Director of Executive Support and Operations

Position Summary
The Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW) is the first institution of its kind in the United States. After more than 120 years, it continues to break new ground in education, research, policy analysis, and advocacy. CSSW faculty, staff, and students commit themselves to eradicate injustice, alleviating suffering, combating racism, rectifying systemic barriers, and promoting fair access to opportunity in all sectors and strata of society.

Reporting to the Chief of Staff and the Dean of the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW), the Director of Executive Support and Operations provides proactive, responsive, and effective executive-level support and serves as a central resource for coordinating the Dean's administrative needs and directives. This dynamic position requires anticipating needs, thinking critically, and offering solutions to problems with a high level of professionalism and confidentiality. As a key member of the Dean's Office, the Director of Executive Support and Operations will facilitate the administration, planning, and follow-up on matters of School-wide importance and provide proactive, responsive, and effective support demonstrating professionalism, excellent judgment, and trusted handling of confidential information, and discretion in all interactions.


  • Provide sophisticated calendar management for the Dean and Chief of Staff. In addition, provide scheduling support to the School’s Vice Dean. Prioritize inquiries and requests while troubleshooting conflicts to ensure smooth day-to-day engagements.
  • Serve as the first point of contact for the Office of the Dean, interacting closely with faculty, students, administrators, alumni, and other key constituents of the School and colleagues across the University on matters of a highly confidential or critical nature. In addition, interact with and serve as a resource to CSSW faculty and staff, Columbia University colleagues, and external partners.
  • Monitor and respond to questions and concerns from internal and external constituents.
  • Manage the day-to-day operations of the administrative team at the Office of the Dean and oversee the work of the staff. Create, update, and maintain an effective tracking system to coordinate Dean's Office activities and deadlines, and assess and make recommendations for systems to ensure the smooth functioning of the Office.
  • Evaluate and assist in developing office policies and procedures for improved workflow and anticipate future needs as the organization grows. Assist in the selection of vendors and oversee purchasing equipment, services, and supplies necessary for the School's operations.
  • Anticipate the Dean's needs in advance of meetings, conferences, etc. Assist the Chief of Staff in the planning, logistics, and executing of Dean's Office in-person and virtual meetings and special events. Prepare meeting agendas, briefing memos, and background research. Take meeting notes with action items for internal and external meetings.
  • Prepare correspondence, emails, and other written materials for the Dean and Chief of Staff. Under their own signature, other writing assignments include briefing materials, memos, talking points, meeting minutes, and notes.
  • Prioritize and determine an appropriate course of action, referral, or response, exercising judgment to reflect Dean's style and priorities.
  • Create, update, and maintain a detailed and effective tracking system of priority action items to ensure prompt and appropriate follow-up and completion. Assess and make recommendations for systems to ensure the smooth functioning of the Office.
  • Coordinate with internal and external constituents to ensure that all necessary meeting and event information (agendas, briefing materials, list of attendees, guest bios) is gathered, prepared, and disseminated to the Dean, Chief of Staff, and others. Attention to deadlines and follow-up is essential to ensure that the Dean has materials in a timely way.
  • Oversee the preparation, logistics, and follow-up for Council of Deans meetings. Prepare agendas and minutes and track action items. Support faculty committees and faculty members with special initiatives and projects; work on other selected special projects as needed.
  • Assist in managing, preparing, and organizing selected materials submitted to the Office of the Provost, including tenure dossiers and special reports.
  • Supervise the work of the Project Coordinator.
  • Provide office coverage for the Office of the Dean.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree required; advanced degree desirable. Minimum 5-7 years of related experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in higher education administration and/or supporting a senior-level executive (C-Suite, Deans, Board Chairs, etc.).

Other Requirements

  • Minimum of 5 years of experience supporting senior-level executives within a complex organization.
  • A high degree of professionalism in dealing with diverse groups of people, including senior executives, staff, community leaders, donors, and funded partners.
  • Must be able to react with sound judgment to time-sensitive matters and shifting priorities.
  • Ability to react with appropriate levels of urgency to situations and events that require a quick response or turnaround. Make appropriate, informed decisions regarding priorities and available time.
  • Maintain a high level of integrity and discretion in handling confidential information.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills (strong writing skills must be demonstrated and supported by documentation). High level of proficiency with MS Office programs.
  • Strong organizational skills, meticulous attention to accuracy and detail, and adherence to deadlines.
  • Experience with high-level event planning.
  • Must work well under pressure on competing responsibilities with resilience, discretion, and diplomacy at all times. Set a climate of professional comportment for the operations of the Dean's Office.
  • Capable of working on projects independently and working well as part of a team.
  • Proven ability to execute work with a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens. Ability to be part of an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences come together to achieve the vision and mission of the School.
  • Availability for occasional evening and weekend hours required.

Applicants must submit a cover letter with their application. In addition, finalists may be required to provide writing samples.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.