Chief of Staff

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Keck School of Medicine of USC
Chief of Staff

Position Specifications
Position: Chief of Staff
Company: Keck School of Medicine of USC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Reporting Relationship: Dean Carolyn Meltzer, MD
Website: Keck School of Medicine (KSOM)

Keck School of Medicine of USC
With tradition dating back to 1885, the Keck School of Medicine of USC is the oldest school of medicine in Southern California. Among the most notable achievements, the Keck School of Medicine of USC had the first academic Department of Emergency Medicine in the United States in 1970, were the first to provide real-world experience in patient care in the first year of medical school, led movement toward the use of the “standardized patient” for medical training, and have developed HTE@USC, a cross-disciplinary program for medical and engineering students to find solutions to real-world health care problems. 

At the Keck School of Medicine of USC, we are dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals and society by promoting health, preventing, and curing disease, advancing biomedical research and education tomorrow’s physicians and scientists.

With more than 2300 faculty, 2200 staff and 1,200 students, it is also home to more than 900 resident physicians being trained in more than 50 specialty or sub-speciality programs and 26 research-oriented basic and clinical academic programs.  Keck School of Medicine of USC generates more than $230M in annual sponsored research with an incredible alumni base of over 7,000 with 5,000 physician graduates who practice in Southern California.

Dean Carolyn Meltzer, MD
Dr. Carolyn Meltzer began as Dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC in March of 2022. An expert in neuroradiology and nuclear medicine, Dean Meltzer has conducted research to understand the brain’s structure and function during normal aging, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and psychiatric disorders in later life. She also specializes in cancer imaging research.

As chair of radiology at Emory University for 15 years, Meltzer oversaw more than 1,200 health providers and other employees across nine hospitals and many community-based clinics, representing a medical enterprise responsible for more than 1.5 million procedures each year. She also held two prominent leadership roles at Emory University’s School of Medicine: the executive associate dean of faculty academic advancement, leadership and inclusion and the chief diversity and inclusion officer.  Prior to Emory University, Meltzer held various academic and administrative appointments at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, including professor of radiology, neurology and psychiatry, and chief of neuroradiology.

She has a lengthy history of service to the medical profession on a national level, serving on professional and advisory boards like the Council of Faculty and Academic Societies at the Association of American Medical Colleges, American Society of Neuroradiology, American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors, and many others.

As chair of the Radiological Society of North America’s Committee on Diversity & Inclusion, Meltzer pushed for more funding resources for students from minority backgrounds and developed educational programs on unconscious bias and gender-based harassment in medicine. She also led a joint initiative between Emory University and the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Health Care System to strengthen care and reduce barriers to accessing health services for military veterans.

She plans to continue that focus on equity in her new role at the Keck School of Medicine: “I am especially energized by the opportunity to join USC’s vibrant and collegial community at a time of great opportunity to address our world’s most complex health care challenges,” she said. “Teams that bring together diverse expertise and perspectives are needed to elevate health equity as a societal imperative.” 

Key Responsibilities
The Chief of Staff will serve as a trusted advisor, key communicator, and strategic partner with the Dean and across the School of Medicine. The Chief of Staff must possess a discipline of implementation by being able to prioritize, execute, and follow through on all matters and initiatives.

Other key responsibilities for the Chief of Staff will be to:

