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Director of Operations, ARC (17851)

Date: May 13, 2022

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University

Get to Know American University

At American University we value open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving AU community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail. 


Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work. 


Learn more about American University by clicking here.  

About the Department/Unit

American University’s School of International Service (SIS) is a top-10 school of international affairs located in Washington, DC. Since our founding in 1957, we have answered President Dwight D. Eisenhower's call to prepare students of international affairs to "wage peace." We do so because we believe the world needs leaders who are ready to serve.

SIS, led by Dean Christine BN Chin, is guided by 115 full-time faculty. Our world-renowned faculty — leading political scientists, economists, sociologists, anthropologists, demographers, geographers, historians, and experts in international development, global health, communications, energy, and the environment — produce transformational research and prepare more than 3,000 graduate and undergraduate students for global careers in government, nonprofits, and business.

Thoughtful and aspirational, with wide-ranging backgrounds and experience, our students take advantage of Washington's wealth of resources and professional opportunities and our active international network of more than 25,000 alumni. 


The Accountability Research Center (ARC) is an action-research center based in the School of International Service at the American University (AU).  ARC collaborates with partners to contribute to global thinking on how to improve public accountability and build more inclusive societies.  ARC was founded in 2016 and is funded by private foundation grants.

The Director of Operations is responsible for devising, implementing and managing the center's operations and processes, including budget planning, financial oversight, grants management and human resources.   This position is contingent upon availability of funds past June 30, 2024.

Essential Functions

  1. Operational Strategy and Leadership
    Responsible for oversight of the day-to-day operations of the center.  Leads financial planning, budgeting and operational effectiveness.  
  2. Budget Planning, Administration and Reporting
    Lead center budget planning, administration and oversight, with the support of Center-funded financial administration support staff, in collaboration with the Director and Finance Manager. Oversee budget management (including forward planning), funder reports (narrative and financial), administration of sub-awards and Professional Services Agreements (PSAs), compliance-related communications with funders and any other needs that arise.
  3. Grants Management
    Manage and oversee ARC’s grants and contracts management system. Ensure all grants management functions are timely, accurate and fully compliant with AU and sponsor requirements.
  4. Personnel Management
    Manage ARC’s main human resource functions – from recruiting to onboarding, managing performance, and professional development for all Center staff & consultants. Familiarize staff with relevant AU and ARC policies, tools and resources.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • The Director of Operations supervises a full-time Finance Manager.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • The position is funded by grants for two and a half years, renewable pending additional funds.
  • Full Time
  • Project Leader/Advisor A
  • Exempt

Salary Range

  • Commensurate with experience.

Required Education and Experience

  • Master's degree
  • At least 8 to 10 years of overall professional experience, including substantial experience with oversight of managerial finance, budget planning, operations, systems, policies, and procedures.
  • Experience with responsibility for budget and financial planning in non-profit organizations or higher education.
  • A strong demonstrated track record in grants management.
  • Experience with oversight of human resource functions.
  • Ability to translate financial concepts for, and effectively collaborate with programmatic colleagues who may not have finance backgrounds.
  • Commitment to training programs that maximize individual and organization goals across the organization.
  • A successful track record in setting priorities; keen analytic, organization and problem-solving skills which support and enable sound decision making.
  • Excellent communication and relationship building skills, including an ability to prioritize, negotiate, and work with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment.  

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Experience with Colleague, Workday, Cayuse, Microstrategy BI.
  • Experience with cross-cultural communication. Attention to detail.
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and dedication to ARC’s mission.
  • Excellent communication skills in English, Cross-cultural communication skills, Managerial competence and capacity to combine autonomy and productivity, Intellectual creativity.
  • Commitment to institution-building.
  • Passion for seeking synergy between action, learning and research.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications


  • Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.


Current American University Employees

If you are a current employee at American University, please log into AsuccessfulU through the myAU portal. Once in AsuccessfulU, please select the Careers tile which will take you to our internal career page. 


Contact Us

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email


American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC