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Chief Operating Officer, Columbia University

School of International and Public Affairs
New York City, New York
Commensurate with experience
Posted Date
Jul 12, 2022

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Chief Business Officers & Vice Presidents
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Position Summary

Columbia University is one of the most distinguished academic institutions in the world, with strengths in medicine, science, the arts, and the humanities. The School of International and Public Affairs was founded in the aftermath of World War II as a leading school for educating future diplomats. Today, SIPA has flourished into an interdisciplinary hub for research, education, and engagement on global public policy challenges.

Ranked as one of the top 5 international affairs schools, SIPA offers a unique mix of academic training, skills development, and applied experiences across a wide variety of areas that prepare students to address the world's most significant policy problems. The School enrolls over 1,300 students in a variety of degree programs, including the Master of International Affairs and Master of Public Administration degrees. The School is home to five transnational, issue-based centers and institutes, covering areas such as global economic governance, economic development, war and peace, global energy policy, and the Indian economy.

The School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University seeks a well-rounded, wise, and energetic professional to serve as Chief Operating Officer (COO). With responsibility for leading key administrative areas and strategic school-wide initiatives, the COO is a senior officer of SIPA reporting to the Dean. The COO plays a key role in ensuring that the school's administration is functioning optimally and is equipped to pursue the Dean's long-term goals. Working with the Dean and with other senior staff, the COO will lead and participate in the planning, communication and implementation of several key strategic initiatives involving students, faculty, alumni, and university partners.


The Chief Operating Officer supervises SIPA's student-facing administrative areas, including Admissions and Financial Aid, the Career Advancement Center, Student Affairs, and Communications and External Relations, and oversees the operations of the Picker Center for Executive Education. In addition, they serve as a representative of the Dean's office in a variety of settings, including meetings with other university administrators and town-hall meetings with student groups, and leads the development of strategic communication plans and programs to maximize internal and external stakeholder engagement. The COO serves as the administrative liaison to Columbia institutes and centers affiliated with SIPA and interfaces on various matters with departments across the university's central administration.  

Minimum Qualifications

Qualified candidates for this position will possess a graduate degree and a minimum of 10 years of related experience, including strategic planning and staff management. Candidates must have demonstrated experience promoting and implementing new initiatives in a complex decentralized, mission-oriented organization. Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects and activities with varied deadlines is required, as are team building and leadership skills. Effective written and oral communication skills are required.

Preferred Qualifications

Professional degree such as an MPA, MBA or PhD is strongly preferred. Experience in or knowledge of the culture and operation of research universities is desired.  

Interested applicants must apply online at Careers at Columbia, you will need to create an account and upload a resume and application online at:  

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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