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Executive director, Institute for Contemporary Art

Virginia Commonwealth University invites nominations for and applications from individuals interested in assuming an exciting leadership opportunity as executive director for the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA). The director will provide the creative vision, executive leadership and strategic direction for the ICA, shaping its role as an outstanding arts institution and working symbiotically with the VCU School of the Arts. The position reports directly to the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. It may include a faculty appointment in VCUarts and requires collegial collaboration with the dean of the School of the Arts. Within the context of the university’s strategic plan, Quest for Distinction, the director is expected to take advantage of the ICA’s unique opportunities, as it is embedded within a research university and at the intersection of Richmond’s rich and diverse community. 

Building on a strong foundation of existing operational, programming and impact planning, the director will develop a five-year strategic plan in collaboration with key constituents across VCU, including the VCUarts dean and faculty, key volunteer leaders, staff, students, and community. The plan should fully capitalize on the strengths of VCUarts and other university schools and departments. The director will work closely with the ICA’s communications and development staff to grow and expand its reach to include local, regional, national and international audiences, and develop the financial and fundraising plans necessary to provide for financial sustainability. 

Search committee co-chairs
Shawn Brixey, Dean, School of the Arts
Bill Royall, Chairman emeritus and senior advisor, EAB Enrollment Services
Search committee members
Holly Alford, M.F.A., Associate professor, Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising  and director of diversity, inclusion and equity and associate professor, School of the Arts
Jay Davenport, Vice president, Development and Alumni Relations
Richard Godbeer, Ph.D., Director, Humanities Research Center, College of Humanities and Sciences
Heidi Jack, Executive director of academic finance and administration, Office of the Provost
Lauren Katchuk, President, VCU Staff Senate and business manager, Division of Student Affairs
Pam Lawton, Ed.D., Associate professor, Department of Art Education, School of the Arts
Michael Lease, M.F.A., Director of facilities, installation and exhibition design, Institute for Contemporary Art
Pam Royall, Ph.D., Head of research, EAB Enrollment Services
Richard Rozewski, Graduate student, Department of Interior Design, School of the Arts
Brian Shaw, Senior executive director for institutional affairs and constituent relations, Office of the President
Noah Simblist, Ph.D., Chair and associate professor, Department of Painting and Printmaking, School of the Arts
Stephanie Smith, Chief curator, Institute for Contemporary Art
Marcia Thalhimer, Member, Institute for Contemporary Art Advisory Board Executive Committee
Search ex officio members
Emily Avesian, Talent acquisition partner, Office of Faculty Recruitment and Retention
Melanie Christian, Executive assistant to the dean and graduate studies coordinator, School of the Arts


Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution providing access to education and employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability.