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Vanderbilt Center for Sustainability, Energy, and Climate Director

Vanderbilt University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Nashville, Tennessee
Closing date
Jul 28, 2024

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Global Environmental Change
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Vanderbilt University seeks an outstanding scholar with significant and demonstrated leadership experience to serve as the Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Sustainability, Energy, and Climate (VSEC). A $10-million initial investment in the Center is part of Discovery Vanderbilt, an initiative of the Office of the Provost committing significant resources to catalyze the engagement, reach, and impact of scholars’ cutting-edge work across the university’s schools and departments. The Director of VSEC is expected to be a faculty member at the rank of full professor with a demonstrated track record of building and leading interdisciplinary research and education efforts and will be hired in an academic department suited to the expertise of the Director. The successful candidate will be expected to (i) provide leadership for VSEC’s research, education, global engagement, and entrepreneurship initiatives, (ii) foster a collaborative environment across diverse disciplines, and (iii) establish a nationally and internationally recognized Center supported with extramural funds. In addition to leading the center, the Director is expected to maintain a robust research and education program as a faculty member. The Director will be expected to adopt Vanderbilt’s “radical collaboration” philosophy and should be committed to Vanderbilt University’s mission to bring out the best in humanity by pushing new ideas into the frontiers of discovery and working diligently in the service of others.  

The primary mission of VSEC is to deliver innovative concepts, cutting-edge research, compelling demonstrations, and concrete implementations to achieve a sustainable, resilient, and adaptive planet. VSEC supports four focus areas: Resource Sustainability; Energy Integration; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; and Systems Risk, Reliability, and Resilience, which build on Vanderbilt’s world-class engineering and science talent with the university’s leadership in community engagement, public policy, and law. A unique aspect of VSEC lies in Vanderbilt's distinctive ability to create partnerships on equal footing among engineers, natural scientists, social scientists, and faculty in professional schools such as law, management, nursing, and medicine. VSEC will fundamentally change how we approach research in the areas of sustainability, energy, and climate, by taking a holistic community-driven approach combining deep scientific questions and transformative technical advances with the human and societal sides.  

Applications should include a (i) cover letter, (ii) complete curriculum vitae, (iii) statement of research, (iv) statement of teaching, (v) statement of leadership that includes prior experience leading interdisciplinary research groups, approach towards interdisciplinary leadership, and vision for VSEC, and (vi) the contact information for a minimum of three references. Application materials are to be submitted online at Applications will be reviewed as they are received; those received by August 15, 2024, will be given full consideration. The start date can be as early as January 1, 2025.  

Ranked #18 nationally, Vanderbilt University is a private, internationally recognized research university located on 330 park-like acres 1.5 miles from downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Its 10 distinct schools share a single cohesive campus that values collaboration. The University enrolls over 13,700 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, including 38% minority students and over 1,700 international students.  

With a metro population of over two million people, Nashville’s top industries by employment include trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; professional and business services; government; and leisure and hospitality. Other industries include manufacturing, financial activities, construction, and information. Long known as a hub for health care and music, Nashville is a technology center with a considerable pool of health care, AI, and defense-related jobs available. In recent years, the city has experienced an influx of major office openings by some of the largest global tech companies and prime Silicon Valley startups.  

At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.  

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

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