Project Associate, Institute for Engagement & Negotiation

Charlottesville, VA

Job Title: Project Associate/Senior Project Associate

Organization: Institute for Engagement and Negotiation, University of Virginia

Location: Charlottesville, VA

Organization Overview: The IEN is a nationally recognized leader in fostering collaborative change across a broad range of issues through multi-agency and multi-stakeholder processes as well as through community outreach and engagement. Through its more than 40-year history, IEN has deep experience in developing and facilitating environmental and other collaboratives, as well as conducting research into the nature of collaboration. IEN offers exceptional knowledge, skills, and experience with the foundational elements of what makes collaboration successful in a variety of settings. IEN’s mission – “Catalyze and facilitate the shared creation of equitable solutions for organizations, communities, and leaders through research, collaboration, and training” – reflects the continuous commitment to helping others address policy, planning, and place-based issues and challenges. They are dedicated to supporting collaborative, transparent, informed, and equitable decision-making processes.

Position Overview: The Institute for Engagement & Negotiation (IEN) at the University of Virginia seeks a Project Associate or Senior Project Associate who will bring lived experience with communities that IEN engages and serves, and who brings experience in creating spaces where issues of systemic racism, equity, and historical disparities inform the nature of the engagement and desired outcomes. This position will join the IEN team and provide project leadership and facilitation while working with collaborative project teams.

Given the distinct and unique nature of IEN’s work, it is important for potential candidates to understand the breadth, intensity, and demands of our work in complex, public policy multi-stakeholder collaborative problem solving. The successful candidate must enjoy working across a broad range of interests, reflecting the need to be able to work across issues of health, climate resilience, community resilience, environmental and racial and social equity, land use, sustainability, food systems, natural resources, and more. The Associate also must enjoy working closely in a fast-paced environment, often with client-driven deadlines, with people from all sectors and walks of life – corporate, small business, government, nonprofit, academic, and grassroots organizations. The Associate must excel at both oral and written skills, highly proactive collaborative planning and coordination, and the ability to manage multiple complex projects at one time. Whether the project involves conflict assessment, collaborative problem-solving, consensus building, stakeholder engagement, facilitation, mediation, evaluation, training, or human subject research, the Associate must have a high comfort level with uncertainty and adaptive project management, as well as comfort and skills in managing and navigating situations that involve different levels and intensities of conflict. Finally, to be successful, the Associate must be able to grasp and assess new concepts and issues quickly, while also bringing authentic cultural humility and curiosity to the situation.

Responsibilities: The Associate may serve as the organizational point of contact for the client and stakeholders on each project being supported with the possible following duties:

  • Coordinate and manage meeting logistics, including stakeholder communications, while ensuring that communications with stakeholders are inclusive and responsive.
  • Manage the project budget in consultation with the senior project lead.
  • Serve as meeting recorder and/or tech support.
  • Develop meeting summaries, ensuring that different perspectives are fully represented.
  • Develop agendas for meetings, ensuring that equitable participation is enabled and reflected through the agenda.
  • Maintain and organize project files.
  • Document project outcomes.
  • Maintain project websites.
  • Conduct research and assessment.
  • Work with student interns to guide, mentor, and supervise their work.
  • Facilitate small group work or co-facilitate large group work, with a particular view toward equitable engagement.
  • Prepare conference presentations and posters on the project outcomes.
  • In addition to these core responsibilities, other duties may be assigned.

The Senior Associate will work closely with all parties to ensure that the project is implemented within the designated budget and timeline. The successful candidate will have experience and success in developing high quality, nuanced proposals with complex process design that effectively addresses client concerns and objectives, as well as experience in effectively managing and supervising all members of the project team. The Senior Associate will also be responsible for quality assurance in each of their projects. Below is a more specific set of responsibilities envisioned for the Senior Associate:

  • Managing all aspects of IEN projects (below) with a view toward implementing IEN’s six principles of equitable negotiation – i.e., ensuring that that IEN’s processes, facilitation, work with stakeholders, and communications are trauma-informed, inclusive, responsive, truth-seeking, deliberative, and adaptive;
  • Manage all client and stakeholder communications.
  • Manage meeting logistics.
  • Manage project budget.
  • Develop and/or review and edit meeting summaries and meeting agendas.
  • Responsible for timely and accurate project file management.
  • Ensuring appropriate representation of project outcomes in all written reports, presentations, websites, and public materials.
  • Develop research protocols, including submission of research proposals to UVA’s Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and adherence to IRB protocols.
  • Providing oversight and mentoring of other IEN staff and student interns.
  • Be interested in learning and/or able to donduct different types of training such as equitable facilitation/ collaboration/ negotiation/ community engagement, environmental justice, conflict management, leadership, advancing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • In addition to these core responsibilities, other duties may be assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree and two years of related work experience. Equivalent education and experience will be considered in lieu of a degree.
  • Lived experience with communities with IEN engages and serves.
  • Superlative people and professional-level communication skills, both written and verbal, and demonstrated experience of working with individuals from a variety of background.
  • Demonstrated excellence with problem solving
  • Ability to manage project finances, including budget management, and proposal writing
  • Strength and experience in working on collaborative decision teams
  • Knowledge of and/or passion for the work of the IEN, and a desire to be a fully contributing member of the IEN high-performance team
  • Willingness to pursue continuous learning in areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Commitment and ability to support the mission of the Institute for Engagement & Negotiation
  • High proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and One365/ SharePoint/ Teams

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree and/or lived experience with communities that IEN engages and serves
  • Experience in facilitating spaces where issues of systemic racism, equity, and historical disparities inform stakeholder engagement and desired outcomes
  • Experience in two or more the following: stakeholder engagement, conflict management, mediation, negotiation, facilitation
  • Substantive experience in two or more of the following: health, climate resilience, community resilience, environmental and social justice, environmental and racial and social equity, land use, sustainability, food systems, natural resources
  • Ability to work with and oversee undergraduate and graduate student research associates
  • Knowledge of public outreach and stakeholder best practices and ethics
  • Knowledge of current issues relating to Virginia’s built and natural environment
  • Familiarity with local, state, and federal environmental policy, regulations, programs, and institutions
  • Multilingual skills (esp. Spanish)

Physical Demands: This is primarily a sedentary job involving extensive use of desktop computers and video conferencing. The job does occasionally require traveling some distance to attend meetings and programs, with some overnights.

Hours and Work environment: The candidate may work virtually but will be expected to attend in-person staff meetings and all trainings, workshops, or other in-person events. The candidate may also spend one or more nights away from home on occasion for project and/or conference events. The position offers the potential for growth, and IEN encourages and supports educational training for continued skill development. This position is 40 hours, with full leave and university benefits, and with the potential for future growth at IEN.

Candidates must have ability/ willingness to drive or travel to events to meet with clients and stakeholders. If possible, candidates will possess Valid drivers’ license in good standing or have the ability to acquire a valid Virginia driver’s license within the first 90 days of employment.

Anticipated hiring range: $58,000-$70,000 commensurate with experience.  Both roles are restricted positions and continuation is dependent on funding and satisfactory performance.

To Apply: Complete an application online and attach:

  • CV/Resume
  • Cover Letter detailing which role you would like to be considered for, your interest in this position and highlighting knowledge, skills, abilities, and experiences
  • One or more samples of project management and meeting summaries or reports

EXTERNAL APPLICANTS: Please visit UVA job board, and search for “R0035455”

***Please note that you MUST upload ALL documents into the CV/Resume box. ***

For questions about the application process please contact Rhiannon O’Coin, Senior Academic Recruiter,

Please click here to view the full job description and view the online application. Position open until filled.