Executive Director, Becker Friedman Institute

Feb 17, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
About The Unit: The Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics works to inspire, refine, advance, and disseminate new knowledge on important economic and policy questions. It provides core support for inquiry in the rigorous tradition of Chicago economics. Through its research conferences, visiting fellows program, research initiatives, and support for young scholars, the BFI fosters conversations and cross-disciplinary collaborations that refine research and spark new ideas. Learn more at bfi.uchicago.edu.

Unit Job Summary: The Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics at the University of Chicago is seeking an Executive Director to set and implement strategic goals for the institute, identify growth opportunities, and oversee the institute's internal operations and external engagement. The Executive Director will report to the Director of the BFI, Professor Michael Greenstone. The Executive Director must have a proven record in research management, partnership development, policy engagement, global engagement, and staff management. This is a senior-level position and provides the opportunity to work directly with a network of leading academics and policymakers to advance economic research. Responsibilities include: Outreach and Development for the Institute: - Identify, build, and manage strategic relationships with partners, including affiliated agencies and individuals, funders, academic organizations, and other outside sources. - Identify, build, and manage strategic relationships with University-internal partners, including institutes and centers, academic departments and divisions, and other groups. - Develop and execute a strategy to facilitate effective outreach to parties interested in the work of the BFI and to represent the Director and the institute in national and international collaborations, conferences, and consortiums. - Develop and execute a development strategy to support the institute's strategic goals in consultation with BFI leadership and central university development. Engage with donors and development prospects to represent the strategic and philanthropic goals of the institute. - Provide direction and leadership in consultation with BFI leadership surrounding the BFI's efforts to support international research in economics. - Meet with and build relationships with key partners in governments, non-profits, foundations, multilateral aid agencies, and the private sector. Grant and Research Management: - Develop relationships with Foundation or federal Program Officers to obtain new grants or renewals. Advise on proposal development, progress reports, and the negotiation of terms of awards as needed. - Provide direction and leadership for research projects. - Identify gaps or needs within the research portfolio, and facilitate external collaboration for particular projects, from experts from complementary disciplines, as needed. - Provide direction and leadership for the development of events and programs, including seminars, conferences, and workshops. Organizational Leadership: - Promote an organizational culture that fosters commitment to the institute's mission, to excellent work and to building and maintaining a collaborative and positive work environment. - Develop and advise on personnel recruitment and retention strategies to optimize retention and assure competitive recruiting status.

Unit Education: Bachelor's degree required; graduate level social sciences coursework preferred.

Unit Experience: A minimum of ten years of administrative, managerial, and/or program management experience, or equivalent, required. A minimum of five years of directly related work experience in an organization of similar size and complexity, or equivalent, required. Financial management experience required. Fundraising and development experience, both individual giving as well as corporate, private and federal grants, required. Experience with program planning, budget management, and staff management required. A minimum of two years of program management or related experience preferred. Experience in higher education preferred.

Unit Job Function Competencies: Excellent verbal and written communications skills required. Ability to communicate to large groups as well as one-on-one with students, senior management, faculty, alumni, and others required. Demonstrated success in building collaborative relationships with diverse constituencies required. Ability to prioritize, delegate, and manage effectively required. Ability to understand and communicate research goals and progress required. Ability to work under pressure required. Attention to detail required. Demonstrated background in leadership, highly self-directed and skilled at managing and motivating staff required. Demonstrated success in navigating the challenges of working within a complex, decentralized environment required. Exposure to, and an understanding of, an academically rigorous research university environment required. Knowledge of standard computer programs (e.g. Word, Excel, Adobe standard email and internet applications, and graphics programs) required. Use of analytical and problem solving skills to exercise sound, self-motivated, independent decisions required. Ability to successfully manage a workload which balances long-range planning with the unanticipated daily demands of managing a busy operation required. Willingness and ability to travel domestically and internationally and work some evenings and weekends required. Knowledge of local and national philanthropic communities and cultural institutions preferred.

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