Senior Director, Environmental Innovations Initiative

Pennsylvania, United States
26 Jun 2020
End of advertisement period
26 Aug 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Job Profile Title
Director C

Job Description Summary

The Environmental Innovations Initiative (EII) is a new undertaking, launched by the President and the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) in December 2019. Its goal is to put Penn in the vanguard of research and education aimed at building pathways towards lasting prosperity and well-being for all people in harmony with nature and its life-supporting systems, following the principles of justice. The goal of the EII is to integrate all relevant kinds of expert knowledge already well established in different parts of the University and to build upon the existing capacities by strategic additions and external partnerships (both in the academic world and the world of practice, at the local, national and international scales) that will catalyze and streamline progress towards the EII’s goal. EII will have a global focus and a broad interdisciplinary mandate to produce new knowledge and to engage and educate Penn students and others from the local community to the world.

Job Description

The Senior Director will report to two EII Faculty Co-Chairs and be under the direct supervision of the Associate Vice Provost for Research. The Senior Director will work closely with the Faculty Co-Chairs initiate and manage this new initiative.

Primary responsibilities include but not limited to:

  • Overseeing the operations of the EII office, including supervising staff.
  • Establish and staff EII advisory boards.
  • In collaboration with the faculty co-chairs and advisory boards, develop a long-term strategic vision for the EII.
  • Participating fully in the work of the initiative, including managing and participating in events (workshops, conferences, public fora, and others)
  • Reporting and grant writing
  • Research coordination
  • Leading public discussions
  • Meeting with internal and external stakeholders
  • Participating in the public-facing work of the initiative


  • Master’s or Ph.D. in a discipline that is relevant for the EII, Ph.D. preferred
  • Significant experience in environment-related research, teaching, and mentoring experience within academia.
  • Strong interest and extensive experience in research collaborations across disciplinary boundaries and/or in collaborative work in an environmentally-relevant area such as business, government, or other non-profits
  • Global experience preferred
  • High-level administrative leadership experience in academia with a deep understanding of the academic system and culture. Institutional knowledge of the University of Pennsylvania is an advantage.
  • Grant-writing experience and a record of securing external funding.
  • Experience and proven commitment to broader societal impacts of research and scholarship are necessary, both within the United States and internationally.
  • Clear enthusiasm for the vision and mission of the EII, and an excellent ability to articulate it in engagement with various audiences. Outstanding communication and advocacy skills, and determination to use them extensively to build strong productive alliances with faculty and students from all corners of Penn, as well as with strategically important external actors. Distinct capability to turn the EII’s purpose into concrete, detailed and persuasive action plans.
  • Proven engagement in, and commitment to, dialogue and collaboration with high-level national and international decision-makers at the environment–society–policy interface.
  • A commitment to inclusion and diversity in all its forms (i.e., racial, gender, socio-economic, intellectual, methodological, professional, disciplinary, etc.).
  • A demonstrated and unwavering ethical compass.
  • A proven supporter of social and environmental justice principles.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Provost's Center

Pay Range
$72,837.00 - $138,391.00

Affirmative Action Statement

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements

Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

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