Program Officer, Higher Education Initiatives (2-year)

American Council of Learned Societies

New York, NY

New York, NY
30+ days ago


ACLS Mission and Overview

Formed a century ago, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is a nonprofit federation of 78 scholarly organizations.  As the leading representative of American scholarship in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, ACLS’s core principle is that knowledge is a public good. As such, ACLS strives to promote the circulation of humanistic knowledge throughout society. In addition to stewarding and representing its member organizations, ACLS employs its $170 million endowment and $38 million annual operating budget to support scholarship in the humanities and social sciences and to advocate for their central role in the twenty-first century.

Job Summary

ACLS is seeking a two-year term Program Officer to enhance our efforts to connect, convene, and learn from our member societies, higher education partners, and community of fellows, with a particular focus on issues related to the digital and public humanities. Working with colleagues in the division of US Programs, the program officer will create and carry out projects that support institutional programs in areas in which humanists engage with grand societal challenges – particularly but not exclusively those associated with issues of climate change, social justice, and public health. The program officer will also work with ACLS’s Vice President, James Shulman, to lead ACLS’s current projects related to the creation and dissemination of humanistic knowledge using digital methods and platforms. These projects range from support of digital humanities projects, especially those associated with racial and social justice, publishing initiatives, and college and university reward systems’ utilization of various measures concerning faculty work.

We welcome applications from individuals who bring new backgrounds, perspectives, types of professional and personal experience to our team and a commitment to equity in the academy.   

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

The Program Officer will report to the Senior Director of US Programs, with some project work under the leadership of the Vice President.

Publicly engaged humanities

  • Designing, implementing and administering re-granting programs where funding is being sought for publicly engaged humanities initiatives
  • Support ACLS’s Program Officer for Public Engagement in assessing the impact of, and disseminate the lessons learned from, recent and current public engagement programs (Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program, Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society, and ACLS Leading Edge Fellowships)

Digital humanities

Publishing and open access

  • Work with ACLS’s Vice President to expand and develop ACLS’s initiatives in the creation and dissemination of knowledge using digital tools and methods, including providing leadership on project design and implementation of digital publishing and digital humanities project proposals
  • Research and community engagement to track developments in the access to academic and creative works, especially among contingent faculty and independent scholars who are not consistently affiliated with particular colleges and universities Help to create and manage efforts associated with innovation in digital publishing, including efforts associated with new approaches to supporting and business models associated with longform publishing research and develop systems used to track faculty productivity outside of traditional metrics

Program support

  • Manage the re-granting work associated with supporting existing digital social and racial justice projects
  • Assist in various aspects of the annual fellowship and grant application and selection processes, including, but not limited to recruiting peer reviewers, managing the peer review process, engaging potential applicants, and supporting fellows and grantees of ACLS


  • PhD in humanities or interpretive social sciences
  • Experience with publicly engaged work in the humanities;
  • Experience with the digital humanities and digital dissemination of humanistic scholarship
  • Knowledge of various aspects of digital publishing (e.g. publishing models, faculty research profiles, analytics, citation indices)
  • Experience with outreach and stakeholder engagement
  • Superior written and oral communication skills, with a keen ability to adapt communication style to different audiences
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize long-term projects and short-term assignments in a deadline-driven environment
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and facility both for working collaboratively with a team and for working independently
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Analytical and creative problem-solving capacity
  • Ability to take initiative and respond flexibly to evolving circumstances


ACLS is operating remotely until after Labor Day.

ACLS is committed to addressing systemic inequalities in higher education through its programs, initiatives, and practices. In recognizing the existence of structures and systems that have historically and still hurt the most marginalized people in society, we believe our work in diversity and inclusion should center on these communities. We strongly encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and members of other historically and systemically disadvantaged groups, who are committed to fostering equity in the academy.

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