Job Listings

Director, Arizona Institutes for Resilience

The University of Arizona
Job Location:
Tucson, Arizona
Facilities Management

Posting Number: req7509

Department: AZ Inst for Resilience

Location: Main Campus

Address: Tucson, AZ USA

Position Highlights

The University of Arizona (UArizona) seeks an experienced and visionary leader to serve as Director of the Arizona Institutes for Resilience (AIR), a new university-wide interdisciplinary research institute in the UArizona Office of Research, Innovation, and Impact (RII.) The interdisciplinary and collaborative research in AIR bridges disciplines, viewpoints, and geography to produce and provide research-based solution options for decision-makers in government, industry, and civil society.

The next Director of AIR will join the UArizona at a critical moment in AIR's history and will play an important role in its continued success.

About the Arizona Institutes for Resilience (AIR)

AIR includes many Centers, Institutes, and Programs that work together to design and implement a "roadmap to resilience," drawing on the expertise at many colleges and departments to promote partnerships and interdisciplinary activities. Looking to the future, AIR will help individuals, businesses and communities manage risk and find opportunities associated with solving the climate crisis.

AIR focuses on solutions that engage a full array of disciplines, professional schools, international capacity, and entrepreneurial opportunities. The AIR themes are designed to encourage the formation of interdisciplinary teams across the university to conduct solution-focused research in topics such as climate adaptation and resilience solutions; resilience measurement; international development; national security and the environment; data, informatics and modeling; biodiversity, conservation and ecosystems; and many more.

Established in April 2020, AIR is already being recognized for the success of its institutes, centers and programs, and is poised to have an increased impact in the global community through heightened visibility, increased extramural funding, and a compelling strategic vision that takes into account the intersectionality of its work.

The multitude of ideas and profound collaborations housed in AIR position it to become a key player in dealing with some of the greatest resilience challenges facing our society today, such as sustainable water supplies, renewable energy, food security, public health, justice, and gender equality. The next Director will lead the Institute through its next iteration of growth, greater distinction, and increased impact.

UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance
and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU
tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and
optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and

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are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition of employment unless granted a
religious or disability/medical accommodation. New hires must submit their
COVID-19 vaccine documentation or accommodation request no later than one week
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Duties & Responsibilities

Role of the Director

The Director of AIR is responsible for leading activities that foster interdisciplinary collaboration to address key resilience issues, generating increased external support to grow research and outreach that leads to substantive public benefit and increased external visibility. To enable the high-impact nature of the Institute's work, the Director oversees multiple, and often complex, streams of funding for both projects and personnel, including flexible academic arrangements and opportunities.

Annually, the Director is responsible for submitting a workplan and budget to the Office of Research, Innovation, and Impact to secure approval of funding. The Director reports to the Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation in RII, and it has a dotted line report to the Associate Vice President for Resilience and International Development.  As the primary representative for AIR, the Director manages outreach programs and relationships both within and outside of the University.  Of primary importance for the Director is coordinating and utilizing resources from RII as well as those in colleges across the University.

The Director is responsible for all "outward-looking" functions of AIR, including reporting to and responding to University and external advisory committees, and addressing the media.

The new Director will be joining AIR at a dynamic, formational time and will become a part of a community of researchers and educators all joined by their dedication to the university's resilience mission and values. As the representative of the Institute both at the UArizona and in the community at large, the incoming Director will be responsible for furthering its interdisciplinary research by expanding extramural funding of its activities, connecting diverse researchers across campus in synergistic and thoughtful ways, strengthening its partnership with relevant organizations in Arizona and around the world, and increasing the visibility of UArizona's resilience-related research to external entities. In doing so, the new Director will be expected to address the following key opportunities and challenges:

  • Further enhance and elevate the Institute's visibility and impact at the University and across the globe;
  • Expand and diversify financial resources to allow AIR to fulfill its many ambitions;
  • Continue to develop relationships and leverage the full capacity of the UArizona;
  • Foster and deepen a strong sense of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within AIR;
  • Establish, strengthen, and grow the bonds between AIR and institutions across the globe that have complimentary missions.
  • With an emphasis on collaborative leadership and management, the new Director will continue to foster common goals and a sense of teamwork in AIR. The new Director will work closely with a diverse staff of program directors and managers to determine, prioritize, and support the work of their units to the highest standards.

Specific Duties and responsibilities.  The AIR Director, working with and through an Associate Director and a core staff, in partnership with senior administrators, colleges, and units across UArizona, oversees a core office that has the following responsibilities:

  • Strategy: Develop and implement a global strategy for AIR, working closely with RII leadership;
  • Management: Establish priorities, metrics, supervision, operations, leadership on and off campus, and of matrix management across UArizona units linked to AIR;
  • Finance: Steward financial resources under AIR management, including RII core funding, University Strategic Initiative funds, State funds under the Technology, Research and Innovation Funds (TRIF) program, federal government, and philanthropic funds;
  • Research:  Leverage, coordinate, build upon, and support existing strengths and centers across UArizona; establish cross-university research themes
  • Communications, Marketing, and Development: Facilitate cross-university and external communications, web presence, staff recruitment, partner development, and relationship management with donors;
  • Engagement and Outreach: Leverage strengths across UArizona to develop collaborative solutions; build and support engagement networks; lead and facilitate conversations and convenings;
  •  Applied Solutions: Design and implement a "roadmap to resilience" in partnership with collaborators, and metrics to evaluate progress; develop or co-develop solutions to resilience challenges;
  • Education: Support the development of a first-year undergraduate experience that focuses on resilience and research skills for solving the climate crisis in a changing world.  Support the development of new online and in-person professional, graduate, continuing education and certificate programs within departments and colleges.
  • Community: Actively support and promote a strong sense of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion through genuine commitment and dedicated leadership efforts.


A candidate for AIR Director should bring expertise, relationships, and skills that complement the Institute's existing capacity in order to advance a wide range of solution-oriented interdisciplinary research programs.  The successful candidate should be an individual with substantial and widely recognized accomplishments in areas relevant to the AIR mission as the Director will have the opportunity to influence future directions of the Institute that complement existing solution-oriented interdisciplinary research.

The successful candidate should be an innovative and collaborative administrator with the ability to articulate a clear, strategic, and compelling vision for how the Institute can expand its impact, and should possess many, if not all, of the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics:

  • A record of collaborative leadership that fosters common goals within a department or program and the broader university community, and ability to advocate for the organization;
  • Commitment to public service, environmental stewardship, and recognition of the value of research in informing policy and management decisions;
  • Demonstrated success in identifying, cultivating, and forming relationships to increase targeted activities and advance success in outcome metrics;
  • Demonstrated success in securing extramural funding to advance the goals and objectives of projects, programs, and initiatives;
  • A history of productive collaboration with external organizations and constituencies, especially with diverse and/or underserved constituencies;
  • Sustained interest in outreach and engagement in both domestic and international settings;
  • Well-developed people skills and an ability to represent and support staff, allow for/defend academic independence, act with congeniality, collegiality, openness, responsiveness, respectfulness, dynamism, innovativeness; and be a good listener and team player;
  • Political astuteness and the ability to communicate effectively with administration and campus colleagues; be transparent, trustworthy and consultative, and have good strategic instincts;
  • Evidence of, and commitment to fostering the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion among faculty, staff, and research partners;
  • Willingness to take initiative to establish or improve procedures and processes, and creativity to seek solutions to achieve desired outcomes;
  •  Willingness to travel globally and ability to work collaboratively with diverse partners and stakeholders, including governmental agencies, NGOs, community organizations, university researchers, and the private sector.

Minimum Qualifications

  • An earned graduate degree and at least 7 years of experience in relevant research themes with scholarly credentials commensurate with tenure and appointment at the rank of Professor at the UArizona;
  • Previous administrative experience as a unit leader in government, university, or a not-for profit organization (NGO).
  • Experience working with advisory committees and/or boards of directors;
  • A record of entrepreneurial experience and ability to both lead and
    participate in research networks, connect to established funding
    prospects, craft successful proposals, and build effective interdisciplinary research teams that are geographically dispersed;

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD degree preferred.

FLSA: Exempt

Full Time/Part Time: Full Time

Number of Hours Worked per Week: 40

Job FTE: 1.0

Work Calendar: Fiscal

Job Category: Research

Benefits Eligible: Yes - Full Benefits

Rate of Pay: DOE

Compensation Type: salary at 1.0 full-time equivalency (FTE)

Type of criminal background check required: Fingerprint criminal background check (security sensitive due to title or department)

Number of Vacancies: 1

Contact Information for Candidates

John O'Neil

Open Until Filled: Yes

Documents Needed to Apply: Resume and Cover Letter

Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As an Hispanic-serving institution and a Native American/Alaska Native-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

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