Managing Director, Center for Social Media Responsibility

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI4.4

How to Apply
A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

This position is funded for two years, pending satisfactory performance and continued funded, with the long-term goal of self-sustaining funding as the CSMR grows.

Job Summary
The University of Michigan Center for Social Media Responsibility ( was founded in March 2018 to address the fundamental challenge of the information age, how to harness broad participation in the means of public communication to create an informed and engaged citizenry.

From the earliest days of the Internet, technologists envisioned benefits of broader access to the means of public communication: individual opportunities for social mobility beyond the confines of local circumstances; subversion of despotic control; collaborative production of information goods (Wikipedia; NextDoor; open source software); broader representation in policy making and governance processes. Many of these benefits have come to pass, though much work still needs to be done.

Moreover, we can now also see some of the new challenges that come with broad access to public communication channels. It is hard for people to tell who and what to trust when anyone can be a publisher. Using social signals to drive content distribution leaves platforms open to manipulation. Anonymous trolling and harassment can drive out participation from minority voices. Natural social influence processes can lead to groupthink rather than crowd wisdom. A triumph of mobilization within echo chambers over persuasion across political, ethnic, and religious fault lines can lead to dangerous social fragmentation.

The Center for Social Media Responsibility develops socio-technical interventions to enhance the benefits and reduce the negative consequences of broad access to the means of public communication. We also develop measurements that track the health of our public communication channels, especially communications that occur on social media platforms.

CSMR operates by providing services that amplify the public-facing impact of faculty and doctoral student research. These services include software development and maintenance, publicity, and relationship maintenance with external partners.

We seek to hire a Managing Director to oversee the operations of the center. The Managing Director will be expected to effectively engage scholars from the University of Michigan, organize processes for selecting prototype interventions and measurements that that are ripe for practical application and broader dissemination, and then manage the software development and publicity need to turn dissemination vision into reality.

The Managing Director will report to a Faculty Director, currently the Associate Dean for Research, and will also be accountable to a faculty governing council.

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

For more information about the School of Information, please visit our website. For more information about the Center for Social Media Responsibility, please visit our website.

Manage the growth and development of the Center, including but not limited to: manage the Center's employees and its organizational infrastructure to support and advance its goals, build a network of industry partners, non-profit groups and others, and assist in the development of grant proposals.
Develop, oversee and implement an integrated program of outreach to establish the Center as a leading voice promoting socially responsible media distribution.
Participate in recruitment, selection, and management of staff members of the Center. Direct and evaluate staff performance compared to long-term and short-term strategic goals for the center. Coach and mentor staff by providing accurate, specific, and timely feedback; provide staff with information and a clear understanding of job expectations and behavior
Manage the selection and execution of center projects.

Required Qualifications*
Bachelor degree in Business, Engineering,Computer Science, Information, or related field, or equivalent combination of education, certification, and experience.
Minimum 5 years of demonstrated senior level experience in a related or similar role in the computing/new media/social media industry, ideally bridging research and product groups.
Understanding of the academic environment and resources, and demonstrated experience working with constituents from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.
Experience in project management
Excellent communications and consensus building skills.
Hands-on knowledge of today’s social media industry.
Ability to demonstrate tact and diplomacy when working with a broad spectrum of students, faculty, administrative staff, policy makers and industry employees.
Demonstrated management or supervisory experience that includes recruiting, mentoring, career development and performance management, leadership, and team building.

Desired Qualifications*
Advanced degree in related field.
High profile within the industry, including a strong network of engineers, designers, product managers, and company executives.
Familiarity with the complexities of bridging research and product groups in the area of social media.
Demonstrated experience in managing an external communications presence (e.g., website, blog, social media accounts).
Demonstrated fundraising experience.
Experience in policy formation, team building, budget management, program development and assessment.

Work Locations
The position is based in Ann Arbor, MI, though some flexibility may be possible. Ann Arbor is a vibrant small city of 120,000 with many cultural amenities. It is an hour from Detroit, and 30 minutes from the Detroit airport, with non-stop service to cities around the globe. For more about living and working in Ann Arbor, please see our website.
Domestic and international travel may be required.