Assistant Dean, Social Innovation

MIT PKG Center
Cambridge, MA
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply
To apply, go to and search for job number 16835

Position Overview:
Reporting to the Associate Dean/PKG Center Director, the Assistant Dean for Social Innovation is an integral part of the PKG Center team. The Center’s overarching goals are to tap and expand MIT students’ unique skills and interests to prepare them to explore and address complex social and environmental challenges. We educate students to collaborate ethically and effectively with community partners to engage in meaningful public service, today and in their lives beyond MIT.

Social innovation is one of the vehicles by which many MIT students are engaged in service efforts. The Assistant Dean for Social Innovation develops, manages, implements, and evaluates programming that facilitates students’ learning around complex social and environmental challenges, from ethical preparation to community-engaged research to project idea to implementation. The Assistant Dean works collaboratively with PKG Center staff, as well as colleagues from the Office of Experiential Learning (OEL) and other departments across the Institute.

The IDEAS Global Challenge provides an important space at MIT for supporting and recognizing student social innovators and entrepreneurs. IDEAS is the PKG Center’s annual innovation, service, and social entrepreneurship competition for 200+ graduate and undergrad students working on domestic and international projects to meet the needs of underserved populations. Under the direction of the Assistant Dean for Social Innovation, the program will continue to facilitate student networking around social impact projects, promote students’ development of ethical frameworks and practical skills, serve as a bridge between MIT students and outside professionals and alumni using business and innovation for social good, and strengthen the PKG Center’s visibility on campus.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
Social Innovation Programming (35%)
● Oversee program-level strategic planning for the competition as it relates to PKG Center, OVC, and MIT goals and priorities and develop new program experiences that align with PKG Center strategic goals
● Plan, coordinate, implement, and assess PKG Center’s social innovation program(s)
● Manage all logistics associated with program(s), including budget development and tracking, student applications, grant agreements and disbursements, travel requirements, reporting, etc.; coordinate program utilization of PKG Center’s application platform (e.g., SurveyMonkey Apply) and other relevant systems as needed
● Coordinate several large campus events, plus numerous smaller program events, workshops, and activities throughout the year
● Evaluate applications and make collaborative decisions regarding grant awards
● Prepare students for international and national travel and ensure compliance with MIT and PKG Center grant and travel policies
● Maintain records of past winner accomplishments for reporting and communications
● Assess student learning and program satisfaction
● Collaborate with PKG colleagues on campus outreach, advertising, web presence, etc.

Student Advising, Coaching, and Training (30%)
● Provide individualized advising and coaching to 100+ students on proposal writing, project implementation, social innovation, risk management, and ethics
● Coach students and teams throughout the competition process with constructive feedback and regular communications about their projects, opportunities, resources, and next steps
● Support students and teams over the course of their grant with suggestions of additional resources, connections to mentors and partners, project advising, and engaging in reflection process before, during, and after their fieldwork
● Match students to other appropriate advisors, ensuring regular meetings and virtual support during fieldwork
● Develop learning materials and workshop content around social innovation and skills needed for implementing community-engaged projects; Design and run workshops and trainings that prepare students to undertake ethical fieldwork, conduct interviews, synthesize the information they gather, and apply it towards academic, co-curricular, extracurricular, and other personal projects

Collaborations, Partnerships, and Relationship Management (20%)
● Cultivate corporate, alumni, and volunteer engagement and program support
○ Train and direct 30+ volunteers, 40+ judges, and student workers assisting the program
○ Encourage alumni engagement and build a sense of community around the IDEAS program as a hub for social innovators and social entrepreneurs on campus
○ Manage relationship(s) with companies sponsoring the IDEAS program and facilitate their active engagement with students
○ Contribute to stewardship and strategy regarding corporate and individual donor engagement
● Facilitate campus collaborations related to social innovation
○ Collaborate with other departments, programs, and student organizations across campus, identifying opportunities for shared activities and mobilizing actions
○ Support student-led activities around social innovation on campus
○ Represent PKG Center to the MIT Innovation Initiative, attend meetings, and serve on committees related to innovation & entrepreneurship across the university
○ Work with PKG Center Program Coordinator and staff from other departments/programs across MIT to streamline social impact trainings through the “Get Good Stuff Done” workshop series

Programs Coordinator Supervision (10%)
● Supervise the PKG Program Coordinator, overseeing work on campus outreach, student advising, training and program support

Other (5%)
● Collaborate with PKG, OEL/OVC, and MIT staff on programs and events (e.g., Orientation, Graduation, etc.) and provide appropriate resources, guidance, and referral, as needed
● Collect data, assess, and report on student and community outcomes
● Contribute to the development of annual program budget(s); track program spending
● Support PKG fundraising efforts with occasional reports, meetings with donors, student case studies, etc.
● Represent the PKG Center in relevant campus committees and cross-functional teams
● Supervise student staff
● Other duties as assigned/needed

Supervision Received: Reports to Associate Dean/Director

Supervision Exercised:
● Supervisor of the PKG Program Coordinator, overseeing work on campus outreach, student advising, training, and program support.
● Supervisor of up to five student workers (Graduate Assistants and undergraduates), including hiring and regular oversight.

Required Qualifications & Skills:
● Master’s degree in higher education management, international development, social work, public policy, social entrepreneurship, or a related field, or equivalent experience.
● Minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in higher education, social innovation, international development and global affairs, program development, experiential learning, or related area. Experience with entrepreneurship, fundraising, project management, communications technologies, technology transfer, field experience in emerging markets, and other relevant areas preferred.
● Collaborative skills and leadership competencies, as well as a capacity for operational management and strategic planning.
● Excellent communication (oral and written) and interpersonal skills.
● Outstanding organizational and project management skills with a strong teamwork orientation. Ability to prioritize multiple tasks.
● Ability to work under minimal supervision and to exercise individual initiative to meet and anticipate emerging issues and requirements.
● Excellent computer skills including experience with spreadsheets and databases and comfortable learning new software as needed.
● Must be committed to diversity and able to work with a highly diverse student population.
● Ability to meet a flexible work schedule, including some evenings and/or weekends (2-4 times per month) and occasional travel.

Salary range: $65,000-$80,000