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Johns Hopkins University Executive Director - 555 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, District Of Columbia

The Johns Hopkins University seeks an effective, collaborative, and visionary leader to serve as the inaugural Executive Director of 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, the university’s new home in Washington, DC.


555 Penn will be a state-of-the-art Johns Hopkins facility for research, education, and public engagement that connects our expertise to national and global conversations. The building’s proximity to Capitol Hill will allow Johns Hopkins to optimize learning opportunities, foster creativity and the exchange of ideas, and host convenings, conferences, and community events. Consolidating our current DC-based graduate programs into one building – and developing opportunities for every division within Johns Hopkins – will create new interactions and collaborations among faculty, staff, and students and facilitate greater flow of ideas and people between Baltimore and Washington. Opening in fall 2023, 555 Penn will be a hub for knowledge generation, educational excellence, and impactful discourse.


The Executive Director will be responsible for establishing 555 Penn as a facility and an academic center, including developing and implementing the strategic vision for the university’s national engagement strategy; launching the building’s conference center and theater; supporting key academic divisions and programs; and effectively overseeing finance and administration for the facility and its critical functions. The Executive Director will report to the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Initiatives and will work closely with university leadership and several advisory committees to ensure the successful implementation of the programmatic vision and administration of 555 Penn. This role will be based in Washington, DC.

The Executive Director will be an accomplished leader with significant demonstrated skill as an administrator, strategic thinker, collaborator, and convener. In addition to developing and liaising with DC-based networks in the public and private sector, the Executive Director will routinely interface with academic and university leadership at Johns Hopkins, including Deans, Vice Presidents, and Vice Provosts. The Executive Director will lead a team based at 555 Penn that includes a director of strategic communications, a manager of programming, and a director of finance and administration.


  • Develop and implement the strategic vision for Johns Hopkins University at 555, with a focus on high-profile DC-based partnerships, programming, and engagement

  • Ensure the successful establishment of the building and its programs, including its conferencing center, convening spaces, and theater

  • Lead the collaborative development of 555-specific primary policies, practices, and procedures to ensure alignment with university direction and goals

  • Oversee and effectively manage finance and administration for the facility and its critical functions

  • Build a strong work culture and climate that contributes to 555’s success and the engagement and development of its staff


  • Bachelor's degree in a related field is required

  • Master’s degree preferred

  • Minimum of eight years of progressively responsible management experience in an academic or related environment

  • Thoroughly committed to the vision of 555 Penn and to the university’s mission

  • Demonstrated leadership in designing and implementing strategic initiatives within a complex environment

  • Expertise in translating a vision and strategy into a practical plan with concrete methods of implementation and anticipated, measurable outcomes

  • Ability to identify and implement innovative approaches to engage underrepresented faculty, students, and staff

  • Demonstrated ability to set priorities, analyze data, and think systematically from both a detailed and a strategic perspective

  • Proven ability to build coalitions with and mobilize leaders within a large, decentralized organizational structure; an aptitude for building consensus and trust, and the ability to move confidently through ambiguous, non-hierarchical situations

  • Understanding of the national trends and issues related to higher education

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, interpersonal skills, and organizational and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to exercise a high degree of diplomacy and discretion

Equal Opportunity Employer:

Johns Hopkins University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria. The university promotes affirmative action for minorities, women, disabled persons, and veterans.