Position Descriptions


The Journal of International Service supports diversity and inclusion. For the purpose of gender inclusivity, this document uses they/them/their as both a plural and singular pronoun.

If you are interested in joining the team, please visit our site at jis-online.org.

Junior Staff: Peer Reviewer

Commitment: 2-4 hours/week


Peer reviewers serve as a quality check for all JIS submissions. As the first stop for submission review and analysis, peer reviewers provide a comprehensive set of recommendations to the Director of Submissions, the Editorial Director, and the Editor-in-Chief about the publishability of all submissions received. Peer reviewers use a scoring rubric to assess whether a piece is in line with the Journal’s Standards of Quality and thus ready to move on to the next stage of editing. Peer reviewers also provide in-text comments to guide the editors. Peer reviewers may receive articles on a weekly basis, and should contact the Director of Submissions immediately for any and all changes in their availability.

Junior Staff: Editor

Commitment: 4-6 hours/week


Editors assist in the preparation of all JIS submissions for publication. They are also members of the Journal’s Editorial Board, which is responsible for ensuring pieces are in line with the Journal’s Standards of Quality. Editors are assigned to review and markup submissions as ordered by the Editorial Director. Some editors will be assigned to serve as liaisons responsible for coordinating with the author of the submission to ensure all edits and comments are accepted. These liaison editors also make strategic decisions including how to compile peer reviewer feedback in a comprehensible and consistent way that is useful to improving submissions.

Senior Staff: Director of Submissions

Commitment: 8 hours/week


The Director of Submissions has first eyes on all submissions to JIS. They also play an important role in managing the entire peer review staff. This person will conduct the initial check of each submission to ensure the author has attempted to meet the basic requirements of the Journal’s Quality Standards (i.e., font style and size, page length, and formatting). The Director of Submissions will also work closely with JIS senior staff to ensure a smooth submissions process, and may field questions from potential authors regarding submission protocol. This person also manages the workload of the peer review staff to ensure submission distributions correlate to each peer reviewer’s schedule, expertise, and ability.

Senior Staff: Editorial Director

Commitment: 10 hours/week


The Editorial Director monitors the quality of edits provided by all peer reviewers and editors. They also monitor the quality of feedback and correspondence between all editors and authors. The Editorial Director manages all editor and liaison editor assignments, as well as all editor questions and concerns. They also serve on the Editorial Board and review all submissions before sending them to the Editor-in-Chief for final approval. The Editorial Director may also assist in the training of editors as needed by the Director of Training and Resources.

Senior Staff: Director of Resources and Training

Commitment: 8-10 hours/week


The Director of Resources and Training is responsible for training all members of the Journal on writing and grammar etiquette under the Chicago Manual of Style. The Director of Resources and Training is also responsible for maintaining and updating a complete database of all resources and trainings available for JIS staff and SIS students. The Director of Resources and Training will ensure all staff are trained upon joining JIS, including senior staff, editors, and peer-reviewers. They will also track the onboarding of members to ensure all staff have been trained in a timely manner.

The Director of Resources and Training will gauge submission progress and trends over the course of the year to develop opportunities for students to improve their writing. This means maintaining an ongoing style guide and model submission examples, including papers in line with each score of the rubric. The Director of Resources and Training will consistently update trainings in line with apparent error trends revealed in submissions and overall SIS writing assistance needs. The Director of Resources and Training will run periodic editing and writing workshops throughout the year as needed to improve papers and turn submissions into publishable pieces. The Director of Resources and Training will work closely with the Editor-in-Chief and Editing Director to review submissions in need of extra attention. They will also provide editing assistance to the Editor-in-Chief on all documents that are published and circulated by the Journal.

Senior Staff: Director of Outreach

Commitment: 8 hours/week


The Director of Outreach provides marketing and communication strategies for JIS, including outreach, messaging, and engagement opportunities for students and faculty. This role requires that the Director of Outreach be on campus one to two times per week to attend meetings, supervise tabling and other outreach activities, and meet with stakeholders, including SIS staff, faculty, and students. The Director of Outreach works closely with the Creative Director to design advertisements and flyers. They are also responsible for organizing logistics for the annual symposium, including room reservations, catering, etc. They also work closely with JIS senior staff to ensure the Journal’s branding and marketing goals are achieved. The Director of Outreach also creates and manages the Journal’s calendar, and ensures any and all changes are properly communicated to JIS staff.

