Director, Blum Center for Developing Economies

The Blum Center for Developing Economies is seeking a new Faculty Director, effective July 1, 2022. Over the past nearly two decades, the Center has built an extensive network of stakeholders across the world. These include NGOs, foundations, government agencies, community-based organizations, companies and educational institutions with whom the Center is engaged in collaborative problem-solving, scaling innovation and capacity building. These stakeholders are also an important part of the Blum Center’s education and training efforts. The Center leads an undergraduate minor in Global Poverty and Practice, a professional Masters program in Development Engineering, and the Designated Emphasis in Development Engineering.

Founded in 2006, the Blum Center has developed programming and initiatives to involve and serve the entire UC Berkeley community – and is organized to facilitate a robust research, education and training portfolio to apply innovation to the problems of poverty in the United States and abroad. The Center develops the knowledge, technologies, and skills required to build a more sustainable and equitable world. The Center’s interdisciplinary problem-solving approach draws on students and faculty from over 70 disciplines all dedicated to addressing the challenge through applied research, education, evaluation, and training. Among the Center’s initiatives are Research Traineeships in Food, Energy, and Water Systems and in Digital Transformation of Development, the systemwide Big Ideas competition and program, and the Health Technology Collaboration Lab.

The Center Director works in close collaboration with a cadre of Associate Directors, each of whom has responsibility for part of the Center’s portfolio. Currently, Professor Alice Agogino serves as the Education Director, coordinating the Global Poverty & Practice Minor, Master in Development Engineering, and the Development Engineering Designated Emphasis. Professor Daniel Fletcher is Associate Director for Research, leading the Health Tech CoLab and providing oversight of the Big Ideas Contest. Professor Matthew D. Potts is Associate Director for Sustainable Development, exploring new pathways for the Center to consider related to climate change. Professor Brad DeLong serves as Chief Economist. An experienced and highly qualified staff provides support to the Blum Center leadership and the more than 70 affiliated faculty members.

The Blum Center occupies and manages Blum Hall, a facility comprising 22,000 square feet in two buildings (Blum Hall East and Blum Hall West). This space includes faculty and staff offices, meeting rooms, convening areas for both internal and external events, and the collaboration area of the Health Tech CoLab.  

We invite nominations of tenured UC Berkeley faculty who are highly qualified and passionate about promoting the vision of the Blum Center, to grow partnerships, diversify funding, and rally faculty, researchers, and students around the Center’s goals. The candidate should have a distinguished record in multiple areas relevant to the Blum Center: translating research into impact, partnership development, teaching, mentoring, management, and leadership. This appointment will be made for an initial five-year period, at the discretion of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and will provide additional compensation and research support for the duration of the directorship term.

Desirable Candidate Qualifications

  1. Established credentials in disciplines related to innovation for low-resource settings.
  2. The leadership qualities to provide a forward-looking and broad vision, with a commitment to respectfully, honestly, and transparently managing a complex unit. 
  3. A commitment to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion while fostering a positive climate of collaboration and respect for staff as outlined by UC Berkeley’s  Principles of Community.
  4. Proven ability to successfully apply for major funding and an interest in attracting funding for new initiatives.
  5. Commitment to stewarding existing links to funders, and initiating new links to industry and philanthropy.
  6. The capacity to foster interdisciplinary research and learning among a diverse group of faculty and students at all levels.
  7. The ability to outreach to campus and the public with honesty, kindness and excellent communication skills.

Nomination Process

Please submit nominations by completing the online nomination form as soon as possible and no later than Monday, December 6, 2021.  Self-nominations are welcome. Upon receipt of nominations, the appointed search advisory committee will request that the nominees submit a letter of interest by Monday, January 10, 2022.