Special Assistant, Center for Education Attainment and Innovation

Job Type

Full Time




One Dupont Circle, NW
District of Columbia
United States


Position Summary:

The American Council on Education (ACE), the nation’s largest higher education organization, is a Washington, D.C. based membership association that represents the presidents of more than 1,700 higher education institutions and another 200 leaders of higher education-related organizations. Its mission includes advocating on key higher education issues; increasing access to and success in higher education; ensuring higher education has a diverse, skilled and ample leadership pool; providing thought leadership in the areas of policy and research; increasing the number of adult learners ready for college and careers; and serving as a resource for colleges and universities for internationalization and global engagement.

The special assistant creates capacity for the Center for Education Attainment and Innovation (CEAI) leadership to operate more efficiently and effectively by providing senior-level budgetary, contract, meeting, and operational support. This individual will take initiative on special projects, represent CEAI in selected internal and external meetings, conduct operational and programmatic research to inform existing and new initiatives, manage the office and Center executive’s schedules. This is a professional position and will at times need to make sensitive and critical judgment calls. This position directly supports an assistant vice president or vice president, with reporting responsibilities to one or more CEAI directors.

Essential Job Duties or Tasks: 

  • Improves the Center’s workflow efficiency and prioritization by managing the vice president’s and CEAI directors’ schedules.
  • Tracks multiple projects simultaneously and follows through on issues in a timely manner.
  • Provides capacity for CEAI Leadership Team members by assisting with information gathering, external/internal communication, developing and monitoring project plans, and tracking deliverables.
  • Manages, processes, and tracks contracts, invoices, and reimbursements.
  • Makes travel arrangements and coordinates on- and off-site meeting and event logistics.
  • Prepares for and follows up on internal and external meetings. When needed, participates directly in external meetings and follows up with the relevant parties.
  • Tracks and monitors revenue and expenses for one or more project budgets.
  • Plans staff meetings, and staff development, training, and recognition activities.
  • Provides staff onboarding and new hire support within the Center, schedules interviews and coordinates new hire orientation meetings/training.
  • Serves as the liaison to and provides support for the Commission on Education Attainment and Innovation.
  • Performs special projects as assigned by CEAI Leadership.
  • Additional responsibilities may be assigned.


  • Attained postsecondary credential from an institutional or extra-institutional provider (credit or non-credit certification, professional certification, apprenticeship, or degree)
  • 2-5 years work experience (includes PeaceCorps or AmeriCorps). An internship may count for up to 1 year of experience.

Essential Competencies:

Specialized Skills:

  • Demonstrates the use of a broad range of cognitive and practical skills which facilitate problem solving and the completion of complex tasks.
  • Plans and designs appropriate approaches and processes, evaluates work and learning results.
  • Demonstrates ability to select alternative actions or practices based on observations of reciprocal effects on other functional areas or tasks.

Personal Skills

  • Demonstrates initiative in planning and designing technical, management or learning functions.
  • Undertakes self-directed pursuit of objectives and takes responsibility for such objectives.
  • Sets one's own learning and work objectives; reflects and assesses such objectives and takes responsibility for them.

Social Skills

  • Demonstrates advanced interpersonal abilities required in learning and in the workplace, in particular the ability to communicate effectively about solutions to complex problems when the subject matter may be moderately sensitive, controversial or likely to be questioned or challenged.
  • Exhibits a high level of professionalism in interactions with internal and external individuals at all levels.
  • Assists in shaping the work in a group according to the learning or work environment of such a group while offering ongoing support.

Preferential Consideration:

  • Experience working at a college or university or related organization
  • Experience in or knowledge of workforce development and extra-institutional learning
  • Proficiency with MS Office, Visio, CRM, SharePoint, and financial management systems preferred.

The American Council on Education is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply