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Policy Assistant Job Description

Job Title:         Policy Assistant
Location:        Washington, DC
Reports to:     Associate Vice President for Policy
FLSA Status:   Non-Exempt

SUMMARY: The Policy Assistant provides administrative support to the Associative Vice President for Policy, Director of Policy Research, and the Higher Education Project Coordinator.  The Policy Assistant will be responsible for webinar, workshop and conference logistics, coordinating schedules, organizing travel, managing databases, sending communications, and processing financial invoices related to AAU’s undergraduate and graduate education initiative activities. The Policy Assistant will also contribute to workshops and meetings that emerge in the policy unit.

PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following.  Other duties may be assigned to meet business needs.

  • Schedules in-person and virtual meetings, telephone calls, conference calls, and webinars for the Associate Vice President for Policy and the Director of Policy Research. Creates agendas, participates in meetings and takes notes, and ensures follow-up is completed as needed. Anticipates schedule conflicts, preparation and travel time, and other events which might impact schedule.  Uses AAU’s online reservation system to schedule meetings in AAU’s conference room(s).
  • Administers Associate Vice President for Policy’s and Director of Policy Research’s travel and prepares itineraries, credit card reconciliations, and reimbursement forms.  In collaboration with the Higher Education Project Coordinator arranges travel for AAU research team and external consultants.
  • Prepares check requests for consultant invoices, advisory board reimbursements, and grant-funded activity, in accordance with AAU policies and procedures and grant requirements.
  • Provides workshop and conference logistical coordination for the following initiatives, committees, coalitions and constituent groups:
    • AAU Undergraduate STEM Education and AAU PhD Education Initiatives
      • Coordinates with the Director of Meetings on logistics for AAU undergraduate and graduate education initiative related conferences, workshops and meetings (online registration, venue, room set-up, meals, registration packets, nametags).
      • Works with the Associate Vice President for Policy and Higher Education Project Coordinator on program content, confirmation of speakers, preparation and dissemination of pre-meeting materials.
      • Provides on-site support for the staff and the meeting participants. Assists Director of Meetings on-site with logistics as necessary.
      • Responsible for hosting monthly coalition meetings at AAU (e.g, Coalition for the Reform of Undergraduate STEM Education (CRUSE)), ensuring meeting space is reserved, videoconference lines are set-up, and meeting minutes are taken.
    • Association of Graduate Schools (AGS)
      • Provides administrative support for the Associate Vice President for Policy, the Federal Relations Associate, and the AGS Executive Committee on program content and confirmation of speakers, in addition to providing on-site coordination and support.
      • Coordinates with the Director of Meetings for logistics of the annual AGS conference (online registration, venue, room set-up, meals, registration packets, nametags).
      • Assists AAU Associate of Graduate Schools (AGS) Executive Committee, scheduling conference calls and in-person meetings, maintains current membership list, facilitates communication with AGS members and AGS Executive Committee.
    • AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct
      • Provides scheduling and logistical support for the Director of Policy Research for the duration of the survey period. This includes coordinating travel, monthly webinar support and scheduling meetings with federal agencies, other associations, institutional representatives, and congressional staff.
    • Other Policy Department Initiatives
      • Provides scheduling, logistical, and travel coordination in support of convenings, webinars, and recurring meetings for policy initiatives as they arise.  
      • Creates social media content in support of the department.
  • Drafts, prepares and distributes correspondence, documents, and social media material on behalf of Associate Vice President for Policy and the Directory of Policy Research, including creating initial drafts, proofing, editing, formatting, and working with mass emailing software (Exact Target) and social media platforms (Twitter).
  • Maintains, updates and tracks records in AAU’s database (Association Management System), retrieves and relays information from database.
  • Cooperates and coordinates with other administrative assistants and fills in as necessary.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS/REQUIREMENTS: Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Superior organization and prioritization skills and must be meticulous and detail oriented; must follow through in a timely manner, completing tasks without prompting.
  • Flexibility and ability to manage competing demands; must be able to manage a myriad of on-going tasks in a fast-paced environment and adjust to changes.
  • Resourcefulness and ability to work proactively - thinking ahead. Good logic skills to read through minutes and summarize the conclusions and actions taken.
  • Must maintain a strict code of ethics in working with highly confidential data.
  • Must be able to resolve problems, use analytical judgement, and must be able to process a high volume of accurate, detailed, and quality work product.
  • Creates and supports an environment which fosters teamwork, cooperation, respect and diversity.
  • Must promote and foster communications with staff as well as AAU member university officials and external parties. Must have excellent hearing/listening skills.
  • Intermediate writing and editing skills; varies writing style and voice as needed; must be able to take good notes/minutes.
  • Works with integrity and ethically; must follow AAU's policies and procedures; is consistently at work and on time; ensures work responsibilities are covered when absent.
  • Willingness to take ownership for wide-ranging responsibilities; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; looks for ways to improve and monitors own work to ensure quality.


  • College degree preferred; 1-3 years of administrative support. Experience in non-profit, higher education, and/or in grant logistical support preferred.
  • Experience with meeting/event planning and creating social media content preferred.
  • Must have a working knowledge and display an advanced level of skill in the Microsoft Office suite 2010 or later.
  • Experience working with Office 365, SharePoint, association management systems, mass email systems, and website content management systems is preferred.

TRAVEL. Travel is primarily local during the business day, although some evening, out-of-the-area, and overnight travel may be expected.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY. This position has no supervisory responsibilities. However, the Policy Assistant is expected to coordinate efforts with key personnel in the department and the Association to achieve the position’s purpose.

WORK ENVIRONMENT. This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets and fax machines.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS. The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.

This is largely a sedentary role; however, the employee is required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle or feel; and reach with hands and arms. Some filing is required; this would require the ability to lift files, open filing cabinets and bend or stand as necessary. This job requires the employee to lift at least 20 pounds infrequently.

POSITION TYPE. This is a full-time position. The exemption status of this position is non-exempt. Days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required as job duties demand.

OTHER DUTIES. Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.