Senior Program Coordinator

About the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability

The Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability at Duke University accelerates solutions to critical energy and environmental challenges, advancing a more just, resilient, and sustainable world. The Nicholas Institute conducts and supports actionable research and undertakes sustained engagement with policymakers, businesses, and communities—in addition to delivering transformative educational experiences to empower future leaders. The Nicholas Institute’s work is aligned with the Duke Climate Commitment, which unites the university’s education, research, operations, and external engagement missions to address the climate crisis.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values of the institute. We believe that our creative environment is enhanced when diverse groups of people with diverse ideas collaborate with purpose. Applicants with a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are particularly encouraged to apply.

About the Duke Climate Commitment

The Duke Climate Commitment [] unites the university’s education, research, operations and external engagement missions to address the climate crisis. The commitment builds on Duke’s longstanding leadership in climate, energy and sustainability to educate and deploy a generation of climate- and sustainability-fluent innovators and create just, equitable solutions for all.

The Duke Climate Commitment seeks to imagine, design and implement a sustainable future while demonstrating the role that higher education can play in addressing one of the preeminent global challenges of our time.

About Duke University

Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.

Occupational Summary

The Senior Program Coordinator is responsible for the coordination, implementation, and administration of university-wide programs. The focus of this position is providing coordination support for events, resource development, and network building around climate and external engagement at Duke University. The duties include planning and management of programming, program promotion, developing university partnership, and program assessment. The coordinator will be regularly expected to resolve diverse and advanced problems independently, to manage complex logistics for a variety of stakeholders, and to effectively complete assigned projects.

The Senior Program Coordinator will report to the Area Director at the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability leading the university’s external engagement activity for the Duke Climate Commitment. The Senior Program Coordinator will coordinate regularly with the team members at the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, the Office of Climate & Sustainability, and other units across campus.

This is a one-year term-limited position, with possibility for renewal based on satisfactory performance and grant availability.

Program Development, Management and Communications

  • Assisting the development of new ideas, concepts, materials, and resources to supplement and expand the program reach
  • Develop project management plans for review by the directors and serve as the central person facilitating the administrative and financial aspects of programming
  • Maintain a database of scholars, organizations, and programming to build a network of parties involved in external engagement of climate-related work  
  • Liaise with other programs, offices and departments at Duke to coordinate programming; interface with external organizations as appropriate to ensure cooperative efforts are enhanced and available resources are utilized.

Event Planning

  • Develop, plan, coordinate, and implement the activities including symposia, conferences, exhibitions, seminars, workshops, public events, and other related programs.
  • Collaborate with teams to coordinate logistics including securing event space, caterers, and event support, and overseeing program preparations and day-of-event execution.
  • Organize regular convenings for faculty and staff to build community


  • Collaborate with communications teams to develop external communications about the Institute’s external engagement work on climate  
  • Provide periodic email and correspondence updates to internal constituencies

General Support

  • Assist in supervising, as needed, paid and volunteer student workers and interns
  • Serve on various committees and attend professional meetings as appropriate
  • Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein

Desired Skills & Qualifications

  • Strong organization and time management skills
  • Strong writing and editing skills
  • Excellent attention to detail and follow-through
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple activities simultaneously
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • High level of creativity, initiative, and motivation
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Flexibility to adapt to change and re-prioritize assignments as needed
  • Comfortable working in situations where no previous models exist
  • Skills using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to problems.
  • Skills evaluating program performance, summarizing findings, communicating results, and forming an action plan.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate successfully with diverse constituencies


Work requires analytical, communications, and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor's degree program or equivalent experience.

Preferred Experience

Three years of experience in program administration involving academic, instructional or counseling activities to acquire the skills necessary to plan, coordinate, and implement a variety of program activities and events, or an equivalent combination of relevant education and/or experience.

Minimum Qualifications


Work requires analytical, communications and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor's degree program.


Work requires three years of experience in program administration or OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE involving academic, instructional or counseling activities to acquire skills necessary to plan, coordinate and implement a variety of program activities and events.

Essential Physical Job Functions

Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essential job functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.

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The intent of this job description is to provide a representative and level of the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the total of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position. Employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas-an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.


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