JOB TITLE:                         Applied Complexity Office Manager/Executive Assistant

REPORTS TO:                    Vice President for Applied Complexity

CLASSIFICATION:             Full Time – Exempt (37.5 Hours per week)

SALARY:                             Commensurate with experience



This position serves as the key administrative resource for SFI’s dynamic Office of Applied Complexity. The Santa Fe Institute (SFI) is a legendary non-profit research institute dedicated to the development of complex systems science. SFI’s Office of Applied Complexity creates opportunities for governments, corporations, and individual donors to engage with SFI science and scientists. The Applied Complexity Office Manager is responsible for: (i) administering the Applied Complexity office and ensuring its intra-organizational compliance; (ii) providing executive assistance to the Vice President of Applied Complexity; (iii) processing the department’s reimbursements and payment acknowledgments; (iv) solving other novel and exciting problems as they arise. The pandemic led the Office of Applied Complexity to develop new online methods for connecting leaders from the applied world to SFI science and scientists. This spawned a burst of innovation and growth which we continue to enjoy. This is an in-person position, located on SFI’s Miller Campus – a beautiful 36-acre campus on the edge of Santa Fe with miles of private hiking trails.


The Office of Applied Complexity is an extremely dynamic and responsive team. The core “job description” is to spend 37.5 hours per week enthusiastically supporting Applied Complexity’s mission to foster valuable connections between SFI science/scientists -and- decision-makers / practitioners/donors. The following lists represent the expected responsibilities given the current state of the world. As the external world and SFI’s internal environment continue to change, so too will the responsibilities and tasks associated with this position.

Administering the Applied Complexity Office (~25%):

  • Work with the Vice President for Applied Complexity to establish and maintain the norms, rules, and culture governing the Applied Complexity offices, located in the Thaw House on SFI’s Miller Campus
  • Ensure that the office is appropriately opened and closed each day
  • Oversee the administration of office-level policies, keep up-to-date on relevant policy changes coming from the President’s Office, SFI Science, HR, Finance, Technology, and Communications, and work with the Vice President for Applied Complexity to ensure the office’s compliance
  • Administer and ensure the Office of Applied Complexity’s compliance with Institute credit card policies
  • Monitor all Letters of Agreement (LOA) at the department-level and coordinate with members of the Office of Applied Complexity and other departments as necessary to ensure LOA compliance at the group-level
  • Maintain the department’s calendar
  • Maintain the department’s Box account, work with Vice President for Applied Complexity to establish and maintain new norms and protocols for Box usage as the department continues to grow
  • Work with Miller Campus Facilities Team to open and close Thaw House when requested   


Executive Assistant to the VP for Applied Complexity (~25%)

  • Scheduling support
  • Assist with email triage and responses
  • Provide administrative support, including but not limited to printing, mailing, proofing, and layout for print and digital communications
  • Use InDesign to design and create documents, in line with SFI’s style guidelines
  • Support Applied Complexity Fellows in compliance with internal policies
  • Provide logistical, planning, and support for the Applied Studios program. This includes:
  • Coordinating with in-town venues, participants, instructors, vendors, and SFI staff.
  • Facilitating and potentially attending dinners, hikes, etc.
  • Occasionally work during evening and weekends required
  • Create, administer, and support Zoom meetings as required
  • Other support tasks as required


Process Administration (~25%)

  • Complete and process paperwork related to reimbursements and honoraria for Applied Complexity staff and speakers
  • Execute paperwork for and acknowledgment of payments for Applied Complexity engagements and donations (aka “Gift Processing”)
  • If you read this bullet point, please start your cover letter with the phrase “I am beyond excited by this position’s manifold opportunities (for/to) ...”
  • Complete and process paperwork related to the credit card used within the department


Solving Novel and/or One-off Problems (~25%)

  • Given the dynamic nature of our work and office, there are always novel problems to solve. Recent examples include: Who can be hired to lead tours of Canyon Road art galleries? Who can we hire to laser print logos on fountain pens? What are the logistics for sending gifts to international recipients? The list always changes, but whoever accepts this position should expect to spend a significant chunk of their time-solving novel problems.



  • Ability to juggle multiple projects with superb accuracy
  • Outstanding communication skills over the phone, via email, and in-person, with our partners and internal departments
  • Strong sense of urgency and problem-solving skills
  • Honesty  
  • Attention to detail
  • Good judgment and discretion
  • Approaches change with enthusiasm
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Experience managing executive communications (preferred)


NOTE: This is an in-person position, with standard hours Monday through Friday. Occasional work during evenings and weekends will be required. Whether this position is filled as a manager or a coordinator will depend on the experience of the preferred candidate.  


To apply, e-mail PDFs of the following: 1) a short statement of interest, 2) your CV, and 3) a list of three references to Please note in your subject line that you are responding to the “Applied Complexity Office Manager/Executive Assistant position for the Santa Fe Institute.


The Santa Fe Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We actively seek and encourage applications from minorities, women, and people with disabilities