Executive Director of the CMU Rales Fellows Program

Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
150,000 - 200,000
Closing date
Apr 9, 2023

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Other, Other
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) invites applications, nominations, and expressions of interest for the inaugural position of executive director of the CMU Rales Fellows Program. This individual will have an extraordinary opportunity to shape and lead an innovative and high-impact graduate fellows program within one of the most creative and entrepreneurial institutions in higher education. This is an on-site and in-person role; the anticipated start date is early summer 2023.

Carnegie Mellon University, a member of the Association of American Universities, is a global, research-intensive university with nearly 16,800 students, 125,000 living alumni, and approximately 6,300 faculty and staff. In 2022, U.S. News & World Report ranked CMU number 22 among national universities, and many of its programs are among the top-ranked in the world. Carnegie Mellon boasts academic strength across a broad range of fields spanning physical and life sciences, computer science, engineering, social sciences, humanities, fine arts, business, public policy, and, indicative of this breadth, is home to the number one ranked programs in computer science, software engineering, management information systems, and time-based/new media. CMU's annual budget exceeds $1.3 billion, with total research expenditures of $400 million. In addition to its main campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in California's Silicon Valley and Qatar and programs in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Mexico.

The newly established CMU Rales Fellows Program is a graduate fellows program dedicated to developing a new generation of domestic national science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) leaders who, through their leadership, determination, and innovation, aspire to work toward advancements in the sciences to further human progress while inspiring and building a path for others to follow. The CMU Rales Fellows Program will increase access to STEM graduate education and eliminate cost as a barrier to certain master’s degree and PhD programs for students from under-resourced and underrepresented backgrounds by providing full tuition and a stipend; it also will support students through a distinctive, holistic ecosystem of development opportunities and networks that will benefit the fellows both during their time at CMU and as they advance in their careers.  The first cohort of fellows will enroll in fall 2024; at steady state, the CMU Rales Fellows program is expected to support 86 graduate students in STEM fields annually, educating thousands of research and industry leaders in the coming decades. Reflective of the university’s collaborative approach to ensure success of the program, Carnegie Mellon has entered into a partnership with the nationally recognized Ron Brown Scholar Program to help identify and engage excellent candidates for the CMU Rales Fellows program.

The executive director of the CMU Rales Fellows Program (executive director) will provide overall leadership for the newly created CMU Rales Fellows Program and serve as its chief ambassador and advocate on campus and in the local and national contexts. They will be charged with translating the program’s ambitious shared vision into action by creating, developing, and sustaining an innovative and collaborative graduate fellows program. The program aims to expand access and opportunity for historically marginalized populations and address critical societal needs by preparing and expanding the workforce of today and tomorrow. The executive director will have the unique opportunity to establish a new administrative office; create its organizational and operational structure, manage a complex, multi-million dollar annual budget; and hire three staff members to support the successful launch and growth of the program. The executive director will report to Dr. Amy Burkert, vice provost for education.

This inaugural leader will engage with various campus partners, particularly the deans and associate deans of the College of Engineering, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mellon College of Science, and School of Computer Science, and coordinate efforts to ensure successful outcomes for the program and the fellows. Chief among these efforts will be the development of the recruitment strategies for the inaugural and subsequent cohorts of Rales Fellows and the cultivation and identification of three faculty fellows in partnership with program and department leads. The executive director will also have primary responsibility for the strategic cultivation of relationships with national corporate and institutional partners. In collaboration with the provost and vice provost, they will drive the development of partnerships with key external stakeholders, including institutions of higher education, that serve historically underrepresented and under-resourced populations. The executive director will also serve as the program’s liaison with the Rales Foundation and Ron Brown Scholar Program and ensure regular and timely communication on the program’s growth and outcomes.

A master’s degree, successful and progressive professional and leadership experiences suitable for appointment at the executive director level, and a significant record of success in student academic services and staff management will be expected of the executive director. The successful candidate will be known for partnering well in complex environments and will have a deep understanding of the needs and best practices of inclusive excellence and graduate education.

The search advisory committee particularly invites applications from candidates with demonstrated experience with current trends and impactful practices in recruiting and supporting underrepresented graduate students in STEM fields; a record of collaborative and dynamic leadership; a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and an affinity for the distinctive vision and mission of the CMU Rales Fellows Program.

The anticipated hiring salary range for this position is $150,000 - $200,000. Carnegie Mellon considers numerous factors when extending offers of employment, including but not limited to the role and associated responsibilities, a candidate’s work experience, education/training, and key skills.

Carnegie Mellon University has retained the services of Spelman Johnson, a leading national executive search firm, to assist with leading this search. Review of applications will begin Monday, April 10, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at www.spelmanjohnson.com/open-positions. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Michel R. Frendian, Senior Consultant, at mrf@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Consistent with scientific evidence on the importance of vaccine adoption to control the spread of the virus and to the extent permissible by law, Carnegie Mellon University requires all students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (including booster doses when eligible). Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination is required before the start of employment. In accordance with state and federal law, Carnegie Mellon will consider medical or religious exemptions to any vaccine requirement for faculty and staff.

Visit the Carnegie Mellon University website at www.cmu.edu and the CMU Rales Fellows Program website here.

Carnegie Mellon University is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EEO/AA). The university bases its employment decisions on the principle of equal employment opportunity. All personnel actions, including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, transfer, layoff, return from layoff, education tuition assistance, and social and recreational programs are administered in accordance with the university's commitment to non-discrimination.

Further, the university takes affirmative action to attract qualified candidates for employment who are minority, female, individuals with disabilities, disabled veterans, and veterans of the Vietnam Era; ensures that bona fide job-related and valid requirements are used to evaluate employees for promotion and applicants for employment; and complies with applicable federal, state and local laws, statutes, orders and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national or ethnic origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status or non-job-related disability.

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