Associate Director, Accessibility and Cultural Understanding - Student Affairs (Fixed-Term for 3 Years)

Job Number

Position Summary

UAE Nationals are encouraged to apply

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) seeks to appoint an Associate Director for Accessibility and Cultural Understanding reporting to the Director of Campus Life Initiatives and Assistant Dean of Students. 

The Associate Director for Accessibility and Cultural Understanding will work on the creation and implementation of primarily one-to-one and also group coaching resources designed to foster the personal, social and intellectual development of students and to cultivate a sense of belonging and connection to NYUAD and the division of Student Affairs. The Associate Director will focus on the needs of NYUAD’s uniquely international student body, but will maintain a focus toward the specific needs of students who are UAE nationals and residents.

The Associate Director’s portfolio will include one-to-one coaching for students, specifically UAE nationals and residents, working also with small groups as needed. The Associate Director will advise the Domestic Students Advisory Board and work actively with the student government and other student interest groups. Coaching will focus on the development of specific skills and competencies such as resiliency, time-management, goal setting, navigating the college classroom, identifying and addressing specific barriers that students who have grown up in the UAE may experience in learning and cultivating healthy relationships that lead to success in college and beyond. This role will also involve liaising with parents and families as needed to support students’ success and integration in university.

The Associate Director will support the accessibility and equity initiatives and conversations around campus and more specifically to the Student Affair division. This staff member will work with various campus stakeholders to help facilitate approved accommodation from the Moses Center and support the Assistant Dean in developing and executing a divisional strategy to support Students of Determination. The Associate Director will also lead developmental opportunities in the division to help build capacity to better support Students of Determination.

The Associate Director will provide guidance on external engagement with educational institutions in the UAE, and also facilitate a better understanding of local context in shaping programming within the division. The Associate Director will also serve as an active contributor for divisional cross-functional teams, and also participate in signature programs, including admissions events, new student orientation, student leadership training and more. This role may require regular evening and/or weekend activities throughout the academic year.



New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) is a central part of NYU’s global network, marked by a uniquely international student population (100+ nationalities); a rigorous, liberal arts and science academic program; and a location at the crossroads of the Arab world. We are a highly diverse community that shapes and examines issues of common humanity through multicultural perspectives; recognizes that the breadth of an education here extends far beyond the classroom and the campus; sees students themselves as educators; and recognizes that true engagement with the breadth of our diversity requires curiosity, humility, and engagement with contrasting views and values.  

The mission of NYUAD’s Division of Student Affairs is to collaborate with students to find individual and collective meaning in their personal, intellectual, professional, and social lives. We cultivate belonging within a uniquely intercultural community; foster lifelong development for a complex world; and catalyze meaningful engagement with the United Arab Emirates.

Student Affairs Leader Profile:

We look for inclusive leaders that nurture collaboration and pursue diversity in people, thought and perspective. They model candor, transparency, vulnerability, and good judgment. They are willing to receive feedback, accept ambiguity, take risks, acknowledge mistakes, and engage in conflict constructively. We want culture setters and strategic thinkers, who actively seek to align processes and programs with our values and institutional context. We seek those who are able to empower, inspire and motivate others to do and to be their best. Cultural humility undergirds our work, so our leaders need to be able to engage in the process of self-reflection and self-critique to both learn about others and to examine their own beliefs and cultural identities. 

Key Responsibilities:

  • The Associate Director will work with the Assistant Dean of Students to develop a collaborative team of support and resources designed to address the specific needs of domestic (UAE national and resident) students, with an emphasis on university adjustment for domestic first-year students. Collaborate with Student Affairs and University colleagues to support the planning and/or execution of programming, events, and activities. Participate in divisional functional teams to support cross-functional Student Affairs work in collaboration with other staff. This includes weekend and evening commitments during the academic year, and includes representing the Division at various events.
  • Support the Assistant Dean to deliver primarily one-to-one and also small group academic coaching for students. In this capacity, the Associate Director will also manage the coordination of the advising dean model and liaise with parents and families of students as needed. The Associate Director will also play a lead role in programming and communication for parent engagement, with a focus on families of UAE nationals and residents.
  • The Associate Director will sit on a variety of divisional functional areas designed to support the needs of UAE national and resident students (including students enrolled in military service). This staff member will also participate in the domestic student advisory board, developing on-boarding resources to support this cohort of students and introducing them to the liberal arts and sciences curriculum and the American university institutional context, and in particular collaborating with colleagues working on class year programming  and the Academic Enrichment Program (AEP) to ensure a system of referrals and resource alignment. In addition, the Associate Director will work to bring relevant cultural influences and practices from within the UAE and MENA region into the fold of culture and practice at NYUAD.
  • The Associate Director will support the accessibility and equity initiatives and conversations around campus and more specifically to the Student Affair division. This staff member will help facilitate approved (housing, academic & study away) accommodation from the Moses Center.  For example, coordinating special housing and academic accommodation for students across the GNU at study away sites (such as library, academic technology, student government, finance, and residential support etc.)

Required Education:

  • Master’s Degree in Higher Education, Student Affairs, Counseling, Social Work, Psychology or related fields

Preferred Education:

  • Doctorate in Higher Education, Student Affairs, Psychology, Counseling, Social Work, or related fields

Required Experience: 

  • Minimum of 3+ years working in higher education or related experience
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, necessary for cultivating relationships and trust with students and colleagues
  • Good judgment, discretion, independence and initiative. A capacity to work collegially and collaboratively in a university environment
  • An ability to prioritize and handle multiple projects on tight deadlines, organized work habits, consistent accuracy, and attentiveness to detail
  • Ability and willingness to work some evening/weekend hours
  • Ability to be flexible and adaptable as changes arise  
  • Excellent presentation, written and oral communication skills in English
  • Collaborative spirit and ability to build partnerships/relationships with many people to achieve their goals

Preferred Experience:  

  • Lived or work experience in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region.
  • Previous experience implementing wellness strategies in higher education or relevant organizational context.
  • Previous experience serving first-generation college students and/or marginalized groups 
  • Demonstrated awareness of and commitment to operating within the sensitivities of a diverse context and culture.
  • Experience with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging frameworks, and how they impact student development. 
  • Previous experience providing one to one coaching/counseling for wellness or success. 
  • Researched and published work related to positive psychology interventions
  • Arabic language skills 

Other Information

NYU Abu Dhabi is a degree-granting research university with a fully integrated liberal arts and science undergraduate program in the Arts, Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Engineering. NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU New York, and NYU Shanghai, form the backbone of NYU’s global network university, an interconnected network of portal campuses and academic centers across six continents that enable seamless international mobility of students and faculty in their pursuit of academic and scholarly activity. This global university represents a transformative shift in higher education, one in which the intellectual and creative endeavors of academia are shaped and examined through an international and multicultural perspective. As a major intellectual hub at the crossroads of the Arab world, NYUAD serves as a center for scholarly thought, advanced research, knowledge creation, and sharing, through its academic, research, and creative activities.