Employment Opportunity

Human Resources and Operations Assistant

Cambridge, MA

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the nation’s oldest and most prominent honorary societies and independent policy research centers.  The American Academy seeks a Human Resources and Operations Assistant to support daily administration, recruitment and onboarding, employee engagement, and special projects for the Human Resources Department. The HR and Operations Assistant will also provide general office support and work on special projects for other departments at the Academy, including Finance, Operations, and Membership Information and Elections.    

The Academy is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion and looks to all its staff members to foster and promote its values. The Human Resources Assistant will incorporate these values into their work to help develop an inclusive and welcoming workplace for all Academy staff.

The Human Resources Assistant will play a key role in ensuring that all Academy staff, and by extension, the Academy, can meet its strategic goals and deliver excellent service to the Fellows and general public.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this position will operate remotely through July 6, 2020, after which the position will be on-site at the House of the Academy in Cambridge, MA.


Human Resources Department

  • Provide day-to-day administrative support for the Human Resources department, including maintaining HR files and documentation, assisting with benefits enrollment, and answering frequently asked questions from applicants and employees.
  • Support the full recruitment cycle for employees including advertising open positions, coordinating interviews, and assisting with new hire orientation.
  • Assist with developing a diverse workforce by seeking out new avenues for recruitment and helping to develop processes to ensure a fair and inclusive recruitment cycle.
  • Lead employee engagement activities including creating a weekly internal newsletter, planning internal social events, and planning a monthly “Academy spotlight” series. 
  • Encourage employee wellness by providing timely resources and information.
  • Assist with employee professional development, including processing professional development fund requests, and researching training opportunities for staff.
  • Support the work of the Academy’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, especially as it relates to recruiting and employee engagement.
  • As needed, research best practices and conduct benchmarking projects.
  • Expand knowledge of HR field through participation in webinars and trainings.
  • Other projects and duties as required.

General Office Support

  • As needed, and based on availability, provide administrative and project support to other departments, including Finance, Membership Information & Elections, the Chief Operating Officer, and Information Technology.
  • Process supply orders for employees and assist with distribution of materials.
  • Assist the Finance Department with general filing, scanning, and other financial processes, maintaining the electronic deposit log sheet and assisting with Accounts Payable when needed.
  • Proactively identify opportunities to develop processes for improved efficiency, coordination, and communication.

In-Office Responsibilities (when the Academy returns to in-person work, the HR and Operations Assistant will also be responsible for the following):

  • Process mail and packages, provide reception coverage, and ensuring the office and supply rooms are stocked and kept in an orderly fashion.
  • Provide occasional logistical support for on-site events, including the annual Induction ceremony.

Reports to: Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development


Requirements include:

  • Associate’s degree plus 2-3 years’ experience working in an office environment.
  • Must be able to occasionally lift up to 40 lbs, climb stairs, and operate a handcart
  • Strong administrative and organizational skills, with an emphasis on time management and the ability to plan, organize and implement various activities. 
  • Commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher) and internet searches.

The ideal candidate will also demonstrate:

  • Very high attention to detail; creativity, curiosity, and problem-solving skills; initiative and follow-through on projects.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; ability to proofread and edit.
  • Ability to learn quickly, prioritize, and work accurately and proactively with little supervision.  
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and flexibility. Strong customer service background.
  • Understanding of how to deal properly with confidential or sensitive information.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Commitment to Diversity:

The American Academy is committed to the diversity of its staff and membership. As a scholarly organization and research center, the Academy recognizes that diversity of thought, class, experience, sex, gender, race, physical or mental ability, age, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation is a value to uphold and is central to the mission and work of the organization. A more pluralistic staff embracing diversity of thought, approach and life experience fosters a more nuanced understanding of contemporary issues facing the nation and the world. Working together in a climate of respect and openness models the civil discourse that is fundamental to the work of the Academy.

About the Academy

The Academy membership encompasses over 5,600 members and reflects the full range of disciplines and professions: math and physical sciences, biological sciences, the social sciences, humanities and the arts, journalism, business and philanthropic leaders, educational, scientific, and cultural administrators as well as public affairs and public policy.