Associate Producer, Speaker Series

Posted by
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
Published 13 days ago


IOP: Speaker Series

About the Department

Created in 2013 by University of Chicago alumnus David Axelrod (AB'76), the mission of the Institute of Politics (IOP) is to ignite in University of Chicago students a passion for politics, public service and civic engagement and to provide a forum for the debate and discussion of public issues. By bringing practitioners from the public arena to campus, and providing extracurricular opportunities in politics, policy, government and journalism, the non-partisan Institute seeks to open pathways for engagement and leadership to students across campus. This is done through the four primary programmatic components of the Institute. The Speaker Series program hosts nationally and internationally recognized speakers on a wide variety of issues related to the mission of the IOP. The Fellows Program presents an opportunity for political practitioners, policy makers, journalists, and others engaged in politics and public service, to be in residence at the University of Chicago for an academic quarter and provide weekly, extracurricular seminars to University of Chicago students. The IOP also sponsors a robust, paid internship program for undergraduate and graduate students, placing them in high-level settings overseas, in Washington, D.C. and at the state and local levels. Lastly, the IOP’s Civic Engagement programs provide pathways for students to take an active role in shaping politics and policy in their communities through leadership development programs, student-led civic engagement projects, and political exploration treks.

Job Summary

 The Associate Producer plays a vital role in the execution of the Institute of Politics' acclaimed Speakers Series program. Reporting to the Director, Speaker Series, the Associate Producer will participate in creative meetings to brainstorm ideas, select programming content and delegate work assignments, taking primary responsibility for researching topics and speakers, developing novel ways to present selected content, and conceptualizing the format of IOP Speaker Series events. They will write letters of invitation, event briefings and program promotional copy. They will also play a key role in supporting and maintaining relationships with internal and external programming partners, working effectively and collaboratively with University departments, centers and student organizations (among others) to produce and execute a diverse array of programs. They will also work closely with University of Chicago students with regularity. This may involve advising the IOP’s student-led programming series, leading coordination with the IOP’s student-led civic engagement groups and Student Advisory Board or facilitating student sessions for guest speakers.

The Associate Producer will coordinate closely with the IOP’s Director of Production and Special Events to support managing event logistics, developing timelines for planning and day-of-event activities, providing operational support for a series of events, or planning and executing a full spectrum of logistics for Speaker Series and special events, as needed. They may negotiate contracts with vendors and coordinate vendor services to ensure that meeting and event needs are met. Troubleshooting of various issues, including technical issues, and challenges that arise during the course of events may be required. The Associate Producer will also be involved in developing communication plans for events, and will collaborate with others to develop marketing materials, such as brochures, booklets, etc. They will regularly coordinate and approve event graphics for social media outreach and ensure that the appropriate event information gets communicated internally to teammates for inclusion in the IOP’s newsletter or other communications.


  • Researches creative event and speaker ideas.
  • Creates and manages event briefing documents.
  • Develops research packets for moderators when necessary.
  • Coordinates and leads prep calls for moderators and speakers.
  • Books speakers and moderators as needed, and follows up by coordinating their participation in events.
  • Manages guest release forms and retention of data in IOP’s database.
  • Assists with management of event calendars (Box outlook and G Cals).
  • Provides onsite production help during events – including typically 2 to 4 evenings a week during peak programming months (about six months/year), and, very occasionally, during some weekend hours.
  • Manages student-led programming series.
  • Leads coordination with Civic Engagement groups to ensure their voices are integrated in programming.
  • Leads Speakers Series’ coordination with Student Advisory Board.
  • Facilitates student sessions with speakers (registration process, selection, and oversight).
  • Supervises one Speaker Series intern.
  • Develops majority of event publicity language and manages Speaker Series submissions for the IOP newsletter.
  • Coordinates and approves event graphics (Instagram posts, EB images, etc.) and ensures that information gets to newsletter/communications team.
  • Executes day-to-day event logistics, and other moderately complex assignments with some guidance from others.
  • Works to implement ideas for improvement as they are identified in addition to providing post-event feedback on turnout and vendor performance with direction from others.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications 


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

Preferred Qualifications


  • Background in an editorial and/or programming environment, including journalism, broadcast programming, and/or live event production.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Proficiency with computers including Microsoft Office Suite and Google docs.

Preferred Competencies

  • In-depth knowledge of, and passion for, politics, public policy and current events (local, national and international).
  • Superb research skills and demonstrated resourcefulness.
  • Conceptualize timely opportunities for speakers and topics and develop them into compelling events.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Effective verbal and written communications skills.
  • Excellent time management skills, with the ability to prioritize and multi-task on deadline in a fast-paced environment.
  • Interest/experience in working with young people.
  • Willing to approach contentious issues from all possible sides, with an eye towards fairness and accuracy.
  • Strong background in guest/talent bookings.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and superb eye for detail.
  • Outstanding commitment to diversity.
  • Solve problems and make decisions effectively.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively in a team environment with a wide range of constituencies including high-profile guests, senior leaders, Board members, colleagues, students and volunteers.
  • Set priorities and meet deadlines.

Working Conditions

  • Approximately two business-related trips each year.
  • Typically work 2 to 4 evenings a week during peak programming months (about six months/year).
  • Ocassionally work some weekend hours.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)
  • References Contact Information(3)(required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

 Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

 We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

 All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.


IOP: Speaker Series

About the Department

Created in 2013 by University of Chicago alumnus David Axelrod (AB'76), the mission of the Institute of Politics (IOP) is to ignite in University of Chicago students a passion for politics…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Education
    2-Year Degree Required


Temporarily Remote
Work must be performed in or near Chicago, IL
Associated Location
5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

How to Apply

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