Director of the Center for Safe & Healthy Schools for John Hopkins University, School of Education

Nov 19, 2019



The School of Education at Johns Hopkins University ( invites nominations and applications for the position of Director of the Center for Safe & Healthy Schools, a signature new initiative conceived by Dean Christopher Morphew to transform policy and practice around student safety and well-being – broadly defined – in our nation’s schools. The School of Education seeks a passionate, inspiring, and enterprising leader who will be at home in academia, in policy circles, and in school communities; who will bring to the Center a demonstrated ability to assemble and lead interdisciplinary teams of researchers and practitioners and to convene practitioners and scholars in radically new efforts; and who will position the Center at Hopkins but also beyond Hopkins as a pioneer of new analysis, new thinking, new programs, and new strategies. Reporting to the Dean, the Director will build and lead the Center and will be a senior member of the School’s faculty.

The Center for Safe & Healthy Schools (CSHS) 

The Center for Safe and Healthy Schools (CSHS) is a research, teaching, and outreach initiative led and supported by the School of Education to harness the remarkable interdisciplinary strengths of the Johns Hopkins University academic community, including researchers and scholars from the School of Education, Applied Physics Lab (APL), Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Its mission is to conduct applied research to build the evidence base of best practices in student well-being and safety and to utilize a translational, “research-to-practice” approach to ensure that validated new safe and healthy school practices and solutions are adopted in schools and communities nationwide.    

CSHS in its inaugural form has taken shape over nearly two years of thought, analysis, and planning. As the planning process has advanced, key inflection points have been the move beyond “school safety” as the focal point and into the Center’s current, expansive, nuanced, and holistic framework of student well-being – physical, psychological, communal – and not just safety measured through a lens of security. The planning and early-stage prototyping completed to date has engaged some 25 faculty members from SOE, Arts & Sciences, Public Health, Engineering, APL, and Hopkins’ flagship Center for Talented Youth program. With this foundation in place, the Center’s inaugural Director will fully operationalize it, attracting partners and sponsors to expand and sustain the Center’s activities and reach.

Profile and Qualifications

The Director will bring vision, a demonstrated record of enterprise and innovation, a track record of engaging school stakeholders, and the ability to move nimbly and seamlessly between academic, policy, public, and community spaces. Whether working within the academy or in the public space of policy and practice, the Director will act quickly to establish a leadership role for CSHS in this crowded, charged, and rapidly evolving national conversation.

Pursuing the opportunity identified for CSHS will require the Director to take sensible risks and make informed bets with the resources the Center and its Director can mobilize. While the Center has formally launched, it is a startup and the startup mentality of doing new things in new ways must imbue its culture and work: the Director will model the urgency of the moment and the importance of the mission. 

The Director will have the vision, communication skills, and passion to build the human and financial resources of CSHS, to connect it across the University and in local and national conversations, and to build and sustain its distinction and relevance.

The Director will remain a productive scholar with expertise in one or more relevant areas of research and/or policy. including school climate, adolescent mental health, trauma-informed teaching, school climate and leadership, juvenile justice, equitable outcomes associated with safe and healthy schools, and school security.

The CSHS’s goals in outreach and engagement will require the Director to communicate with an array of communities including advocacy organizations and state and federal policymakers.

Required qualifications:

  • Doctoral degree in Education or a relevant field (a secondary appointment in a different division of the University is possible)
  • A sustained research record commensurate with appointment to a senior faculty position in the School of Education
  • Demonstrated ability to lead interdisciplinary teams
  • Demonstrated ability to work across divisions in conducting interdisciplinary research
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders – scholars, policymakers, practitioners, and sponsors
  • Demonstrated ability to secure funding – agency, foundation, and individual
  • Administrative aptitude

Preferred qualifications:

  • Broad knowledge of P-12 education, including experience as a practitioner
  • Experience developing strategic plans or business plans in educational organizations
  • Experience recruiting, evaluating, and supervising academic staff
  • Experience developing practitioner tools

The School of Education has engaged Opus Partners ( to support the recruitment of the CSHS Director. Craig Smith, Partner, and Jeff Stafford, Senior Associate, are leading the search. Applicants should submit a single PDF containing a letter of interest outlining their research and leadership experience, their CV, and a two or three-page statement of research interests to Nominations, recommendations, expressions of interest, and inquiries should go to the same address. Every effort will be made to ensure candidate confidentiality. 

The School of Education is committed to building a diverse educational environment, and women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Johns Hopkins University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, other legally protected characteristics or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria. The University promotes Affirmative Action for minorities, women, individuals who are disabled, and veterans. Johns Hopkins University is a drug-free, smoke-free workplace.

Category: Jobs


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