Director, Study Abroad

George Washington University
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Feb 06

Position description

The Office for Study Abroad is a thriving success at GW, engaging close to 50% of all undergraduates. Diverse study abroad opportunities are available, including faculty-led programs; exchanges with partner universities; GW study centers in Chile, Madrid, England, Paris, and Shanghai; and a broad range of approved third-party provider programs. There are 16 study abroad staff members, part of an international education team dedicated to supporting student learning experiences. Considerable scholarship funding is made available to students going abroad, supplementing financial aid packages. The Office of International Programs, the umbrella office responsible for Study Abroad and other aspects of GW’s international activities, provides support from a team of communications, financial, and risk management staff. Additional information about study abroad at GW can be found at

Building on the strong programs already established, the Director of Study Abroad will bring his or her own vision to: (i) assuring that study abroad opportunities provide for deep immersion in the cultures of other countries and substantive interaction with their peoples; (ii) evaluating the role and performance of GW’s centers and exchanges abroad and creating new strategies helpful to their advancement; (iii) expanding the office’s campus partnerships in matters such as international internships, research, and service; (iv) evaluating academic and financial performance of the various modes of study abroad at GW; (v) leading a faculty study abroad advisory committee and increasing faculty engagement campus-wide; (vi) providing strong data-driven decisions, forecasting, and fiscal strategy and management across the unit; (vii) streamlining operations and procedures; (viii) promoting the ongoing professional development and the continued strong teamwork of the study abroad staff; (ix) promoting diversity and inclusion and underpinning these efforts with adequate and appropriate services; (x) assuring that the University’s excellence in education abroad contributes optimally to the institution’s global and national reputation; (xi) promoting synergy between study abroad and the University’s other international undertakings; (xii) contributing to strategy regarding other institution-wide priories; and (xiii) Performs other related duties as assigned. The omission of specific duties does not preclude the supervisor from assigning duties that are logically related to the position.


Minimum Qualifications:

Qualified candidates will hold a Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate area of specialization plus 10 years of relevant professional experience, or, a Master’s degree or higher in a relevant area of study plus 8 years of relevant professional experience. Degree must be conferred by the start date of the position. Degree requirements may be substituted with an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

The University seeks to appoint a creative, proven leader in international education who will be capable of capitalizing on its unique international resources and considerable accomplishments regarding education abroad, while also leading the way to new directions for the future. The University seeks someone who understands undergraduate education and academic planning and decision-making, who is a capable manager of people, programs, and budgets, and who is an inspiring leader and colleague. Given the scope and complexity of GW’s education abroad operations, a demonstrated ability to develop, manage, and analyze financial strategies and budgets is particularly important. The institution will consider candidates offering different kinds of international education backgrounds—those who are already leaders of large and complex study abroad programs, individuals ready to take the next career step in international education, and those offering other kinds of pertinent international experience, e.g., in higher education, related associations, study abroad provider organizations, law, diplomacy, research centers, and other career experience.

The candidate selected will have demonstrated capacity to be a thought leader, will possess knowledge and experience in assessing student learning outcomes, and will be adept in designing and implementing improvements based on assessment. He or she will excel in developing productive relationships with faculty and will have the knowledge and skills to promote successful and fresh approaches to internationalization in universities worldwide. The Director will be familiar with best practices in the profession; understand legal, compliance, and risk management considerations; and be adept at risk mitigation and crisis management. The individual appointed should also understand the use of data and technology in advancing education abroad. The Director will represent GW well in external settings, build strong alliances throughout the campus, and exercise tact and diplomacy in challenging situations. As a strong strategic thinker, the Director will play a central role in shaping international education at the University into the future.

A commitment to the intellectual and personal development of undergraduates is essential. Strong managerial and financial experience in an international education or related setting is critical.

Application instructions

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