Program Director, American Studies Program

Position Available: Program Director

Location: Salzburg, AT or Washington, DC

Salzburg Global Seminar seeks to recruit a half-time Program Director to lead and expand its American Studies Program for maximum impact in a new decade. With a distinguished track record since 1947, the Salzburg Global American Studies Program fosters understanding and debate on shifting global dynamics and the changing roles and responsibilities of the United States in a multi-polar world. This highly-interdisciplinary Program has forged a unique and diverse network of Fellows across all continents who collaborate with leading policy, media, business and academic institutions to address critical questions shaping American politics, economics, law, culture and society. This exciting international opportunity will suit ambitious and entrepreneurial professionals who seek to leverage their experience and expertise to expand their reach and our program impact on issues related to America in today’s world.     

Salzburg Global Seminar: the institution and its work

Salzburg Global Seminar is an independent non-profit organization who works to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. Our multi-year programs aim to bridge divides, expand collaboration and transform systems.

Salzburg Global launched in 1947 as a program in American civilization and from 1992-2004 managed one of the leading American studies centers and libraries in Europe.  Today, the American studies program connects scholars at the forefront of teaching and research in this highly interdisciplinary field, and hosts seminars that examine America’s role in shaping world culture, political economy and innovation. Since its founding, over 37,000 fellows from 175 countries have attended Salzburg seminars.

Salzburg Global thrives by empowering a diverse range of people and institutions to develop ideas that make a difference.  The program director we seek must be able to develop initiatives that address a legacy of American ideals, innovations and global influence with current questions and challenges across the world.  They must be able to

  • Translate history and vision into tangible program goals and measurable outcomes.
  • Frame compelling topics, recruit speakers, and execute programs at the highest level of excellence;
  • Leverage investments from an American studies endowment to build alliances and sustainable funding relationships;
  • Report to donors and steward their support.

If these are your skills, you are a builder who wants to shape a next decade of program innovation at a time of historic meaning and opportunity, and if you have an outstanding track record, entrepreneurial flair, then this position may be right for you. 

Responsibilities include:

Program Design and Implementation:

  • Working closely with the American Studies Advisory Committee, design, develop and implement programs focused on the changing roles and responsibilities of the United States in addressing global challenges.
  • Identify, recruit and work with chairs, speakers and thought leaders from government, business, innovation, civil society, media and academia on program design and impact.
  • Lead and coordinate topical research and stakeholder mapping on issues and risks of global concern and relevant to the field of American studies.

Partnership Development:

  • Develop partnerships with leading institutions around questions and conflicts that influence, and are influenced by, American culture, economic and political leadership in the world;
  • Develop and manage relationships with key substantive and donor partners, in coordination with our development and fundraising teams.

Communications and Networking:

  • Sustain and oversee engagement with American Studies Fellows (alumni) through the Salzburg Global Fellowship, where appropriate through on-the-ground follow-up projects and activities.

The Program Director is a key member of our cross-cutting Program team, which comprises program directors from a range of perspectives and disciplines who work closely together to anticipate trends and opportunities, prioritize topics, and advance innovation and imaginative thought leadership. They are expected to participate in strategic planning meetings for the Program department and, as needed, at an institutional level.

The Program Director has primary responsibility for each of their multi-year programs, including financial oversight. It is essential that they take an active role in cultivating donors and partners around the world to co-create and leverage financial support for the given program(s). The PD must be an effective team player and work with multiple staff related to the planning and implementation of their programs (Program Associates and interns, communications, development, recruitment, admissions and finance). The PD needs to be highly organized and able to work on project incubation, multiple active programs and forward planning simultaneously, including overseas travel if needed.

Desired skills and experience:

  • Strong professional networks related to American Studies (e.g. politics, economics, law, culture and society) and honed strategic partnership-building and donor cultivation skills (foundations, governments, etc.).
  • Proven success in conceptualizing and implementing cutting-edge projects for defined strategic outcomes and impact, including in-depth workshops or convening activities.
  • Master’s degree or above preferred, with at least five years of related experience.
  • Exceptional interpersonal abilities with a sensitivity to working with people and institutions from different cultures and/or with a range of different language competencies.
  • Confident and experienced facilitator, with a track record of creative thinking and ability to clearly communicate and synthesize complex topics.
  • Outstanding listening, writing, and verbal skills in English; German desirable; other languages a strong advantage.
  • Warm personality with ability to work collaboratively in teams to agreed deadlines.


The Program Director will report to the Chief Program Officer. The Program Director will adhere to all company policies, procedures and business ethics codes of Salzburg Global.


Applications will be considered for candidates willing to be located in our offices in Salzburg, Austria or Washington, DC.


The Program Director is a half time position and will receive a base salary, medical and retirement benefits, and annual vacation. Salzburg Global is an equal-opportunity employer.


The start date of this position is late Quarter 1/early in Quarter 2 2020.

Please send a cover letter and a resume to Human Resources with the subject line “Program Director, American Studies Program”.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.