The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University — Executive Director for The Environmental Collaboratory

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University invites nominations and applications for the position of Executive Director for The Environmental Collaboratory.  

With expertise in environmental science, engineering, law, health, policy, and humanities – as well as a deep and common commitment to civic engagement – Drexel University (Drexel) and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (The Academy) together possess the resources needed to work with communities, corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies to both identify regional environmental issues and address them impactfully, equitably, and together. The aim of The Environmental Collaboratory (The Collaboratory) is to make that happen.

More than a place or a narrow theme, The Collaboratory is a groundbreaking approach that unites Drexel, the Academy, and communities of need in a shared endeavor to sustain our planet and mitigate its degradation. The Collaboratory will leverage the extensive human capital of both Drexel and the Academy in ways that effect meaningful, measurable, and scalable impact. Bringing faculty, staff, students, partners, and the public together, The Collaboratory will coordinate, develop, integrate, and resource research, education, civic engagement, and public programming to solve problems and shape culture. In doing so it will also drive and catalyze curricular innovation – a crucial measure of The Collaboratory’s success. It will achieve these outcomes by focusing on three key pillars:

  • Community Based Research – The Collaboratory will initiate, facilitate, and promote inter-disciplinary, community-based research that creates novel solutions to real-world environmental problems. The Collaboratory views community-based research as being the ways in which faculty, staff, and students collaborate with external groups in mutually beneficial partnerships that are grounded in scholarship and consistent with Drexel and the Academy’s roles and missions.
  • Civic Engagement – The Collaboratory will identify research questions in reciprocal partnerships with communities; engage communities in the research process; devise, incubate and deliver implementation strategies with communities; share outcomes with a wider audience; shape beliefs and values through public programs and campaigns; and erode the power dynamic that commonly characterizes the relationship between ‘academia’ and ‘community’.
  • Seed Funding – The Collaboratory will catalyze research and programs through seed grants. Proof-of-concept projects will be an early focus for The Collaboratory. From its earliest days, funding will need to be cultivated and solicited through private philanthropy, industry partnerships, and government grants. 

The Collaboratory’s Executive Director will report to Drexel’s Provost, Dr. Paul Jensen and will establish and maintain a close working relationship with the Academy’s President and CEO, Scott Cooper, PhD. The role of the Executive Director will involve planning and implementing a visionary strategy, by defining the immediate and long-term strategic priorities and identifying actionable means for achieving sustainability, excellence, and influence. Only by creating and sustaining strategic relationships with Drexel and Academy faculty, staff, and students as well as local community members/organizations, will the Executive Director be able to identify emerging research opportunities and forge coalitions that align with The Collaboratory’s mission. She/he/they will serve as a leading voice and spokesperson, building bridges between community collaborators, partners, and supporters on and off campus and telling the story of The Collaboratory as it grows over time. 

To learn more, visit the full position profile. For best consideration, please send all nominations and applications to:

Shelly Weiss Storbeck, Global Education Practice Lead and  Managing Director
Jim Sirianni, Managing Director
Sara Swisher-Anderson, Senior Associate  

Drexel University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and actively seeks applications from qualified women and minority candidates.