Senior Staff: Director of Data and Analytics

Commitment: 6 hours/week


The Director of Data & Analytics produces spreadsheets and process flows which detail how many submissions pass through each stage of the process, how many submissions are accepted, and why submissions do not complete the process to publication. They also compile reports for JIS senior staff and the Graduate Student Council. The Director of Data & Analytics also tracks and addresses bugs within the tracking system, maintains a backup of all records, and works closely with JIS senior staff to ensure a fluid publication process and tracking system.

Senior Staff: Creative Director

Commitment: 6-8 hours/week


The Creative Director formats all approved submissions for publication presentation. They also maintain the Journal’s online presence. The Creative Director will not only ensure that the publication (WordPress) site is up-to-date, but they will also collaborate with SIS’ Communications department to ensure the Journal’s website — http://www.american.edu/sis/jis — is up-to-date. The Creative Director produces and maintains all print and digital templates as well as marketing materials for the Journal. The Creative Director has final approval over all promotional materials to maintain proper branding of the Journal. The Creative Director also digitally publishes all finalized submissions to the online website. In addition, this person takes the lead on the design of any and all print versions of the Journal with the input of JIS senior staff and under the supervision of the Editor-in-Chief.

Senior Staff: Director of Operations

Commitment: 10-15 hours/week


The Director of Operations handles the budget and manages all resources required by the Journal, under the advisement of the Editor-in-Chief. The Director of Operations also works closely with JIS senior staff to develop operations and publication strategies. This person also works closely with the Graduate Student Council (GSC) to ensure the Journal is in full compliance with the GSC Constitution. The Director of Operations works in tandem with the Editor-in-Chief to review and on-board new staff members, and maintains an active roster to ensure all staff have been onboarded and trained.

Senior Staff: Editor-in-Chief

Commitment: 20 hours/week


The Editor-in-Chief oversees all processes of JIS. They also monitor the progress of submissions, ensure JIS senior staff are acting in accordance with their duties, and manages the workload of team as a whole. With the advisement of senior staff and faculty advisors, the Editor-in-Chief makes decisions about quality thresholds for submissions and expands the capacity of the Journal through additional hires. The Editor-in-Chief reviews all submissions before they are published, serving as final gatekeeper to ensure the Journal’s Standards of Quality are met.
The Editor-in-Chief approves or rejects all promotions and probations, and makes decisions based heavily on the guidance and recommendations of senior staff members, especially the Director of Submissions and the Editorial Director. They also monitor the onboarding and offboarding of all JIS staff in conjunction with the Director of Resources and Training.
The Editor-in-Chief reviews and approves all status reports to be submitted to the Graduate Student Council (GSC). They also attend all GSC Executive Council Meetings, including strategy meetings. If the Editor-in-Chief is unable to attend a meeting, they will assign a proxy, if necessary.
The Editor-in-Chief creates the yearly budget in collaboration with the Director of Operations, and submits the yearly budget to the GSC for approval by the GSC Senate. The Editor-in-Chief maintains good relations with the SIS Dean, Associate Deans, and Assistant Deans. The Editor-in-Chief shall be the official representative of the Journal at SIS and across American University. The Editor-in-Chief also works with the Director of Outreach to ensure relations with other departments, programs, and individuals within SIS are positive. They will also assist in promoting positive outreach of the Journal across the school.
The Editor-in-Chief meets with faculty advisors periodically throughout each semester for advice and guidance regarding process, strategy, and planning. The Editor-in-Chief, in conjunction with JIS senior staff, organizes core senior staff and all staff meetings. They are in charge of delegating responsibilities and tasks in accordance with staff workloads, and will make decisions about how to prioritize responsibilities and tasks in accordance with the long-term success of the Journal.