Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August 2012, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) mobilizes scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector in support of sustainable development problem solving at local, national, and global scales. SDSN aims to accelerate joint learning and help to overcome the compartmentalization of technical and policy work by promoting integrated approaches to the interconnected economic, social, and environmental challenges confronting the world. SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, academia, and civil society. The SDSN is hosted by the SDSN Association, a 501 c 3 organization based in New York.


The SDG Academy is the flagship online education initiative of the SDSN, with the mandate of creating and curating the best available educational content on sustainable development and making it available as a global public good. The Academy brings together the world’s foremost experts on sustainable development, from fields as varied as early childhood development, public health, food systems, and macroeconomics – to offer a comprehensive core curriculum around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), equipping the next generation of sustainable development practitioners to take on the complex challenges facing our planet.


The SDG Academy is seeking a dynamic and experienced Education Manager to support the ambitious production and expansion plans of the SDG Academy initiative. This role provides a unique opportunity to manage the complex process of creating massive open online courses, to engage with experts at the top of their field from around the world, to catalyze a diverse and motivated global student base, and to experience the rapidly evolving field of online education and its far-reaching ramifications first hand. The Education Manager will play a key role as part of a small team that values proactivity and creative thinking. 


Production Support for Core Courses

  • Manage the process of core course production, including syllabus design, pre-production, filming, post-production, course launch, and course reflection and feedback
  • Train content teams on syllabus design and content development, production process, preparation for launch, marketing and outreach, and course facilitation
  • Liaise with content team, production team, technical team, and relevant SDG Academy/SDSN colleagues throughout process
  • Provide substantive and pedagogical feedback on initial syllabus, course scripts, and post-production cuts
  • Provide high-level support to teaching staff upon course launch

Other SDG Academy Products

  • Manage the creation and curation of other educational outputs branded through the SDG Academy, including lecture series, webinars, film festivals, toolkit videos, podcasts, and data visualizations
  • Design and implement additional SDG Academy offerings and products to build on the mission of the initiative
  • Contribute to building an online data base with other resources from SDSN to complement the course materials


  • Manage and support academic institutions and organizations using SDG Academy content through the University Partnerships Program or other engagement opportunities
  • Build and execute the strategy around the inclusion of partner courses among SDG Academy offerings, in partnership with the SDG Academy leadership
  • Manage and support relationship with the UN System Staff College and other UN-facing educational partnerships
  • Explore and manage other opportunities for partnership, including executive trainings, NGO or industry specific courses and trainings, and others

SDG Academy Strategy

  • Monitor key process and evaluation data points throughout the course development process to inform and improve protocols
  • Participate in regular strategy meetings to evaluate progress towards stated objectives and to plan out and backcast key activities in the short- and medium-term
  • Support the creation of a long-term SDG Academy strategy and brainstorm opportunities for innovation and advancement of key organizational ambitions

Relationship Management

  • Liaise internally with relevant colleagues at the SDSN Secretariat on areas of overlap and support, including the SDSN communications team
  • Manage communication and relationship with technology firm on course platform
  • Liaise with production and branding partners as needed
  • Maintain and manage communications with course experts, key strategic partners, and potential partner organizations.

General Support and Other

  • Management of project budgets and finances (as needed)
  • Basic administrative tasks, as mandated by a small team
  • Any additional requests made by SDG Academy leadership


  • Bachelors degree in international education, sustainable development or related field is required; Masters degree is preferred
  • Experience with independent project management
  • Professional fluency in English required; fluency in additional language preferred
  • Minimum of 2-5 years of relevant experience required
  • Exceptional writing, drafting, and oral communications skills required
  • Proficiency in basic word processing software required
  • Experience with video production, course development, and/or online learning management systems strongly preferred
  • Experience and/or interest in online education and/or sustainable development preferred
  • Adept at learning and navigating new technologies quickly
  • Strong time-management and ability to work in fast-paced environment while managing multiple tasks
  • Ability to work efficiently both independently and collaboratively
  • Proactive and willing to take initiative, leadership skills preferred


  • Start Date: As soon as possible
  • Location: This position will be based in New York City, NY
  • Contract Length: This appointment is valid for a period of one year, subject to renewal upon review of work performance
  • Hours: Full time
  • Reporting: This position reports to the Head of Programs and Partnerships, SDG Academy
  • Salary: The salary for this position is commensurate with experience and includes a generous benefits package
  • Travel: This position may require some domestic and international travel (not to exceed 15% of total time)


Candidates interested in the position should send a resume, a cover letter, and a short writing sample (no longer than 3 pages) to sdgacademy@unsdsn.org. Please include the name of the position in the subject line.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so interested applicants are encouraged to apply early. All applications must be received by 10PM EDT on 20 August 2019.

Please note that candidates must have prior authorization to work in the United States, as we are unable to sponsor visas at this time.

Employment Fraud Notice

Please be aware fraudulent offers of employment are being sent in the name of the SDSN. These correspondences may contain official-looking SDSN letterheads and/or logos, logos or forms of the United Nations, and e-mail or web site addresses resembling the official addresses of SDSN or United Nations entities.

Read our full Employment Fraud Notice