Programs Assistant, MESA

Programs 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 Programs Assistant will communicate with advertisers and sponsors, update MESA’s online resources, administer MESA’s social media, coordinate some of MESA’s awards committees, 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 directed.

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 the flexibility and ability to solve problems both independently and as part of a team as tasks require. Familiarity with Middle East studies or regional languages such as Arabic, French, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish is desirable, 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.

Programs Assistant Anticipated Duties

  • Assists in preparing and issuing correspondence on behalf of the officers and staff of the association (executive director and presidents primarily).
  • 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
  • Assists in scheduling board and committee meetings
  • Coordinates submissions for dissertation and other awards, and coordinates with dissertation and other awards committees.
  • May staff other committees depending on need
  • Assists executive director in issuing letters and materials to the Nominating Committee and generally assists executive director and other staff in coordinating elections
  • Receives advertising and sponsorship requests for the website, for the annual meeting, and tracks advertisements for 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 others involved in social media 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
  • Works with staff members to coordinate submissions for the Film Festival
  • Administers other annual meeting logistics (such as travel awards, childcare grants, and roommate matching), as needed
  • Oversees daily office logistics, including handling the mail and deposit of physical checks as needed
  • Enters payments and tracks supporting paperwork for finances and expenses
  • Assists with reimbursement and tracking of staff travel expenses
  • Other tasks as assigned by the executive director

Programs Assistant Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in any field required
  • Experience in program administration or operations in a nonprofit environment
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to solve novel problems independently
  • Demonstrated communications skills, both written and spoken
  • Aptitude for working with a small, professional team
  • Good judgment in prioritizing competing tasks on deadline
  • Expertise with basic computing programs using the Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel, and Outlook

Preferred considerations

  • 2-4 years professional work experience in an office setting
  • Familiarity with using social media platforms for work purposes
  • Basic knowledge of HTML coding, Adobe Suite, and QuickBooks
  • 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 but not required.

The starting salary is anticipated in a range of $40,000-45,000 annually, commensurate with experience. MESA offers a competitive benefits package including retirement contributions and insurance coverage.

The position is physically based at 1957 E St. NW Suite 401, Washington DC 20052. Remote work is necessary until staff can safely return to the offices. Applicant must be based in the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Anticipated start date is December 1, with some flexibility.

Application Procedure:

To apply, please send a cover letter, a resume, and the contact information for three references in a combined PDF to Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Review of applications will begin on November 6 and continue until the position is filled. MESA is an equal-opportunity employer.


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