Research Program Manager, Non-Clinical (USC Schaeffer Center) – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

In order for your application to be considered, please attach a cover letter and resume to your employment application.

The Schaeffer Institute for Public Policy and Government Service, launching July 1, has been established by a historic gift from USC Trustee Leonard D. Schaeffer. It will house two existing programs under one umbrella—the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics and the Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows in Government Service.

The Schaeffer Institute is seeking a Research Program Manager, Non-Clinical (Internal Title: Director of External Affairs) to oversee the development and implementation of a strategy for communications, branding, public relations, marketing, events, and fundraising. This position will play a key role in translating and disseminating policy research and analysis produced by the Schaeffer Institute experts to policy makers, media, and private sector leaders. To optimize impact and outreach, the Director of External Affairs will also cultivate and maintain strategic relationships to further dissemination goals as well as engage with policy makers and thought leaders. This is a two year fixed term position with a hybrid work arrangement.

Key duties include but are not limited to the following:

  • Establish external affairs strategy to support the Institute mission and vision, and to promote key elements of the Institute’s research agenda.

  • Demonstrate strategic vision in advancing the Schaeffer Institute; perform short and long-term business planning for external affairs.

  • Oversee the Institute’s communications strategy, including the management of the Director of Communications and other Communications staff; promoting and creating of the Institute brand; and overseeing the Institute’s website.

  • Oversee the Institute’s events, including the management of the Events Manager and assisting in the development and management of the Schaeffer Center Advisory Board including planning and execution of semi-annual board meetings; and

  • Work closely with the director of foundation and corporation relations and the Institute’s director of advancement in order to identify fundraising opportunities.

  • Work collaboratively with Center co-directors to develop short-term and long-term goals for external relations; create metrics to accurately capture the accomplishments of the external affairs team.

Minimum Education:

Bachelor’s Degree

Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

Minimum Experience:

5 years

Minimum Fields of Expertise:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

  • Management experience; problem solving abilities

  • Familiarity with health policy

Preferred Education:

Master’s Degree

Preferred Experience:

7 years

Preferred Expertise:

  • Program management experience within an university setting

  • Experience working with a program budget


The annual base salary range for this position is $136,583 – $163,274. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

Position is 100% FTE

Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

Required Documents

Cover letter Resume/CV

About the USC Schaeffer Institute

The USC Schaeffer Institute for Public Policy and Government Service, launching July 1, has been established by an historic gift from USC Trustee Leonard D. Schaeffer. It will house two existing programs under one umbrella—the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics and the Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows in Government Service.

The Schaeffer Institute will serve as a policy laboratory to develop and test ideas generated by Price School faculty, staff, and students. It will provide a forum to reach federal policymakers in D.C.  And—perhaps most importantly—it will build our capacity to offer government service opportunities to our students.

The Schaeffer Institute will bridge USC research in Los Angeles with federal policy in Washington, DC. Its mission is to:

  • Develop and promote strong public leaders;

  • Support civic engagement;

  • Provide evidence-based policy solutions to the nation’s most pressing political, social, and economic issues; and,

  • Amplify the reach and impact of USC scholarship.

About the USC Schaeffer Center

Since its establishment in 2009, the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics has served as an intellectual hub for health policy and health economics research at USC. A collaboration of the USC Mann School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Sol Price School of Public Policy, the Schaeffer Center’s mission is to measurably improve value in health through evidence-based policy solutions, research excellence, and private and public sector engagement. As the home to about 150 faculty, staff, and fellows—including 3 Nobel Laureates—the Center produces some of the leading academic research in its field. As of June 2023, the Schaeffer Center was ranked #5 out of 2,711 institutions in health economics by IDEAS, the largest bibliographic database dedicated to economics. This places the Schaeffer Center in proximity to the economics departments of Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and University of Chicago. Schaeffer Center experts are also frequent advisors on national policy.

In 2023, Schaeffer-affiliated faculty testified before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; the Senate Finance Committee; and the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health. Center experts are regularly sought out by media outlets—including the New York Times, NPR, Stat, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post—to provide insight on health policy issues.  Schaeffer Center faculty are the recipients of approximately $75 million in NIH funding.

