Director, Center for Public Policy

Richmond, VA
Aug 10, 2017
Jobs Outside Higher Education
Public Policy
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Director, Center for Public Policy
in L. Douglas Wilder School of Government & Public Affairs
at Virginia Commonwealth University


We seek a dynamic director who is passionate about the work of the Wilder Center for Public Policy and who has the experience and skills to help it grow and achieve its potential as a defining feature of the Wilder School, respected across the community, region and nation for its contributions to public policy and governance.

The Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs serves the public interest through leadership in state and local policy and administration, public safety, and community development.;

The Center for Public Policy (CPP) serves as the School's outreach arm to state and local government, non-profit organizations and businesses, and the public at-large. The CPP's work, organized through five units, encompasses a variety of activities, including policy and program evaluation; strategic planning; survey research; decision support systems; organizational assessment-development-training; leadership and professional development; and direct services for policymakers, including analysis of proposed legislation and translation of academic research into public policy briefs.

The Center for Public Policy advances the School's vision to be the premier resource for public policy expertise by serving the public interest through leadership in state and local policy and administration, public safety, and community development. The CPP is the School's outreach arm to state and local government, non-profit organizations, businesses and the public at-large.

Position Responsibilities:

    • Establish a strong identity for the WilderCPP
      a. Aggressively promote the CPP throughout the community, region and nation, building strong relationships with new clients and new partners.
      b. Work with the Wilder School's communications team to implement a strategic messaging plan for the CPP that is integrated with the Wilder School's overall messaging plan.
    • Establish strategic direction for the WilderCPP
      a. Identify key issue areas in which the CPP can make significant contributions to the development, implementation and evaluation of public policy.
      b. Anticipate new needs for CPP leadership opportunities and work with CPP units, academic programs and others to address them.
      c. Identify vehicles through which the CPP can achieve impact, including symposia, decision maker seminars, public polls, surveys, and various policy evaluation and impact analyses.
      d. Seek opportunities for both grant- and contract-funded research, and write or oversee the writing of grant and contract proposals.
      e. Build new functions and skill areas in the CPP to respond to opportunities and needs.
      f. Establish goals, objectives and metrics to keep the CPP on track.
      g. Support and guide the CPP's constituent units to achieve and maintain alignment with the CPP's strategic direction, goals and metrics.
    • Manage the work of the WilderCPP
      a.Ensure the financial health of the CPP and its constituent units, working with the School's CFO under direction of the dean, maintaining a strong service hub of fiscal and administrative support staff/faculty, and engaging in fundraising and development activities to support the CPP.
      b. Supervise the constituent units and the CPP staff/faculty, and use collaborative processes to make decisions affecting the work of these units and the staff.
      c. Represent the interests of the CPP within the Wilder School and maintain strong communication between the Office of the Dean, the academic programs, and the CPP.
    • The WilderCPP Director reports directly to the Dean of the Wilder School.

Required Qualifications:

  • Minimum of a master's degree in a field in, or closely related to, the work of the Wilder School.
  • Experience in the public policy and governance issues and arenas within which the Wilder School and, especially, theCPP
  • Organizational management and supervisory experience.
  • Financial management experience sufficient to understand project costing, budgeting, and management, and to oversee the fiscal and administrative work of theCPP.
  • Demonstrated ability (e.g., through marketing and outreach experience) and willingness to connect theCPP to all types of external stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated passion for the mission of the Wilder School and the desire to make a significant contribution through the work of theCPP.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff and student environment

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in conducting and supervising applied research for public or non-profit organizations.
  • Familiarity with Virginia state and local government.
  • Familiarity with university academic structure and processes.

Applications must be submitted online through e-jobs ( and should include a cover-letter, detailed resume with the names and contact information of three references.

Review of applications will begin immediately.

“Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran's status, political
affiliation or disability.”


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