Leadership Searches

Dean, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

Virginia Commonwealth University seeks a dean for its L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs and invites nominations and expressions of interest. The Wilder School, first organized in 2003 becoming an independent unit at VCU in 2013, is an interdisciplinary school, bringing together faculty from multiple disciplines and applied fields with a shared interest in engagement and public affairs. The school offers programs spanning the undergraduate through the doctoral level, in addition to post-baccalaureate certificate programs. Disciplines include criminal justice, political science, public policy and administration, urban and regional studies and one of the first homeland security and emergency preparedness programs in the nation. Graduate programs include master’s programs in criminal justice, public administration, urban and regional planning and a Ph.D. program in public policy and administration. The school stands at the intersection between policy analysis and development, research and service to public and private interests both in the region and nationwide.

The dean will have responsibility for providing leadership in academic, research, community outreach and fund-development activities to sustain and enhance the outstanding reputation of the school. The dean will take the lead in shaping the future of the school, advancing the vision that defines its standard of excellence, the directions of its growth and the new and multidisciplinary connections that are possible across the university and abroad. The dean will nourish and build external partnerships, including engaging the expertise of the faculty to address the schools vision to be the premier resource for public policy expertise and social justice in public safety, governance and economic and community development. Along with the faculty, the dean will be responsible for the recruitment and retention of faculty members, assuring excellence in teaching, research and service. We envision the opportunity to shape new programmatic directions, extend those now in place and build upon existing strengths in the university and the school. The dean also will extend partnerships with the public sector, expanding connections in support of the development of the school. The dean will be part of the senior leadership of the university, working with other senior officers and deans to realize the university’s promising and challenging future.

The successful candidate will be a nationally recognized entrepreneurial leader able to infuse the Wilder School with a sense of common purpose and pride. Requirements include a record of distinguished research, teaching, and/or public service; substantial administrative experience, preferably at a research university; proven success in external fund development; and credentials that merit appointment at the rank of full professor in the school. Experience in addressing the social and economic issues in the widest variety of communities will be highly valued. Applicants with strong leadership experience and outstanding accomplishments in government and public affairs are also welcomed and will receive serious attention. This is an exceptional opportunity for an individual with the drive, skill, and experience to bring creative leadership to a distinguished organization and to play a critical role in shaping its future.

Position search committee

Search committee co-chairs
Barbara Boyan, Ph.D., Dean, School of Engineering
Jill Gordon, Ph.D., Associate dean for faculty and academic affairs, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Search committee members
Jay Albanese, Ph.D., Professor, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Kristine Artello, Ph.D., J.D., Assistant professor, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Jean Thomas-Banks, Executive assistant to the dean, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Sarah Jane Brubaker, Ph.D., Associate professor, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Matt Conrad, Executive director of government and board relations, Office of the President
Sen. Rosalyn “Roz” Dance, Senator, Virginia’s 16th District 
Nakeina Douglas-Glenn, Ph.D., Director, Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute 
Meghan Gough, Ph.D., Associate professor, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Richard Huff, Ph.D., Chair, Master of Public Administration program, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Robyn Diehl McDougle, Ph.D., Associate professor, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Mary Moore, Interim director, Survey Evaluation and Research Laboratory 
Simon Okoth, Ph.D., Assistant professor, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
William Pelfry, Ph.D., Associate professor, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Grant Rissler, Assistant director for programs, Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute
I-Shian “Ivan” Suen, Ph.D., Associate professor, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs 
Judyth Twigg, Ph.D., Professor, College of Humanities and Sciences
Kimberly M. Whitfield, Executive assistant to the dean, School of Engineering
Search committee ex-officio member
Emily Avesian, Talent acquisition partner, Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation