JOE Listings (Job Openings for Economists)

August 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016

Brown University

This listing is inactive.
Director of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

JOE ID Number: 2015-02_111453201
Date Posted: 08/01/2015
Date Inactive: 01/31/2016
Position Title/Short Description
Title: Director of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Section: US: Full-Time Academic (Permanent, Tenure Track or Tenured)
Location: Providence, Rhode Island, UNITED STATES
JEL Classification: 00 -- Default: Any Field
International and Public Affairs
Full Text of JOE Listing:

Brown University
The Howard R. Swearer Director of the Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Institute for International and Public Affairs

Brown University seeks an accomplished social scientist to serve as the next Director of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Since 1990, the Institute has been Brown's hub for research and teaching on international relations. Research and education at the Institute focuses on core thematic areas of development, governance and security, and with the recent incorporation of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, Watson’s mission formally integrates the study of both international and public affairs. The institute also oversees a set of regional programs focused on China, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, and the United States; a 12-month intensive MPA program; and undergraduate majors in International Relations, Development Studies, and Public Policy.

With the support of University President Christina Paxson, the leadership of out-going Director Richard Locke (who has been appointed Provost of the University starting July 1), and the active encouragement of the Institute’s distinguished Board of Overseers, the last two years have been a period of significant transformation and growth for the Watson Institute. The Institute currently has a roster of 14 core faculty who are jointly appointed with disciplinary departments, including Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology and Economics, as well as 20 affiliated faculty fellows. Several additional recruitments are in progress, and new positions have been authorized as funds are raised for them. With a commitment to broadening the Institute’s national and global impact in promoting a just and peaceful world, Watson is on a course to double its faculty over the next several years. Watson hosts robust programs for postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate students, as well as visiting fellows.

The Director is responsible for shaping and supervising the Institute’s ongoing research initiatives and educational programs, and provides intellectual leadership for its multidisciplinary community of affiliated scholars and students. The Director is also the Institute’s principal liaison to the University’s broader academic community and administration. In addition, the Director, assisted by an Associate Director and other staff, has overall responsibility for the Institute’s day-to-day operations, including budget and finance, fundraising, and external relations. The Institute currently has an endowment valued at $127 million, and an annual operating budget of $6.5 million. The Director reports jointly to the University’s Provost with respect to strategic and programmatic planning, and to the Dean of Faculty in relation to financial and human resources.

In seeking outstanding candidates to lead the Watson Institute on a continued growth trajectory, the University will give greatest consideration to the following attributes and qualifications:

1. Academic Accomplishment. Because the Director of the Watson Institute will be actively engaged in faculty recruitment, evaluation, promotion, and retention, and is responsible for the quality of the various research and teaching programs housed within the Institute, he or she should have a strong scholarly record appropriate for a tenured faculty appointment and be well known in his/her field. S/he must be able to evaluate academic scholarship from different disciplines, understand and embrace the standards of excellence expected in faculty recruitment and promotion processes, and be respected as an academic by both the Watson faculty and the broader Brown University faculty community. While applicants whose work focuses on domestic policy are welcome, greatest attention will be given to scholars whose expertise lies in international or comparative work.

2. Record of Public Engagement. The Director's record should demonstrate an appreciation of the important role of research in informing policy and practice. The Director need not have worked full-time in government or other public service capacities but should have experience with engaging policymakers and practitioners through his/her research, teaching, and/or service.

3. Administrative Experience/Leadership Style. As the Watson Institute continues to develop, the next Director must be capable of managing an increasingly complex organization with many different stakeholders (faculty, staff, students, Board of Overseers, administrators, donors, visitors, etc.). Key qualifications for this position include a demonstrated record of successful fundraising, program development, faculty recruitment, and organizational management, and a leadership style that is both inclusive (participatory) and directed.

4. Vision and Strategy. The Watson Institute currently possesses a strong governance model as well as a clear and successful strategy, developed with substantial faculty participation, for becoming one of the leading centers for international and public affairs in the country. While maintaining continuity with this strategy (including its well-developed staffing and fundraising plans) will be important, the next Director will also be expected to build upon this strategy and advance his/her own vision for realizing the University's ambitions for the Institute.

A search committee of faculty members chaired by President Paxson will meet throughout the summer to review candidates, with the goal of having a new Director in place no later than January 1, 2016. Please direct inquiries or expressions of interest to Deputy Provost Joseph Meisel at Application instructions are available at

Application Requirements:
  • External Application Link