Director of the School of Complex Adaptive Systems

Arizona, United States
Salary Not specified
Jan 29, 2021
Position Type
Executive, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Search for the Director of the School of Complex Adaptive Systems

Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Arizona State University seeks an adaptive, highly creative, and entrepreneurial scholar and leader to serve as inaugural director of the newly formed School of Complex Adaptive Systems (SCAS). The director, in collaboration with faculty and leadership, will build a solid foundation for the School, develop a visionary plan for the future, convene stakeholders across the university and beyond, and position ASU as a leader in leveraging complex systems to help combat some of the largest problems society faces.

At a time of increasing challenges around the globe, successful responses and solutions depend on recognizing the complexity and interconnectedness of the Earth’s systems, both natural and societal. This includes confronting the accelerating dangers of a planet out of balance, the multiplicity of threats spurred by systemic failures, and embracing the enormous potential for humankind to set things right.

The director of the School for Complex Adaptive Systems will have the opportunity to leverage the resources of the nation’s most innovative university to build a first-of-its-kind school and—partnering with other units across the campus—develop real-world solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges. ASU, under the leadership of President Michael Crow, is an institution where risk-taking is not only tolerated, but encouraged. The inaugural SCAS Director has the opportunity to make a mark on the university, move the field of complexity science forward, and help mobilize society to rise to the demands of the moment and prepare to meet future challenges.

To achieve these ambitious goals, the incoming director must lead the school’s faculty in a collaborative enterprise to address the following opportunities and challenges:

  • Develop and implement a collective, innovative vision for the School
  • Build out the School's faculty, resource base, educational offerings, and student body
  • Identify and engage partners across the University in meaningful collaborations
  • Engage external partners and universal learners in the School's work

ASU has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Full applications will consist of: a curriculum vitae; a cover letter that provides a vision for complexity science in the context of global futures; and a separate statement regarding your goals and achievements related to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion and the ASU Charter principles. For full consideration, please submit application materials by Monday, March 22, 2021.

David Bellshaw and Brett Barbor

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA  94111

Phone: 415.655.4900

ASU is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. For more information on ASU’s policies, please see: and its complete non-discrimination statement at: