Administrative and Communications Assistant, MESA

Administrative and Communications Assistant, MESA

The Middle East Studies Association is seeking a full-time Washington-DC-based assistant to the executive director of the Middle East Studies Association, which is headquartered at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. The administrative and communications assistant will communicate with advertisers and sponsors, update MESA’s online resources, liaise with MESA’s social media intern, coordinate some of MESA’s awards, handle meeting logistics for the officers of the association, staff some of MESA’s committees, and oversee other aspects of the association’s administration and in particular its annual meeting (conference) as required. This position reports primarily to the Executive Director, though the candidate may also support other MESA staff as needed. This professional full-time position offers competitive compensation with benefits.


The ideal candidate would be resourceful and collaborative, with proven administrative and communications skills, and familiarity with the academic field of Middle East studies. Regional languages such as Arabic, French, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish are desired though not required.


MESA is a non-profit association that fosters the study of the Middle East and North Africa, promotes high standards of scholarship and teaching, and encourages public understanding of the region and its peoples through programs, publications and services that enhance education, further intellectual exchange, recognize professional distinction, and defend academic freedom in accordance with its status as a 501(c)(3) scientific, educational, literary, and charitable organization.


Administrative and Communications Assistant Anticipated Duties


  • Assists in preparing and issuing correspondence on behalf of the officers of the association (executive director and presidents).
  • Assists with booking travel and other logistics for the executive director, as well as for the staff and the members of the board of directors for the annual board meeting
  • Assists in preparation of agenda and packet for board meetings
  • Receives submissions for dissertation and service awards, and coordinates with dissertation and service awards committees. May staff other committees depending on need and interest
  • Assists executive director in issuing letters and materials to the Nominating Committee and generally assists executive director and other staff in coordinating elections
  • Coordinates advertising and sponsorship for the website, for the annual meeting, and assists with advertising in MESA’s Issues in Middle East Studies newsletter
  • Issues and tracks invoices for advertising and other related services
  • Updates website as needed and coordinates with the media relations consultant and with the social media intern for MESA’s web presence and communication needs
  • Works with staff members to coordinate for the annual meeting, particularly the Book Exhibit and Cooperative Book Display; may assist with program preparation as needed
  • Coordinates other annual meeting logistics (such as childcare and roommate matching) as needed
  • Works with staff member in charge of membership and meeting registration; may aid in the transition to a new membership database
  • Oversees daily office logistics, including handling the mail and deposit of physical checks
  • Enters payments and tracks supporting paperwork for finances and expenses
  • Assists with reimbursement and tracking for staff travel expenses
  • Other tasks as assigned by the executive director


Administrative and Communications Assistant Requirements


  • Bachelor’s degree in any field required (master’s in Middle East studies or related field preferred)
  • Experience in program administration or operations in an academic environment
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Demonstrated communications skills, both written and spoken
  • Interest in Middle East politics or culture (knowledge of Middle Eastern languages such as Arabic, Armenian, Amazigh/Berber, Dari, Farsi, Kurdish, Hebrew, Turkish, etc. preferred)
  • Experience with basic computing programs using the Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel, and Outlook (Microsoft Access, Adobe Suite, and QuickBooks familiarity preferred.)


The starting salary is anticipated in a range of $45,000-55,000 annually, commensurate with experience. MESA offers a competitive benefits package including a retirement plan and insurance options.


The position is physically based at 1957 E St. NW Suite 401, Washington DC 20052.


Anticipated start date is March 23, with some flexibility.


Application Procedure:


To apply, please send a cover letter, a resume, and the contact information for three references to Review of complete applications will begin on February 24 and continue until the position is filled. MESA is an equal-opportunity employer.


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