The College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia State University seeks a dynamic leader to serve as the inaugural executive director of its new Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora. Situated in the heart of Atlanta, one of the more diverse and global cities in the nation, Georgia State University is a public research-intensive university with a diverse student body of approximately 54,000 students, and a national reputation for student learning, student success, and unparalleled growth of its research profile. CSAD aspires to increase worldwide understanding of the resilience of people from Africa and the African diaspora and their ongoing contributions in addressing contemporary issues with global implications.
OVERVIEW OF THE CENTER:
Georgia State University’s Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora (CSAD) serves as a hub for fostering a dynamic exchange of cultural, scientific, economic, policy and humanities knowledge between local communities, external partners and researchers at Georgia State University. The Center is in the heart of Atlanta, a city known for its globally recognized leaders who shaped and institutionalized fundamental civil and human rights and for its eminent institutions (the Museum of Civil and Human Rights, the The King Center, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, and the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, and the Atlanta University Center), which work to advance the contributions of the African Diaspora to the world’s identity.
CSAD aspires to become a leader and a catalyst for scholarly research, transdisciplinary initiatives, and national and international connections in the southeast and the nation as a whole. The Center’s mission is to:
- Foster research and expressive work;
- Support innovative scholarship and sponsor fellowships;
- Facilitate critical and solution-oriented dialogue;
- Support visiting scholars and advance policy contributions targeting issues of the African diaspora across the university and beyond;
- Convene partners and disseminate proceedings through exhibits, symposia, lectures, conferences, performances, curation, publications, and other programming in alignment with its mission;
- Engage community and global partnerships to facilitate initiatives on the history and cultural contributions of the African diaspora globally; and
- Serve as a hub for promoting the discipline of Africana Studies locally, regionally, and nationally while positioning Georgia State University’s leadership in the related global dialogue.
Reporting to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the executive director performs a pivotal and instrumental leadership role and is accountable for providing a coherent research vision and direction for the Center in partnership with an academic director, the Scholarship and Creative Advisory Board, and the dean. The Center is a key research and community outreach unit of the college focused on scholarship related to understanding of the African diaspora and its contributions to our global society. The executive director works with the dean and the board to create the vision and strategic direction of a transdisciplinary research portfolio and advances a culture of inclusivity in a diverse academic environment. The executive director leverages stakeholders and networks, and engages private, public and corporate sectors to generate funding support for the Center. This position is responsible for positioning of the Center to advance its mission, brokering relationships to bridge the Center with community partners. The executive director works to develop the board and is financially accountable for the approved budget.
The successful candidate is a visionary leader, mission-focused, and committed to advancing diversity and a climate of inclusion in the Center. We seek a collaborator who is relationship-oriented and results-driven. The individual in this position must be a team-builder, able to network effectively to leverage Georgia State University’s internal and external community, and is able to foster commitment, trust, and collaboration among diverse leaders and stakeholders in service to the mission of the Center. The successful candidate is capable of confronting the complex realities and advancing knowledge related to the diaspora. Success requires an understanding of the dynamics of local, regional, national, and global communities to attain the goals associated with the Center. Possessing a high level of business and management skills, the successful candidate is effective at generating resources and financial support for the Center, for its brand positioning, and for its impact.
- Works closely with the Board to craft and adapt the strategy to achieve the related objectives, including raising the funds to support the mission.
- Establishes and builds relationships with key community leaders to ensure relevant bridges and partnerships are identified, fostered and sustained.
- Leverages Atlanta’s rich history and dynamic identity in collaborative research and programming.
- Promotes the engagement of students in critical research and outreach opportunities on an ongoing basis, taking cognizance of the needs of the diverse student body.
- Acts as an ambassador for the Center raising its profile externally including across the Diaspora internationally and embodying good practice.
- Identifies, promotes and contributes resources to developing the Center’s research strengths and broader research portfolio, identifying and supporting opportunities for research and program development internally, externally and internationally, both within existing funding streams, and where possible, through transdisciplinary collaboration.
- Achieves income generation targets from research funding agencies and ensure that the Center capitalizes upon funding initiatives in furtherance of its programs.
- Serves as the principal resource to the Board of Directors and its key committees and gives strong direction as relevant to sustaining the success of the Center.
- Partners with the Board to craft the Center’s goals and develops strategies to ensure that they are achieved.
- Ensures coordination and alignment of all activities to strategic direction in the areas of community impact, resource development and staff alignment.
Management of the Center
- Ensures all related teams are aligned and collaborating to achieve the Center’s success.
- Maintains accountability for the operational and fiscal integrity of the Center within policies set by the Board.
- Assesses the Center’s capacity to implement strategies and identify gaps in systems and staffing.
- Performs day-to-day supervision of staff and establishes individual performance goals.
- Works to manage and ensure budget compliance, mitigate financial risks.
- Ensures that goals of inclusiveness and diversity among staff and volunteers are met.
Board and University Compliance Responsibilities
- Ensures that the Center’s Strategic and Creative Advisory Board (SCAB) meets and receives regular reports on progress and that the advice of the SCAB is taken into account in formulating the Center’s future plans.
- Ensures that the Center and its members comply with University policies on research quality and conduct and the requirements of all relevant regulatory bodies.
Disclaimer: This job requisition provides a high-level job definition. It is not intended to provide a comprehensive or exclusive list of job duties. As such, job duties and/or responsibilities within the context of this job requisition may change at the discretion the employee’s direct supervisor.
College of Arts & Sciences
Preferred Hiring Qualifications:
- Earned Ph.D. or demonstrable evidence of equivalent training and at least 10 years’ experience in progressive senior strategic leadership. International leadership experience desired.
- At least 10-years’ experience in executive leadership with strategic planning, project design and implementation, fiscal compliance, budget construction, staff, volunteers and boards performance management.
- Experience in financial planning and resource allocation.
- Experience in leading change, developing partnerships, and building teams.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Demonstrated experience in community engagement, fundraising, and community development.
- Experience across multiple sectors, including nonprofit, public and corporate environments.
- Experience in fundraising, grant writing, or other means of revenue generation.
- Must possess and demonstrate unquestioned integrity; a long-term perspective; a strong sense of accountability; a practical ability to get things done; wisdom and good judgment.
Special Instructions: To be fully considered for this position all candidates at the time of submission must provide the following documents:
- A complete and accurate GSU application
- Letter of Intent
- Diversity Statement