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Job Summary

The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy invites applications for our Administrative Assistant, Communications and Outreach Department. As a member of the team, this person will provide overall administrative, communications, and event planning support for the department.

About the Ford School

The Ford School is one of the nation’s foremost policy schools, housed at one of the world’s great public universities. We lead research that illuminates public policy challenges and opportunities. We prepare future policy leaders and analysts for dynamic careers in the public and private sectors here in the U.S. and around the world. We work with policymakers to inform and improve local, state, national, and international policies. We foster dialogue and understanding about the most pressing policy challenges and opportunities of today.

The Ford School has earned a reputation for academic rigor and excellence; a strong and growing commitment to diversity; and a collegial, welcoming, and stimulating interdisciplinary community. We are housed in Joan and Sanford Weill Hall, a celebrated facility in the heart of the University of Michigan’s central campus in Ann Arbor. To learn more about the Ford School’s mission and activities—including our academic programs and research —please visit


Serve as front-line reception for students, faculty, vendors, and others visiting the office.

Provide administrative support to director and staff including meeting scheduling, database management, copy editing, updating websites, travel reimbursements, managing calendars and travel, filing, and other related tasks.

Manage financial forms for the communications department, including PCard reconciliations, travel reimbursements, and non-PO vouchers. Coordinate supplies, service needs, and other administrative duties for the office. 

Provide support for communications activities of the office, such as drafting news items, social media posts, uploading and tagging images, reserving promotional space, light analysis and organization of metrics, and doing routine web updates.

Provide support for an active, fast paced series of public events and visitors, including invitations, RSVPs and registrations, room reservations, travel and lodging arrangements, agendas, meeting materials and packets, promotional materials, meals and refreshments, audio/visual solution coordination, expense reimbursements

Maintain inventory of Ford School of Public Policy promotional items. 

This position is expected to conduct professional communications with speakers and visitors; maintain positive relationships with vendors; exercise discretion and judgment in carrying out duties; and act as liaison between the community and the Ford School.

Serve on school-wide committees.  

Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications*

-    An associate’s degree and at least two years of customer service focused administrative support experience or the combination of education and experience that enable the performance of all aspects of this position.
-    Outstanding, demonstrated attention to detail is essential. 
-    Strong computer skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite products and at least general knowledge of Adobe’s Creative Suite.
-    Strong writing and copy-editing skills.
-     Ability to work professionally with the public and serve as a representative of the Ford School. 
-    Ability to manage multiple tasks, ability to work independently, exercise initiative as a critical member of a small team, and function in a dynamic environment.
-    Must have deep dedication to customer service, quality management, and team approach to work and exercise excellent judgment in working with the many internal and external constituents of the Communications and Outreach Office. 

Desired Qualifications*

A bachelor’s degree, preferably in communications or a related discipline
Experience with events planning and management
Communications and marketing background, including some combination of design, social media, and experience working with design and production professionals
Experience supervising student workers
Demonstrated interest and experience in public policy research, analysis, and education
Experience with University of Michigan policies and procedures, including PCard reconciliation

Additional Information

This position reports to the Director and may supervise temporary employees and students.

Schedule - 20 hours/week, with flexibility to work occasional event shifts during standard and non-standard hours.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.