Washington D.C.
Aug 14, 2017
Executive Administration Jobs
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

American University (AU) seeks an experienced, intellectually visionary, and strategic leader as its next dean for the School of Public Affairs (SPA). The dean will arrive at an exciting time in the University’s history.

The new dean of SPA will lead a nationally recognized school of public affairs, joining the leadership team of new AU president Sylvia Mathews Burwell. The dean will play an important role in raising the profile and influence of AU and SPA nationally and internationally while enhancing the school’s research, innovative approaches in public affairs education and instruction, fundraising, and service.

Located in the nation’s capital near centers of government, business, research, and the arts, AU is a globally-oriented university dedicated to academic and scholarly excellence and to preparing students for leadership in an increasingly complex world. The university attracts and educates active citizens from around the globe who seek to acquire and apply knowledge to the most pressing concerns facing the nation and world.

Over the past decade, AU has been on an impressive trajectory. Key institutional metrics including undergraduate retention and graduation rates; graduate student enrollment; student, faculty, and staff diversity; and the number and size of external grant requests are trending upward. Outstanding faculty have been and are being hired, student academic qualifications have increased, faculty and staff quality and compensation are highly competitive, and major capital projects have been completed or are underway. AU has steadily climbed in national and international higher education rankings. U.S. News and World Report ranks AU among the nation’s top 50 private universities.

Situated in one of the world’s most influential cities, SPA is well positioned to capitalize on AU’s strategic investments as well as the opportunities afforded by its geographic location. A leading public affairs school offering a diverse portfolio of undergraduate and graduate degree programs and professional training opportunities, SPA trains the next generation of civic and academic leaders. With Washington, DC as its laboratory, SPA promotes a culture of innovation in which faculty conduct cutting-edge public affairs research that builds bridges between the academic and policy worlds and shapes public understanding of the core challenges of our times. SPA’s faculty span multiple disciplines, including political science, public administration, public policy, criminology, economics, sociology, psychology, and law, and their work shapes debate and action in matters of public affairs at the local, national, and international levels.

As SPA’s chief academic and administrative officer, the dean reports to the provost and provides intellectual leadership to faculty, students, and staff, and leads planning, program development, fundraising, administrative, and personnel efforts to build and sustain excellence in the school’s operations. The dean is a member of the President’s Council and Deans’ Council.  The dean works collaboratively with AU leadership, other administrators and deans, faculty, and staff to advance the university and the school. Additionally, the dean is SPA’s primary representative and engages with external stakeholders to build visibility, reputation, philanthropic support, and revenue.

American University has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this important recruitment. Review of nominations and applications will begin immediately, and will continue until the position is filled. All inquiries, nominations/referrals, and resumes with cover letters should be sent electronically and in confidence to:

Sean Farrell, Vice President

Jennifer Carignan, Senior Associate

Isaacson, Miller

1300 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.  The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively “Protected Bases”) in its programs and activities. 

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