Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.




Executive Director New York, NY

Schwarzman Scholars seeks an Executive Director (ED) who will build on the program’s remarkable early record and will make the program a premiere academic destination for the world’s most ambitious and able young people. The program was founded in 2013, enrolled its first class in 2016, and graduated its first scholars in 2017. The third cohort is currently in residence. A 21st century version of the Rhodes Trust, it is designed to inspire and educate future world leaders who will serve as intermediaries between China and the rest of the world for their entire career. The program will sponsor up to 200 international students annually to study for a one-year Master’s Degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing, a leading Chinese institution and the educator of much of China’s political and managerial elite.

After more than three years of intense planning, the program has exceeded expectations. The class of 2019 attracted more than 2,700 applicants for 135 acceptances and achieved a 95 percent yield on admission offers. Word of the program has spread rapidly and the strongest graduates of the great universities of the world apply. Applications for the fourth class of Scholars, now in review, exceeded 2,800. It has instantly become among the most eminent scholarship programs in the world. The $600 million program is the single largest philanthropic effort in China’s history with funds coming largely from international donors. On a per student basis, it is significantly better endowed than any university in the West.  

The ED must embrace a series of crucial leadership and management tasks that are essential to building and maintaining a successful program, ensuring that it fulfills its mission, builds on its early successes, and lives up its globally recognized aspirations. The ED must be able to simultaneously run the program and solve day-to-day issues while also looking to the future. The ED should represent the program, its vision, and its values with leaders in New York, China, and around the world; persistently pursue the development and advancement of administrative systems to enhance communication between Tsinghua University and Schwarzman Scholars; further integrate New York-based staff and be an inspiring leader for the team; continue to build trust and break down cultural barriers between staff, faculty, and students at Schwarzman College; and further refine the Schwarzman Scholars curriculum to allow top scholars and teachers to provide exceptional classroom and co-curricular experiences for students.

The successful candidate will be a leader, entrepreneur, and manager and have a passion for the mission and global socio-economic development; exposure to China; significant academic experience; and the gravitas and capacity to persuade the leaders of great institutions, worldwide, that they should contribute to the program.

John Isaacson and Sean Farrell are leading this search with Peter Lange, Jeff Kessner, and Carmen Delehanty. 


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