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Job Details

Title Center Director
Business Unit Study Abroad Programs
Location Merida, Mexico


A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international education and exchange. For 70 years CIEE has helped thousands of people gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and work in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world by offering the most comprehensive, relevant, and valuable exchange programs available. Serving over 300 U.S. College and University consortium members, CIEE operates sixty study centers in over forty countries that support study abroad programs for over 8,000 students annually. In addition, as the largest sponsor for U.S. Department of State J-1 Visa programs, CIEE helps nearly 25,000 international students participate in U.S. based exchange programs annually. CIEE programs and services span study abroad, teach abroad, international faculty development seminars, and inbound exchange study, work, and internship programs for today’s high school and university students, professionals, and educators.

We strive to lead a robust community of international program providers and sponsors through innovation, exemplary service and exceptional efficiency. Our success depends on having the very best professionals. CIEE is committed to recruiting and retaining the best people in the industry, particularly those who are passionate about international education, are self-starters with high levels of energy and autonomy, and are dedicated to exceed expectations in every challenge.


Pending approval of the CIEE Academic Consortium Board during its meeting in April, CIEE is seeking to launch a new location in Merida, in 2018. The  Director of the proposed location will be responsible for the quality and success of CIEE programs offered in Merida, with overall responsibility for the management of all aspects of the Open Campus Model, ensuring the highest levels of quality and customer satisfaction. A significant feature of the work is the planning and delivery of the CIEE Open Campus program, a highly innovative study abroad concept that enables students to design a program from six to 36 weeks, in up to three different locations. This program is defined by the highest standards of educational quality, rigorous coordination among Open Campus locations, and providing access to students of diverse backgrounds. In the initial months of this position, the Director will work closely with the Regional Director of Operations and his staff (based mostly in Merida, Mexico) to prepare the academic and operational components needed to launch the Merida CIEE programs, in January 2019.

The Director will also recruit and develop her/his core management team, responsible for the effective, timely, and on-budget delivery of these program aspects:

  • Academic Program: Ensure that the academic department meets its goals in the planning and delivery of the CIEE Merida Open Campus academic program (semester, January-term, and summer), faculty-led and custom programs, internship-based academic programs, International Faculty Development Seminars, high school programs, and other programs as needed. This includes but is not limited to overseeing the hiring of qualified academic faculty; evaluating faculty through classroom observations and student evaluations; providing faculty development opportunities; the timely and accurate production of course syllabi and materials; ensuring faculty make effective use of the CIEE learning management system (Canvas); student advising and course registration activities, final registration, student grade report preparation and submission, and requests for special academic exceptions, complaints, appeals, etc.
  • Student Services: Ensure that the student life team meets its goals in the development and oversight of student services, including but not limited to student visas and residency permits, pre-departure orientation, on-site orientation, program excursions and overnight study tours (planned in conjunction with the academics department), volunteer opportunities, cultural and social activities supporting experiential and intercultural learning, personal counseling, conflict resolution and discipline, implementation of CIEE health, safety, and security protocols and procedures.
  • Human Resources: Maintain overall responsibility for all Merida staff and faculty; plan and execute a strategy to fill key positions necessary for the delivery and development of programs and all operations of the Merida Site; lead team in the coordination and satisfactory execution of their duties; create and maintain a highly positive, collaborative work environment among the various units; assure compliance with local employment law as well as CIEE employment policies and procedures.
  • Health, Safety and Security: Work with staff to ensure compliance with CIEE standards for health, safety and security, which includes monitoring events in the community related to health and safety risks; writing an annual emergency action plan and threat assessment covering health and safety information for students, staff, and facilities; securing appropriate medical and professional services; adhering to communication and incident reporting protocols; maintaining emergency preparedness processes, staff training; and communicating to participants applicable codes of conduct and taking appropriate action when they are in violation.
  • Program Evaluation: Oversee the management of the student evaluation processes, including evaluations of the program as a whole and of individual courses, and providing timely action plans in response to evaluations; facilitate the visits of sending institution and evaluation teams (providing information, coordinating their schedules, establishing appropriate local contacts, setting up group and/or individual meetings with students); prepare program reports at the conclusion of each term.
  • Financial and Legal Management: Serve as managing director of the legal entity and assume related responsibilities; ensure compliance with local tax and reporting requirements and with CIEE policies and procedures; maintain close contact with legal advisors on issues related to student immigration, employment practices, and governance and reporting requirements; maintain overall responsibility for annual budget and capital expenditure planning, monitor financial performance on a monthly basis; negotiate local host university financial protocols and fees and facility leases and other agreements; establish and oversee financial controls protocols; oversee cash flow management; assume bottom-line responsibility for budget margins.
  • Facilities and Student Housing Management: Ensure that the operations team achieves its goals related to the smooth and efficient operation and maintenance of the Merida facility. Oversee the management of service contracts and purchasing, preventative maintenance schedules, fire safety compliance, office management, classroom and event space allocation, IT, security, and other related areas. Coordinate with CIEE enrollment staff and Program Management administration team to provide student housing for all programs, including residence halls, shared apartments, and homestay opportunities, that comports to local and CIEE housing safety regulations. Evaluate and renegotiate annual contracts with housing providers to maintain or improve cost-efficiency of direct program costs.
  • External Relations/Community Engagement: Ensure the development and implementation of strategies to increase awareness of CIEE’s mission and goals throughout the Merida community, at the governmental, municipal, and local levels; engage and network with local business groups; and develop a comprehensive community relations plan in line with CIEE’s objective to foster significant exchange and interaction between CIEE students and members of all of the various community cohorts.
  • Marketing: Support the production of CIEE promotional materials by providing updates and content for catalogs, web site pages, bulletins, handbooks, arrival information, orientation information, pre-departure reading list, course syllabi, instructor CVs, and other information as requested. Participate and facilitate staff participation, as needed, in outreach activities to program applicants or alumni.
  • Other: Oversee as needed the development and implementation of International Faculty Development Seminars, Faculty-led and Custom programs, high school programs, or other CIEE programs; participate as needed and possibly present at the CIEE Annual Conference or at other professional meetings; engage in regular meetings with leadership of other CIEE sites and contribute to ongoing program and operational improvement; other duties as assigned.

