Administrative and Research Assistant to the Vice President, Foreign Policy (Job ID: 2022-2979)

Posted Date 2 months ago(7/14/2022 9:53 AM)
Foreign Policy
Job Function
Research Project Management
Job ID
Commensurate with experience


Join one of the most influential, most quoted and most trusted think tanks!

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.


We bring together leading experts in government and academia from all over the world, rooted in open-minded inquiry and representing diverse points of view, who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis. Research topics cover a full range of public policy issues in economics, foreign policy, development, governance and metropolitan policy.


With fair and transparent business practices, clear communication, mutual respect, and a collaborative atmosphere that offers both professional and personal development opportunities, Brookings offers an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values the efforts of all contributors.


Foreign Policy at Brookings


Foreign Policy at Brookings is a leading center of policy-relevant scholarship exploring the rapidly re-ordering geopolitics of the major powers, and the disordering relations among states and transnational actors. In line with Brookings’s core values of quality, independence, and impact, our scholars provide concrete policy recommendations for how U.S. strategy, the international security architecture, and leading states should adapt to changing threats and opportunities.


Position Location:This position is hybrid. Hybrid positions combine regular in-person presence at our Washington, DC, office with the option of at least two days of remote work each week.


Vaccine Policy: Brookings requires all staff and visitors to submit proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 to be in Brookings buildings.  


Individuals that (i) have a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination, or (ii) who object to being vaccinated based on a sincerely held religious belief, may request a reasonable accommodation. Brookings policies on masks and other pandemic mitigation measures will continue to be informed by DC and CDC guidelines.


Ready to contribute to Brookings success?


The Administrative and Research Assistant proactively manages scheduling and meeting preparation for the Vice President and Director of the Foreign Policy program, including all internal and external scheduling, activities, travel, commitments, and deadlines. The Administrative and Research Assistant works efficiently with internal and external stakeholders to schedule meetings for the Vice President, updates the Vice President’s calendar, arranges meeting logistics, and develops background and briefing materials. The Administrative and Research Assistant also provides directed, professional research support on foreign policy issues with a focus on U.S.-Iran relations and the Middle East.


Scheduling, Calendar, Travel, and Administrative Support   (60%)

  • Serves as an ambassador for the Vice President (VP FP), the Foreign Policy program, and Brookings in interactions with Brookings donors and staff, government officials, journalists, and other interlocutors.
  • Handles and coordinates confidential information with complete discretion.
  • Evaluates and discusses requests for meetings and engagement with the VP FP, and ensures the VP FP’s calendar is up to date at all times.
  • Ensures that the VP FP is informed and prepared for all meetings and events, including timing and location, participants, talking points, and briefing materials as necessary.
  • Coordinates with FP’s Senior Admin team to maintain awareness of and to help discern priorities for the VP FP’s daily agenda, and matches the VP FP’s schedule to priorities.
  • Communicates frequently with internal stakeholders to protect both the VP FP’s and the program’s priorities, as appropriate.
  • Schedules and coordinates internal and off-site FP meetings as requested by the VP FP, including recurring staff meetings and other periodic events.
  • Arranges the VP FP’s travel schedule as necessary, including logistics, activities, and expense tracking.
  • As requested, manages email and phone calls on behalf of the VP FP, greets and receives visitors and staff, and serves as liaison for the VP’s office to FP and other parts of Brookings.
  • Works with FP Admin staff to ensure that the VP FP’s information technology (IT) needs are met on a consistent basis.
  • Manages the VP FP’s office; works with FP Admin staff to ensure supplies and equipment are in place and functional.


Research Support   (40%)

  • Supports the VP FP, and other FP scholars as requested, in policy research on specific topics and projects including U.S.-Iran relations, the broader Middle East, and general foreign policy issues.
  • Monitors and summarizes current developments relating to research areas. Reads sources for relevance to research themes.  
  • May draft summary reports, briefing memos, bibliographies, and chronologies;synthesizes research and assists as requested with drafting, editing, and/or proofreadingremarks, blog posts, articles, and presentations.
  • Works with Communications staff to update scholar pages on the Brookings website, post content and event information to the website, and promote content on social media. 
  • Coordinates with scholars and staff to ensure publications are distributed to relevant and interested parties in a timely and efficient manner. 
  • As requested, assists scholars and staff in planning and implementing conferences (including major events in Washington, D.C., and abroad), roundtables, briefings, meetings, associated travel, and other events. Drafts event invitations and summaries with supervision and editing.


Ready to make an impact? In this role, you will support Brookings values of collegiality, respect, inclusion, diversity and community, and bring the following qualifications:


Education/Experience Requirements:


A bachelor’s degree is required. A minimum two years of relevant professional experience is required, including scheduling assistance to executive-level staff. A successful candidate will have experience that demonstrates strong organizational skills and an ability to perform and prioritize multiple tasks seamlessly and with exceptional attention to detail. Must have experience demonstrating the highest level of support and response. Experience using Microsoft Office suite is required. Familiarity with international affairs and public policy, with a focus on the Middle East, is preferred. Must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S.


Knowledge/Skills Requirements:


Organizational skills: Superior attention to detail, communication skills, and ability to manage large amounts of information in a fast-paced environment are imperative. Must be able to manage a senior-level executive’s calendar, daily activities, and travel. Proven ability to independently understand and implement an executive’s priorities is required. Must be able to complete tasks in a timely manner. Must be able to manage multiple projects simultaneously, including both research and non-research tasks.

Interpersonal skills: A high level of interpersonal skill is required to handle confidential situations and high-level contacts.  Poise, tact, flexibility, and diplomacy are required to deal with fluid scheduling demands and high-pressure situations. Professional demeanor and work ethic, and ability to maintain a positive attitude, are required. Must be detail- and service-oriented, flexible, discreet, trustworthy, and dependable. 

Communication skills: Outstanding written and oral communication skills are required. Must be able to identify, contact, and interact professionally and productively with all levels of internal and external stakeholders. Must be able to accurately carry out and convey instructions, concepts, and summaries, occasionally including negative decisions. Must be able to copy-edit professional communications and research products.


Technical skills: Must be able to effectively use the Internet and should possess proficiency in Microsoft Office, particularly scheduling and collaboration platforms. Familiarity with Concur and/or Workday are preferred.


Substantive knowledge: Interest in and knowledge of Iran, the Middle East, and general foreign policy issues is required. Must be familiar with the principles, practices, systems, and tools required for professional, directed policy research and copyediting, fact-checking, and drafting.


Additional Information:


What can we offer you? Brookings provides a generous benefit package that is comprehensive and includes both traditional benefits and unique offerings.


Brookings requires that all applicants submit a cover letter and resume. Please attach your cover letter and resume as one document when you apply. Please note: if you have applied to more than one Brookings job opening you should add a position-specific cover letter as a separate attachment.


Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings.


Brookings welcomes and celebrates diversity in all its forms.  We welcome applications that reflect a variety of backgrounds based on ideology, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, first generation college goers, and other factors protected by law. Brookings is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace.


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