The Academic Engagement Network (AEN) is a national organization which seeks to educate and mobilize faculty members on American college and university campuses around issues related to Israel, antisemitism, academic freedom, and campus free speech. AEN has a four-part mission: to oppose the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and other efforts to delegitimize Israel on campus, including the demoralization of Jewish and Zionist students; to contribute to robust campus discussions and constructive teaching and research about Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict; to support academic freedom and campus free speech; and to respond to antisemitism on campus when it occurs.
AEN has grown steadily in size and prominence since its launch in 2015, now comprising some 700 faculty members on more than 225 academic institutions across the United States. AEN operates as an independent and autonomous organization and is run by a full-time professional staff with a national office in Washington, DC. The Network is led by Executive Director Professor Miriam F. Elman (Syracuse University) and overseen by a National Advisory Board chaired by Mark G. Yudof, former president of the University of California, and consisting of distinguished university leaders and academics.
AEN achieves its goals by educating and providing resources to faculty members in the AEN network so that they are in positions to positively influence and shape debates on their campuses and to respond to anti-Israel and antisemitic incidents. AEN offers financial support for faculty-initiated academic programming and speakers and runs a wide variety of educational efforts on the regional and national level to strengthen faculty literacy about 21st century Israel and to assist them in taking effective action on their campuses. AEN also seeks to educate the broader academic community and to contribute to the public discourse on AEN’s core issues.
About the Chief Operations Associate position
The Chief Operations Associate (COA) will be an integral member of the AEN national office staff, working closely with each of the staff members on the AEN leadership team. He/she will be responsible for coordinating operations in the AEN office in Washington, DC, planning and implementing an array of AEN-sponsored events and programs, maintaining AEN’sgrowing databases and internal systems, and supporting AEN’s efforts to engage, educate, and mobilize faculty members in the national network.
The COA will support and work closely with the AEN Executive Director and the entire AEN leadership team in carrying out AEN’sprograms and activities, which include organizing and sponsoring conferences and workshops for faculty, operating a grants program to support faculty-developed initiatives on campus, developing AEN-branded guides and resource books and other materials, engaging directly with faculty members around AEN’s issues, and promoting the activities of AEN and its members via earned and social media, email campaigns and a monthly newsletter. Specific responsibilities of the Chief Operations Associate will include, among others:
• Planning and executing AEN-sponsored events and programs, including interfacing with AEN members, consultants, guest speakers and other invited guests, hotel sales staff, vendors, and others;
• Managing and regularly updating AEN’s membership databases and records, grant application and reporting systems, and distribution lists;
• Preparing and editing a range of AEN documents including invitation letters, reports, and communications to faculty members, partner organizations, and others;
• Attending AEN-sponsored events and supporting the AEN leadership in preparation for and leading such events;
• Research projects as assigned, including updating AEN’s Guide and Resource Book for University Leaders
• Administrative responsibilities including a variety of tasks essential to AEN’s programming and disbursement of funds
The ideal candidate for this position will be a smart, motivated self-starter who is both intellectually curious about AEN’s issues and enjoys getting things done. Candidates should have excellent organizational skills, strong writing and research abilities, exercise good judgment, and be able to work effectively in a collaborative, small team setting. The position involves a good deal of operations/logistics work as well as administrative responsibilities as outlined. There will be many opportunities to grow in this position, including taking on “stretch” assignments consistent with the candidate’s skill level and interests and the needs of the organization. Specific qualifications we are seeking:
• An undergraduate degree (B.A./B.S.) from a U.S.-based academic institution or foreign degree equivalent(required) plus 2-3 years of full-time relevant professional experience(preferred)
• Facility with MS Office Suite, particularly MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; experience working with Content Management Software(CMS) is a plus
• Superb organizational skills, strong attention to detail, and maturity
• An affinity for operations, logistics, project management, and compliance-related work
• Strong writing and editing skills, especially the ability to communicate AEN’s goals and activities in clear prose to a range of audiences
• The ability to work well both independently and collaboratively in a small team setting
• Knowledge and demonstrated an interest in issues relating to Israel, or the desire to learn about such issues
• Familiarity with contemporary American campus politics and debates about Israel, Zionism, Jewish identity, and the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement (strongly preferred).
The COA will be based in the AEN national office in Washington, DC. Residence in Washington, DC is required. The COA will report regularly to the Deputy Director of AEN. In consultation with the Deputy Director, performance reviews will be undertaken periodically by the Executive Director. AEN offers a competitive salary and benefits package, including medical and dental insurance, generous PTO and holidays, and subsidy for mobile phone plans.
Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and short (5 pages or less) writing sample to Michael Atkins, AEN Deputy Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The position will remain open until filled.