Chief Economist

Job Description & Qualification

Chief Economist

The Frank H. Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School is hiring a Chief Economist to help direct the institute’s translational research activities and oversee efforts to translate economic and business data into actionable policy recommendations for broader societal impact. This includes producing economic and/or econometric analyses and related business research publications and products important to the Institute’s external reputation and that of its affiliated centers.

The Chief Economist has the following core responsibilities and duties: 1) providing strategic vision, delivery, and leadership on translational economic research and policy initiatives at the Institute; 2) producing relevant and insightful thought-leadership in the area of translational economic and public policy research related to business; 3) ensuring ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of translational research communications; 4) presenting economic policy and business insights to distinguished external audiences, assisting in the translation and curation of academic research for various external stakeholders; and 5) facilitating relationships that provide support for the Institute, in order to achieve the strategic goals of the Institute.

The Chief Economist ultimately seeks to: (1) impact and influence the economic and commercial decisions of critical business leaders and state, federal, and non-US policymakers; (2) steward scholarship in relevant academic fields; (3) achieve relevance of work to the full spectrum of external stakeholders; and (4) become a widely-known and trusted resource for objective economic policy information and the role of private-sector business in society. This position works very closely with the Executive Director of the Kenan Institute, the Director of Research Services, the Faculty Research Director, the Director of External Affairs, as well as faculty at the Kenan-Flagler Business School. The Chief Economist reports to the Executive Director of the Kenan Institute.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion is core to the work of the Kenan Institute. We celebrate the multiple dimensions that each individual shares and believe that diversity among our faculty and staff is paramount to ensuring the greatest possible impact of our work. We encourage all qualified individuals interested in this position to apply.

The position requires a master’s degree (or foreign equivalent) in Economics, Financial Economics, Public Policy, or a related field, with a PhD preferred.

The successful candidate will be an individual with at least 5 years of related experience that includes experience in private-sector business or business policy and familiarity with academic business research and its potential to impact practice and policy.

Experience presenting to large and influential audiences, leading multi-disciplinary teams, and managing people and processes is highly preferred. Successful candidates will possess a style that is entrepreneurial, strategic, results-oriented, empathetic, and be skilled at cultivating and sustaining networks and key stakeholder relationships both inside and outside of the University. The ability to work effectively in an academic environment in which collaborative decision-making occurs is expected, as well as outstanding technical, written, and verbal presentation skills with the business, policy, and academic communities.

- Excellent presentation, interpersonal, diplomatic, and communication skills necessary to develop successful working relationships with diverse external partners
- Excellent technical skills in economic policy analysis or related fields
- Ability to work across schools and departments at UNC and other organizations
- Experience interacting with federal and state government leadership (elected officials, senior staff, and appointed officials)
- Knowledgeable about major non-profit organizations and foundations doing work or funding in the areas of entrepreneurship, economic development, finance, and emerging business technologies
- Experience planning, hosting, and participating in high-profile events, such as research conferences, symposiums, and forums
-Demonstrated ability to engage and interact with private sector business senior executives
-Experience communicating findings from academic research, as well as engaging academic researchers in sponsored research initiatives.

NOTE: For University purposes, the position is titled Research Instructor, Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, or Research Professor. Hired candidates with a master’s degree can anticipate an appointment of Research Instructor. Hired candidates with a doctorate can anticipate an initial appointment of Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, or Research Professor. This position is not a tenure-track faculty position.

Application Procedure
Qualified applicants should complete the application process online via by submitting a Cover Letter, Curriculum Vitae/Résumé, and Writing/Research Sample. At the time of hire, at least two (2) letters of recommendation must have been received for selected applicant(s).

About the Organization
The Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise is the outreach arm of UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Founded in 1985 by visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Hawkins Kenan, the Institute is the research, outreach, and strategic planning arm of Kenan-Flagler Business School. The nonprofit institute and its affiliated centers convene leaders from the private sector, academic community, and government to build a greater understanding of how the business sector can work for the public good. The Institute’s mission is to develop and promote innovative, market-based solutions to vital economic issues. With the belief that private enterprise is the cornerstone of a prosperous and free society, the Institute fosters the entrepreneurial spirit to stimulate economic prosperity and improve the lives of people in North Carolina, across the country and around the world.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.

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Job ID

ID: J8406