Dean, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

An invitation to apply for the position of



Ann Arbor, Michigan

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving, and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.

The Ford School at the University of Michigan is a community dedicated to the public good. We inspire and prepare diverse leaders grounded in service, conduct transformational research, and collaborate on evidence-based policymaking to take on our communities’ and our world’s most pressing challenges.


The University of Michigan (U-M) seeks an experienced and inventive scholar/administrator to serve as the fifth dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy (the Ford School). This is a pivotal moment for the leadership of one of the nation’s most distinguished schools of public policy. Perhaps never before has an accurate understanding of policy choices and consequences been more crucial to the welfare of the immediate community, the State of Michigan, the nation, and the world. The new dean will lead a school that equips students with the analytic and leadership skills to be wise and creative policymakers and an institution that conducts groundbreaking research that informs key policy debates and helps identify solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. The dean will be an engaged and compassionate community builder, an effective manager, and a strong spokesperson and advocate for the School.

The last decade has seen significant growth and expansion at the Ford School. The new dean will build on a strong foundation and lead a strategic exercise that will help to write the next chapter of the School’s story. The dean will be greeted by a community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who welcome continued growth and innovation, have a record of adaptability, and are united and energized in shared purpose and mission.

The Ford School of Public Policy is a world leader in public policy, teaching, research, and service, bringing together policy scholars, changemakers, and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines who engage with outstanding students who are committed to advancing the public good. An unusually collaborative and collegial community, the Ford School has both distinctive breadth and depth and is greater than the sum of its parts. The Ford School community champions diversity, equity, and inclusion, and seeks a dean who brings a strong personal commitment to advance those values.

The Ford School has retained the national executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to assist with this recruitment. Confidential questions, nominations, and applications should be submitted electronically to:

Lisa Savereid (she/her), Partner

Jeff Kessner (he/him), Partner

Melissa DePretto Behan (she/her), Senior Associate

Christina Errico (she/her), Senior Search Coordinator

Isaacson, Miller

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic university community committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment. Potential applicants who share this goal are encouraged to apply.

Land acknowledgment

The University of Michigan resides on the traditional Territories of the Three Fires Peoples — the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi.