Created in 2013 by University of Chicago alumnus David Axelrod (AB'76), the mission of the Institute of Politics (IOP) is to ignite in University of Chicago students a passion for politics, public service and civic engagement and to provide a forum for the debate and discussion of public issues. By bringing practitioners from the public arena to campus, and providing extracurricular opportunities in politics, policy, government and journalism, the non-partisan Institute seeks to open pathways for engagement and leadership to students across campus.
There are four primary programmatic components of the Institute:
The Speaker Series hosts nationally and internationally recognized speakers on a wide variety of issues related to the mission of the IOP, with more than 1,600 speakers coming to campus from across the political spectrum, a testament to the IOP’s non-partisan commitment to elevating public conversation around important contemporary issues.
The Pritzker Fellows Program presents an opportunity for political practitioners, policy makers, journalists, and others engaged in politics to be in residence at the University of Chicago for an academic quarter.
The IOP’s Career Development program sponsors 300 annual robust, paid internships for undergraduate and graduate students, placing them in high-level settings overseas, in Washington, D.C. and at the state and local levels.
The IOP’s Civic Engagement programs help students deepen their understanding of civic literacy, learn the concepts and skills to become democratically engaged, and develop the commitment and efficacy to become lifelong leaders; it does so by offering leadership development programs, experiential opportunities such as workshops and treks, and supporting student-led initiatives.
The Associate Producer plays a vital role in the execution of the Institute of Politics' acclaimed Speakers Series program. Reporting to the Director, Speaker Series, the Associate Producer will participate in creative meetings to brainstorm ideas, select programming content and delegate work assignments, taking primary responsibility for researching topics and speakers, developing novel ways to present selected content, and conceptualizing the format of IOP Speaker Series events. They will write letters of invitation, event briefings and program promotional copy. At times, they may pre-interview guests or lead prep calls for moderators and speakers, developing interview questions where necessary or appropriate. They will also play a key role in supporting and maintaining relationships with internal and external programming partners, working effectively and collaboratively with University departments, centers and student organizations (among others) to produce and execute a diverse array of programs.
The Associate Producer will coordinate closely with the IOP’s Director of Production and Special Events to support managing event logistics, developing timelines for planning and day-of-event activities, providing operational support for a series of events, or planning and executing a full spectrum of logistics (e.g., facility selection, menu planning, transportation arrangements, and audio/visual equipment) for Speaker Series and special events, as needed. They may negotiate contracts with vendors and coordinate vendor services to ensure that meeting and event needs are met. The Associate Producer is expected to be onsite during most events—including past regular business hours and occasionally on some weekends. Limited travel may be required. Troubleshooting of various issues, including technical issues, and challenges that arise during the course of events may be required. The Associate Producer will also gather and analyze feedback, developing and implementing suggestions for improvement as necessary.
The Associate Producer will work closely with University of Chicago students with regularity. This may involve advising the IOP’s student-led programming series, or leading coordination with the IOP’s student-led civic engagement groups and Student Advisory Board. They will also facilitate student sessions for guest speakers and supervise one Speaker Series student intern.
The Associate Producer will also be involved in developing communication plans for events, and will collaborate with others to develop marketing materials, such as brochures, booklets, etc. They will regularly coordinate and approve event graphics for social media outreach and ensure that the appropriate event information gets communicated internally to teammates for inclusion in the IOP’s newsletter or other communications.
Researches creative event & speaker ideas
Creates & manages event briefing documents
Develops research packets for moderators (when necessary)
Coordinates & leads prep calls for moderators & speakers
Books speakers and moderators as needed, and follows up by coordinating their participation in events.
Manages guest release forms and retention of data in IOP’s database
Assists with management of event calendars (Box outlook & G Cals)
Executes day-to-day event logistics, and other moderately complex assignments with some guidance from others.
Provides onsite production help during events – including typically 2 to 4 evenings a week during peak programming months (about six months/year), and, very occasionally, during some weekend hours.
Manages student-led programming series
Leads coordination with Civic Engagement groups to ensure their voices are integrated in programming
Leads Speakers Series’ coordination with Student Advisory Board
Facilitates student sessions with speakers (registration process, selection, and oversight)
Supervises one Speaker Series intern
Develops majority of event publicity language and manages Speaker Series submissions for the IOP newsletter
Coordinates & approves event graphics (Instagram posts, EB images, etc.) and ensure that info gets to newsletter/comms team
Works to implement ideas for improvement as they are identified in addition to providing post-event feedback on turnout and vendor performance with direction from others.
Approximately two business-related trips are required each year
Performs other related work as needed.
Preferred Qualifications Education:
Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.
Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline. Experience in an editorial and/or programming environment, including journalism, broadcast programming, and/or live event production is preferred.
In-depth knowledge of, and passion for, politics, public policy and current events (local, national and international).
Superb research skills and demonstrated resourcefulness
Ability to conceptualize timely opportunities for speakers and topics and to develop them into compelling events
Strong interpersonal skills
Exceptional verbal and written communications skills
Excellent time management skills, with the ability to prioritize and multi-task on deadline in a fast-paced environment.
Interest/experience in working with young people.
Willingness to approach contentious issues from all possible sides, with an eye towards fairness and accuracy.
Strong background in guest/talent bookings.
Strong organizational skills and superb eye for detail.
Strong commitment to diversity.
Ability to solve problems and make decisions effectively.
Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively in a team environment with a wide range of constituencies including high-profile guests, senior leaders, Board members, colleagues, students and volunteers.
Proficiency with computers including Microsoft Office suite and Google docs.
Ability to set priorities and meet deadlines
Knowledge of MS Office Suite
Reference Contact Information
Note: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application.
Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.
The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: http://securityreport.uchicago.edu. Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.