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The Manhattan Institute, is a NYC-based, 501(c)(3) think tank non-profit. The mission of the Manhattan Institute is to develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility. The Institute serves as a leading voice of free-market ideas, shaping political culture since our founding in 1977. Ideas that have changed the United States and its urban areas for the better—welfare reform, tort reform, proactive policing, and pro-growth tax policies, among others—are the heart of MI’s legacy. While continuing with what is tried and true, we are constantly developing new ways of advancing our message in the battle of ideas.


This is a new full-time exempt position. Based in New York City and reporting to the COO, the Director of Administration will create, implement and oversee a wide range of best-in-class processes to ensure that MI’s finance, operations and human resources functions provide support for our ongoing work.


This position focuses on finance, operations and human resources, and supports strategic initiatives as needed. The successful candidate will:

  • Bring experience, insight and a passion for excellence to Manhattan Institute;
  • Look at problems creatively with an ability to expand or re-vamp our current approaches;
  • Be an expert at working with multiple vendors to make sure services are delivered effectively, meeting our expectations for quality and timeliness;
  • Understand the strategy and operating needs of MI now and in the future so that our processes are sustainable.



  • Work with the President, COO, and Department Heads to oversee the organization-wide annual budgeting process and systems to track budget;
  • Liaise with finance and accounting services provider on all financial operations including payroll, monthly budgets, bill payment, and provide support to annual audit.


  • Serve as a strategic, efficient, and creative leader with an eye towards organizational systems;
  • Manage third-party vendor and contractor relationships, including insurance, benefits, technology, mailhouse;
  • Liaise with compliance contractor and manage the organization’s compliance requirements;
  • Maintain office operations, including lease, landlord relations, facilities management.

Human Resources

  • Manage MI’s human resources function, including compensation and benefits, onboarding, maintaining policies and procedures, and performance management;
  • Serve as primary liaison to HR consulting firm;
  • Maintain employee handbook and other policy documents updated and in compliance with relevant local, state and federal requirements, in consultation with HR firm;
  • Develop and manage the HR operational activities for the year, bringing in experts and escalating issues as needed;
  • Liaise with communication on internal communications needs.


  • At least five years of related experience with a track record of outstanding performance in managing administration in a similar organization. These include but are not limited to: professional services, communications/media, government or non-profit.
  • Proven ability to create and implement processes across a wide range of activities in finance, operations and HR. This includes understanding best practices, evolving compliance and operational requirements, anticipating the needs of key stakeholders.
  • Experience building and reviewing budgets; 
  • Able to build effective and constructive working relationships at all levels of the organization as well as with vendors, partners and others;
  • Able to handle sensitive and confidential information with the highest levels of integrity;
  • Self-directed, able to see what’s needed, jump in and get the work done;
  • Strong negotiation and execution skills;
  • Excellent planning skills to keep tasks on track, working with multiple people to move forward in a coordinated way;
  • Personal resilience and flexibility to adapt to change;
  • Bachelor’s degree.


Applicants should email a cover letter that clearly lays out their interest in the position, how their experience would be valuable to MI specifically, and salary requirements. Please email the cover letter and your resume to and addressed to Ilana Golant, COO.