Democracy Initiative Position Openings

Co-Director for Academic Affairs


Reporting to the Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and working in close partnership with the Co-Director for Policy and Public Affairs, the Co-Director for Academic Affairs will play a key role in shaping the Democracy Initiative’s development and direction. The two co-directors will work closely together, but they will also have distinct duties. The Co-Director for Academic Affairs will partner with the Co-Director for Policy and Public Affairs to provide vision and leadership of the Democracy Initiative, with a particular emphasis on developing the Initiative’s research and pedagogical mission. The new leader will also serve as Director and lead research convener of the Core Lab. 

The Co-Director for Academic Affairs will build a vibrant community of scholars—undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty—devoted to studying the promise of and the challenges to democracy. They will be a dynamic leader sharing responsibility for maintaining a high level of interest in the Democracy Initiative amongst a wide and diverse constituency.

The University seeks a distinguished academic from the humanities or social sciences to serve in this capacity. They will bring appreciation for the multi and interdisciplinary nature of the Initiative as well as the role of research in facilitating important global discussions in the public beyond the academy.


  • Executive Leadership and Vision: In partnership with the Co-Director for Policy and Public Affairs, develop and implement a vision and strategic plan to advance the national and international reputation of the Initiative.
  • Research and Programs: Serve as director and lead research convener of the Core Lab. Provide creative leadership to the rotating labs and other programs. Create new educational and research programs that are consistent with the goals of the Initiative. Promote Initiative activities and programs within the University and in national and international forums.  
  • Team Building and Administrative Management: Help to facilitate hires of faculty whose research touches in diverse ways on questions relevant to democracy.  Further the career development of colleagues at all ranks.  With the co-director for policy and public affairs, foster a diverse and inclusive educational and work environment; promote a collaborative, collegial culture throughout the Initiative; and manage the financial resources of the Initiative through an effective annual operating budget and long-term financial plan.
  • External Relations and Fundraising: In partnership with the Co-Director for Policy and Public Affairs, the Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and the University President, build strong relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, partners, and collaborators within and outside of the University. 


  • Academic Qualifications: A full professor from the humanities or social sciences is desired. Significant academic credentials, a nationally recognized scholar in topics related to democracy. An earned doctoral degree and experience working in a university or institutional research setting is required.
  • Leadership: Demonstrated record of strong management skills and effective, collaborative leadership in a distinguished academic or research setting. Capacity to formulate and articulate a shared vision, to persuade a wide range of audiences of its value, and to engage others in its implementation. Understanding and appreciation of the importance of diversity and inclusion, and ability to promote and construct a collegial and respectful working environment. Strong communication and interpersonal skills. 
  • Research Management: Conversant in and supportive of interdisciplinary research, theories, and methods. Ability to initiate and foster successful research partnerships and collaborations in academia and beyond.  
  • Management and Administrative: Ability to leverage the Initiative in recruiting outstanding new faculty to the University. A record of operational leadership demonstrating excellence, growth, and financial effectiveness. Demonstrated experience in fiscal management. Ability to manage resources strategically.  
  • Fundraising: Aptitude and appetite for strengthening philanthropic support from individuals, foundations, and corporations.


To learn more about this opportunity, please visit

Applications should include a CV, letter of interest and contact information for at least three references.  The search will be carried out with full confidentiality; candidates will be notified before references are contacted.  To be officially considered for this position, all candidates must apply through UVA Workday at

For confidential inquiries or to nominate someone for this opportunity, please contact AJ Davidson, Senior Search Consultant, with the University of Virginia’s Executive Search Group, at

Democracy Lab Manager

The Democracy Initiative and the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences invites applications for a new Lab Manager position.  The Democracy Initiative program is a new exciting and ambitious interdisciplinary teaching, research and engagement effort bringing together a diverse range of scholars, government leaders and practitioners to study and advance the prospects of democracy around the world. The Democracy Labs promote faculty and student research, teaching, and public engagement.  The Lab Manager will support two rotating Democracy Labs engaged in research, teaching, and public engagement.  The position will initially support the Deliberative Media Initiative Lab and the Democratic Statecraft Lab.

The Lab Manager works independently but in coordination with the faculty co-directors of the Democracy Labs to develop and manage the labs’ programs. More specifically, the position is responsible for project management, fiscal administration, communications, grants application and administration, event planning, and other such administrative functions. The successful candidate will be committed to the social sciences and policy studies within a liberal arts tradition.

This position requires a bachelor’s degree with at least two years’ experience in program or project management, administrative coordination, or academic affairs.  Demonstrated skills in team building and collaboration, cultivating relationships with partner faculty, and in navigating complex internal and external relationships are also required.

Application are being accepted through the UVA Workday hiring system: