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How to Apply

The search committee is chaired by Jeff Sakamoto, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering and Macromolecular Science and Engineering. Review of nominations and applications will begin immediately, and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants should submit a current CV and a cover letter that describes prior leadership and collaboration experience.  During the interview process, a statement of fundraising and/or development experience and the applicant's vision for UMEI will be requested.  All inquiries, nominations/referrals, and resumes with cover letters should be sent electronically and in confidence to: Rebekah Ashley, Human Resources Director for the U-M Office of Research, at

For more information about the University of Michigan Energy Institute please visit:


Job Summary

The University of Michigan seeks nominations and applications for the next Director of the University of Michigan Energy Institute.  The Institute develops, coordinates, and fosters multidisciplinary energy research and education at U-M that combines public policy, economics, and social science with physical science and engineering while working to promote a secure, affordable, and sustainable energy future.

Collaborative organizations at U-M with ties to the UMEI include Mcity, the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, the Center for Sustainable Systems, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, and the Center for the Study of Complex Systems.  Details regarding the Institute’s programs can be found at

The Director’s overarching responsibility is to provide strategic vision and dynamic leadership for cross-university energy research that will build on the exceptional strengths of U-M, position it as a global leader in the field, and positively impact the nation and the world.

Reporting to the Vice President for Research, and supported by the academic leadership on campus and with input from an external advisory board, the Energy Institute Director is expected to be a leading expert in an energy-related field of science (physical, biological, or social), technology, and/or public policy. The Director will catalyze energy-related research, education, and outreach activities among the faculty, and provide leadership across the University in multi-disciplinary work related to these fields. The Director will help set the strategic goals for the energy-related research and educational activities of the institute and drive the development of institutional priorities with respect to resource allocation and faculty recruitment/development. Additionally, the Director will engage with potential sponsors and donors to communicate the vision and potential of the Institute and its unique position in the field of sustainable energy. He or she will serve as the public face of the University of Michigan’s energy-related activities and champion the development of external resources for the Institute including government, industry, and foundation relationships.

While a focus on instituting a systematic campus outreach program that elevates the visibility of UMEI and its activities across U-M through seminars, workshops, colloquia, and the like, will figure in this role, the position is structured to permit a senior researcher with leadership and management strengths to direct the Institute without limiting involvement in his or her own research activities.

The successful candidate will possess outstanding skills of leadership, collaboration, and organization-building with a demonstrated commitment to building a high quality operation in this arena. Strong preference will be given to Interested candidates who hold a full professor level faculty appointment at the  University of Michigan.


Required Qualifications*

While no one candidate will embody all of the traits noted below, the successful candidate will bring many of the following professional and personal qualities to this important role:

  • A record of success in leading activities within a complex multi-stakeholder environment with strong connections to national scientific, engineering, policy, and/or industry initiatives;
  • Significant experience in linking together partnerships and joint ventures with individual scientists, groups of scientists, engineers, policy-makers, research leaders, and other institutions;
  • Demonstrated ability to raise funds successfully or, at minimum, the skills and interest for fundraising;
  • Proven capacity to operate effectively as a leader in an innovative, complex, world class research environment;
  • Strong internal and external relationship building skills; a collaborative and communicative leadership style;
  • Demonstrated excellence in communicating as a speaker, writer, and listener;
  • Intelligence, genuine curiosity, humor, political acumen, and visionary leadership to reach out across the campus and unite a broad community of stakeholders around a vision for sustainable energy;
  • Proven ability to engage and inspire a wide spectrum of academics and researchers, both within and outside an institution;
  • A clear and proven commitment to uncompromising standards and strong organizational skills; and
  • A proven record with managing and leading staff and budget responsibilities.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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