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The Contemplative Sciences Center (CSC) at the University of Virginia is seeking an Executive Director to lead it into its next chapter of growth, partnership, and impact.

The University of Virginia Contemplative Sciences Center (CSC) enhances human flourishing, well-being, and resilience at the university and in the larger society. The CSC understands flourishing as thriving in all aspects of... one's life (social, emotional, cognitive, physical, professional, and spiritual) and contributing to the thriving of others.

We value:
• Cultivating contemplative practices throughout the university and beyond
• Advancing interdisciplinary research and scholarship on contemplative practices and their impact
• Catalyzing positive social change in education, health care, business, and the arts
• Promoting collaboration and connection among diverse partners to realize our mission

A Crucial Component of University Life

The CSC enjoys a close relationship with University leadership. At the groundbreaking for the Contemplative Commons, President Jim Ryan expressed his strong support for the CSC’s goals and mission. “One of the overarching goals of the 2030 Strategic Plan,” he said, “is to cultivate the most vibrant community in higher education, in order to prepare our students to be servant-leaders in a diverse and globally connected world….The programming and activities in this building will support our students’ physical, emotional, social, and professional needs. In short, it will support student flourishing at UVA.”

The Center’s Strategy

The CSC has identified three major areas of strategic focus:
• University Life. Providing curricula, space, and training to inspire students, faculty, and staff to lead, learn, and live better through contemplative practices
• Research. Activating research across the university in partnership with schools, departments, and other research centers
• Catalyzing Beneficial Change. Ensuring that research findings are disseminated and leveraged for the good of communities beyond the University of Virginia

The Contemplative Commons

Slated for formal opening in 2024, the Contemplative Commons is a state-of-the-art, multipurpose building located in the heart of UVA Grounds. The 57,000-square-foot complex will accommodate a new model of higher education—one dedicated to helping students flourish in all aspects of their lives at school and beyond. The new building will offer a number of innovations in form and function over traditional lecture halls, including an abundance of natural light and highly interconnected indoor-outdoor spaces that reflect the importance of nature to health and well-being. The design includes a variety of flexible learning studios that can be configured for academic classes, quiet reflection, physical activity, or social interaction. On weekdays the building will primarily be used for classes and research activities, while on evenings and weekends it will host extracurricular events, social gatherings, and local community engagements. A key goal of the Center is to ensure the building is energized each day and acts as a hub for UVA students, faculty, community, and staff to enhance their well-being.

The CSC’s offices will be located in a light-filled space on the third floor of the Commons, within walking distance of UVA’s historic Rotunda and the Lawn.

About the Position

The Executive Director will build on the Center’s ten-year foundation to bring it into its next chapter. Core goals will include: providing opportunities for the UVA community to learn about and benefit from contemplative practices, with an emphasis on programming to cultivate resilience, compassion, and well-being in students; expanding the Center’s research portfolio through strategic partnerships at UVA and beyond; and, in collaboration with other universities and research centers, harnessing the power of contemplative sciences to catalyze change on a global scale. In addition, the Center aims to help foster ethical leadership practices across the university. The Executive Director must therefore embody the culture, values, and practices of ethical and thoughtful leadership. The position and the Center reports to UVA’s Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and maintains a tight partnership with the Center’s Advisory Board which is made up of highly successful individuals who work in partnership with the ED and the Center staff.

Execution of Strategic Goals

The Executive Director will be responsible for collaborating with partners at UVA and beyond to advance the Center’s goals in the three areas of strategic focus mentioned above, including: expanding and promoting opportunities for the UVA community to understand and experience the benefits of contemplative practices, developing and pursuing research projects, and leveraging the principles of contemplative sciences and ethical leadership to transform institutions across the globe.

Organizational Leadership

The Executive Director will be responsible for retaining and, when needed, recruiting talented and capable staff, and for creating the conditions for the Center’s staff to work productively, both individually and in teams. The Executive Director will be responsible for ensuring that management structures are clear and that staff at all levels are appropriately supported and empowered to do their best work. The Executive Director will be responsible for maintaining an ethical, compassionate, and productive culture at the Center through leadership, hiring, and professional development practices.

Strategic Planning and Assessment

The Executive Director will be responsible for formulating concrete, practical strategies for achieving the Center’s high-level goals, including assigning responsibilities to staff and allocating financial resources. The Executive Director will be responsible for assessing these strategies, gathering and analyzing data as appropriate, and revising them as needed.


The Executive Director will create and sustain partnerships across the University and beyond, and ensure that these relationships are mutually beneficial, cooperative, and transparent. The Center will concentrate on partnerships that promise the maximum positive impact on the University and the outside world. Success of the Center will be determined in large part by how partners evaluate our contributions to their institutions and individual constituents.


The Executive Director will lead a talented development team toward achieving ambitious fundraising goals, and will maintain strong and transparent relationships with the Center’s advisory board. The Executive Director will identify and pursue opportunities for philanthropic and research funding from foundations, government entities, and other grant-making organizations. There is also significant support for fundraising from the University Advancement office.

Financial Stewardship

The Executive Director will steward the Center’s finances prudently, allocating resources in ways that align with the Center’s mission and working to identify efficiencies and opportunities for cost-sharing.

Communication and Publicity

The Executive Director will ensure that the Center’s activities and accomplishments are communicated across the university as well as global professional and disciplinary networks. The Executive Director will maintain strong and collegial relationships with the university’s senior leadership, and will advocate for the Center as appropriate.

Preferred Qualifications
• One or more sustained tenures as an institutional executive leader - preferably at least one successful sojourn in a university setting
• Conversant in contemplative science research, and professional experience as a researcher or managing researchers
• Experience leading the creation and execution of organizational strategy
• Experience in managing fundraising and operations teams, and in working directly with donors
• Excellent and authentic communication: the ability to convey passion for this work and to inspire others through writing and speaking
• A track record of leading productive organizations with ethical discernment and compassion
• A demonstrable passion for and commitment to productive collegial partnerships

Physical Demands

This is primarily a sedentary job involving extensive use of desktop computers. The job does occasionally require traveling some distance to attend meetings and programs.

How to Apply

The Contemplative Sciences Center at the University of Virginia has retained OE Consulting to support this search. 5 In order to apply, please submit a thoughtful cover letter and CV that collectively explains your interest and addresses your relevant qualifications. Completed applications will consist of a cover letter and CV. Incomplete applications will not be considered. This position will remain open until filled. This is an Exempt level, benefited position. This position is a restricted position and is dependent upon project need, availability of funding, and performance. The University will perform background checks and a health screen on all new hires prior to employment.

Please refrain from contacting the University of Virginia aboutthis opportunity, and direct any questions to OE Consulting at(csc@oeconsulting.com). Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.

The University of Virginia, including the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician’s Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information
Charlottesville VA United States


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