Rice University - Houston, TX

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The Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University was founded in 2010 to offer a model of how research universities and cities can work together to strengthen urban life. With a generous gift from Houston philanthropists Rich and Nancy Kinder, the Institute is poised to become a pre-eminent Institute of urban studies, conducting world-class research and translating it into action by effective communication to public officials, businesses, and community leaders, first in Houston and then in cities throughout the United States and the world. In this manner, the Institute will work to achieve its mission: to advance the understanding of pressing urban issues and to foster the development of humane and sustainable cities through research, educational programs, and public outreach.

The Institute is seeking a new Director to take it to the next level of influence and impact. Working closely with the Advisory Board and Rice University leaders, the Director will: reach across the university and bring in experts on urban issues from a wide variety of disciplines; build up research infrastructure and increase the excellence of the Institute's research activities; and translate that research into policy changes on a national and international scale through effective outreach.

The Director is responsible for managing the strategic, programmatic, and financial operations of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research. S/he will identify the best and most effective solutions to pressing urban issues by developing ongoing and successful working relationships within the academic community of Rice University and the leadership of the Houston community. The successful candidate will be accountable to the Advisory Board, who reflect the serious interest of the founders in creating and supporting the institute. S/he will also be accountable to the university, reporting to the Office of the Provost. Because the function entails substantial outreach and representation of the university, the Director will also meet regularly with the President.

This search is being conducted by Russell Reynolds Associates. Please send all inquires or application materials, consisting of a cover letter and CV, to

Education Required
Bachelor's Degree

Experience may not be substituted for the education requirement.

Experience Required
7 years

Related experience in a leadership role within academic, government, and/or private sectors

Education may not be substituted for the experience requirement.

License/Certification Required

Other Skills Required
- Setting Strategy: The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated record of setting priorities and
successful leadership. S/he will be a strategic thinker who will work with the Advisory Board and with
the senior leadership team to develop plans and methods to realize the Institute's goals. S/he will be
capable of working with others to develop strategies with differentiated approaches so as to address
disparate audiences, cultures, and global contexts.

- Commitment to Research: The Kinder Institute is building a reputation as a leader in research on
urban issues. The candidate must possess a keen intellect and familiarity with, and respect for,
academia, as well as the ability to interface credibly with leading researchers.

- Leadership Style: The ideal candidate will demonstrate the "partner-like" leadership necessary to be
effective in an organization that includes academics from a variety of disciplines leading disparate
research projects. S/he will foster a culture of accountability, engagement, and empowerment,
convening and leading diverse constituencies to achieve excellence. The candidate will be decisive,
with the ability to set priorities, delegate, assure accountability, and allocate resources to ensure results.
S/he will demonstrate a commitment to transparency, openness and mutual respect.

- Communication Skills: S/he will be an inspiring communicator who can articulate the Kinder
Institute's vision and direction to a wide audience, as well as in one-on-one settings. S/he will have the
ability to connect with and secure results from the academic community, policy makers, corporate
leaders, NGOs, the media, Advisory Board members and staff.

- Interpersonal Skills: The successful candidate will have the interpersonal skills, desire, and intellect
needed to recruit, retain, motivate, and inspire the researchers, affiliated faculty, and staff members of
the Kinder Institute. S/he will be an active listener, demonstrate respect for others and, in turn, work to
gain their respect. The candidate will be able to develop positive and productive relationships,
effectively build working coalitions and consensus, and engage people and institutions towards
achieving the Kinder Institute's goals. S/he will have a strong sense of self and inherent intellectual
curiosity to ask the probing and difficult questions, but demonstrate a balanced perspective so as to
encourage others, whether they be staff or Advisory Board, to seek the appropriate answers.

- Passion and Shared Values: S/he will have the capacity, intellectual curiosity, and inclination to
exemplify the Kinder Institute's core mission to inform decision making through education, research,
policy evaluation, demonstration projects, and the dissemination of information. While the successful
candidate must have enough stature and experience to command the respect of the faculty, a PhD or
other terminal degree is not required.

Education Preferred
Graduate education, resulting in master's or doctoral degree.

Experience Preferred

License/Certification Preferred

Other Skills Preferred

Physical Demands

Working Conditions
(e.g. Weekend/evening work, travel, inclement weather, hazards)


Salary Information
Salary Commensurate with Experience and Qualifications

Benefits Eligible
Benefits Eligible

Job Posting Category

Eligible for Overtime

Work Schedule
Monday through Friday, regular business hours.

Eligible for Shift Differential
Not Shift Differential Eligible

Security Sensitive

Rice University - 9 months ago - save job
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You have to be as wise as an owl to attend Rice University, and have really good SAT scores. Often referred to as the "Ivy League of...