Vice President and Director, Global Economy and Development (Job ID: 2019-2197)

Posted Date 6 months ago(10/7/2019 2:13 PM)
Global Economy and Development
Job Function
Job ID
Commensurate with experience


This search is being managed by the search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. Please send resumes to:

Jamie Hechinger
Russell Reynolds Associates
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Washington, DC  20006-5208
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Lucia Ferreira
Russell Reynolds Associates
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Tel: +1-212-351-2000

Join one of the most influential, most quoted and most trusted think tanks!

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C.  Its mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national, and global levels.  


Brookings brings together more than 300 leading experts in government and academia from all over the world who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis on a full range of public policy issues.  Research topics cover foreign policy, economics, development, governance and metropolitan policy.


Brookings’ experts find practical solutions to public policy challenges simmering around the world. With national and global events unfolding at a remarkable speed, the sound thinking and data-centric approach that Brookings’ experts bring to the table are more important than ever before. Bringing its work to key audiences – in the United States and around the world – is an essential part of Brookings’ mission.


With fair and transparent business practices, clear communication, mutual respect, and a collaborative atmosphere that offers both professional and personal development opportunities, Brookings offers an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values the efforts of all contributors.


Global Economy and Development

Founded in 2006, the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings aims to shape the policy debate on how to improve global economic cooperation and fight global poverty and sources of social stress. With a long-term vision of strong, sustainable, and balanced growth for a prosperous world, the program undertakes high-quality research, identifies target audiences and policy opportunities, and shares its findings to inform new policy solutions.

The program’s interdisciplinary team of experts draws on the core strengths of Brookings - authoritative, independent, and nonpartisan research, a depth of practical expertise, and unparalleled convening power.


The program also houses the following centers and projects:

  • Africa Growth Initiative (AGI)
  • Center for Universal Education (CUE)
  • Development Assistance and Governance Initiative (DAGI)
  • Economic and Social Policy in Latin America Initiative (ESPLA)


Ready to contribute to Brookings success?


The Vice President and Director for Global Economy and Development will be a leader of vision, intellectual breadth and pragmatism able to build upon Brookings’ reputation for independent, high-quality, impactful research to address increasingly complex development issues in a rapidly evolving global landscape.  S/he will provide strategic leadership to the program, safeguard the high quality and impact of its research output, secure the program’s financial sustainability, and oversee all aspects of its human resources management, communications, fundraising, and operations.


The Vice President will be an inclusive and collaborative leader and will work closely with Brookings’ senior leadership team and with the program’s scholars, management and administrative staff, and leadership council to frame the strategy and agenda of the Global Economy and Development program. S/he will ensure the development of innovative research, programs, initiatives, and partnerships to enhance the relevance, influence, and practical contribution of the program, and will promote a culture of excellence, accountability and collaboration that will attract and nurture leading thought leaders and practitioners.


The Vice President will be recognized for his/her contribution to one or more of the programmatic areas of the Global Economy and Development program and will cultivate relationships across international development and policy communities to ensure that its mission and output are communicated to wider audiences and that its work contributes to tangible solutions.


In addition, the Vice President is responsible for the overall financial sustainability of the program and, as such, the ability to generate support through active fundraising and partnership building, as well as by supporting the efforts of other program members. S/he must be able to nurture and expand existing funding relationships and cultivate new sources - both project-based and unrestricted.


The Vice President and Director of Global Economy and Development is a member of Brookings’ senior leadership team and reports directly to the President.  S/he will lead a team of approximately 63 and oversee a budget of approximately $14.6 million. The Vice President is also a Senior Fellow who conducts high quality, independent public policy research. This role is based in Washington, DC and requires the ability to travel overseas with some regularity.

Principal duties and responsibilities include:

Program Management

  • Builds a culture that attracts and retains top talent for all positions within the program. Oversees engagement and professional development opportunities for all program staff.
  • Builds, develops and oversees a highly talented team of scholars who produce high quality, independent, and impactful economic research.
  • Ensures the program’s academic and research excellence and quality control.
  • Oversees and enforces scholar compliance with rules governing advocacy and interactions with donors, partners, and government offices.
  • Ensures the long-term financial sustainability of the program and each of its areas of research. Conducts fiscally sound budget planning and management. Allocates resources and expenses. Works closely with the program’s finance team to accurately report, monitor, and assess revenue and expenses.
  • Promotes and ensures a high performing, respectful, and inclusive work culture. Seeks, and is responsive to, staff feedback and ideas.
  • Actively supports the recruitment, development, and retention of diverse staff, in terms of thought, background, and demographics.
  • Oversees efficient and effective administrative operations and the establishment of appropriate program practices and activities. Ensures program compliance with institutional requirements.
  • Ensures effective communications and accountability of strategic priorities and staff expectations. Keeps all staff informed of program and institutional plans.

Institutional Leadership

  • Serves on senior leadership team. Collaborates with the Executive Vice President and the Research and Business Unit Vice Presidents to support the priorities of the Institution.
  • Collaborating with the Research Vice Presidents, identifies opportunities and facilitates the implementation of interdisciplinary research initiatives.

Development and Board Relations

  • Proactively leads the fundraising efforts for the program. Partners with the Development team on fundraising strategies.
  • Spends time cultivating and meeting with new and current donors.
  • Actively develops positive relationships with Brookings trustees. Shares program information and builds trustee support for the program’s research.


