Concentration Manager

Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jul 01

Position description

Reporting to the Co-Directors of the Economic and Political Development (EPD) Concentration and SIPA’s Chief Operating Officer, the incumbent manages the day-to-day administration of the Concentration and assists with curriculum and program planning and development, resource mobilization and financial administration, student staff recruitment and supervision, student advising and professional development, and alumni relations for the Concentration and the Capstone Workshop in Sustainable Development Practice (the EPD Workshop).

At SIPA—the world’s leading school of global policy—we are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. We work to cultivate these values in our practices, programs and policies. We aim to create a workplace that is welcoming and celebrates the unique lived experiences of all our staff, students and faculty. We are particularly interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the School. Applicants are encouraged to include information in their cover letter about how they will further this goal.


Student Advising and Support:  

  • Works with the Co-Directors to advise a population of over 250 students on concentration requirements and directs them to appropriate resources.
  • Assesses student advising needs and advises students on specific concentration requirements, directing them to additional resources (e.g., the EPD directories, Student Affairs, Financial Aid, the Career Advancement Center, alumni advisors, faculty, etc.).
  • Works with the Career Advancement Center and the EPD Co-Directors to facilitate communication with potential employers of EPD graduates through outreach and events.
  • Monitors student progress and informs students on changes in the Concentration curriculum. Facilitates student requests for course substitutions and approves student concentration audits.

Curriculum Development: 

  • Drawing on knowledge of the field of public policy and international affairs, assists with curriculum development and faculty recruitment as needed.
  • Duties include collecting, organizing and analyzing data helpful in developing the curriculum, including current and prospective curricular offerings, course evaluations, etc.
  • Conducts internet research on potential adjuncts or other affiliates drawing on familiarity with the EPD field of study and major stakeholders in the same.
  • Informs faculty and students of changes in the curriculum, and keeps Student Affairs and other SIPA offices informed of the same.
  • Assists faculty members in updating course materials.

Program Development and Coordination:  

  • Coordinates logistics for EPD events, mixers, seminars, panels, workshops, and other co-curricular activities, directing student staff in making room reservations, food arrangements, preparing materials and publicity, taking minutes, and doing the related follow-up.
  • Manages updates and revisions of the EPD pages of the SIPA website and EPD bulletins.

Financial Administration: 

  • Coordinates an annual EPD budget.
  • Maintains a spreadsheet of expenses to advise the Co-Directors of available funding and unmet needs, processes bills and invoices, facilitates co-sponsorship of events and internal transfers of funds to/from other academic departments and student groups, assists the Co-Directors in filing for reimbursement, and works with the SIPA Business Manager to ensure that the Finance Office’s expense summary statement and balance remaining at the end of the FY are in alignment with EPD’s own records.
  • Provides general administrative assistance to the faculty of the EPD Concentration including monitoring research accounts and assisting with preparation and submission of travel and business expense reports and travel arrangements.

Data Administration: 

  • Prepares statistical reports for the Co-Directors on enrollment, student progress, student interest, graduate employment, alumni engagement, etc.
  • Directs student staff on maintaining and updating back-end databases, as needed. Oversees the administration, analysis, and presentation of student surveys as needed.

Professional Development for EPD:

  • Collaborates with the Career Advancement Center to enhance professional development opportunities for students and organize EPD alumni career panel series. Collects information about students’ interests and plans activities to support their goals.

Staff Supervision

  • Recruits, trains and oversees EPD Program Assistants and Work Study employees.
  • Directs student staff in developing regular communication with students and supporting all logistical arrangements for the concentration’s meetings, retreats, lectures and seminars, including making room and food reservations, preparing materials and publicity, collecting final reports, taking minutes, and doing related follow up. 

Alumni Relations: 

  • Works with SIPA's Career Advancement Center and Office of Alumni Relations to maintain and strengthen ties to alumni, including helping maintain current employment and contact information for alumni and organizing alumni-student-faculty events.

EPD Workshops – Administration:

  • Provides comprehensive administrative assistance for the EPD Workshop. 
  • Updates the Courseworks site for the Workshop.
  • Manages data on Workshop proposals, projects, faculty advisors, and team members.
  • Coordinates logistics for plenary sessions, briefing sessions, and final presentations of the Methods/Workshop course sequence.
  • Coordinates scheduling of Workshop course sections.
  • Facilitates Methods/Workshop course registration.
  • Manages travel bookings and reimbursements of travel expenses for Workshop teams.
  • Follows up with Workshop teams on compliance with Columbia/SIPA International Travel Policy.
  • Facilitates contacts between Workshop teams and SIPA alumnae/i in the project countries.
  • Follows up with clients on feedback and permission to post final team reports on the Workshop webpage.
  • Prepares content to update the Workshop website.
  • Coordinates with students and SIPA's external relations office to produce news articles and other informational materials.
  • Manages the online application for the Methods/Workshop course sequence.
  • Assists faculty in the concentration with course enrollment and TA/Reader/Student Assistant selections.

Resource Mobilization and Financial Administration

  • Conducts background research and assists in the development and promotion of proposals to mobilize additional funds to supplement the Workshop travel budget.
  • Duties include assisting with grant applications preparing materials for donors, and coordinating student fundraising events. Monitors the annual budgets for the EPD Workshop.
  • Troubleshoots billing and invoice issues and maintains a spreadsheet of expenses.
  • Reconciles and approves all financial transactions on a monthly basis.
  • Advises faculty and students involved in EPD Workshop activities on financial policies and procedures relating to travel arrangements and reimbursements, event logistics, publicity arrangements, etc.
  • Works with Workshop teams to review and approve proposed budgets for field travel.

Additional Responsibilities: 

  • Throughout the year, and especially during the summer, the Chief Operating Officer may require the incumbent to undertake School-wide tasks related to the concentration – including but not limited to admissions, new student orientation, student advising, career advancement, alumni affairs, marketing, and/or research. This would be done in consultation with the Co-Directors.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree or its equivalent required. 
  • Must have at least two years of related experience.
  • Must have excellent oral and written communication skills and organizational ability.
  • Must have strong computer skills, including proficiency with spreadsheets and/or databases.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree preferred.
  • Prior experience in higher education or nonprofit administration highly preferred.
  • Prior experience in program coordination highly desirable.
  • Familiarity with the field of public policy and/or international policy strongly preferred.
  • Familiarity with the international development field is desirable.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate you saw this position on