Director, Academic Programs

Washington D.C.
Oct 26, 2018
Apr 03, 2019
Full Time

The American Enterprise Institute is the nation’s premier think tank, assembling 240 scholars and staff who share a common mission: We believe that expanding liberty, increasing individual opportunity, and strengthening the free enterprise system gives the most people the best life. We pursue our work in economics, education reform, health policy, environment and energy, foreign and defense policy, cultural studies, international trade, and other critical areas in accord with our mission. Although our scholars may write about tax reform or welfare policy or relations with Russia or China, those issues are the “what” of AEI’s work. The “why” of AEI is simple: to build a stronger America and a safer and freer world.

Equally important to AEI’s mission is the belief that a competition of ideas is fundamental to a free society. That belief is embodied in the internal culture of AEI, where scholars are able to disagree and challenge each other’s conclusions. It is also a central principle of the work of our Academic Programs department, at a time when rational, respectful discourse about politics and public policy is too rarely found on college campuses.

Drawing on AEI’s rich history of public policy research and its current scholars, our academic outreach program exists to educate and equip the next generation of leaders and elevate the quality of political discourse in academia. Join us in this mission.

Interested candidates should submit their resume, cover letter, writing sample, and academic transcript(s) to 

About AEI

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is a public policy think tank dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world.  The work of its scholars and staff advances ideas rooted in a belief in democracy, free enterprise, American strength and global leadership, solidarity with those at the periphery of our society, and a pluralistic, entrepreneurial culture.

AEI is committed to making the intellectual, moral, and practical case for expanding freedom, increasing individual opportunity, and strengthening the free enterprise system in America and around the world.  Its work explores ideas that further these goals, and AEI scholars take part in this pursuit with academic freedom.  AEI operates independently of any political party and has no institutional positions.  Its scholars’ conclusions are fueled by rigorous, data-driven research and broad-ranging evidence.


  • Along with AEI’s director of Academic Programs and Values & Capitalism and a team of at least three junior staff, manage, execute, and strategically grow and improve programs focused on disseminating our mission and AEI scholarship to undergraduate student leaders, professors, and administrators through on-campus student groups that host hundreds of events every academic year (student groups at more than 100 campuses across the country form our Executive Council Program), weekend conferences and intensive study opportunities for students (at least four per year), and a month-long summer program that brings approximately 230 students to AEI for intensive public policy education each year (our Summer Honors Program).
  • Build relationships with — and grow — a network of faculty that supports our work.
  • Build relationships with other high-level university partners (administrators, center directors, etc.) to grow AEI’s presence on campus and to recruit the most talented students into our programs.
  • Execute large and highly coordinated events and conferences that involve students, AEI scholars, and other high-level speakers; in general, coordinate AEI scholar participation in student activity.
  • Promote and market AEI’s academic outreach programs in new and creative ways.
  • Keep up with AEI’s research and that of our peers to curate student curricula.
  • Keep up with the national conversation and political trends on campus culture (on issues of free speech and ideological diversity in particular), which may inform our programming.
  • Travel to campuses for most if not all major AEI events that take place there to build relationships with partners.
  • Develop budgets and strategic plans for the program, along with the director of Academic Programs and Values & Capitalism and the managing director of Development and Academic Programs.
  • Oversee the tracking of program metrics and regularly develop new and improved measures to determine program effectiveness.
  • Assist in reporting on grant deliverables.
  • Assist or lead (depending on qualifications) in strategic build-out of AEI’s academic outreach to potentially include graduate student programs and major bilateral campus collaborations. (These build-outs are currently in early-stage planning.)

  • High level of understanding of how to build programs and networks
  • Strong work ethic and ability to multitask, prioritize, and work at a fast pace
  • Strong management skills and ability to work well on a team
  • Willingness to take initiative
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Keen eye for young talent
  • Broad knowledge of public policy and deep understanding of AEI’s mission
  • Familiarity with the higher education landscape, ideally with some preexisting relationships in academia
  • Willingness to travel and work weekends and evenings as necessary for events and programs

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