Chief of Staff (COS) & Director of External Affairs

Competitive Salary
May 30, 2021
Position Type
Executive, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Position Title:             Chief of Staff (COS) & Director of External Affairs

Department:               President G&A

Reports to:                  President

Location:                     Kabul, Afghanistan

Vacancy No:                AF-Int-56-2021


Position Summary:

The Chief of Staff & Director of External Affairs serves as a key partner to American University of Afghanistan’s Chief Executive in management of the university’s professional staff, creation and implementation of strategy, and engagement with strategic partners in the government, corporate, foundation, and education sectors, as well as the Board of Trustees and Board of the Friends of AUAF. Especially important aspects of the Chief of Staff’s portfolio will be oversight of internal and external communications, marketing, and legal affairs. Additionally, the Chief of Staff will manage daily activities of the President’s Office, maintain the President’s Office budgets, and serve as a spokesperson for the President’s Office and proxy in the President’s absence. Speechwriting and written communications to the university’s internal and external communities will be required, along with occasional international travel to represent the university. The Chief of Staff will manage the president’s schedule and allocation of time at a strategic level, in alignment with university goals and priorities.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage the President’s Office budget.
  • Supervise the President’s Office staff as well as key personnel in Communications.
  • Serve as the university’s Chief Communications and Marketing officer, with oversight of media relations, advertising, branding, and internal communications.
  • Coordinate and develop university communications plans, including policy and procedures for crisis communications, social media, public relations, and all other aspects of communications.
  • Coordinate the President’s activities with the Board of Trustees (BoT), including collaboration with the Executive Assistant to the BoT for scheduling and planning of Board meetings and events.
  • Stand as spokesperson for the university as needed, and act as proxy in the President’s absence (N.B. general management of the university falls to the Vice President for Operations & Administration when the President is off campus, while the Chief of Staff provides continuity in the President’s internal and external engagement, activities of the President’s Office, key standing meetings, and formal responsibilities as appropriate).
  • Draft and/or edit the President’s public remarks, speeches, and written communication in close coordination with the President; provide research and background for internal and external communications from the President’s Office; maintain talking points for key meetings and engagements.
  • Liaise with legal representatives of the university and coordinate legal affairs.
  • Assist the President in strategic planning and implementation of strategy.
  • Synchronize university-wide activities with attention to strategy, priorities, and goals of the university.
  • Plan and oversee events hosted by the President’s Office.
  • Manage the President’s schedule and allocation of time at a strategic level, in alignment with university goals and priorities.
  • Coordinate the President’s international business travel.
  • At times, accompany and/or represent the President on business travel.
  • Participate as a member of and secretary to the President’s cabinet, along with the Vice President for Operations and Administration, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the Vice President of Student and Institutional Affairs.


 Required Qualification (Experience and Education):

  • MA or equivalent in one of the following fields: Communications, Law, Education, Higher Education Administration, Business, Public Policy, or a field related to one of these; or BA in one of the above plus minimum of 10 years demonstrated professional experience equivalent to the above; or MA or equivalent in a liberal arts field of study plus minimum of 5 years significant experience in higher education, legal affairs, management consulting, not-for-profit administration, or business administration.
  • Experience in organizational structure and staff management.
  • Familiarity with budgets and finance.
  • Ability and availability to live for the majority of the calendar year in Kabul, Afghanistan, under strict security conditions.
  • Ability and availability to travel.
  • Preferred experience in strategic planning.
  • Preferred experience in higher education administration from the perspective of at least one of the following: executive management, academic management, communications and marketing, management consulting, finance, board management, or operations.
  • Preferred experience in an international sector.


Required Skills:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and adaptively in a dynamic, often unpredictable context.
  • Strong interpersonal and management skills.
  • Sound personal and professional integrity and ethics.
  • Orientation toward mission-driven work.
  • Adeptness in balancing high-altitude planning (e.g. mission and strategy) with low-altitude problem-solving and implementation (e.g. management and coordination).
  • Cultural competency.

Benefits and Environment

This is an exceptional opportunity to work at a developing university in an emerging and rapidly changing society.

The American University of Afghanistan offers a very comprehensive benefits package some of which are detailed below;

  • Competitive base salary
  • Post Hardship allowance (when in Afghanistan)
  • Mobilization package (flights and shipping allowance)
  • International health care insurance
  • Visa and work permit
  • Attractive R&R and leave package
  • Living accommodation on AUAF campus

Afghanistan is classed as an austere environment and can be very challenging. Applicants should expect high levels of safety and security which will involve movement restrictions. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, applicants who can perform a combination of both remote and physical on site working MAY be considered.

AUAF does not charge recruitment fees to applicants. If you are asked for a recruitment fee or offer employment in exchange for money, kindly bring this to our attention using email account providing the details.

AUAF is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity at all levels. AUAF follows a strict non-discriminatory policy in its selection and employment practices. All applicants will receive equal consideration and applicants from all ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

AUAF strives to ensure that all employees work in safe environments, but safety and security are to a great degree contingent on various factors within Afghanistan that are outside of AUAF’s control. Applicants should carefully consider and evaluate their personal safety and security in Afghanistan.

To Apply

To apply, please send as a single PDF or Word (doc.) format: a cover letter and curriculum vitae (CV), to Please, include Vacancy#: AF-Int-56-2021- Chief of Staff (COS) & Director of External Affairs in the subject line of the email, otherwise, the application will not be considered. This position is open until filled. Applications in languages other than English will not be reviewed. Please be advised that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


Apply for Chief of Staff (COS) & Director of External Affairs

Already uploaded your resume? Sign in to apply instantly


Upload from your computer

Or import from cloud storage

Your Resume must be a .doc, .pdf, .docx, .rtf, and no bigger than 1Mb

4000 characters left

When you apply for a job we will send your application to the named recruiter, who may contact you. By applying for a job listed on The Chronicle of Higher Education Jobs you agree to our terms and conditions and privacy policy. You should never be required to provide bank account details. If you are, please email us.