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Job ID: 130231

Special Projects Lead (0566U) 27523 - 1014
University of California, Berkeley

Date Posted Oct. 2, 2019
Title Special Projects Lead (0566U) 27523 - 1014
University University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA, United States
Department N/A
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Other Administrative Categories
  • Fiscal Services
    Administrative Support/Services

Special Projects Lead (0566U) 27523 - 1014

About Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's most iconic teaching and research institutions. Since 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world. Berkeley's culture of openness, freedom and acceptanceacademic and artistic, political and culturalmake it a very special place for students, faculty and staff.

Berkeley is committed to hiring and developing staff who want to work in a high performing culture that supports the outstanding work of our faculty and students. In deciding whether to apply for a staff position at Berkeley, candidates are strongly encouraged to consider the alignment of the Berkeley Workplace Culture with their potential for success at

Departmental Overview

The Office of the Chancellor supports the Chancellor's leadership as Chief Executive Officer by providing administrative, organizational, communications, and strategy development support to advance the Chancellor's vision, core values, and priorities for the University of California, Berkeley.

The Special Projects Lead reports to the Associate Chancellor/Chief of Staff and is responsible for supporting the Chief of Staff/Associate Chancellor and Chancellor in realizing the Chancellor's vision for the institution. The Special Projects Lead is responsible for successfully driving a broad array of projects, strategic and operating efforts, including the Chancellor's interactions with individual students and student groups, staff members and staff organizations, and ensures that the Chancellor's Office is aware of and adequately supporting the development of strategies to address a variety of campus-wide climate and operating issues.

The incumbent convenes the student and staff committees on behalf of the Chancellor and manages special projects representing the Chancellor's Office (e.g., directing initiatives, tracking and coordinating responses to community concerns). The Special Projects Lead provides subject matter expertise and exercises political acumen in sensitive matters such as student life, safety, and climate issues. The role serves as the lead for the Chancellor's Office on specific campus-wide issues and initiatives. Additionally, the incumbent reviews, triages, and develops high-level Chancellor's Office correspondence and communications and conducts an analysis of programs or projects as required. The Special Projects Lead is accountable for the overall management and operations of the Chancellor's front office, including oversight of the executive administrative assistants through the Administrative Officer.


Projects Management and Communications Planning:
  • Serves as an executive advisor to the Associate Chancellor/Chief of Staff (AC/COS), offering project management, strategic guidance and recommendations regarding current university issues, initiatives, and trends. Stays abreast of hot-button issues, assessing their impact and devising possible solutions and coordinating communications as appropriate.
  • Personally advises, staffs, and briefs the Associate Chancellor/Chief of Staff and Chancellor on campus policies, initiatives, and programs, particularly serving as lead on issues related, but not limited to student affairs, equity and inclusion, and high-tension issues. Proposes responses to highly complex scenarios and events that often have no precedent (immigration; free speech; student protests, food insecurity and housing; campus climate; etc.).
  • Reviews, triages, and develops Chancellor's Office correspondence and communications and conduct high level analysis of programs as required.
  • Able to represent and lead on behalf of the Associate Chancellor/Chief of Staff with varying constituencies, including external partners/officials, campus leadership and committees, and students, staff, and faculty groups. This includes representing the Chancellor and Associate Chancellor/Chief of Staff on high-level task forces and long- and short-range strategic planning groups, as well as drafting written communications on behalf of the Chancellor and Associate Chancellor/Chief of Staff.
  • Assesses complex situations, identifies desired improvements, works with clients to address issues and implement solutions in alignment with strategic goals.
  • Provides quantitative and/or qualitative research and analytical support for special projects and initiatives.
  • Prepares executive level presentations, summaries, reports, manuscripts and draft documents.
  • Manages and creates dashboard reports of multiple projects that impacts the Chancellor's & Associate Chancellor's agenda.

Strategic Planning & Organizational Liaison:
  • Serves as liaison to the Office of the Chancellor with campus leaders, committees, and groups, ensuring follow through and accountability for action plans. Tracks and ensures follow-up on complex and/or sensitive issues arising from the Chancellor's listening tours, standing meetings, fireside chats, faculty and senate meetings, etc. Communicates status updates and guidance to the AC/COS.
  • In consultation with Associate Chancellor, works collaboratively across divisions and with the guidance of leadership to address issues and develop solutions to complex issues. Exercises wide judgment in selecting and developing methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining appropriate results and resolution of organizational effectiveness issues.
  • May design, structure, and lead cross-functional teams to address complex, campus-wide, organizational, policy, or political issues. Assesses complex situations, identifies desired improvements, works with colleagues to address issues and implement solutions in alignment with Chancellor's priorities and best interest of the campus community.
  • Strategic project and projects/issues management - Develop approaches for and manage implementation of select work streams related to priorities and initiatives established by the Associate Chancellor and other members of campus leadership.
  • Chancellor's Office representative on various campus-wide strategic projects and initiatives including, but not limited to these current projects: Healthy Campus Network, implementation of SB179, Free Speech Commission, Point/counterpoint speaker series development, Weekly campus climate working team, Undergraduate Student Diversity Effort (lead staff).
  • As needed, prepare talking points and accompany the Chancellor at ASUC meetings, fireside chats, Academic Senate, and other university-based meetings or events.

  • Directs the management of the executive support staff of the Chancellor's front office, ensuring smooth operations and performance management.
  • Coaches, motivates and ensures professional development of Chancellor's Immediate Office administrative support team, which includes indirect supervision of 1 EA4, 2 EA3s, and direct management of the Administrative Officer.
  • Ensures Immediate Office processes and procedures are efficient and aligned with the Chancellor's priorities and the campuses best interests.

Required Qualifications

  • Expert knowledge or ability to learn campus processes, protocols and procedures and external regulatory requirements in policy domain.
  • Intermediate to advanced knowledge of common campus-specific computer applications or ability to learn.
  • Advanced analytical/problem-solving skills.
  • Advanced communication and interpersonal skills to communicate with and influence all levels of staff, both verbally and in writing.
  • Advanced skills and experience in all levels of project management.
  • Ability to multi-task with demanding timeframes.
  • Ability to use discretion and maintain all confidentiality.
  • Strong ability to focus on priorities, strategies, and vision.
  • Strong ability to coach, facilitate and influence people at all levels.
  • Strong ability to build and maintain relationships with a broad range of staff and members of the community.
  • Outstanding communication skills demonstrated by the ability to interact comfortably with a wide range of diverse people, including executives, professional staff, students, faculty, system-wide colleagues, and the public. This includes the ability to communicate clearly and concisely both verbally and in writing, in different styles as appropriate to the audience.
  • Capacity to work in a fast paced high-stakes environment.
  • Strong ability to see projects through completion.
  • Cultural sensitivity: knowledge of campus climate and multicultural issues.
  • Strong political acumen essential in working with various campus stakeholder interests.

Salary & Benefits

Annual salary is commensurate with experience. For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying.

Other Information

On occasion based on business needs it will be required to work some evenings and weekends.

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant see:
For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

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