Employment Opportunity

Program Director for Global Security & International Affairs

Cambridge, MA

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences invites qualified candidates to apply for the Directorship in Global Security & International Affairs (GSIA). With guidance from the Chief Program Officer (CPO), the Program Director for GSIA will work with Academy Fellows and senior staff to develop and carry out policy and research initiatives related to the areas within their portfolio. The Program Director has direct responsibility to steward and grow a select portfolio of projects, including our work on a range of nuclear issues and a current project on Rethinking the Humanitarian Health Response to Violent Conflict. They will supervise Academy staff who may manage a subset of programs or initiatives within their designated area.

The Program Director will build a meaningful and robust portfolio of project work focused on socially relevant and interdisciplinary/cross-sector work in Global Security and International Affairs and foster partnerships that build on the Academy’s strengths, visibility, and impact in this area.

The Program Director helps to articulate the intellectual direction of their area(s) in full collaboration with the CPO, program advisory committees, and in consultation with the President and the Academy’s Governance Bodies. The Program Director is expected to articulate the programmatic priorities of the areas and identify and pursue opportunities for strategic partnership with a wide range of institutions to advance scholarship, knowledge, and policy solutions in this domain. The Program Director also works closely with the CPO and other Program Directors to help develop the strategic direction and best practices of the Programs area.

The Program Director upholds and advances the mission and values of the American Academy and strives to maintain excellence in its programmatic work to advance the common good. The Academy is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion and looks to all its staff members to foster and promote these values.  


The position is a hybrid role and will be based at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts or at its offices in Washington, DC. Occasional travel (typically less than 10%) and some nights and weekends are required to support project activities.

Major Areas of Responsibility Include:

  • Work collaboratively with Academy members, committee members, partner organizations, and Academy staff to ensure the success of the current projects in the portfolio—Rethinking the Humanitarian Health Response to Violent Conflict, Meeting the Challenges of the New Nuclear Age, and Promoting Dialogue on Arms Control and Disarmament—and to identify and develop new projects;
  • Marshal and steward the creative and intellectual resources of Academy members, stakeholders and staff;
  • Oversee the organization of project workshops and symposia and help produce programmatic content for these and other Academy events, including member meetings and lectures;
  • Maintain general administrative oversight of all projects within their assigned area(s);
  • Work with the Academy’s events team to help develop programs for the Academy’s network of affiliate universities;
  • Supervise and mentor staff working in the program area; define responsibilities, motivate staff, and foster professional development of individual staff members;
  • Work with the Academy leadership and communications team to raise the visibility of Academy studies, including through institutional partnerships;
  • Oversee communications among committee/panel members, staff, consultants, and other applicable parties;
  • Usher projects through approval and oversight by governance, the Committee on International Security Studies, and other project-specific advisory groups;
  • Work with Finance and Development to develop and track budgets for the program area and individual project(s) within the portfolio;
  • Facilitate discussions with Academy members, Academy leadership, and other experts to identify and design new initiatives within their assigned area(s);
  • Supervise and conduct background research related to Academy projects; 
  • Work with Development Office to write grant proposals and assist in fundraising for new studies and ongoing stewardship of project donors;
  • Supervise the design of workshops, committee meetings, conferences, and exploratory meetings.
  • Develop background research and draft reports for internal project use as well as final publication including proceedings, white papers. Draft and edit materials for publication;
  • Contribute to the drafting and dissemination of formal reports conveying the conclusions and recommendations from Academy project;
  • Work with the Academy’s Communications team and the Director of Strategic Implementation to develop communication strategies to external audiences of project findings and recommendations;
  • Other responsibilities as needed.


Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in a field related to the program area or equivalent experience;
  • Five to seven years of project management and/or administrative experience, ideally at a university, foundation, learned society, think tank, or other non-profit organization;
  • Strong leadership skills and ability to work collaboratively and effectively in a team environment and to mentor and develop direct reports;
  • Deep research experience and excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ability to synthesize and summarize research findings and recommendations to a variety of audiences;
  • General knowledge of the policy-making process and relevant policy issues, including existing research programs, policy and program interventions, and experts and key players in the field for the associated subject matter;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse constituencies and stakeholders and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.


Ideal Qualifications:

  • Experience working with senior faculty, university presidents, business and non-profit executives, government officials, international stakeholders, and policy leaders;
  • Experience advising executive staff on strategic matters;
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively engage with a wide variety of internal and external groups including funders; academic, policy, and research institutions; and other potential partners;
  • Successful grant writing experience and familiarity with private foundations and other funding sources.