  • Publicly represents the program and is intellectually engaged in a broad array of economic subjects through various writings and speeches.
  • Ensures research is effectively disseminated for high impact.
  • Oversees risk assessment and mitigation. Directs crisis response strategies and actions.

Scholarly Research

  • Conducts in-depth high-quality public policy research in area of expertise.
  • Publishes reports, articles, opinion pieces, and blog posts on a diverse set of economic and development policy issues.
  • Facilitates and speaks at panel discussions.
  • Organizes and hosts public and private events.


Ready to make an impact? In this role, you will support Brookings values of collegiality, respect, inclusion, diversity and community, and bring the following qualifications:


The ideal candidate will be a person of stature and recognized authority in global and economic development circles, deeply respected for his/her intellectual contributions to the field, independence of thought, integrity of character, and standing in international policy circles.  S/he will be credible across the nexus of research, policy, and implementation and will demonstrate not only intellectual curiosity and rigor, but also an understanding of how to translate research into policy.


We seek an individual with a highly developed intellect, superior analytical and conceptual thinking ability, a deep respect for the importance and validity of scholarly research and, ideally, an impressive and visible body of work.   S/he will be an inspiring, inclusive and generous leader committed to an inclusive and collaborative work environment, and will have the intellectual self-confidence to let the program flourish while containing a diversity of views.

In addition, the Vice President must be an able and disciplined manager capable of steering the program towards maintaining its strategic focus, delivering on its commitments, and expending its financial and other resources efficiently.  Above all, s/he must be able to direct, promote and safeguard Brookings’ reputation for integrity, impartiality and impactful, evidence-based research.  


Desired Qualifications:

  • Ideally a PhD in economics or a related field and previous professional experience in public policy, academia, government, or in a think-tank or research institute.
  • A distinguished track record of research and innovation along with the capacity to translate ideas into actionable policy recommendations.
  • Considerable global stature and established relationships in international policy circles.
  • Understanding of global policy and politics and of current geopolitical dynamics, with a demonstrated ability to engage critical decision makers in constructive dialogue in developed and developing countries.  
  • A personal track record of persuasive engagement of external stakeholders; experience of creating and managing sensitive, strategic relationships.
  • Welcomes the managerial commitments of the role and is committed to a culture of collaboration, transparency, excellence and accountability.
  • An interest in and ability to actively fundraise; a successful track record is a plus.
  • Familiarity and ease with a variety of cultures ideally gained living and working internationally across the developed and developing world.

Competencies and Experience

Building Relationships and Using Influence

  • Proven experience as a relationship builder with a strong high-level network in international development and policy circles.
  • Excellent public speaker. Highly articulate; makes arguments in a clear and compelling manner and is able to motivate others to pursue common goals.
  • A proven convener, mediator, and negotiator who readily connects with others and can build trust to move forward an agenda. Has the presence and gravitas to convene and engage diverse constituencies in a common dialogue.
  • Embraces the role of “Chief Fundraiser” for the Global Economy and Development program. Able and willing to engage with a diverse group of donors including individuals, foundations and corporations for programmatic support.
  • Culturally astute and aware. Can see the world from multiple perspectives.  Has a true appreciation of the issues and cultural contexts facing policy makers in various cultural and political settings.
  • Diplomacy; flexibility; warmth; drive, passion and determination; cultural sensitivity and a commitment to inclusion and diversity.


Leadership and Management

  • Ability to act as a catalyst with vision, energy and focus; anticipates issues and opportunities and encourages the development of strategies and initiatives to address them.  Not afraid to constructively challenge the conventional wisdom.
  • Maintains a clear focus on goals; has the capacity to prioritize effectively and deliver on commitments.
  • Confident and experienced organizational and team leader; a “player-coach” able to foster a culture of collaboration, mutual respect and teamwork.  A skilled and proactive manager who is thoughtful and decisive in her or his actions.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a group of diverse and complex stakeholders in the development and articulation of a strategy for the program going forward.
  • Has a confident and entrepreneurial spirit. Sees the potential for taking the Global Economy and Development program to a new level of competency and relevancy and has the passion and managerial skills to make it happen.
  • Must be able to hire, engage and manage a high performing internal team, as well as external partners and advisors.

Personal Attributes

  • A thinker and a doer who effectively implements change and resolves conflicts.
  • A powerful intellect.  Has strong analytical and conceptual skills. Can identify and understand the impact and implications of new information and events. Quickly grasps the essentials in complex situations. 
  • A convener and bridge-builder able to bring different parties together in constructive dialogue.
  • A high degree of emotional intelligence and excellent interpersonal skills. Attentive and responsive listener demonstrating genuine interest for diverse views and opinions.
  • Has excellent judgment; makes decisions that fairly balance a variety of factors and points of view; navigates confidently in ambiguous situations.
  • Rightfully perceived as genuine and trustworthy. Has integrity and lives by the highest ethical standards.
  • Confidence, maturity.  Has a strong, healthy ego and the humility to admit failures and identify learnings gained from them.


Additional Information:


What can we offer you? Brookings provides a generous benefit package that is comprehensive and includes both traditional benefits and unique offerings.


Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings.


Brookings is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.







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