IES Abroad
  • Admin/Legal
  • Chicago, IL, USA
  • Full Time

Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Status: Full-time, exempt

Schedule: M-F, 37.5 hrs/week, 8.30a.m. - 4.30p.m, including occasional evening and weekend work and travel 

Reports to: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

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 Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer is a senior level professional who will be responsible for coordinating and liaising across the organization on initiatives as assigned by the EVP & COO. The Chief of Staff will be called upon to contribute ideas and manage complex projects that will have a direct impact on the success of the organization.

The position will focus on interdepartmental issues and implementation of policies, protocols, and procedures that serve to increase organizational efficiency and improve communications. The Chief of Staff will help set and/or manage agendas; provide research and/or other background materials; manage follow-up items; facilitate, lead and/or participate in group discussions; and manage special initiatives, which cross departmental lines that are of operational and strategic importance as determined by the EVP & COO.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Assist in establishing priorities and agendas, researching high-priority issues and producing briefing materials on significant matters that require attention of EVP & COO
  • Partner with broad range of internal and external individuals and groups, frequently related to matters of immediate concern; coordinate responses, solutions, and follow-ups with EVP & COO along with other appropriate employees and officers
  • Develop and deliver complex presentation materials including charts, graphs, and other data representations
  • Help increase operational efficiencies, identify new matrices, and provide analysis and recommendations to maximize use of resources including time, people, and money
  • Apprise EVP & COO and other key staff members of project status and variations from schedule or scope, striving to keep them on schedule
  • Accurately represent EVP & COO's position when serving as delegate in key meetings with internal and external constituencies
  • Identify trends in higher education, international education, and study abroad; analyze and prepare reports and summaries for EVP & COO
  • Manage budget for office of EVP & COO and annual forecast
  • Responsible for any other task or duty as assigned

Experience & Qualifications/Skills:

  • Minimum of 5 years related experience required
  • 2-5 years of project management experience in higher education/nonprofit setting preferred
  • Proven success working with and understanding large and complex organizations, including ability to manage large projects that cross organizational or departmental lines in fast-paced, nimble, results-oriented environment
  • Results-oriented with superb attention to detail, yet able to maintain focus on the big picture
  • Ability to work independently and exercise sound judgment, taking ownership and initiative with minimal direction when needed
  • Demonstrated experience in project management processes including planning tasks, resource allocation, time management, monitoring and reporting, documenting, and record keeping
  • Flexible and highly adaptive to change
  • Must possess outstanding, advanced analytical skills and experience with operational issues, including best practices, procedures, and available technology related there to
  • Experience in support of a senior level executive
  • Ability to maintain confidential information with tact and discretion
  • Strong writing, editing, and presentation skills
  • Excellent judgment, organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills (written and verbal) including ability to articulate progress, concerns, and recommendations in concise and timely manner
  • Regular and predictable attendance is essential for this position

Education Licenses and/or Certifications etc.:

  • Bachelor's degree required
  • MBA or Master's in Nonprofit Management preferred

Application Deadline: 

Open until position is filled.

No phone calls or emailed status inquiries accepted.

Successful candidates will be contacted directly and will be sent the full Job Description.

How to Apply:

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

A writing sample is required. You may choose any work-related writing sample that is your own writing, and the writing sample may not exceed 5 pages. You may redact any confidential information, as needed. Examples of appropriate writing samples include, project proposals, executive summaries, etc.

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.

IES Abroad
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