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Executive Director of UCSB Central Coast Community Labor Project

Position overview

Position title: Executive Director
Salary range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience. The posted UCSB salary scales Table 36 set the minimum pay determined by the candidate’s salary step at appointment. See the salary scale titled, Academic Coordinator II for the salary range. “Off-scale salaries,” i.e. a salary that higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions. A reasonable estimate for this position is $88,000-$117,000.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: Feb. 1st 2024
Position duration: Two years with the possibility of reappointment

Application Window

Open date: November 27, 2023

Most recent review date: Friday, Dec 15, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The UCSB Central Coast Community Labor Project invites applications for the position of Executive Director. The project is administratively housed in the UCSB Blum Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy, which aims to foster interdisciplinary, socially engaged research and learning about poverty and inequality, and to contribute to collective action that advances intersectional economic and environmental justice regionally, in the United States, and abroad.

The UCSB Central Coast Community Labor Project is dedicated to the study of working people, the labor movement, and the challenges of the rapidly changing economy as it impacts the communities of California and beyond. Our goals are to connect students, faculty, policymakers, and labor and community stakeholders, and to collaboratively pursue research, policy analysis, and educational and public programs that support workers and their families, particularly those in low-income communities, immigrant communities, and communities of color on the Central Coast (Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties).

With new funding through the University of California Worker Rights Policy Initiative (WRPI), the project seeks, in the next three years, to expand our capacity for research, policy analysis and public-facing programming, particularly in collaboration with community and labor organizations; support unions and community organizations to conduct their work more strategically by developing curricula, training staff and rank-and-file members, and providing technical assistance; and develop the next generation of labor and community organizers, researchers, and leaders among undergraduate and graduate students by connecting them with community and labor organizations, and training and involving them in community-engaged action research.

The UCSB Central Coast Community Labor Project works closely with 70 labor unions and organizations that are members of the Central Coast Labor Council, as well as community organizations working for economic and social justice, such as the Central Coast Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) and the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP). In Summer 2023, the project launched its inaugural Labor Summer Program, to train and place UCSB undergraduate students in paid summer internships with Central Coast labor unions.

We expect the project to continue to grow in size, scope, and reach in the coming years and eventually to be established as an independent Center on the UCSB campus. We are hiring a executive director to help establish and lead overall project operations, building the administrative and programmatic infrastructure for ongoing research, policy analysis, community and labor collaborations, curriculum development, and trainings (both on and off campus).

The executive director is the senior, full-time person working closely with the faculty director in leading the project and managing its dynamic and growing portfolio of research, training, programming, and community collaboration. The executive director is responsible for independent development and coordination of all aspects of project operations, which include the following core areas:

Strategic leadership: Working with the project’s faculty director and our Advisory Board, the executive director provides strategic leadership in planning and implementing all academic programming, research, and public programs. This may include the following areas of responsibility:

  • Collaboratively develop, evaluate, and monitor a detailed strategic plan for the project.
  • Coordinate with the Blum Center, other UCSB faculty, and labor and community partners.
  • Represent the project at annual conferences, labor and community-sponsored events, and working groups.

Research and Programming Support: Working closely with the faculty director and the Project’s Advisory Board, the executive director will help develop and guide the project’s research, policy analysis and public-facing programming. This may include the following areas of responsibility:

  • Oversee ongoing initiatives and develop new collaborations with labor and community organizations, other research partnerships that support the mission of the project.
  • Support ongoing research, and, if qualified, develop new research, which may be in areas of the executive director’s research interests where they overlap with the project’s mission.
  • Help recruit, communicate with, and manage the project’s Advisory Board, which is made up of strategic labor and community partners, as well as affiliated faculty.
  • Coordinate across academic departments to develop academic programming in labor studies and workers’ rights.
  • Oversee and evaluate the annual Labor Summer Program that recruits, trains, and places undergraduate and graduate students in paid summer internships with local labor and community organizations.
  • Support programming and training for labor and community leaders, as well as rank-and-file union members, in collaboration with the Central Coast Labor Council.

Fundraising: Working with the faculty director, staff researchers, and other affiliated faculty members, develop and initiate strategies for generating resources and/or revenues. This may include the following areas of responsibility:

  • Work with the Office of Research and the Office of Development to identify new funding opportunities.
  • Work with diverse interdisciplinary collaborations of faculty and public sector funding agencies to develop potential research projects and collaborations, exploring potential funding opportunities.
  • Represent the project’s mission and research accomplishments to external stakeholders, including potential major donors, and leveraging external relationships to create new opportunities.

Communications: The executive director oversees and directs all aspects of the project’s communications, from web/social media presence to external relations. This may include the following areas of responsibility:

  • Develop and oversee communication of the project’s research accomplishments, to the public, press, foundations, government, and UCSB campus community.
  • Provide content and editorial feedback on draft policy reports and research translation reports published by the project.
  • Work with the Social Science and Humanities and Fine Arts Divisions marketing and communications staff on both broad communication strategies and developing specific communication and marketing materials.
  • Communicate with community partners about project activities.
  • Oversee website development and supervise social media outreach and messaging.

Event Development and Coordination: The executive director oversees all project organized and affiliated events. This may include the following areas of responsibility:

  • Work with the faculty director and other UCSB faculty on all aspects of project events, from conceptualization to planning to implementation and evaluation.
  • Reach out to external scholars, public intellectuals, and labor and community leaders about proposed and planned events.
  • Coordinate communication and event planning, working closely with the Blum Center, the Social Sciences and Humanities and Fine Arts Divisions, and UCSB events staff.
  • Write publicity materials related to project events.

Research Administration and Financial Management: The executive director oversees and further develops the organizational structure for the project’s financial and business operations, including the generation, management and reporting of project budgets. This may include the following areas of responsibility:

  • Oversee contract and grant management and work closely with divisional research accountants and staff members.
  • Ensure effective management of programs supported by contracts and grants affiliated with the project, working closely with affiliated faculty and other research staff.

Staff and Program Management: The executive director is responsible for personnel and program management at the center. This may include the following areas of responsibility:

  • Implement strategic initiatives and policy decisions, recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve strategic goals.
  • Supervise and mentor existing staff.
  • Hire, supervise, and mentor additional staff and contractors as needed and funding allows, ensure HR needs are met.

The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service as appropriate to the position


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
  • At least 5 years of relevant professional experience, with increasing levels of responsibility, in research, program development, organizing, and/or administration.
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher
Preferred qualifications
  • Preference will be given to candidates with master’s degrees, professional degrees, or higher.
  • BA (or higher) in social science, humanities, public administration, public policy, urban planning, labor studies, or related fields
  • Broad knowledge of the U.S. and international labor movements
  • Knowledge of racial, gender, and economic justice organizations and campaigns

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - Letter of application summarizing your qualifications and interest in the position.

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Statements of contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion will be reviewed for evidence of administrative, public service, teaching, and/or research contributions that are centered on a commitment to equitable and inclusive practices and outcomes. This may take many forms and be reflected through a range of activities. Guidance for writing this statement can be found here: []

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 letters of reference required

Reference letters will be reviewed as part of the selection process.

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About UC Santa Barbara

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the University of California’s Affirmative Action Policy please visit: For the University of California’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, please visit:

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs, as may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Santa Barbara, CA