Meetings Assistant, MESA

Meetings Assistant, MESA

The Middle East Studies Association is seeking a full-time Washington-DC-based employee reporting to the executive director of the Middle East Studies Association, which is headquartered at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

The Meetings Assistant will primarily assist in coordinating the association’s Annual Meeting, an academic conference with 1,500-2,000 attendees over the span of one week, each fall, which requires extensive planning and coordination throughout the year.

This position reports primarily to the Executive Director, though the candidate also supports other MESA staff as needed, such as communicating with both members and external partners, updating MESA’s online resources, and assisting with other aspects of the association’s administration as directed. This professional full-time position offers competitive compensation with benefits.

The ideal candidate should be resourceful and collaborative within a small team, with proven organizational 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 preferred, 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.


Meetings Assistant Anticipated Duties

  • With the Executive Director, coordinates the work of the Program Committee, working with the Executive Director and program chair on committee composition, helping to guide the committee program review process, and coordinating the logistics of the spring program committee meeting.
  • With other staff, monitors meeting submission database and assists members with submission issues during the open call for papers (January-February each year).
  • With other staff, schedules meeting program and tracks sessions and presenters, regularly updating program details online and in the printed versions of the program.
  • Solicits and schedules all events of MESA’s affiliated associations and other affiliated entities held in conjunction with MESA’s Annual Meeting.
  • Assists other MESA staff with the creation of both the preliminary and final meeting programs. Ensures timely production and delivery to the Annual Meeting location.
  • With other staff, receives and manages print advertising for the Annual Meeting program as well as digital ads for the mobile app or online platform (depending on meeting format, in person or virtual).
  • With other staff, manages the Annual Meeting mobile application and updates details throughout the meeting.
  • Works with other MESA staff to coordinate the Film Festival, such as preparing the Film Fest guide as part of the meeting program book.
  • Assists with the Book Exhibit at the Annual Meeting, with approximately 60-80 vendors each year assigned as exhibitors to 80-100 booths in the exhibit hall.
  • Assists with preparing, printing, and posting Annual Meeting signage on site.
  • Works with Executive Director, other MESA staff, and external conference planning company to plan for MESA’s Annual Meetings, including site visits when necessary.
  • At the meeting onsite, works with other MESA staff and representatives of the conference planning company to ensure successful meeting operations:
    • Staffs special events such as the Annual Meeting dance party, presidential reception, and other plenaries.
    • Assists other MESA staff members with processing Annual Meeting registrations and running onsite registration.
    • Onsite and after, assists with bookkeeping through receipt keeping and report creation.
    • Assists with administering other Annual Meeting logistics (such as letters of participation, travel awards, childcare grants, and roommate matching), as needed.
  • Assists with routine office logistics as needed.
  • May assist with tracking payments and supporting paperwork for finances and expenses, such as for advertising, exhibiting, and sponsorships.
  • May assist with reimbursement and tracking of travel expenses.
  • Other tasks as assigned.


Programs Associate Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in any field required
  • Aptitude for working within a small, professional team
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to solve novel problems independently
  • Demonstrated communications skills, both written and spoken
  • Good judgment in prioritizing competing tasks on deadline
  • Expertise with email and basic computing programs using the Google and Microsoft Office Suites of applications (Word Documents, spreadsheets, etc.).

Preferred considerations

  • Experience in events, event management, meeting hotels, or convention centers
  • 2-4 years professional work experience in an office setting
  • Basic knowledge of Web Content Management Systems (CMS), Association Management Software (AMS), Canva, Adobe Suite, and QuickBooks
  • Interest in Middle East politics or culture (knowledge of Middle Eastern languages such as Arabic, Armenian, Amazigh/Berber, Kurdish, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, etc.) preferred but not required.


Position details:

The starting salary is anticipated in a range of $45,000-50,000 annually, commensurate with experience. MESA offers a competitive benefits package including retirement contributions and insurance coverage.

The position is based in MESA’s DC office 1957 E St. NW Suite 401, Washington DC 20052 (George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs).

MESA is currently a hybrid workplace, with employees working physically in person in the office at least one day per week.

Applicant must be based in the Washington DC metropolitan area at the time of hiring.


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 is ongoing and will continue until the position is filled.

MESA is an equal-opportunity employer.


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