Northeastern University-Special Assistant for Presidential Strategy & Initiatives

Northeastern University seeks an intellectually nimble, entrepreneurial, explode-the-boundaries thinker to join the Office of the President as Special Assistant for Presidential Strategy & Initiatives.

Reporting to the Chief of Staff and with collegial lines of access to the President and his senior leadership team, the successful candidate for this position will be deeply versed in the issues and challenges confronting higher education, including policy issues and other vital issues in the national and global higher education dialogues. S/he will be committed to finding innovative ways to meet those challenges, and able to articulate Northeastern’s unique position in this marketplace of ideas.

S/he will be an unrestrained thinker respectful of colleagues and their expertise but unbound by traditional lines of demarcation within the academy. At the same time, the Special Assistant will bring an exceptional ability to deliver tangible results, serve as a trusted representative of the Office of the President and Chief of Staff to colleagues within the University and to outside audiences and constituencies, and as an entrepreneur on behalf of ideas and initiatives that can move the University forward. This includes creating a magnetic platform in which to exchange ideas and launch signature events.

Northeastern’s curriculum integrates classroom learning with real-world professional experience and is both grounded in the University’s signature cooperative education program (co-op) and inspired by a rapidly growing interdisciplinary research enterprise and expanding global profile. This approach creates a unique environment – a living laboratory in which Northeastern faculty, administrators, students, alumni and co-op partners are afforded unprecedented opportunities to experiment with 21st-century learning approaches, interdisciplinary collaboration, an immersive curriculum and opportunities to network across discipline, affinity and geography.

The University is well-positioned to set the precedent for what a modern university looks like and to influence the national conversation regarding higher education that centers on value proposition, relevance and outcomes. Expanding on its market-attuned posture and applied learning approach, Northeastern continues to diversify and grow its graduate and continuing education offerings through significant investments in its research initiatives, online learning, professional certifications and the opening of new graduate-focused campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Seattle, Washington, and the first-ever industry-integrated Learning Hub, in Silicon Valley. This accelerating momentum can be felt in every corner of its campus, nationally and around the world.

Under President Joseph Aoun, Northeastern prides itself on its spirit of innovation and on the bold thinking that characterizes every level of the institution. Therefore, the newly created position of Special Assistant will be, in part, defined by its first incumbent, who will seek out novel opportunities to advance the interests of the Office of the President. The Special Assistant will work closely with the President, Chief of Staff and senior leadership team to research, describe, initiate, carry through and evaluate myriad facets of the University-wide agenda. S/he will share and receive information across offices and units and foster a collaborative environment both within the President’s Office and in dealings with internal and external constituencies.

The Special Assistant will take responsibility for the Office’s excellence in Presidential-level thought leadership and for its public face and for promoting Northeastern and its President as loci of wisdom in the conduct of 21st-century higher education.

The ideal candidate will bring deep familiarity with higher education gained through previous work at a college or university, in business or in the government, public policy or non-profit arena; extensive knowledge of current issues in higher education at the institutional, national and global levels; the ability to pair creativity and strategic thought with exceptional execution and the ability to connect disparate information and trends to identify new areas for opportunity. S/he will have excellent writing and research skills, including the ability to locate, interpret and apply relevant public policy research and statistics on higher education, as well as strong quantitative data analysis skills, including data visualization.

The Special Assistant will demonstrate the ability to work in a complex and continuously evolving environment and a deep understanding of how to motivate and engage multiple constituents and stakeholders. S/he also will bring a talent for motivating diverse groups of individuals and for managing through ambiguity and uncertainty to drive results, brilliant verbal and written communication skills, the ability to interact with all types of individuals and the judgment to act with discretion and confidentiality in appropriate situations.

Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), and where you learned of the position should be sent Please type only your name (Last, First) as the subject line.

Northeastern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Educational Institution and Employer, Title IX University. Northeastern University particularly welcomes applications from minorities, women and persons with disabilities. Northeastern University is an E-Verify Employer.

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