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Presidential Chair, ByWater Institute

Tulane University
New Orleans, Louisiana (US)
Commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Date posted
Feb 22, 2024

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Position Type
Executive, Chancellors & Presidents
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Presidential Chair

 The ByWater Institute

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA


Tulane University, one of the nation’s most prestigious research institutions, seeks a visionary and interdisciplinary scholar to serve as a Presidential Chair in The ByWater Institute (BWI) and to drive the production of climate adaptation scholarship that can impact solutions for the Mississippi River basin and the world.  BWI’s mission is to pioneer solutions-oriented scholarship on climate adaptation and to catalyze more robust climate and water futures through co-production and participation by non-academic partners. The Institute’s scholarship is organized into three pillars – designing, sharing, and growing our future ByWater—which address topics as diverse as coordination of built and natural infrastructure, access and equity to clean and affordable drinking water and sanitation, and climate change and health. The BWI Presidential Chair will play a key role in vaulting BWI into a leading national role in climate adaptation research and thinking.

Tulane provides a superb foundation for the position’s success. The university is known for its highly collaborative environment and innovative interdisciplinary research and educational programs. With nearly 15,000 students in the schools of architecture, business, law, liberal arts, medicine, public health and tropical medicine, the sciences and engineering, and social work, the University has also cultivated an emphasis on community service and practical experience that infuses its programs, culture, and community. Students are proud to take part in community-engaged research in all disciplines and contribute thousands of hours of public service to the greater New Orleans community each year. Tulane is integrally connected to the vibrancy and diversity of New Orleans and its culture. The University is enriched by its unique location, which provides incredible opportunities for engagement, community, and experiential learning, particularly within the fields of climate change and environment.

BWI already works with partners across Tulane and the globe to deliver engaged scholarship on  climate adaptation across land, river and ocean components of the larger Mississippi River ecosystem, which drains 31 US states to the Gulf of Mexico through New Orleans.  This “laboratory” provides a framework for understanding climate adaptation challenges as diverse as robust infrastructure design, disaster preparedness, access to climate-adapted housing and human migration, encroaching tropical diseases, and the safety of freshwater supplies in a region with rising sea levels. Tulane is uniquely positioned to generate high-impact research to support the region’s river and coastal communities in adapting and responding to environmental change.

Among the most prestigious positions on Tulane’s campus, presidential chairs combine the eminence of a named chair with the vision of a multidisciplinary approach. The leaders who fill these roles cross traditional field boundaries and draw together experts from across the university. The BWI Presidential Chair is an endowed position at the full professor rank and will have a dual appointment in BWI and an appropriate academic unit. This position will lead programs and scholarship within the institute that constitute a center of excellence around climate change adaptation. The Chair will have latitude to build their team, capacity at Tulane, and their broader scholarly network, with the ultimate goal of leading an extramurally funded center. BWI will fundraise for junior research faculty chairs with related expertise to build out a full team that is competitive for a center-scale effort around these themes.

Tulane has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in the recruitment of the Presidential Chair of The ByWater Institute. Nominations, inquiries, and applications, including a letter of interest describing the individual’s qualifications for the position and curriculum vitae, should be sent electronically and in confidence to:

Kate Barry, Partner

Alexandra Lolavar, Associate

Isaacson, Miller

263 Summer Street, 7th Floor

Boston, MA 02210

To apply, please visit:

Tulane University is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution committed to excellence through diversity. Tulane University will not discriminate based upon race, ethnicity, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, marital status, military or veteran status, or any other status or classification protected by federal, state, or local law. All eligible candidates are encouraged to apply.




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