IES Abroad
  • Academics
  • Chicago, IL, USA
  • Full Time

Manager, Strategic Academic Initiatives

Status: Full-time, Exempt

Schedule: M-F, 8.30a.m. 4.30p.m, including occasional evening and weekend work based on seasonal business needs/position requirements

Reports to:Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (EVPAAP)

Direct reports: None

Start date: ASAP

Location: Chicago, IL

About us:

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectations. Our goal is to rock the world of some 9,500 study abroad students every year.

From our headquarters in Chicago to our 400+ study abroad programs in 85 global locations worldwide, we create authentic global education and life-affirming cultural experiences. We work at IES Abroad because we believe that every student should have the opportunity to go abroad - especially in a fun, safe, and superior academic and cultural environment.

We believe so strongly in the power of our program, that we actively recruit students from diverse populations and provide more than $5 million in scholarships year after year. We are proud that our students are as diverse and exciting as the countries we study.

We're not ashamed to admit, we're a little bit obsessed with study abroad.

Summary of position:

The Manager, Strategic Academic Initiatives is a senior staff member in the Office of the EVPAA & Provost, reporting to the EVPAAP. The Manager will provide coordination and liaise with other academic leaders in the Academic Department, such as the VP for Academic Programs, International Program Deans, and Center Directors (CDs). S/he will help develop academic support strategies, identify priorities, establish metrics and milestones, drive strategic decision-making, and ensure results. S/he will be actively involved in creating and managing the multitude of institutional reports that are required from the Academic Department.  Furthermore, s/he will regularly conduct research in support of departmental strategic initiatives. In addition, s/he will help develop high-level presentations and speeches for the EVPAAP for a wide variety of audiences, such as Board of Directors (BoD), Academic Council (AC), Curriculum Committee (CC), and other internal and external stakeholders.  The Manager will serve as a close advisor to the EVPAAP and will be called upon to contribute ideas, help solve complex problems, and manage ongoing projects that will have a direct impact on the success of IES Academics in particular, and IES in general.

Job responsibilities:

  • Produce briefing materials and information on significant matters that require the attention of the EVPAAP to inform strategic decision-making.
  • Conduct research, analyze data and provide analytics needed for strategic initiatives and strategic decision-making.
  • Create important presentations and speeches for the EVPAAP for various audiences, including BoD, AC, CC, partner institutions, and other internal and external constituencies.
  • Help research and identify relevant trends in higher education, international education, and study-abroad; providing high-level analysis and insight of research findings, including recommendations for action for the EVPAAP to review.
  • Develop thoughtful and strategic meeting agendas for various constituencies that will help meet targeted objectives.
  • Support the EVPAAP in building a more cohesive IES Academics and ensure that the vision/mission/goals are clearly articulated and regularly disseminated to all stakeholders globally.
  • Ensure that the EVPAAP is acutely aware of all the cultural nuances of our globally distributed organization.
  • Conduct research and develop reports, announcements and correspondences on behalf the EVPAAP.
  • Spearhead the creation of significant internal communications, and ensure the effectiveness of the internal communications process with new business units.
  • Monitor, direct, and contribute to the timely and accurate completion of important projects and initiatives that cross organizational lines.
  • Respond to and meet with a broad range of internal and external individuals and groups, frequently related to matters of immediate concern.
  • Coordinate responses and resolutions to important issues and update the EVPAAP.
  • Evaluate and research a variety of complex issues and problems. Take data and research findings to a high level of analysis by identifying the salient issues to make assessments at a strategic level, and finally making recommendations for solutions.
  • Lead the development of processes, policies and procedures for a more nimble management and effective administration of IES Academics.
  • Direct the execution of special initiatives as determined by the EVPAAP.
  • Advise the EVPAAP on internal policy and organizational issues.
  • Develop and manage departmental budget.

Experience & Qualifications/Skills:

  • Minimum of 7-10 years related administrative or managerial experience in a higher education, nonprofit, and/or other related business setting.
  • Must possess proven outstanding analytical abilities and experience with strategic planning processes and procedure.
  • Experience in support of an executive line manager to include project/nonprofit Board management.
  • Ability to maintain confidential information with tact and discretion.
  • Strong writing, editing and presentation skills.
  • Advanced capabilities in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Outlook.
  • Proven effective communication skills including the ability to articulate progress, concerns, and recommendations in a concise, timely, and action-oriented manner.
  • Project, time management, and problem-solving skills with a commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills with superb attention to detail.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with staff at varying/all levels of organization, including external advisors and Board Members.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to work independently and exercise sound judgment.
  • Ability to be flexible and highly adaptive to change.
  • Ability to multitask and expedite processes.
  • Experience managing complex customer relationship management issues and/or change management is a plus.


Master's degree preferred or the equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired.

How to Apply:

All applicants should submit an application including cover letter, resume, and salary requirements by clicking 'Apply Now' at the right hand side of this page.

Please visit for more information about working at IES Abroad.

Equal Opportunity Employment:

Treating all people with respect is at the core of who we are.

As an equal opportunity employer, we recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), disability, age, veteran status, citizenship, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information and/or other protected status as required by applicable law.

When you join IES Abroad, you're part of a diverse community of global leaders who know that our differences in skills and backgrounds are just as important as our shared passions and mission. Surrounded by a mix of talented professionals, you find yourself wanting to come to work, and, more importantly, wanting to stay and advance our mission together.


This job description reflects management's assignment of essential functions; and nothing in this herein restricts management's right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. The duties above are not to be considered a complete list of duties and responsibilities assigned to this position. Temporary modifications to provide reasonable accommodations do not waive any essential functions of the job requirements.

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