Chief of Staff
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), a major public urban research university in Richmond, Virginia, seeks a chief of staff to serve as a trusted senior advisor to the president. As a member of the president’s cabinet and senior leadership team, the chief of staff supports, facilitates and coordinates high priority initiatives to implement the vision, strategies and goals of the president in advancing the mission and interests of the university.
Reporting to and working in close concert with President Michael Rao, the chief of staff will join a focused and energized senior leadership team. The chief of staff will have the opportunity to play a principal role in advancing a university deeply committed to and engaged with Richmond and the Commonwealth of Virginia and eager to continue moving forward into a new era of excellence and prosperity. The chief of staff serves as the primary and senior liaison between the president, his cabinet and other direct reports, providing executive leadership for the following administrative areas: athletics, government relations, audit, equity and access services, strategic planning, and institutional affairs. Most importantly, the chief of staff provides executive oversight of staff involved in the strategic prioritization of the president’s time to maximize relationships with key constituents and individuals and ensure timely progress on key initiatives.
Accomplishing these objectives will require a leader with the confidence and experience to set priorities and assume responsibility for a broad and complex set of initiatives related to the president’s agenda; outstanding critical thinking and judgment, and with the leadership and managerial acumen to build effective and inclusive working partnerships with individuals from diverse educational, cultural, and professional backgrounds, both internally and externally, in order to effectively advance the university’s mission, vision and ambitious strategic initiatives.
Since its founding in 1838 as the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University has become one of the Commonwealth’s largest universities and ranks among the top 100 universities nationally in sponsored research. It enrolls over 31,000 students in 220 certificate and degree programs, many of which cross the disciplines of VCU’s 13 academic and professional schools and its humanities and sciences college. VCU also encompasses VCU Health, which includes the five health science schools; the academic medical center and children’s hospital; centers of excellence for cancer, neurosurgery, transplant, and cardiovascular medicine and a Level 1 trauma center. As an inclusive and diverse urban institution of higher learning, VCU and its partners have contributed immeasurably to the development of the fabric of the City of Richmond, transforming it into a center of artistic and cultural growth, business development, and social services. VCU is benefiting from a renaissance in Richmond, the formation of a largely new leadership team, the development of a new strategic plan, and aspirations to expand significantly the university’s facilities and footprint. The new chief of staff will thus join the university at the ideal time to make a personal and lasting contribution to its future.
Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. The search will be conducted with a commitment of confidentiality for candidates until finalists are selected. Witt/Kieffer is assisting Virginia Commonwealth University in this search. Initial screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until an appointment is made. Submission of materials as PDF attachments is strongly encouraged. Confidential inquiries, nominations and application materials should be directed to Witt/Kieffer at VCU-Chief@wittkieffer.com. Basic personal and demographic information must also be submitted to VCU’s job site at https://www.vcujobs.com/postings/75612.
Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or disability.
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