Job Opening: Association for Asian Studies

The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) seeks an individual to work with the AAS executive officers, board of directors and secretariat to develop specific plans for concepts outlined in the AAS strategic plan; seek foundation and other funding support for these initiatives; and develop connections with relevant institutions and individuals (universities, institutes, and scholars) to advance these initiatives.

Responsibilities cover a broad range of planning and hands-on project management tasks, including the following current initiatives and activities.

Seeking Financial Support from Institutions, Funding Agencies and Individuals:

  • Identifying possible foundation and other funders for AAS strategic plan initiatives and ongoing activities;
  • Developing concept papers with AAS board, secretariat, and others that advance AAS goals and address the selected foundation’s funding priorities;
  • Discussing concepts with foundation program officers to determine appropriateness, ascertain formats, deadlines, etc.;
  • Maintaining close contact with funding agencies and submitting follow-up reports for successful grant proposals;
  • Working with AAS Councils or other entities to determine needs of the field and create named funds;
  • Making personal visits or sending letters to top prospects to solicit donations;
  • Organizing annual funding solicitation to AAS members and overseeing Legacy Society;
  • Organizing a President’s Reception at the annual conference for individuals who have been exceptionally supportive and involved in AAS activities

Organizing AAS-in-Asia conferences and related matters:

  • Working with AAS executive officers and secretariat to identify and visit potential hosting institutions for future AAS-in-Asia conferences;
  • Exploring foundation funding and sponsors for the conferences;
  • Working with the AAS secretariat and host institutions in creating conference budgets, websites, call for papers, etc.;
  • Helping organize program committees, as well as finalizing dates, agenda, and attending the program committee meeting;
  • Working closely with host institutions on final plans/preparations/details for conferences (e.g., keynote speaker arrangements, travel subsidies, special additions to the program such as banquets, tours, etc.)

Organizing Elements of Annual Conference:

  • Asia Beyond the Headlines Roundtables: With JAS editor and members of the board, seeking topics for ABH panels, suggestions for presenters to invite, and managing the logistics of their travel, publicity, etc.
  • Keynote Speaker: working with Past Presidents to identify keynote speakers; drafting proposals to seek outside funding; managing travel logistics, publicity in the conference program, etc.

Planning and Coordinating Workshops:

  • Emerging Fields in Asian Studies Summer Workshops, including working with board to identify themes, appropriate conveners and participants, coordinating logistical arrangements, soliciting funding support, overseeing reports and eventual publications from the workshops.
  • Dissertation Workshops, liaison with board, workshop organizers, organizational partners and funding agencies.

Possible Future Initiatives:

Depending on experience and interests, the position may be expected to help develop and implement an “Asia Beat” blog intended to bring scholars’ perspectives on Asian news and events to a non-academic audience; developing a strategic plan for increasing member communications via social media; and helping create a digital “Education Hub” containing links to articles and other pedagogical resources for classroom use.


Candidates are expected to have a graduate degree in Asian Studies, have significant experience in developing and managing complex projects and in writing grants, and be effective in developing and maintaining relationships with funding agencies and institutions. Depending on location, a significant amount of domestic and international travel will be required to attend various board and committee meetings, meet with funding agencies, attend conferences and meetings in Asia, etc.


Ideally candidates should be located in or be willing to relocate to Ann Arbor, MI, however, location may be negotiable depending on circumstances. Maintaining regular communication with the AAS secretariat in Ann Arbor is essential.


This will be a .75 to 1.00 FTE position depending on eventual job description, with competitive salary and extensive benefits.


We hope to interview selected candidates at the AAS annual conference in Seattle in late March and make a hiring decision shortly thereafter. The expectation is for the appointee to be available for training and attending various meetings and conferences over the summer months, and be able to fully assume the position upon the retirement of the current Director of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives in October, 2016. Interested candidates should send a CV and letter of interest detailing their experience and qualifications via email by March 1, 2016 to:
Michael Paschal
Executive Director
Association for Asian Studies