Chief of Staff

Application deadline: 
Open until filled
Starting date: 
As soon as possible

The primary purpose of the Chief of Staff is to co-ordinate all functions and activities of the SVP&COO and serve as a principal manager of the SVP&COO’s Office.  As the lead member of the SVP&COO’s Office staff, the Chief of Staff handles a wide range of matters of institutional importance and supports the SVP&COO in providing effective leadership of the University. 


The Chief of Staff is also responsible for ensuring that the SVP&COO is fully connected with both internal and external stakeholders and in touch with developments prioritised by the SVP&COO.  Above all, the Chief of Staff ensures the SVP&COO is prioritising the right things, by understanding what is going on inside the University, as well as the external environment in which it is operating


Key relationships

The Chief of Staff is fully accountable to the SVP&COO but will work closely with other members of the senior executive/unit heads in delivering on the SVP&COO’s agenda.  He or she will be networked effectively into the wider leadership and management team of the University. 


Role profile: key responsibilities


  • To oversee, direct and lead on, as appropriate, a broad range of high-level matters initiated by the SVP&COO, including short- and longer-term projects
  • Help to complete priority items for and on behalf of the SVP&COO
  • To provide team leadership for the SVP&COO Office in the provision of personal support for the SVP&COO as well as supporting them to provide directional leadership of the University
  • To work with all members of the Senior Leadership Team, soliciting their ideas and proposals and providing feedback to improve joint work outcomes
  • To liaise with heads of department and administrative units across the university to ensure the successful implementation of strategic and operational initiatives, ensuring that all the necessary relationships are in place
  • To ensure that the SVP&COO is provided with the capacity to deliver on their commitments as well as helping them to monitor results to be delivered by others
  • To ensure smooth and effective communication and interaction between the SVP&COO and other senior staff of the University, as well as key external stakeholders, to ensure issues are anticipated and resolved expeditiously. 


  • To provide management support to the SVP&COO and assure the seamless functioning and management of the SVP&COO’s Office in its interactions with the rest of the University
  • To plan, monitor and manage the resource needs of the SVP&COO’s Office
  • To orchestrate the effective management of the business of various senior management committees and other working groups as required,
  • To ensure information flows to and from theSVP&COO’s Office including for example, preparation of speaking notes, speeches, presentations and correspondence, initiated and/or sourced from both the SVP&COO’s Office and elsewhere in the University.  To amplify and improve the SVP&COO’s internal communications, where appropriate
  • To conduct and commission research for inclusion in speeches, op-eds, presentations and papers for the SVP&COO on relevant priorities 
  • To advise the SVP&COO on issues related to University policy, process and practice.
  • To handle queries, questions, concerns, and requests on behalf of the SVP&COO working to solve problems, mediate disputes, and work proactively with issues and people
  • To work closely with other members of the SVP&COO’s Office team to ensure that the SVP&COO’s calendar reflects their and the University’s priorities.


Person profile: knowledge, qualifications and experience 

Ideal candidates should:

  • Hold a Master’s degree
  • Have worked in an academic setting or a similarly decentralised or distributed organisation where management and leadership is multi-dimensional
  • Have experience of working closely with groups of senior personnel
  • Have a track record of being able to deliver on several fronts simultaneously
  • Have demonstrated experience of being an effective organisational ‘networker’.


Person profile: skills and capabilities

Candidates must:

  • Demonstrate evidence of first-class communication skills
  • Be capable of strategic and analytical thinking.  Above all, they need to be able to think and respond quickly in any given situation
  • Demonstrate collaborative skills to reach consensus with senior executives
  • Demonstrate intellectual pragmatism, having a sense of ‘what works’
  • Have outstanding planning and organisation skills
  • Be a resourceful team leader, working through networks and comfortable with leading from behind
  • Be able to manage and juggle multiple and conflicting demands simultaneously
  • Have the confidence and ability to represent the SVP&COO in relevant fora


Person profile: personal qualities

The appointed candidate will:

  • Bring drive, energy and enthusiasm to the role, demonstrating a ‘do whatever needs to be done’ mentality in the role, working as an effective member of the SVP&COO’s Office
  • Combine an ability to be diplomatic and patient, but ultimately uncompromising about the standards that need to be applied to communications and work generated from the SVP&COO’s Office or in their name 
  • Demonstrate a consensual, collegiate, pragmatic and inclusive approach to his/her relationships with the senior executive team as well as the wider management team of the University
  • Demonstrate an ability to anticipate events and plan effectively, working to project an image of the SVP&COO’s Office as being highly professional and calmly managed
  • Have highly effective and persuasive communication skills, with the ability to build strong networks and relationships with staff
  • Have outstanding presentation and social skills, with an awareness that he/she will be perceived as representing the SVP&COO
  • Have a natural service orientation and not standing on ceremony in getting the work done
  • Be committed to the central mission of the Central European University


Terms and conditions of appointment

The Chief of Staff will be accountable to the SVP&COO.

An attractive remuneration package commensurate with the skills and experience of the successful appointee will be negotiated.

How to apply

Applicants need to submit: 

  • A cover letter  
  • A full resume  
  • A writing sample, preferably business correspondence. 


Please send your complete application package to: including job code in subject line: 2020/033. 

About CEU

Central European University (CEU) is a research-intensive university specializing in the social sciences, humanities, law, public policy and management. It is accredited in the United States, Austria and Hungary. CEU's mission is to promote academic excellence, state-of-the-art research, research-based teaching and learning and civic engagement, in order to contribute to the development of open societies. CEU offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs and enrolls more than 1,400 students from over 100 countries. The teaching staff consists of resident faculty from over 50 countries and prominent visiting scholars from around the world. The language of instruction is English.

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CEU is an equal opportunity employer.

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