Employment Opportunity

Program Associate: Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century

American Academy of Arts & Sciences

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences seeks a Program Associate within the “American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good” program area to play a central coordinating role in the Academy’s efforts to advance the recommendations in the recent report Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century. As the nerve center of the team leading this national multi-year initiative, the Program Associate works with Academy staff, Academy members, external stakeholders, and project committees to provide logistical, communications, and administrative support

The final report of the Academy’s Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship, Our Common Purpose (OCP) contains recommendations that cut across political institutions, civil society, and civic culture with the goal of strengthening our constitutional democracy.  The Academy is committed to advancing the report’s theory of change and to making significant progress on all 31 of the report’s recommendations by 2026, the 250th anniversary of the nation’s founding.

The Academy is committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion and looks to all its staff members to foster and promote these values.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this position is currently operating  remotely. When the House of the Academy in Cambridge, MA, re-opens this role will be a hybrid position.

Primary Responsibilities

  • With the program area team, support the advancement of the recommendations in Our Common Purpose in keeping with the Academy’s status as an independent, nonpartisan policy center.
  • Communicate regularly with committee members and other project participants, Academy members, champion organizations, the program director and staff, and other Academy departments.
  • Manage and coordinate OCP’s public events scheduling and programming; create talking points and external communications materials.
  • Lead, when appropriate, programmatic and research initiatives, including secondary research, data analysis and literature reviews.
  • Provide logistical support for conferences, meetings, and events, including scheduling, preparing relevant materials, and providing on-site and virtual staff support.
  • Provide day-to-day administrative support, including tracking project activities and progress and coordinating production and distribution of project publications.
  • Track relevant media coverage, draft and distribute project newsletter, and regularly update website content.
  • Maintain and process external contracts, agreements, invoices, and reimbursements.
  • Assist with mentoring and onboarding of new staff.
  • Work with staff from other program areas to maintain awareness of potential areas of collaboration.
  • Perform other job duties as assigned.
  • Occasional travel may be required.


  • Bachelor’s degree and at least four years relevant experience OR equivalent experience.
  • Excellent organizational and event-management skills with an acute attention to detail, ability to take initiative and follow through on tasks.
  • Ability to be flexible, learn quickly, seek creative solutions, pivot when needed, and work accurately under pressure on complex, highly publicized projects.
  • Ability to comfortably and professionally communicate with a wide range of audiences, including Academy members, staff, and the public at large.
  • Strong writing, proofreading, and editing skills.
  • Demonstrated interest in democracy, American politics, and public policy.
  • Outstanding communication, relationship building, and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience with budget-tracking and project management.
  • Ability to exhibit confidentiality and good judgment.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word), Adobe Acrobat, Salesforce, Google Analytics, and social media.

About the Academy

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences is a learned society and independent policy center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. 

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.