Project Manager (Project Administrator)

USC Dornsife Public Exchange

Los Angeles, CA, USA Remote Los Angeles based hybrid role


US$78-88k (annually)


Full time

Jan 4

USC Dornsife Public Exchange is an initiative unlike any other at the university. Founded in 2020, the Public Exchange fast-tracks collaborations between academic researchers and the public and private sectors to define, analyze and solve complex problems together. In the past year, Public Exchange has led a range of exciting projects to address challenges in public health, climate change, and sustainability with partners including the City and County of Los Angeles and the United Nations Foundation.

Our team seeks a Project Manager to lead a portfolio of projects with impact in several issues areas. We are seeking a generalist with a strong commitment to social impact, a high degree of intellectual curiosity, and the flexibility and willingness to take on emerging challenges in new issue areas. While this is a generalist position, some experience working on issues related to climate & sustainability or health & wellbeing are a plus. 

The Project Manager will work closely with the Director of Strategy and Operations, research teams, and project stakeholders to deliver high-impact research for partners. This will include defining project strategic directions, scopes, timelines, milestones, deliverables and budgets, and overseeing the day-to-day execution of project plans. The ideal candidate will be a leader who is extremely organized, detail-oriented, a strong communicator, diplomatic, and comfortable coordinating across a large and diverse organizational structure. Public Exchange is a new program and still at an early stage of its growth. An entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to pitch in and work with a small but mighty team to build a program from the ground up is essential, as are intellectual curiosity and a commitment to innovation and social impact. 

Key Areas of Responsibility:

  • Develop project proposals with scopes of work and budgets in consultation with the research team;
  • Develop long- and short-term project plans, including timelines, milestones, and deliverables;
  • Work closely with and support research teams to execute against the project plans;
  • In collaboration with project technical lead, plan for and co-lead all project kick-off, mid-point and final presentation meetings as well as all routine partner and research team meetings;
  • Develop strong relationships with all project partners, USC research team members, and key project stakeholders;
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for project partners, ensuring they have the information needed about progress, and that all deliverables are completed on-time, on-budget, and exceed expectations;
  • Manage project risks working closely with the research team leader, the Director of Strategy and Operations and other stakeholders, as necessary;
  • Ensure the security of project information under Confidential Disclosure Agreements (CDAs/NDAs) and data use agreements, working closely with the project technical lead;
  • Work with the Public Exchange Business and Operations Analyst to manage project finances, ensuring timely transfer of funds to research team members and payment of direct research expenses;
  • Lead project communications in coordination with the USC communications teams and partner communications team, including the development of decks, messaging, press releases, web and social media content, videos and other materials;
  • Continually seek strategic opportunities to build on project work, deliver for partners, and increase project impact, as well as expand work within Public Exchange’s practice areas. 

Desired Qualifications:

  • Master's degree; combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education
  • Project management experience
  • Creative problem-solving and solution-driven track record
  • Recent work experience within a company, non-profit or government agency designing products, policies, or programs with a social impact dimension
  • Experience working on issues of climate & sustainability and health & wellbeing a plus
  • Project leadership experience, including experience managing teams
  • Demonstrated capacity to understand and synthesize complex ideas and concepts
  • Strong analytical and communications skills
  • Familiarity with Google Workspace, Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets and Adobe InDesign required
  • Experience supporting primary research projects is a plus

Salary range: The annual base salary range for this position is $78,000 - $88,000. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

This position is funded on gift accounts.

Required Documents and Additional Information:

  • Resume and cover letter required (may be uploaded as one file). Please do not submit your application without these documents.
  • Job openings are posted for a minimum of (5) five business days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended, so please apply on the same business day if interested.
  • USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff and their family with access to the renowned university medical network; eligibility for retirement plans with employer contributions after six months of employment; tuition benefits for staff and their family; free Professional Development classes; central Los Angeles location with easy access to commuter trains, buses and free tram pick up services; discounts to sporting and other campus events.

Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

The University of Southern California is an Equal Opportunity Employer that Values Diversity.

Minimum Education: Master's degree, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

Minimum Experience: 3 years, Combined education/experience as substitute for minimum experience

Minimum Field of Expertise: Directly related education and project administration experience in specialized field represented by project.

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USC Dornsife Public Exchange

We connect researchers with problem solvers to build a better future