Co-Director for Academic Affairs

Co-Director for Academic Affairs


The University of Virginia is seeking a distinguished scholar to help lead our Democracy Initiative, as Co-Director for Academic Affairs.

UVA's Democracy Initiative aspires to excellence in integrated research, teaching, and public engagement on democracy at a global scale – bringing together a diverse range of scholars, government leaders, and practitioners to study and advance the prospects of democracy around the world.


Led by UVA's College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, in partnership with the nonpartisan Miller Center of Public Affairs and in collaboration with colleagues from across the University, the Democracy Initiative was established in 2018 with leadership support from generous donors to the College Foundation and the Jefferson Scholars Foundation. It is designed to engage a wide audience – from undergraduates to world leaders – in examining the challenges confronting democracies today. With over $50 million already committed, UVA is on track to meet the goal of $120 million in overall support for the Democracy Initiative.


Reporting to the Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and working in close partnership with the Co-Director for Policy and Public Affairs, the Co-Director for Academic Affairs will play a key role in shaping the Democracy Initiative's development and direction. The two co-directors will work closely together, but they will also have distinct duties. The Co-Director for Academic Affairs will partner with the Co-Director for Policy and Public Affairs to provide vision and leadership of the Democracy Initiative, with a particular emphasis on developing the Initiative's research and pedagogical mission. The new leader will also serve as Director and lead research convener of the Core Lab.


The Co-Director for Academic Affairs will build a vibrant community of scholars – undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty – devoted to studying the promise of and the challenges to democracy. This individual will be a dynamic leader sharing responsibility for maintaining a high level of interest in the Democracy Initiative amongst a wide and diverse constituency.


The University seeks a distinguished academic from the humanities or social sciences to serve in this capacity. Compelling candidates will bring appreciation for the multi and interdisciplinary nature of the Initiative as well as the role of research in facilitating important global discussions in the public beyond the academy.


Professional Qualifications

  • A full professor from the humanities or social sciences is desired. Significant academic credentials, a nationally recognized scholar in topics related to democracy. An earned doctoral degree and experience working in a university or institutional research setting is required.
  • Demonstrated record of strong management skills and effective, collaborative leadership in a distinguished academic or research setting. Capacity to formulate and articulate a shared vision, to persuade a wide range of audiences of its value, and to engage others in its implementation. Understanding and appreciation of the importance of diversity and inclusion, and ability to promote and construct a collegial and respectful working environment. Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Conversant in and supportive of interdisciplinary research, theories, and methods. Ability to initiate and foster successful research partnerships and collaborations in academia and beyond.
  • Ability to leverage the Initiative in recruiting outstanding new faculty to the University. A record of operational leadership demonstrating excellence, growth, and financial effectiveness. Demonstrated experience in fiscal management. Ability to manage resources strategically.
  • Aptitude and appetite for strengthening philanthropic support from individuals, foundations, and corporations.


To learn more about this opportunity, please visit


Applications should include a CV, letter of interest and contact information for at least three references. The search will be carried out with full confidentiality; candidates will be notified before references are contacted. To be officially considered for this position, all candidates must apply through UVA Workday at


For confidential inquiries or to nominate someone for this opportunity, please contact AJ Davidson, Senior Search Consultant, with the University of Virginia's Executive Search Group, at




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