Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia (MSSR) Coordinator

Middlebury College
  • Location
    Monterey, California
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    May 08

Position description

The MSSR Coordinator for the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies (GIRS) provides leadership in GIRS’s efforts to develop, coordinate, and implement a variety of seminars and workshops featuring senior diplomats as well as leading Russian scholars and experts to teach and interact with graduate students of Russia and Eurasia. The MSSR Coordinator works in tandem with the Director and the other members of GIRS team as well as MIIS senior administrators, and will, both independently and collaboratively reports, briefings and other collateral materials for communication with corporate, foundation, and government prospects. The MSSR Program Coordinator will also be creating and implementing systems for supporting GIRS Advisory Council’s strategic planning, tracking and reporting, and is in charge of the budget allocations, monitoring, and reporting for all MSSR related activities. The MSSR Program Coordinator is also a technical lead for the MSSR team: writing content and collaborating on the GIRS website; and troubleshooting networking issues that arise. The MSSR Coordinator is responsible for the development of programs, planning and overall operational execution of all seminars, workshops, and/or special events associated with MSSR. As such, the MSSR Coordinator should have outstanding communication and interpersonal skills. He/she works on a variety of programs simultaneously and serves as the day-to-day planning contact for visiting experts, graduate assistants, MSSR fellows, and the GIRSdirector. This is a regular full-time staff position.


Essential Functions

  • In coordination with the GIRS Director, manages the development and implementation of the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies’ Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia seminar series and related activities, including developing program format, topics, speakers, and budget management to ensure program objectives are successfully met.
  • Supervises and guides the work of GIRS Graduate Research Assistants in their duties related to MSSR.
  • Oversees and assists in the completion and submission of all financial documents such as speaker agreements, honorarium and per diem vouchers, and reimbursement vouchers.
  • Coordinates with relevant MIIS and Middlebury staff and faculty to ensure the completion of tasks, such as visiting experts’ payments and reimbursements, advertisement of activities, and participation in MSSR-related activities and events.
  • Serves as a technical lead for the GIRS team, helping to develop and maintain the GIRS website in all aspects related to uploading relevant Symposium material. 
  • Oversees and assists in all activities related to classroom management
  • Fosters and maintains relationships with Russian experts both domestic and international.
  • Manages and maintains database of speaker information for efficiency in future engagements
  • Works with the Program Director to develop and expand connections with experts for future Summer Symposiums
  • Maintains and builds relationships with local institutions, such as the Naval Postgraduate School, Defense Language Institute, and Defense Threat Reduction Agency
  • Develop and maintain relationships with MSSR fellows in order to foster future opportunities for information dissemination and speaking engagements for the purpose of building the MSSR brand
  • Builds and sustains the competitive edge of the MSSR brand in order to influence other leading Russian studies programs in the United States 
  • Demonstrates the knowledge of both international policy (bilateral relations and Russian domestic and foreign policy in particular) and fundraising techniques and strategies.
  • Writes and edits highly impactful documents for soliciting and reporting on philanthropic grants.
  • Researches and analyzes a variety of reference material in order to compile, evaluate and disseminate data related to the Symposium.
  • Manages multiple, complex tasks and relationships with initiative and independence.
  • Exercises sound judgement, prioritizes and manages time effectively, and works effectively under pressure.
  • Acts as a team player by working collaboratively and demonstrating initiative, creativity, sound judgement, discretion, and leadership.
  • Communicates with visiting MSSR scholars and experts to ensure that curriculum is designed to meet program objectives and to coordinate logistics for their visit (e.g., speaker contract, hotel, travel arrangement, transportation and schedule).
  • Manages, coordinates and arranges contracts for hotel accommodations, air and ground transportation, passport and visa clearances, program functions and visitor entertainment for all MSSR experts and fellows.
  • Creates and maintains internal MSSR calendar for upcoming seminars and prepares promotional and marketing materials for each event, including invitations, flyers, and posters. 
  • Selects and manages key MSSR vendors by negotiating new contracts, tracking contractual requirements and ensuring vendors comply with company guidelines while remaining within budget guidelines.
  • Creates, tracks, and maintains MSSR project budgets and expenses in order to ensure costs saving measures and spending within allocated amounts. Assists in preparing grant applications and reports.
  • Evaluates the effectiveness of MSSR programs by soliciting participant feedback, summarizing results, and formulating recommendations to determine successes and areas of improvement, which will be used to improve subsequent MSSR program effectiveness.
  • Manages and defuses any and all issues that might arise during the seven-week Symposium related to experts’ and fellows’ lodging, transportation, food, and health.



B.A. in Business Administration, Public Administration, International Relations, or related field required, Masters degree preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of the field of international relations, history and bilateral relations, and knowledge of basic fundraising techniques and strategies.
Exceptional analytical (academic background in international policy studies, Russian studies strongly preferred), budgeting, negotiation, and project management skills. 
Must be self-motivated, articulate, and possess excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Detail oriented, highly organized, and ability to multi-task.
Ability to manage time-sensitive projects.
Excellent computer skills, including proficiency with computer software for word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, and calendar. Proficiency with Excel, Word, database software.


At least 3 years of demonstrated experience at the international level in administration, budgeting, conference and project management.

Physical Demands

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey maintains a smoke-free workplace and complies with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and Drug-Free Workplace Act.

Position requires light to moderate physical effort and the ability to work at a computer keyboard for extended periods of time.

Application instructions

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