Job Listings

Assistant/Associate Director, Chafee Center

Bryant University
Job Location:
Smithfield, Rhode Island
Sponsored Programs, Grants, and Contracts

Position Summary

The John H. Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University is a resource for students, businesses, organizations and individuals interested in global trade.  Named for the late U.S. senator from Rhode Island - a long-time advocate for international trade and the benefits of introducing new markets to our nation's businesses - the Chafee Center's mission is to foster world trade through collaboration with the University's academic programs, partnerships with state and federal entities, and outreach to the business community.

The Assistant/Associate Director, Chafee Center reports to the Chafee Center Director and is an integral part of Chafee Center operations. This person, in addition to working closely with the Chafee Center Director, is responsible for ongoing evaluation and development of the state's international trade policies the Chafee Center and the Rhode Island Commerce Corp. and/or other related state agencies undertake. Among the Chafee Center's export-supporting activities are administration of the federal STEP grant program, organization of trade missions, participation in international trade shows, and counseling of companies looking to grow or establish foreign trade.  These programs are designed to support existing state efforts, as well as develop new programs where applicable, that help Rhode Island businesses grow their exports while increasing the number of enterprises that export their goods and/or services.  In addition to those activities, the candidate is expected to contribute to the World Trade Center Providence, Serving the State of Rhode Island website with regard to export-related activities, although they are not expected to manage the site.  The Assistant/Associate Director, Chafee Center also will manage, with assistance from other Chafee Center personnel, the Center's international trade training programming.  Note that the position is dependent on a yearly grant from the Rhode Island Commerce Corp., which is included as an appropriation in the state budget.  The state FY22 budget has been enacted and includes the Chafee Center appropriation.

Principal Accountabilities

1.       Develop a deep understanding of the role of the Chafee Center and its personnel as well as the Rhode Island Commerce Corp. and federal agencies in Rhode Island's economic development efforts.

2.       Perform the required activities for the Chafee Center's participation in U.S. SBA's STEP initiative, which is designed to help Rhode Island companies increase the volume of their exports as well as grow the number of companies that perform exporting activities.  Included among the activities required for STEP grant award are:

a.       Make application to SBA for STEP grant.

b.       Market and recruit new SBA-eligible companies to participate in the program.

c.       Oversee STEP budget and manage expenses with Chafee Center team.

d.       Promote use of STEP funding to eligible companies and advise how to best utilize funds available.

e.       Process requests for funding/reimbursement, issue letters of approval or denial, including follow-up. Maintain records of all award information throughout projects' life cycles.

f.        Confer with SBA regarding questions or concerns on funding.

g.       Ensure participating companies complete projects, submit paperwork in a timely fashion to Chafee Center Business Manager.

h.       Update sales information for 12-18 months following award.

i.         Ensure all information is properly processed and recorded in Bryant's accounting system to match Chafee Center records.

3.       Through STEP grant, work with SBA-eligible companies to take advantage of foreign trade missions and shows, and coordinate with Chafee Center staff to improve exporting activities.  In addition to STEP-eligible companies, the candidate will look to expand roster of exporting companies.

4.       Work with Director and other staff for planning and execution of World Trade Day, including developing agenda and securing speakers.

5.       Support export promotion activities and counsel Rhode Island exporters as needed on a wide range of trade topics such as export compliance, export finance solutions, logistics, market-entry, etc.

6.       Assist Chafee Center in its efforts to support Bryant University experiential learning curriculum as it relates to growing Rhode Island's economy. Among these efforts are identifying and directing companies to participate in the Bryant University Practicum program.

7.       Develop and manage, with Chafee Center personnel, international trade professional development programming.

8.       Build and maintain a strong relationship with R.I. Commerce's business development team.

9.       Research global markets to determine which have the most potential for exporting from regional enterprises, and serve as the principal contact with foreign governments and trade associations for export-related activities by Rhode Island companies.

10.   Serve as the state's official representative on export-related professional organizations, including the Eastern Trade Council, Food Export USA, the Rhode Island Economic Ambassador program, among others.

11.   Identify and execute grant opportunities that support Chafee Center programming and outcomes.

12.   Participate in state re-/onshoring initiative as needed.

13.   Perform other duties as directed.

Certain requirements are subject to possible accommodations to reasonably accommodate persons with disabilities.


This position is best filled by an individual with at least a bachelor's degree in Business Administration, as well as demonstrated experience in all phases of business, international and domestic.  The candidate must be able to counsel clients on a wide range of trade and investment topics ranging from export compliance to export finance to global market-entry strategies.  Excellent interpersonal skills are required to develop and maintain relationships between Chafee Center, state and federal personnel, as well as with local enterprises looking for guidance on exporting.  Prior experience with grant management is highly desirable.

Working Environment

Bryant University recognizes that its position as a leader in higher education is greatly determined both by the diversity of its campus community and its intellectual endeavors. Its commitment to link academic and social diversity for the benefit of the learning and living environment reflects its belief that excellence and diversity are mutually reinforcing objectives. We are committed to building an equitable and inclusive campus community, one that values individual difference and fosters greater understanding of the many facets of diversity and other distinctive characteristics that make us different. We encourage applications from candidates with an appreciation for and understanding of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Learn more about our ongoing commitment to building a community of inclusive excellence.

Posting Number: STA02134

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