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Director, Kennedy Institute of Ethics

Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University

Job category Senior faculty / Tenured, continuing or permanent
AOS Ethics
AOS categories Applied Ethics
Biomedical Ethics
AOC Open
Workload Full time
Vacancies 1
Location Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Job description

The Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University seeks a new Director. The KIE is an academic ethics institute focused on practical ethics, especially bioethics. Founded in 1971, its academic mission is to house scholars who conduct original research and actively contribute to policy development and leadership in practical ethics. The KIE is a key source of educational programs and initiatives for Georgetown and the broader community.


KIE Scholars have historically been founders of the field and now include next-generation leaders. With expertise in issues such as bioethical theory, health care reform, death and dying, research ethics, data privacy, reproductive ethics, disability studies, organ transplantation, public health ethics, and environmental ethics, the Institute is a renowned resource for the University, the policy world, and the global bioethics community. It is a proud leader of innovation and creativity in the field. The KIE’s programs include Ethics Lab, a center for creative ethics education; a world-famous bioethics library; and a highly praised intensive summer course for practitioners and professionals. It serves as academic home for field-leading journals - the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal and Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics. The Institute and its programs encompass seven tenure-line Scholars, as well as other faculty with secondary Scholar appointments; four non-tenure-line academic appointees; and seven staff positions.

With strong support from the university administration, Georgetown aspires to enhance its impact and increase its resources in practical ethics, especially in the areas of environmental justice and data ethics. Additional plans include strengthened collaboration between KIE and the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, with the aim of blending together more effectively theory and practice in the field.


Responsibilities: The Director will be responsible for overseeing the KIE’s existing operations and developing new programs. As its academic leader, the Director will be expected to contribute personally to the scholarly life of the Institute, foster academic conversation among scholars and visitors, mentor junior scholars, and improve coordination with other units of the University, especially the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics. The Director will provide direction for the Intensive Bioethics Course, work with the philosophy department on undergraduate and graduate education, and engage in other forms of educational outreach to different constituencies. The Director will have general oversight of the bioethics research library, the visiting researcher program, and the journals housed in the KIE. The Director will supervise the administrative work of the KIE, including communications, budget, staffing, and support for externally funded programs of individual faculty members. The Director will engage in fundraising, manage relations with the Kennedy Foundation, and direct the recruitment of new faculty. Finally, the Director will be a key leader in helping the University build faculty and advance existing efforts in environmental justice and data ethics.

Key requirements for the position include: the ability to make rigorous intellectual contributions to scholarship and policy leadership; the ability to be an effective leader of a faculty institute in a student-centered research university; and an aptitude for organizational planning and development, effective donor relations, and community building. The Director should have a broad conception of research and action in the field and be able to foster collaboration among various units. The KIE seeks a Director with an enterprising mindset who has experience with successful strategic planning and fundraising. The successful candidate will exhibit a spirit of entrepreneurship, appropriate to the KIE’s mission of active application of theory to pressing problems facing the world.

Academic Qualifications: Candidates from academia will have credentials for appointment at Full Professor level, including a terminal degree and a record of success in research in areas that complement the current and projected research of the Scholars. Degree requirements for candidates from outside academia are more flexible. Most importantly, such nontraditional candidates will have deep professional experience in areas that align with the KIE’s mission, and national and preferably international stature in those areas.

Appointment: Five-year, 12-month, renewable administrative appointment. Full-time faculty appointment. For candidates appointed as tenure-line faculty, the departmental home will be determined by disciplinary area. The Director reports to the Provost with the assistance of the Vice Provost for Research. Teaching and graduate supervision opportunities and responsibilities are negotiable.


Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions, offering a unique educational experience that prepares the next generation of global citizens to lead and make a difference in the world. Established in 1789, Georgetown is the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university. Georgetown draws on the 450-year-old legacy of Jesuit education in providing students with a world-class learning experience. The institution’s mission focuses on educating the whole person through exposure to different faiths, cultures and beliefs, and supporting people in the service of others, especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community.

Ranked 22nd on the 2019 US News and World Report list of national universities, Georgetown has an undergraduate student body that is among the most selective in the country. Its graduate programs include those in the arts and sciences, nursing and health studies, foreign service, policy, business, law and medicine. The university is comprised of Georgetown College, the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, the Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business, the School of Nursing and Health Studies, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Continuing Studies, the McCourt School of Public Policy, the Law Center, the School of Medicine, the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Biomedical Graduate Education Program, GU Qatar. Georgetown currently enrolls approximately 18,525 students (7,453 undergraduate students and 7,295 graduate and professional students) from all 50 states and more than 130 countries.

Georgetown University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse faculty and staff. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability or other categories protected by law.

How to apply
Application type Online
The chair of the search committee is Karen Stohr, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. (Karen.Stohr@georgetown.edu). Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, has been retained to assist in the recruitment of the next Director. Expressions of interest, nominations, and applications, including a curriculum vitae and cover letter describing the candidate's interest in the position, should be sent in confidence to: Sean Farrell, Partner Robin Dougherty, Senior Associate Isaacson, Miller Washington, DC 20009 https://www.imsearch.com/7439 Electronic submission of materials is strongly preferred. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Web address to apply https://www.imsearch.com/search-detail/S7-439
Hard deadline No deadline specified (applications considered on an ongoing basis)
Web address for more information https://www.imsearch.com/search-detail/S7-439
Contact name Sean Farrell of Isaacson, Miller
Contact email
Contact phone 202-216-2273
Time created March 16, 2020, 8:50am EST
Scheduled expiry date September 30, 2020, 1:44pm MST
Last updated March 16, 2020, 8:50am EST
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