Full job description

Posted: June 26, 2024

Apply on MIT HR site – https://careers.peopleclick.com/careerscp/client_mit/external/search/search.html – Position 24181


Position Overview:


Responsible for the day-to-day personnel, financial, and general operational management of the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC) and the research units that rely on SSRC for administration. Provide counsel and comprehensive support to the Director of SSRC, faculty, students, and other staff members regarding finances, personnel, operations, and other policy matters. Oversee all administrative elements, including human resources, computing, space planning, strategic planning, and annual allocation submission and reconciliation processes. Work closely with staff in Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) to ensure smooth operations. Supervise financial and administrative HQ staff, including mentoring and career development planning.


Principal Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions**):

The candidate for this position will perform the following essential functions:


  • Identify operational challenges and recommend solutions to the Director
  • Advise and assist SSRC faculty, researchers, students and staff in matters relating to accounting, purchasing, personnel, and general administration
  • Act as primary liaison to central MIT departments including: Audit, VPR, VPF, RAS, Schwarzman College of Computing (SCC), and HR; facilitate any requests originating from those departments and ensure compliance with all MIT policies
  • Coordinate and integrate all personnel, financial, and other functions of SSRC
  • Working closely with the Director of Administration and Finance at IDSS to ensure that operations in shared areas are fluid and effective
  • Provide leadership and operational support for SSRC initiatives, including Initiative on Combatting Systemic Racism (ICSR)
  • As a member of the IDSS Leadership team, participate in planning for the future of SSRC, including providing strategic financial, HR, IT and space insights for decision making purposes; may also offer insights that pertain to strategic planning for IDSS as necessary


Human Resources

  • Responsible for carrying out HR operations and resolving personnel issues including: administrative and research staff searches and hire actions; affiliate and visitor appointment processes; support staff hiring and onboarding; visa issuance/liaison with ISCHO and ISO; compensation issues; and promotions. Responsible for all temporary hires through MITEMPS, Hollister, or an outside agency; maintain relationships with agencies to ensure smooth operations
  • Act as primary liaison to HRO, and SCC Dean’s office to ensure compliance with MIT policy, processes, and external requirements (ie: affirmative action regulations, equal pay act, etc.)
  • Manage the annual salary review processes for all SSRC employees. Oversee and advise on the annual performance evaluation process; ensure that term employees are reviewed frequently and that appointments do not expire without consideration; communicate regularly with PIs, employees, and other stakeholders to ensure that plans and expectations are clear
  • Work closely with Senior Financial Officer to understand cash flows that affect ‘soft money’ employees; work closely with SSRC Director and HRO to discuss potential layoffs or layoff extensions; ensure that MIT layoff policies are appropriately followed and that communications regarding any reduction of effort or layoff are clear and archived
  • Manage the Outside Professional Activities and Conflict of Interest reporting processes; draft reports from the Director for submission
  • Advise PIs and faculty on hiring plans, write job descriptions, act as hiring manager for searches, manage disciplinary actions and other termination activity. Process all HR actions in MIT systems; write search reports and ensure that offers are made with SCC Dean’s office approval
  • Support internal promotion cases, including research promotions to PRS/SRS
  • Recommend salary adjustments, promotions, performance issues and terminations in collaboration with Human Resources Offices at MIT, the Director, and SCC
  • Mentor staff and promote career development opportunities
  • Maintain clear and regular internal communications via team and individual meetings, emails, and memos
  • Supervise financial and administrative staff; evaluate and support activities that would expand or contract staff according to demand/budget; approve timesheets for support staff and UROPS



  • Manage 3rd party vendor relationships for website maintenance, video production, and writing projects.
  • Send occasional newsletters to SSRC staff and research groups
  • May make updates on SSRC website and/or delegate to administrative assistant
  • Proactively reach out to research groups to solicit content for website and newsletters


Space & IT Resources

  • In coordination with IDSS DAF, evaluate space utilization and plan for growth/contraction; lead changes to the space (furniture, build outs, etc.) as needed
  • Ensure safety and cleanliness of space by working with support staff and facilities to respond to needs
  • Evaluate need and contract for IT support to ensure ongoing operations
  • Ensure server (Dropbox) access for staff; responsible for ongoing maintenance of required documentation, including paper as required, for responding to audits
  • Manage short and long-range plans for SSRC IT and communications and web sites



  • Responsible for annual budget processes and allocation rate planning process (in coordination with RAS)
  • Accountable for all aspects of both pre and post award administration of all research, discretionary, and GIB funding of SSRC
    • Compliance with sponsor requirements and MIT fiscal policies
    • Payroll process, including the salary certification process and salary distributions
  • Supervise financial staff; report financial outcomes to Director



  • Act as primary liaison to external stakeholders including: sponsors, consortium members, vendors, visitors, etc.
  • Attend weekly IDSS leadership meetings (ILM), acting as liaison to SSRC/IDSS interests and thought partner to the ILM team, including Directors of SSRC and IDSS
  • Interpret MIT administrative and personnel policies for staff and faculty and take a leadership role in the formulation of local policies
  • Prepare regular and ad hoc reports (e.g. President’s Report, OPA reports) and manage special projects as assigned by the Director of SSRC
  • Maintain and update email contact lists for communications


Supervision Received:

DAF is supervised by SSRC Director


Supervision Exercised:

Will directly supervise SSRC administrative and support staff and other stakeholder units as needed


Qualifications & Skills:

Required: Bachelor’s degree; minimum of five years’ administrative experience in a university environment is required. The successful candidate will have outstanding interpersonal skills, demonstrated organizational skills, effective oral and written communication ability and discretion. Must have experience managing people and/or programs or projects, and the ability to build and mentor a strong management team. Experience in the management of complex change and conflicting priorities required. Must be able to handle deadlines and prioritize work and to handle details while maintaining a view of the big picture. Must have strong computer skills, with proficiency in use of Microsoft Office products.


Preferred: Master’s degree in business, administration or related field; experience with KC, SAP, Atlas, and databases; HR experience, especially at MIT, preferred.


Employment is contingent upon proof of work authorization and completion of a satisfactory background check.