Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.



Director, William D. Ruckelshaus Center Pullman, WA

The William D. Ruckelshaus Center seeks an experienced and visionary leader to serve as the next Director. Inspired by the life and legacy of William D. “Bill” Ruckelshaus, the Center envisions a future in which government leaders, policy makers, and community members routinely employ tools of collaborative decision making to design, conduct, and implement successful public policy processes. Representing a committed partnership between Washington State University and the University of Washington, the Ruckelshaus Center builds on the unique strengths of the two universities to assist public, non-profit, tribal, private sector, and other community leaders in their efforts to build consensus-based solutions, resolve conflict, and create positive impact around vexing public policy issues.

The Center combines a mix of practice-based consensus-building and academic scholarship to design and advance collaborative problem solving processes to address public policy issues, opportunities, and conflicts. The Center’s involvement in both process design and impartial facilitation improves public policy development and program implementation in the Pacific Northwest region to positively impact Washington residents. This work has been done with individuals, groups, and organizations across communities, stakeholders, and various levels of government to address challenges in the economic development, land use, natural resources, transportation, agriculture, healthcare, and other significant public policy areas. The Center also advances the teaching, outreach, and research missions of the two universities by helping to bring deeper knowledge of statewide, regional, and community policy issues to the universities. The Center builds capacity for problem solving by developing relationships across sectors and industries, conducting evaluative projects, providing student internships, and by actively participating in national associations with similar collaborative governance vision and goals.

The next Director of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center will join the Center at an opportune moment. Seated at the convergence of higher education, government, and other public and private institutions, the Center has the power to harness immense knowledge that drives mutually beneficial outcomes. Over its 18-year history the Center has earned a strong reputation as a valuable state and regional resource and as a leading hub of consensus building on complex policy issues. It is poised to have increased, sustained impact in regional and national communities through heightened visibility, increased extramural funding, and a compelling strategic vision rooted in collaborative governance and intersectional public service. The next Director will bolster the resources and operations of the Center, crafting the environment and vision for the next generation of work. As the nation faces widespread discord and polarization, the next Director will lead the Center in setting a powerful example for bringing people together and creating mutually agreeable solutions for the public good. This model has the potential to be expanded and replicated from the fascinating laboratory of Washington state to the rest of the country. To be successful, the Director will need to address the following key opportunities and challenges:

  • Enhance and elevate the Center’s visibility and impact across the region
  • Further leverage the full capacity of WSU and UW
  • Lead complex, boundary-crossing facilitation and process building across sectors
  • Develop and implement key trainings that expand the breadth and depth of collaborative processes among leaders in the Pacific Northwest
  • Expand and diversify financial resources in support of the Center’s mission
  • Foster and deepen a strong sense of community, diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Center
  • Leverage Washington state as a national model for collaborative governance

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, nominations, and CVs with cover letters should be below. Electronic submission of materials is required.

Julie Filizetti is leading this search with Evan Layne, Brian Burbank, and Nancy Pan.


Washington State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action educator and employer. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veteran, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply. WSU employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement and Information 

Per Gov. Inslee’s proclamation, all state employees, including those in higher education, must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by October 18, 2021. Exemptions will be allowed for those with sincerely-held religious beliefs and documented medical reasons. This requirement will be a condition of any offer associated with this recruitment. For more information, please visit here


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