Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

Home > About Us > Jobs > MSRI Director Search (2022)

MSRI Director Search Announcement (July 1, 2022)

Download PDF of announcement

Reports to: Board of Trustees
Start Date: July 1, 2022
Location: Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, 17 Gauss Way, Berkeley, CA 94720-5070


The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) invites applications for the position of Director. This appointment is for a five-year term, with the possibility of renewal.

MSRI is one of the world’s preeminent centers for research in the mathematical sciences and has been advancing knowledge through mathematical research since 1982. Located in the hills above the University of California, Berkeley campus, MSRI hosts some 2,000 mathematicians each year, for stays of up to one academic year. MSRI is independent of UC Berkeley but enjoys a close relationship with the mathematics department and the campus at large. To learn more, visit our website at msri.org or watch this introductory film:

Introduction to the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)

MSRI also serves the wider community through activities in mathematics education, public outreach and films for general audiences. Through its public outreach programs, MSRI makes mathematics visible and attractive to those outside the field. MSRI is also widely known for its events highlighting the fundamental role played by mathematics in our cultural heritage. It has been supported from its origins by the National Science Foundation, now joined by the National Security Agency, over 100 Academic Sponsor Institutions, by a range of private foundations, and by generous and farsighted individuals.

The incoming director has a unique opportunity to build on these successes and to lead MSRI in the advancement of its multifaceted mission.

General Responsibilities

The Director is responsible for the broad oversight of all aspects of MSRI’s scientific and outreach programs. The Director is also responsible for the external relations of the institute with funding sources and institutional sponsors. The Director works closely with the Board of Trustees, the Academic and Corporate Sponsors, and the Advisory committees to pursue the mission of MSRI, and works with private donors and funding agencies to fulfill its mission, seeking new opportunities to serve the mathematical community and the nation.

The Director is assisted by the Deputy Director in these tasks, and shares responsibility with her/him for the day-to-day management.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Oversee strategic planning for the institute as a whole, including long-range scientific planning. Maintain the quality and effectiveness of the institute’s scientific and public programs at all levels.
  • Manage relations with NSF, NSA, and other federal agencies and private foundations, especially with respect to grant development and preparation.
  • Lead the private development effort, in close collaboration with the Director for Advancement and External Relations. Seek and cultivate donors and corporate partners.
  • Interact with individual Trustees and participate in the Board’s various committees. In particular, collaborate with the Board Chair and the Committee on Trustees to select and recruit new Trustees.
  • Write, edit or oversee the production of strategic documents, communications, and grants.
  • In conjunction with the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) co-chairs and the Deputy Director, lead the SAC, particularly in recruiting new members and developing future scientific programs.
  • In conjunction with the Human Resources Advisory Committee (HRAC) co-chairs and the Deputy Director, lead the HRAC in developing policies and activities to recruit, support, and increase participation and contributions of historically marginalized groups.
  • Maintain the role of the Academic Sponsors. Seek and encourage new Academic Sponsors.
  • Oversee staffing and personnel decisions. Encourage and direct staff toward fulfillment of MSRI’s mission.
  • Maintain a strong personal presence in the U.S. and international mathematical communities through research publications, participation in national and international meetings.


  • Outstanding mathematical accomplishments. Visibility within and respect of the mathematical community
  • Persistent and deliberate commitment to action with respect to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice
  • Strong interest in and a willingness to engage in fundraising
  • Successful record in grant proposal development
  • Enthusiasm for public outreach
  • Strong administrative and implementation skills with a bias toward action
  • Excellent writing and public speaking skills in a wide range of scientific and public contexts
  • Knowledge of and interest in advancing the programs of MSRI
  • Strong and sensitive interpersonal skills with a variety of constituencies, and enjoyment of social interactions

Direct Reports

  • Deputy Director
  • Controller
  • Director of Financial Strategy and Compliance
  • Director for Advancement and External Relations
  • Director’s Assistant and Board Liaison

This is a full-time, exempt position with a competitive compensation, benefits package.

This position is partially funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values inclusivity. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Search Committee

The members of the MSRI Director Search Committee are: Edward Baker III (Committee Chair; Mesirow Financial), Ian Agol (University of California, Berkeley), Deborah Loewenberg Ball (University of Michigan), Hélène Barcelo (MSRI), Dan S. Freed (University of Texas, Austin), Maria M. Klawe (Harvey Mudd College), Mark Kleiman (Factorial Partners), Henry K. Schenck (Auburn University), Paul Seidel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Roger Strauch (The Roda Group), Terence Tao (University of California, Los Angeles), and Rodolfo H. Torres (University of California, Riverside).


Interested applicants should send the following materials in MS Word or PDF Format:

  • A cover letter describing your interest and qualifications
  • Your CV

Letters of recommendation solicited by the candidate are not required, but will be accepted, and should be addressed to the Director Search Committee, search2020@msri.org.

Materials and inquiries should be sent to search2020@msri.org. Please include “Director Search” and your last name as the only contents in the subject line of your email.

Applications will be reviewed as they come in. Due to the anticipated pace of this search, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.