to the overall success of the Center by performing all other duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

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

Five years of project management experience, including two years of supervisory experience.

Knowledge of leadership and managerial principles, strategy development principles and procedures. 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 comfortably and discretely senior representatives from government, industry, and the NGO sector.  Ability to work independently as well as part of a team.  Willingness to travel as needed for the position.

Utilizing 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.  10+ 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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