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Executive Director for The Environmental Collaboratory

Drexel University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Executive Director for The Environmental Collaboratory

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University invites nominations and applications for the position of Executive Director for The Environmental Collaboratory. 

With expertise in environmental science, engineering, law, health, policy, and humanities – as well as a deep and common commitment to civic engagement – Drexel University (Drexel) and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (The Academy) together possess the resources needed to work with communities, corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies to both identify regional environmental issues and address them impactfully, equitably, and together. The aim of The Environmental Collaboratory (The Collaboratory) is to make that happen.

More than a place or a narrow theme, The Collaboratory is a groundbreaking approach that unites Drexel, the Academy, and communities of need in a shared endeavor to sustain our planet and mitigate its degradation. The Collaboratory will leverage the extensive human capital of both Drexel and the Academy in ways that effect meaningful, measurable, and scalable impact. Bringing faculty, staff, students, partners, and the public together, The Collaboratory will coordinate, develop, integrate, and resource research, education, civic engagement, and public programming to solve problems and shape culture. In doing so it will also drive and catalyze curricular innovation – a crucial measure of The Collaboratory’s success. It will achieve these outcomes by focusing on three key pillars:

  • Community Based Research – The Collaboratory will initiate, facilitate, and promote inter-disciplinary, community-based research that creates novel solutions to real-world environmental problems. The Collaboratory views community-based research as being the ways in which faculty, staff, and students collaborate with external groups in mutually beneficial partnerships that are grounded in scholarship and consistent with Drexel and the Academy’s roles and missions.
  • Civic Engagement – The Collaboratory will identify research questions in reciprocal partnerships with communities; engage communities in the research process; devise, incubate and deliver implementation strategies with communities; share outcomes with a wider audience; shape beliefs and values through public programs and campaigns; and erode the power dynamic that commonly characterizes the relationship between ‘academia’ and ‘community’.
  • Seed Funding – The Collaboratory will catalyze research and programs through seed grants. Proof-of-concept projects will be an early focus for The Collaboratory. From its earliest days, funding will need to be cultivated and solicited through private philanthropy, industry partnerships, and government grants.

The Collaboratory’s Executive Director will report to Drexel’s Provost, Dr. Paul Jensen and will establish and maintain a close working relationship with the Academy’s President and CEO, Scott Cooper, PhD. The role of the Executive Director will involve planning and implementing a visionary strategy, by defining the immediate and long-term strategic priorities and identifying actionable means for achieving sustainability, excellence, and influence. Only by creating and sustaining strategic relationships with Drexel and Academy faculty, staff, and students as well as local community members/organizations, will the Executive Director be able to identify emerging research opportunities and forge coalitions that align with The Collaboratory’s mission. She/he/they will serve as a leading voice and spokesperson, building bridges between community collaborators, partners, and supporters on and off campus and telling the story of The Collaboratory as it grows over time.

To learn more, visit the full position profile. For best consideration, please send all nominations and applications to:

Shelly Weiss Storbeck, Global Education Practice Lead and Managing Director

Jim Sirianni, Managing Director

Sara Swisher-Anderson, Senior Associate

[email protected]                                           

Drexel University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and actively seeks applications from qualified women and minority candidates.


About Drexel


Drexel is defining what it means to be the modern, urban university of the future. A world-class comprehensive research institution committed to experiential learning, civic engagement and research with real-world applications, Drexel serves more than 26,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students from every state and 130-plus nations, on campus and online. Drexel has been ranked among the top 100 universities since 2009 and the Best National Universities since 2004 by U.S.News & World Report.

Founded in Philadelphia in 1891, Drexel has grown in the 21st century to encompass 15 colleges and schools including medical, nursing and public health schools and the Thomas R. Kline School of Law, as well as the Academy of Natural Sciences — the oldest natural history museum in the world and a leading institution for discovery in the natural and environmental sciences.

Drexel is one of Greater Philadelphia’s top 10 private employers, with approximately 9,800 employees. The University brings together a vibrant community of students, faculty and professional staff, and encourages the richness diversity brings to the workplace. Like its students, Drexel's employees are known for being passionate, entrepreneurial and innovative.


Working at Drexel

Drexel offers employees a career-focused and highly professional environment where they can learn, grow and be challenged from their first day with the University.

Drexel employees are eligible for attractive benefits including:

  • Choice of subsidized health plans offering comprehensive coverage. Attractive 403(b) retirement plan with matching contributions. Generous vacation leave and 100 percent paid tuition for full-time employees after a year at Drexel. Diverse supplemental benefit choices and various fringe benefits. Collegial work environment. Multiple locations, all accessible by convenient mass transportation.


For more detailed benefits information, visit

Drexel University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer interested in qualified candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of our academic community.

For a list of career opportunities and application instructions, visit or for the College of Medicine.



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