Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Durham, NORTH CAROLINA

Duke University:

Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.

Job Description
Public Relations Specialist, Sr. (DUKE TITLE)
Program Manager, Duke AGS (Sanford Title)
(Job Code 1268, Level 12)
The Duke Program in American Grand Strategy
Sanford School of Public Policy
Duke University

Occupational Summary 
This position provides leadership for a high-profile program at Duke with visibility at senior levels within Duke University and at the national/international level.  The Assistant Director/Program Manager will work directly for the Faculty Director and lead logistical, programmatic and managerial support for the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy (AGS), supervising the activity of the Program Assistant, Graduate Fellow, and undergraduate AGS Council. This individual is responsible for supervising the management of the finances of AGS, designing and executing programs across AGS and providing short- and long-term strategic support to the Director.  This individual also supports the Duke leg of the America in the World Consortium.

Work Performed 

A detailed description of functional areas and tasks follows: 


  • Coordinate and oversee all program execution, planning and implementation activities related to the organization of events on and off campus, locally, nationally, and internationally, including a lecture series featuring senior policymakers, domestic and international staff rides, crisis simulations and workshops, and course support. Identify potential participants, manage invitations and responses, coordinate event logistics, prepare relevant documentations, and coordinate and identify opportunities for enhanced stewardship of AGS donors. Make significant contributions to the definition of contents/agendas, speakers, and research agendas for special projects. 
  • Develop and coordinate promotion and publicity for programs and events to include writing press releases, producing course announcements, designing, and distributing ads, posters and flyers and designing and producing newsletters and brochures. 
  • The job requires exceptional people-skills, attention to detail, capacity for multi-tasking, and exceptional judgment.

Phillips Lecture 
Serve as the main point person on all logistical elements for two large and very high-profile events per year. Work with the Chief of Police, the Vice-President for Public Affairs and Government Relations, the Vice President of Student Affairs and the offices of the President and Provost (as well as other Duke leaders and stakeholders) to perform risk analysis and design visits to show-case Duke to visiting dignitaries.  Develop contingency plans for rapid adjustment based on the evolving situation. Coordinate with other partners to design a local, regional and in some cases national marketing plan, manage ticketing and invitations for events with upwards of 800+ attendees. Coordinate with Duke parking and  Duke event spaces to manage day-of logistics. Manage the visiting speaker’s itinerary, direct advance meetings, and book travel/ accommodations. Communicate with alumni, donors, and relevant Duke programs to ensure proper attendance. Utilize strong detail-orientation, flexibility, problem-solving and communication skills to serve as the main lead for the event. 

Lecture series 

Strategize vision of program to meet donor commitments, event topics and the yearly calendar alongside the Director. Utilize networks to build a diverse and balanced roster of speakers. Manage the travel, accommodations, and itineraries for an average of 25-30 speakers per year. Design and execute small group events, main lecture events and dinners for each visiting speaker. Recruit and coordinate students to assist with each visit and to help staff VIP visitors on an as-needed basis.

Staff Rides and field trips

Supervise the design, recruitment, and execution of up to five staff rides and field trips a year, ranging from one-day visits to military bases, to two-day visits to key sites of interest (Washington, DC; the World War II Museum in New Orleans), to two-day domestic staff rides (usually Gettysburg), to a major week-long international trip.  Assist the Director in selecting the location for international staff rides. Conduct research on specific battles to craft a week-long itinerary.  Supervise and design a recruitment/selection system for roughly forty students, alumni, faculty, major donors, and Duke leaders. Site survey potential venues. Delegate responsibilities to the Program Assistant, student leads, and the Graduate Fellow as appropriate. Direct all logistics for the staff ride’s weeklong (10+ hour days) itinerary, including transportation, accommodations, meals and site-visits. Complete crisis management alongside Graduate Fellow, student leaders and the Director. 


  • Focus on people management as the program expands research positions, practitioners and supporting faculty roles. Supervise various personnel actions including, but not limited to, hiring, tasking and performance appraisal. 
  • Supervise the Program Assistant in daily workflow, delegate tasks, review accuracy of work and complete performance evaluations. Assist Director and HR in recruiting, interviewing, and hiring employees. Handles and resolves any disputes within or related to the program and department, in support of the Director. Set program goals and devise new methods for improving and sustaining the program. 
  • Manage the responsibilities of the AGS Student Council and AGS Graduate Fellow. Provide mentorship and counsel to student council members. 


  • Manage ~600k and growing budget. Prepare budgetary recommendations; monitor accounts that can have more than twice the annual budget, depending on the timing of gifts; prepare financial and operational reports, forecasts, and analyses. Prepare grant proposals and applications to include compilation of data and preparation of budget expenditures; monitor and verify expenditures; ensure compliance with University and funder policies and procedures; prepare administrative reports for submission to donors and funders. 
  • Lead and coordinate the development efforts for the Program; identify potential sources of funding; coordinate the writing of proposals; perform the necessary follow-up with donors and sponsors; work closely with relevant University development authorities. 
  • Backstop the Director and other Duke staff in the execution of the separate $700k Duke AWC budget 


  • Work with AGS Graduate Fellows to identify and manage undergraduate and professional master's student volunteers (AGS Council) to carry out specific tasks. 
  • Work with AGS Graduate Fellows, AWC pre-doctoral fellows, and AWC post-doctoral fellows to mentor more junior students, especially students seeking undergraduate and professional master's degrees. 
  • Grow the AGS and AWC alumni network. Work with AGS alumni coordinators (currently in DC and New York) to ensure the health and growth of the AGS program’s network and foster increased engagements through events and correspondence.

Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein. 

Minimum Qualifications

Work requires the ability to perform creative writing and related activities such as conducting interviews and research, and copy editing normally acquired through attainment of a bachelor's degree in Journalism, English or a related discipline.

Work requires two years of directly related writing experience. OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE


Work requires analytical, communication and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor's degree program; master's degree preferred; doctoral degree in a field related to American foreign policy desired, but not required. 

Preferred 3-5 years’ experience in an administration/management capacity, grant administration, donor development or other related area with progressive responsibility in the development and special projects in order to acquire skills necessary to provide programming and administrative support for the program. 

In addition, the successful candidate will possess the following qualities/attributes: 

  • Demonstrated interest in and substantial understanding of American foreign policy and military affairs desirable. 
  • Capacity to interact well with undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, visiting dignitaries, and prospective donors. 
  • Ability to work successfully with partners locally and remotely. Extensive knowledge and experience in event planning, public relations and marketing campaigns, and social media. Strong organizational and interpersonal skills. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. Willingness to work with a wide variety of people. 
  • Demonstrated capacity to manage a budget and financial reporting for a program that is beyond $1 million annually. 

Essential Physical Job Functions:

Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essential job functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department. 

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.

View or Apply

Similar Positions