Associate Director for International Scholars

New Jersey, United States
11 May 2020
End of advertisement period
11 Jul 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Department Davis International Center
Category International and Multicultural Programs
Full-Time / Part-Time Full-Time


The Davis International Center at Princeton University seeks applicants for the Associate Director for International Scholars vacancy, which oversees a robust immigration caseload and comprehensive compliance management system and processes.  This is a dynamic role with a broad range of responsibilities in a fast-paced international student and scholar services office.

The successful candidate will have strong references, extensive experience in immigration advising, strong analytical and management skills, and a high comfort level with working autonomously in a high-stakes environment.  We value the ability to effectively communicate with University stakeholders and colleagues, and to engage with students, faculty and staff of diverse backgrounds. Can-do attitudes and a good sense of humor are especially welcome.


Position Summary:

Reporting to the Deputy Director of the Davis International Center, the Associate Director has the following primary responsibilities:

  • 40% - Operations/Advising: Plan and manage the day-to-day operational activities of the international scholar advising services and processing for over 1,200 international scholars at Princeton University. Provide operational management and planning backup to the student advising services.
  • 25% - Supervision: Supervise staff and provide leadership and training on matters related to international scholar and student issues.
  • 20% - Outreach: Serve as the primary contact for University departments and offices for prospective and newly hired international faculty, scholars and staff on Immigration and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) regulations.  Will serve as the primary liaison for outside legal counsel in regard to outsourced casework. Serve as the primary liaison to federal immigration-related agencies (USCIS, ICE, CBP) and the U.S. State Department for international scholar matters. 
  • 15% - Programs: Oversee the planning and implementation of programs related to international students and scholars.

Principal Duties:

  • Manage the advisement of the international scholar population on J-1, H-1B, O-1, TN, F-1 OPT and other non-immigrant visas on obtaining and maintaining non-immigrant status in the U.S.
  • Assist in managing the advisement of the international student population on F-1 and J-1 regulations, including OPT, CPT, and academic training processing.
  • Serve as the University’s subject matter expert on visa and immigration matters.
  • Establish immigration-related protocols and processes for all University-sponsored international scholar and staff transactions.
  • In coordination with the Deputy Director of the Davis International Center, recommend policy level decisions on immigration matters to the Office of General Counsel, Office of the Dean of the Faculty, Office of the Dean of the College, Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Students, Human Resources, and the Office of the Provost.
  • Serve as ARO/RO for the University’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, and/or as a DSO/PDSO for the F-1 student program.
  • Manage the filing of all University-sponsored U.S. permanent residency applications and O-1 visas. This includes overseeing, reviewing and signing on behalf of the University for all petitions prepared by outside counsel.
  • Support and promote institutional compliance with state, local, and federal laws and regulations as it relates to the immigration status of international scholars and students engaged in University related academic and/or research activity.
  • Maintain excellent communication with relevant campus stakeholders in an effort to serve as an advocate for and resource to international scholars and students.
  • Prepare, review, and file immigration petitions, letters, and applications to USCIS and the U.S. State Department on behalf of Princeton University.
  • Develop and provide content for the Davis IC website and for informational materials such as pre-arrival information, questionnaires, and procedural handouts.
  • Supervise staff as assigned.
  • Maintain accurate paper and Sunapsis records to comply with regulatory reporting in SEVIS, for Open Doors, J-1 annual report, and related statistical reports.
  • Liaise with regional and federal U.S. Department of Homeland Security offices, the Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program, other state and federal agencies.
  • Collaborate with the assistant director for international programs on programming for international students and scholars.
  • Maintain active membership in appropriate professional organizations such as SHRM and/or NAFSA and participate in professional development opportunities.
  • Adhere to NAFSA’s Statement of Ethical Principles.
  • Perform other duties as needed to support strategic plans for welcoming and supporting Princeton’s international students, scholars and visitors.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Extensive knowledge of immigration law and practice relevant to non-immigrant scholars, staff, and students and ability to integrate new laws and procedures. Ability to analyze complex immigration issues involving a variety of individuals, situations, rules and external agencies and bring them to a satisfactory resolution Excellent oral and written communication skills Ability to use discretion in handling confidential matters Ability to work with strict time constraints imposed by state and federal law Ability to work collaboratively, accurately and productively in a highly active setting Demonstrated organizational and problem solving skills Demonstrated ability to effectively supervise professional staff


Bachelor’s degree required, plus a minimum of 5 years of experience in the field of international scholar regulatory advising. At least 2 years of international student advising experience. 2+ years of experience managing and supervising professional staff. US citizen or legal permanent residence required (for Dept. of Homeland Security RO, DSO qualification purposes). Demonstrated ability to work with individuals from diverse cultures. Excellent computer proficiency, including use of government agency databases and platforms (FLAG, SEVIS, etc.) Demonstrated experience working with government relations offices and university counsel.

  • Must be able to successfully pass a criminal background check, per federal regulations.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Working knowledge of PeopleSoft and Sunapsis.
  • Proficiency in at least one foreign language or significant experience living, working or studying abroad.
  • Experience working at a major academic or research institution.