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Job Req ID:  30336

Executive Director – Civic Engagement & Innovation

General Summary/Purpose:

Johns Hopkins University seeks an Executive Director for its soon-to-be-launched center focused on public sector innovation, city transformation, and civic engagement.  At the direction of the Executive Director, the new center will become a globally recognized organization focused on advancing the art and science of public sector innovation, especially among local governments. Specifically, the center will advance research, engage students, and support local governments around organizational, program, and policy innovation.  The new center - will work in close collaboration with the University President and Provost.


The inaugural Executive Director will develop this new center, design and deliver programs, and build and oversee a team which increase the legitimacy and impact of local government innovation with a special emphasis on the ways in which residents contribute to the design, development, and delivery of new services and policy approaches. The Executive Director will work in close collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies, which has been a pioneer in supporting creativity with city halls for the past decade and is providing the initial funding for the new center.


The selected candidate must have expertise in public innovation, digital transformation, urban policy, and/or resident engagement. They will have experience leading significant social purpose programs or organizations, deep public sector awareness, and exceptional organizational leadership skills, including fundraising, program and team management, and external communications. The Executive Director will build and deliver high quality programming for city halls worldwide, catalyze research that advances our understanding of public innovation, engage students and build their skills, and develop partnerships that drive impact. The Executive Director also will work collaboratively with leaders of other relevant University centers, as well as with researchers at Johns Hopkins University, and others around the world to amplify impact and scale best practices.


The Executive Director must have a forward thinking mindset and the vision to build out an organization, provide strong leadership to a rapidly growing team, as well as design and deliver impactful programs that benefit cities and their residents. Our ideal candidate will demonstrate a strong point of view on the opportunity to reimagine the role and opportunities of local governments, what it means to create meaningful civic engagement and the capacity for transformational resident-driven innovation.


The new center will be committed to addressing structural and entrenched racism and recognize the public sector’s role in perpetuating these legacies over time and addressing them today. We are looking for a leader committed dismantling structural and entrenched racism to addressing these issues, both as they build a new organization and advance this work in communities.


Specific duties & responsibilities:

  • Creating and overseeing a long-term strategic vision for the new center
  • Managing multiple programs in coordination with university staff, partner organizations, and philanthropic funders
  • Recruiting and managing a diverse team overseeing a portfolio of programs which focus on promoting resident engagement, building innovation capabilities, and digital transformation.
  • Establishing a global profile of the new center, including by leading a robust thought leadership and brand building effort for the new Center and its mission
  • Defining clear goals for the center and measuring progress towards these goals
  • Building and maintaining strong relationships with city leaders, elected officials, and critical stakeholders nationally and internationally
  • Cultivating productive partnerships with other Johns Hopkins institutions (e.g., SNF Agora Institute, 21st Century Cities Initiative) including opportunities for original research, program evaluation and improvement, and student learning and internships
  • Supporting the University’s role in promoting interdisciplinary collaborations with a range of partners and stakeholders to advance research, policy, and practice, with a focus on how innovation leads to equitable and sustainable growth in cities
  • Representing the new center to external stakeholders and serving as a thought leader through participation in conferences, writing opinion pieces, and contributions to other public activities
  • Other duties as assigned


Minimum qualifications (mandatory):

  • Master’s degree in public policy or related field
  • Seven years of experience in the fields of government innovation or community engagement; including five years of experience managing diverse teams
  • Additional education may substitute for experience, and additional experience may substitute required education to the extent permitted by the JHU Equivalency Formula


Preferred qualifications:

  • Excellent oral, written, and research skills
  • Commitment to a collegial workplace
  • Capacity to work independently and in a results-oriented workplace
  • Ability to work on multiple projects concurrently


Special knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Demonstrated effectiveness in coordinating with subject matter experts
  • Understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods

Classified Title: Director Civic Engagement 
Working Title: Executive Director – Civic Engagement & Innovation  ​​​​​
Role/Level/Range: ACRP/04/MF 
Starting Salary Range: Commensurate with experience
Employee group: Full Time 
Schedule: 5/37.5 
Exempt Status: Exempt  
Location: 01-MD:Homewood Campus 
Department name: 60006654-KSAS - Centers for Civic Impact 
Personnel area: School of Arts & Sciences


The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check.


If you are interested in applying for employment with The Johns Hopkins University and require special assistance or accommodation during any part of the pre-employment process, please contact the HR Business Services Office at jhurecruitment@jhu.edu. For TTY users, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.


The following additional provisions may apply depending on which campus you will work.  Your recruiter will advise accordingly.


During the Influenza ("the flu") season, as a condition of employment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employees who provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care or clinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination or possess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meet this requirement may result in termination of employment.


The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas, laboratories, working with research subjects, or involving community contact requires documentation of immune status against Rubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may include documentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicella vaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratory testing. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases are ordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except for those employees who provide results of blood tests or immunization documentation from their own health care providers. Any vaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no cost in our Occupational Health office.


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