Manager, Strategic Philanthropy Initiative (SPI) (Fixed-Term for 2 Years)

Job Number

Position Summary

UAE Nationals are encouraged to apply

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) seeks to appoint a Manager, Strategic Philanthropy Initiative (SPI) reporting to the Executive and Research Director, SPI

The Strategic Philanthropy Initiative at NYUAD (SPI) is an educational, research, and community-based platform that will help shape, support, and champion vigorous, collaborative, and strategic practices of philanthropy within the UAE as well as across the GCC and wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Its ambition includes making strategic philanthropy a truly recognized field of academic inquiry, and emphasizing data gathering and applied research while allowing for a healthy dose of fundamental research that can help advance understanding of why people give, how they do so most effectively, and how philanthropic interventions can be most useful to societies. The SPI is being established through a multi-year framework agreement between NYUAD and an external Patron, who will support this initiative throughout its formative years.

The SPI will appoint a Manager to operationally manage the services of the SPI. The role provides administrative support, manages SPI communications (website, newsletter, email inquiries), recruits and supervises SPI student assistants, manages the SPI dashboard, and leads the logistics of SPI hosted and co-hosted events. The Manager will be distinguished by a keen interest in and commitment to philanthropy, flexibility, discretion, good judgment, enthusiasm, systems thinking, and contribution to the success of all aspects of NYU Abu Dhabi and SPI.

Key Responsibilities:


  • Provide comprehensive executive-level support to the Executive and Research Director including, SPI-related calendar and schedule management, monitoring and ensuring follow-up correspondence, and tracking costs, expenses and budgets of the SPI
  • Lead logistics for a series of large-scale events, including booking locations, arranging caterers, ordering materials, tracking responses, etc. This includes high profile events, external facing events, as well as internal focused events
  • Serve as a front-facing member of the SPI team, meeting and greeting external guests, faculty, students, and staff, and fielding general questions
  • In collaboration with SPI colleagues, respond to inquiries and requests from the SPI Patron and his office
  • Support SPI administratively by responding to phone, email, and web inquiries, and preparing materials for meetings and presentations; Provide logistical arrangements for internal and external meetings (in-person, hybrid, and virtual)
  • Identify appropriate vendors for supplies, resources, and services; Negotiate rates and manage services rendered
  • Prepare and track business reimbursements; Enter purchase requisitions into the institution’s electronic procurement system

Stakeholder Relations:

  • Cultivate relationships with both external and internal stakeholders, including future collaborative partners, program participants, and speakers and panelists
  • Nurture constructive relationships with NYUAD faculty and staff in the Vice Chancellor’s Office, DARO, Executive Education, Student Affairs, startAD, and others to develop and implement SPI initiatives and programs in line with the SPI strategic plan and NYUAD’s academic mission

Program Management:

  • Serve as the primary administrator for both the SPI dashboard and Salesforce database; Join regular meetings with other university stakeholders using these systems; Generate regular progress reports from the dashboard for the SPI external donor and DARO
  • Hire, train and supervise/mentor a team of ±4 student assistants who support the research and event management components of the SPI
  • Analyze, recommend, and implement improvements to programming to advance strategic philanthropy and community impact in the region
  • Promote the advancement of inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity in philanthropic practices and institutions


  • Manage SPI website content and updates
  • Manage the design and distribution of the quarterly SPI newsletter
  • Support SPI social media management, as needed: plan monthly content, review ideas and drafts and compile annual analytics reports
  • The Manager will also assist in special projects, as assigned

Required Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent

Required Experience:

  • 2 - 4 years in a comparable position
  • Capacity to work collegially and flexibly in a fast-paced setting involving multiple stakeholders at New York University Abu Dhabi and external advisors and donors
  • Experience with design and development of newsletters/communications
  • Experience using Microsoft Project and Salesforce, or equivalent systems
  • Ability to prioritize and to handle multiple projects on tight deadlines, organized work habits, consistent accuracy, and attentiveness to detail
  • Professional maturity and judgment, including exceptional discretion and a capacity for resourceful initiative in a team context
  • Proven track record in building new partnerships and managing multiple collaborators, particularly within the UAE context
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English

Preferred Experience:

  • Experience in comparable position with a focus on philanthropy or international education
  • Experience working in the UAE 
  • Demonstrated fluency in Arabic

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.