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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position. Your resume attachment should also include the names and contact information for three references.

Job Summary

A managing director is sought to lead The Center for Socially Engaged Design in the University of Michigan College of Engineering.  At one of the world’s leading research and educational institutions, The Center for Socially Engaged Design (C-SED) empowers students and design practitioners with perspectives and skills needed to design effective interventions that are impactful for society. We believe this requires designers to take into account the fullest social, cultural, economic, and environmental contexts of their design process and push designers to recognize and analyze how their own cultural contexts shape their approach. C-SED provides novel educational resources and fosters a community of research and practice at the University of Michigan. 

Through our Socially Engaged Design Academy, consultation service, curricular programs, and engagement opportunities, students of any discipline may learn about and apply a broad set of skills, methods, and perspectives that, collectively, inform socially engaged design practice.

The Center for Socially Engaged Design Managing Director reports to the center’s co-directors and will be responsible for the supervision of the C-SED staff, which currently include 3 full time employees and several part-time employees and consultants, guiding the strategic vision and direction of the center, managing center budgets and fundraising, overseeing the center’s marketing and communication strategies, and sitting on internal and external advisory boards.  

C-SED is a highly collaborative organization that values creativity, imagination, and vision. The Managing Director will work closely with the center’s Faculty Directors and Assistant Directors, affiliate faculty, campus leaders, students, and partners to guide the vision and mission in a horizontal leadership structure. This is a new position that will evolve over time.

Preference will be given to candidates who are interested in engaging with students through C-SED’s  consultation service, Socially Engaged Design Academy, and other services.



  • Supervise C-SED staff members
  • Serve as the center’s primary point of administrative contact
  • Management duties include interviewing, selecting and training of employees; setting and adjusting their rates of pay and hours of work; planning and directing their work
  • Document policies, practices, procedures, and initiatives for the center
  • Develop operating plans, including operating budget and staffing requirements as the center grows
  • Manage center operating funds; ensure compliance to budget and all applicable financial policies, procedures, and requirements.
  • Plan and organize internal and external meetings and activities as needed


  • Oversee the center’s marketing and communication strategies and efforts
  • Serve as a spokesperson for media relations, development/fundraising events and presentations
  • Co-develop communication and marketing materials for the center


  • Work with C-SED Directors and Assistant Directors in developing the Center’s strategic direction including planning and implementing short- and long-range objectives
  • Oversee C-SED’s development and fundraising efforts
  • Assemble and sit on internal and external advisory boards
  • Establish and maintain relationships with key individuals and units across the university and external partners


  • Serve as a consultant on C-SED’s Consultation Service in socially engaged design
  • Contribute to the strategic development and management of C-SED’s Socially Engaged Design Academy
  • Participate in C-SED’s campus activities, events, and outreach activities

Required Qualifications*

  • Enthusiasm, intellectual curiosity, and self-motivation
  • Strong demonstrated project management, public speaking, and leadership skills
  • Master's Degree (preferably in engineering, design, or education with emphasis on design)
  • At least 10 years of experience in a leadership position within an organization
  • Hands-on experience in a design discipline
  • Broad understanding of the design process and design thinking
  • The ability to work with and understand the needs of stakeholders in a variety of social contexts and academic disciplines
  • Interest in working with students
  • Ability to work in a complex environment
  • Exceptional attention to detail

Desired Qualifications*

  • PhD in engineering, design, or education with emphasis on design

  • Experience working with faculty, staff, and students in a university environment preferred.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.