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Duke University
VP, Durham and Community Affairs

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Executive Administration Jobs
C-Level & Executive Directors
Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Communications & Marketing
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Job Details

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The Organization
The Duke Office of Durham and Community Affairs (DCA) forges purposeful partnerships with its neighbors in the region, with a particular focus on Duke’s home — Durham, NC. DCA connects area community partners and local governments with the people, research and institutional resources of Duke University and Duke Health. It also supports community partnerships through scholarship, service, and collaboration including volunteerism and philanthropic activities. DCA focuses on housing, health, education, employment, and community with priorities in affordable housing and infrastructure, food security and nutrition, early childhood and K-12 school readiness, college and career-readiness, and nonprofit/community-based organization capacity-building. Throughout this work, Duke commits to antiracism, health equity and engaged scholarship.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Vice President for Durham and Community Affairs, the Chief of Staff is a high-visibility strategic partner that supports the Vice President with project management and strategic implementation across Duke University and Duke System. The newly created position manages critical priorities, initiatives, and activities and represents the office's interests through effective collaboration, communication, coordination, and integration of objectives. Most notably, the new leader will operationalize the inaugural Duke Strategic Community Impact Plan (SCIP), which has laser-focused the work of the Office, and the University as a whole, on forging purposeful partnerships with Duke’s neighbors for the greatest positive impact.

This position requires balancing and influencing multiple priorities and individuals. The Chief of Staff is responsible for the central coordination of all functions and activities of the office, serving as a coach and advisor to the Durham and Community Affairs team. They will provide leadership and direction for change management initiatives, project management, and program development on behalf of the Vice President. The Chief of Staff will play a critical role in developing and sustaining meaningful, collaborative relationships with external partners in the Durham community as well as internal partners within Duke University and the Health System.


Operations and Organizational Development

  • Assist the Vice President in leading a growing team, including change management and organizational development and effectiveness
  • Oversee day-to-day functions of the DCA office, having authority for day-to-day decisions, i.e., budgetary, personnel
  • Consult and coach team members in their work to offer programs and services
  • Convene and lead regular meetings of the DCA leadership team
  • Help lead and guide initiatives that are focused on coordinating and streamlining university/community partnerships and relationships
  • Develop and oversee the strategic deployment of DCA resources (financial, intellectual, and research/scholarship) within the community

Network/Partnership Development

  • Establish meaningful working relationships with key stakeholders, including community members, students, alumni, and colleagues within academics, health, and administration
  • Build strong bridges and connections between DCA and the core enterprise of the university
  • Support implementation of university community engagement, both through strategic initiatives and community relationships
  • Work between university and community to build mutually beneficial relationships
  • Help shape and deliver communications (written and oral) related to DCA’s work and story to internal and external constituents
  • Play a key role in elevating the mission and work of DCA within the university
  • Represent the Vice President at university meetings when Vice President’s attendance is not required; attend select university meetings with the Vice President and ensure those action items arising from these meetings are executed in a timely fashion

Strategic Implementation

  • Serve as a thought partner and strategic advisor to the Vice President, standing in on meetings, challenging ideas and offering a different perspective, and following up on action items with the team accordingly
  • Regularly advise the Vice President regarding key constituencies (internal and external, public and private), providing context and background information on issues and coordinating research, projects, meetings and initiatives
  • Operationalize the current strategic plan and implementation of institutional initiatives related to community engagement (such as task force recommendations)
  • Guide future planning processes and special projects for the office
  • Develop a keen understanding of current issues (particularly university issues) and provide related timely advice to the Vice President
  • Elevate community issues and challenges (including crisis situations) to the surface for consideration, ensure appropriate action, and communicate results throughout DCA and/or the university


  • Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree in business administration, public sector administration, public policy, or other related field strongly preferred.
  • Minimum 8 years of experience in a highly complex, matrixed organization such as a research university.
  • Track record of building meaningful, mutually beneficial community partnerships, preferably within a university context.
  • Experience serving as a strategic thought partner to executive leadership.
  • Solid leadership, management, and human relation skills; must also employ a collaborative style when working with internal and external colleagues and partners.
  • Demonstrated experience developing and delivering written and oral communications for a range of stakeholders and audiences.
  • Ability to convene, support, coach, and grow a team of talented professionals including experience recruiting, hiring, and retaining team members.
  • Passionate about the mission of the Office of Durham Community Affairs and demonstrated experience and commitment to advancing antiracism, health equity and engaged scholarship.

We are committed to cultivating a workplace in which diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, political ideology, or membership in any other legally protected class. We strongly encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds to apply.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to for confidential consideration. Applications will be considered as they are received and accepted until the position is filled. You are encouraged to apply promptly and no later than June 1, 2022.

Minimum Qualifications


Bachelor's degree required; graduate degree in business administration, public sector administration, public policy, or other related field strongly preferred.


Minimum of 8 years of experience in a highly complex, matrixed organization such as a research university.

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Read our Diversity Profile History

Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco products and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892, where Benjamin Newton Duke served as a primary benefactor and link with the Duke family until his death in 1929. In December 1924, the provisions of indenture by Benjamin’s brother, James B. Duke, created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.Duke Campus

As a result of the Duke gift, Trinity underwent both physical and academic expansion. The original Durham campus became known as East Campus when it was rebuilt in stately Georgian architecture. West Campus, Gothic in style and dominated by the soaring 210-foot tower of Duke Chapel, opened in 1930. East Campus served as home of the Woman's College of Duke University until 1972, when the men's and women's undergraduate colleges merged. Both men and women undergraduates now enroll in either the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering. In 1995, East Campus became the home for all first-year students.

Duke maintains a historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church.

Home of the Blue Devils, Duke University has about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world.

Mission Statement

Duke Science"James B. Duke's founding Indenture of Duke University directed the members of the University to 'provide real leadership in the educational world' by choosing individuals of 'outstanding character, ability, and vision' to serve as its officers, trustees and faculty; by carefully selecting students of 'character, determination and application;' and by pursuing those areas of teaching and scholarship that would 'most help to develop our resources, increase our wisdom, and promote human happiness.'

“To these ends, the mission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal education to undergraduate students, attending not only to their intellectual growth but also to their development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation as leaders in their communities; to prepare future members of the learned professions for lives of skilled and ethical service by providing excellent graduate and professional education; to advance the frontiers of knowledge and contribute boldly to the international community of scholarship; to promote an intellectual environment built on a commitment to free and open inquiry; to help those who suffer, cure disease, and promote health, through sophisticated medical research and thoughtful patient care; to provide wide ranging educational opportunities, on and beyond our campuses, for traditional students, active professionals and life-long learners using the power of information technologies; and to promote a deep appreciation for the range of human difference and potential, a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship, and a commitment to learning, freedom and truth.Duke Meeting

 “By pursuing these objectives with vision and integrity, Duke University seeks to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated with the University; to contribute in diverse ways to the local community, the state, the nation and the world; and to attain and maintain a place of real leadership in all that we do.”

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