About the Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows in Government Service

The Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellows in Government Service program exposes undergraduate students to government work and its impact through 10-week, full-time, high-level internship placements with elected officials and agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. While not all Schaeffer Fellows pursue a career in government, the program creates the opportunity for participants to become engaged citizens and develop an informed view of government service and operations.

Schaeffer Fellows are selected from five universities – Harvard University; Princeton University; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Southern California; and the University of Virginia. Fellows represent a diversity of backgrounds, political perspectives, and academic disciplines. Common among them is their interest in learning more about public service and the role of government. Since 2015, the program has supported 368 undergraduates in over 190 different government offices and agencies. The program supports up to fifty Fellows each summer, and Schaeffer Fellow alumni remain engaged through program events and as mentors.

About the Sol Price School of Public Policy

Ranked among the foremost schools of public policy in the nation, the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy generates uncommon knowledge for the common good. The School is composed of overlapping disciplines that generate innovative approaches to critical issues ranging from health-care policy to homelessness, and sustainability to congestion – to name a few. A wide-ranging curriculum, including extensive experiential learning, prepares our graduates to navigate problems that demand multi-layered solutions driven by critical, informed thinking.

The Price School, founded in 1929, is anchored by four departments: Public Policy and Management, Health Policy and Management, Wilbur H. Smith III Department of Estate Development; and Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis. The School’s rigorous academic programs provide students with the knowledge and distinctive opportunities to make meaningful contributions to their professions. Integrating classroom instruction with real-world experience and led by some of the world’s most renowned faculty in their fields, our students establish a clear pathway to successful careers.

Our academic programs are augmented by numerous research centers, institutes and initiatives that provide additional research expertise and experiences, notable among them are: The Judith and John Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public; The Center for Philanthropy and Public Policy; The USC Lusk Center for Real Estate; The METRANS Transportation Consortium; The Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics; and The Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. Together, they account for over $100 million in externally funded research grants and contracts.

Our departments and research enterprise provide unmatched breadth and depth to tackle an enormous range of challenges facing our country and the world. Our graduates hold leadership positions across diverse sectors – public, private, and nonprofit – championing the advancement of the common good. They come from around the world and from a variety of cultures and socio-economic backgrounds to create a rich intellectual environment that celebrates, supports and benefits from diverse people and opinions.

About the Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

USC Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is located on the USC Health Sciences Campus, which includes the Keck Hospital of USC, the Norris Cancer Hospital, Doheny Eye Institute, and the flagship LAC+USC Medical Center, along with directing five university- and community-based pharmacies, adding a sixth in South Los Angeles in 2023. Ranked by US News and World Report as the #1 private pharmacy school in the United States, and the #2 overall school according to World Scholarship Forum, the USC Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is recognized for its more than century-long reputation for innovation and leadership in pharmaceutical education, practice, research, and service to the community and to the profession. The school uniquely spans the entire spectrum of pharmaceutical development and clinical care – from drug discovery to regulatory approaches that promote safety and innovation, from delivery of contemporary patient care services to evaluating the impact of care provision on patient outcomes and costs. The school’s dynamic faculty is involved in all levels of pharmacy education: from undergraduate majors to multiple MS and PhD graduate programs, from the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program with dual degree options to a wide variety of advanced clinical residency and fellowship training, and from laboratory to bedside learning experiences. The school has recently received a $50 million endowment from the Alfred E. Mann Foundation to name the school and to support student scholarships, faculty development and recruitment, and integrated biomedical innovation.

USC is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law or USC policy. We provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. Applicants with questions about access or requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should contact USC Human Resources by phone at (213) 821-8100, or by email at Inquiries will be treated as confidential to the extent permitted by law. USC will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring ordinance. 

Minimum Education:
Bachelor’s degree

Additional Education Requirements
Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

Minimum Experience:
5 years

Addtional Experience Requirements
Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum work experience

Minimum Skills:
Related experience with specialized research and/or programs (e.g., counseling, teaching).
Ability to analyze and evaluate data, and present findings.
Excellent interpersonal and written and oral communication skills, able to problem solve and lead conflict resolutions.
Ability to interpret and apply policies/analyses/trends.

Preferred Education:
Master’s degree

Preferred Experience:
7 years related experience with specialized research and/or programs

Preferred Skills:
Related special education, licensing, or certifications based upon program content and services.
Proven managerial skills.
Knowledge of conceptualization and design concepts.
Proven experience with budget development.

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