Job Opening Description

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Associate Director of Graduate Admission

Since 1930, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (WWS) has offered a distinctive educational approach that strikes a careful balance between theory and practice. Our mission is to prepare students for careers in public service, training them to apply well-honed analytical skills and substantive knowledge to the world’s most important policy issues.


The School offers three graduate degrees: the two-year Master in Public Affairs (MPA), the one-year mid-career Master in Public Policy (MPP), and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Affairs. The WWS also organizes a Junior Summer Institute (JSI) in conjunction with the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) fellowship program. The JSI program aims to reach college students from underrepresented backgrounds who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to public service.

Our graduate students are part of an energetic, intellectually stimulating community which includes alumni who are committed to improving the world through public service, advocacy, evidence-based scholarship, and public/private partnerships. With fewer than 200 graduate students enrolled at any given time, our community is tight-knit and renowned for its strong professional network.

The WWS takes great pride in its commitment to admitting and enrolling a diverse student body along many lines, including socioeconomic, ethnic, cultural, and ideological backgrounds. The School also offers nearly every graduate student full tuition support as well as a generous, need-based stipend to cover living expenses. Most students graduate debt free, giving them the financial freedom to pursue public service careers.

Reporting to the WWS Director of Graduate Admissions, the Associate Director of Graduate Admissions will be involved in all aspects of the recruitment and selection of highly qualified and diverse students for the Master in Public Affairs (MPA) and Master in Public Policy (MPP) programs, and for the Junior Summer Institute (JSI). The Associate Director will participate in the on-going development, planning, implementation, and assessment of recruitment strategies and effective admission and office policies and processes to support best practices.


Responsibilities will include reading, evaluating, and summarizing hundreds of graduate admission applications; serving on WWS admission committees; representing the School to diverse audiences; domestic and international WWS recruitment travel; recruiting students from a wide range of backgrounds; assisting with yield events; assisting with online publication and social media content; and meeting with prospective and admitted students.

The Associate Director will have primary responsibility for the administrative and technical support aspects of the file processing and application review components of our process. Under this purview, they will work to systematize our process, seek to best leverage our technological platforms, and update committee handouts and best practices.

Administrative support functions will include, for example, supporting our file review process, assisting with email and other communication with prospective and admitted students, and supporting the Director in managing our relationships and partnerships like those with United States government agencies.

The WWS has a long – and strong – history of enrolling a diverse community of student-scholars. To that end, we seek a resourceful and strategic leader to build out targeted outreach as well as create stronger ties with non-governmental and political organizations and domestic public service agencies. Any regional or subject-matter expertise should be highlighted in your application.

In conjunction with the Director, the Associate Director will help develop and implement plans to increase the School’s racial and ethnic diversity as well as the representation of international students from a wide-range of countries. They will partner on admissions marketing and communications initiatives, and may oversee student and alumni volunteers. The Associate Director will help establish and sustain important relationships with key partners in professional organizations, workplaces, colleges, and other institutions, and will engage graduate students and alumni in outreach initiatives.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

The ideal candidate will have a degree in a field related to Public and International Affairs or Public Policy, and a minimum of seven years of professional experience in higher education, graduate admissions or public service. Previous experience in highly-selective graduate admissions or graduate higher education administration is preferred.

The candidate should have excellent analytical, organizational, and problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and demonstrated interpersonal and written communication skills. They must be able to establish rapport and relate positively to people with a variety of interests, backgrounds, and points of view by using tact, diplomacy, and discretion. Likewise, the Associate Director must exercise good judgment and integrity while working in collaboration with faculty, students, staff, and alumni in a deadline-driven environment.

Must be comfortable with technology and proficient in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel, and social media tools. Facility with CollegeNET and Access a plus.


Additional Qualifications:

  • Resourceful and self-motivated problem solver who takes initiative and has the ability to work independently and meet deadlines
  • Strong attention to detail with an ability to also see the big picture
  • Shows intellectual curiosity and a commitment to excellence
  • Team player with empathy, respect for others, a collaborative approach, and a sense of humor
  • Adaptable with a calm demeanor and a positive, can-do attitude
  • Passionate about the School’s mission and committed to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Willingness and ability to maintain a positive and visible profile in the School community


Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW.

Apply online.