Strategy & Data Management

  • Assist with the creation of strategic plans and develop processes to ensure appropriate monitoring and follow-up.
  • Implement new strategic plans, provide direction, and create performance metrics.
  • Participate in planning new business initiatives to gain efficiencies and improve communications.
  • Communicate planning, assumptions, and guidelines.
  • Gather multiple inputs and integrate diverse plans and requests based on School of Medicine priorities.
  • Set goals, establish priorities, manage resources, develop concepts and approaches, and review projects progress and results.
  • Serve as primary contact for overall external coordination of activities with officers and senior management, university Board of Trustees, political and civic leaders, major donors, and other public and private contacts and provide information and administrative assistance to officers, senior management, and operating units through specialized service departments.
  • Oversee the planning of events and special projects, perform ad hoc project analysis, analyze, summarize, and review data, and report findings, interpret results, and makes recommendations.
  • Compile data, statistics and other information and materials for meetings, presentations, etc. Oversee and direct staff in the preparation of correspondence, documents, special materials, etc. for executive’s office. Ensure correspondence, documentation, and materials are completed in a timely manner.
  • Direct the design, enhancement and maintenance of recordkeeping systems, files, Ensure recordkeeping systems, files, etc. are maintained on a regular basis.

Organizational Management

  • Directly or indirectly manage staff, usually through subordinate managers, supervisors and professional staff. 
  • Determine organizational structures, reporting relationships and short-and long-range staffing needs based on goals.
  • Review and approve hiring and salary actions to ensure compliance with policy. 
  • Oversee performance appraisal process for staff and remain informed of any disciplinary actions required.

Budgetary & Administrative Oversight

  • Direct the budget and financial activities for office operations through financial professional staff.
  • Approve all expenditures and ensures the generation of detailed financial reports.
  • Analyze financial data for trends, develop forecasts, and apprise executive of financial status.
  • Develop and implement security related procedures such as office opening and closing routines, recognition of duress signals and key controls. 
  • Coordinate security activities with Department of Public Safety.
  • Promote and maintain standards for security conscious awareness and behavior.
  • Maintain knowledge of University's crime prevention and suppression programs and services and ensure dissemination of security related information to staff.

Office of the Dean Relations

  • Consult with executives, managers, and employees to identify problems, develop improvements, create and maintain quality standards.
  • Resolve issues and requests referred to executive office by faculty, staff or Students and meet with concerned parties to discuss requests or complaints to determine the best course of action for effective resolution.
  • Participate in public relations, institutional development, or fund-rising activities, especially with major donors.
  • Serve on various boards, councils, committees, or task forces to coordinate school or division activities and facilitate goals and initiatives and make presentations as requested.
  • Act as liaison with internal and external groups, offices, and/or constituents.
  • Oversee the planning and organizing of committee meetings, focus groups, etc. including oversight of the creation of agendas and preparation and distribution of minutes.
  • Develop, manage, and maintain an effective communication program within the university, school, or division.
  • Ensure the timely reciprocal exchange of information among top management, faculty, and staff.
  • Monitor current events, legislation, and other issues of interest to management and the university, school and/or division.

Role Requirements
The ideal Chief of Staff candidate will have a minimum of 7 to a preferred 10 years of demonstrated leadership in planning, organizing, and operating in a large, complex organization with directly related administrative management experience in a university or corporate environment. 

The Chief of Staff must have a thorough knowledge of management principles, budgeting, finance, and applicable laws/regulations. As strategic and trusted communication is a critical component of the role responsibilities, the Chief of Staff must have exceptional interpersonal and oral and written skills. The Chief of Staff must possess excellent planning and organizational skills and a demonstrated acumen with using different technology platforms and practices.

Additional necessary skills and responsibilities will include:  

  • Analysis
  • Assessment/evaluation
  • Budget control
  • Budget development
  • Communication -- written and oral skills
  • Conceptualization and design
  • Conflict resolution
  • Counseling
  • Interpretation of policies/analyses/trends/etc.
  • Interviewing
  • Knowledge of applicable laws/policies/principles/etc.
  • Leadership
  • Managerial skills
  • Mediation
  • Networking
  • Organization
  • Planning
  • Problem Identification and resolution
  • Project management
  • Research
  • Staff development
  • Teaching/Training


  • Master’s degree
  • Combined experience / education as a substitute for minimum education


  • A competitive compensation package will be made available to the selected candidate.

Application Process

The University of Southern California is an Equal Opportunity Employer