Director of the UNC Water Institute

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC, US

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), along with its Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (ESE) and Gillings School of Global Public Health, seek an innovative and entrepreneurial leader to serve as the next Director of the UNC Water Institute ( The Water Institute (WI) has a global mission to develop public health solutions and is world renowned for its research, collaborative projects and signature event, the annual Water and Health Conference (

The Gillings School is the top public school of public health and serves as home to ESE, a vibrant top 20 graduate program that will soon celebrate its 100th anniversary. ESE has a distinguished history of being an engineering department within a school of public health, including a long record of accomplishments in water and sanitation. The WI, established in 2010, has extended this record, and used strong connections with partners such as the USAID, UNICEF and WHO (with whom it serves as a Collaborating Center) to influence communities of practice and expand research opportunities. It is expected that the incoming Director will build on the tremendous success achieved under the Institute’s Founding Director, Professor Jamie Bartram, as he moves into retirement in Summer 2019. The successful candidate will lead an organization that includes faculty, staff and graduate students, as well as a robust portfolio of projects and funding (for details, see

Research themes in the WI have revolved around rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions (including approaches to enhance learning about effectiveness), climate change and resilience, monitoring, water quality and sanitation. The Institute will continue building on its considerable momentum to become an intellectual center of excellence for many dimensions of water-related inquiry, from water availability to consumption, with a focus on connections among water, human health, and development. The Director will engage with academics, public policy groups and communities of practice to advance and disseminate knowledge that supports effective policies, programs, and decisions for water management, with particular attention to regions of the world in which there is insufficient access to safe water.

There is considerable expertise in water-related science, engineering, social science and policy within ESE, across the UNC-CH campus and in the Research Triangle (which includes two other top-tier research institutions, Duke University and North Carolina State University). The Institute engages this community of scholars and facilitates interactions among international leaders in global health and development. In addition, by integrating North Carolina’s academic, governmental and business leaders into its activities, the Institute spans issues from local to global. Its goals include attracting the brightest minds to UNC-CH, fostering collaborative and interdisciplinary research, educating the next generation of researchers, practitioners and entrepreneurs and promoting the development and implementation of solutions to the world’s most pressing water-related challenges.

The successful candidate will be expected to enhance the WI’s strong funding portfolio, teach WI-relevant courses, mentor graduate students and contribute to the Gillings School’s service mission. In addition to strong evidence of intellectual contributions to a water-related field, we seek candidates that have significant leadership/management experience, a demonstrated ability to develop and implement real world solutions and strong networking and communication skills. The new Director will also work closely with the Gillings School’s Advancement team to attract support from industry, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private donor community.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is located in the beautiful Research Triangle, home to three major research universities (UNC-CH, Duke, North Carolina State) and a large and expanding high-tech sector. As the smallest of the three population centers in the Triangle (total population 2 million), Chapel Hill is known as the “Southern Part of Heaven,” possessing all the advantages of a small college town while offering easy access to many services (major airport) and amenities (entertainment, cultural) found only in larger cities.

Review of applications will begin June 1, 2018 with the expectation that the new Director will be in place by Spring 2019.

Applicants should have a doctoral degree in a water-related field.

The successful candidate will possess experience in both research and practice. The candidate could have experience in either the academic or non-academic sectors, but will have a record of achievement consistent with appointment at the Full or Associate Professor level. Preference will be given to candidates whose work has had a significant impact on policy, programmatic and professional practice. The success of the WI will be demonstrated by generation of new knowledge and influence on practice/policy. Applicants with expertise in areas related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH), climate change and resilience, water quality, next-generation water technologies, water resources, and microbiology, among others, will receive full consideration.

All applications must be submitted electronically to the following website: Applicants must also include the following: (1) cover letter (not to exceed two pages) and (2) detailed curriculum vitae.