Skills and Experience:

Successful applicants will be seasoned professionals with at least five years’ experience in a leadership role within study abroad, international educational exchange, academic experience in STEM field and related higher education institutional setting. A Master’s degree in a scientific or business field is required. PhD in STEM is desirable. In addition, applicants with the following experience and skills are particularly sought:

  • Leadership – Proven ability to build and lead a team through the complexities and challenges of a broad range of operational, programmatic, and student affairs issues in a constantly changing environment
  • Staff management – Demonstrated ability to manage the performance of others and deliver strong results, through successful staff recruitment, training, development, goal setting, delegation and performance evaluation
  • Financial management – Demonstrated experience developing and managing budgets, overseeing compliance in accounting and reporting processes, providing periodic financial analysis to adjust forecasts, and delivering programs on budget.
  • Academic or Professional experience in STEM - The ideal Resident Director, must be familiar with STEM and is committed to creating world-class study abroad programs, holds a compelling vision for STEM education, and is committed to ensuring that students have access to STEM-related educational, research and volunteer opportunities in Merida, Yucatán, México.
  • Student services – Extremely strong servicing skills and the ability to resolve issues fairly, expediently, and cost-effectively
  • Academic culture – In-depth knowledge of and first-hand experience with U.S. and Mexican academic institutions and their cultures and processes
  • Thought leadership – Ability to challenge the way we do business, encourage new ideas/approaches, and understand broader implications of a wide range of business issues.
  • Interpersonal skills – Ability to engender the trust and confidence of a number of stakeholders and be able to deal effectively with a wide variety of often sensitive issues
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills – Ability to effectively communicate with students, U.S. university partners, faculty, local authorities, and CIEE staff internationally. Must be able to understand, work through, and resolve a wide range of both business and academic issues.


Additional Skills and Experience:

  • Ability to function well in complex institutional framework
  • Ability to work well within the highly collaborative and tightly coordinated structure of the Open Campus network throughout CIEE
  • Presentation, knowledge, background, and experience must be credible to local and U.S. administrators
  • Maintain CIEE commitment to providing and preserving a safe and supportive environment in which individual ideas and uniqueness are recognized, valued and given the opportunity to grow
  • Superior judgment when dealing with confidential information
  • Exemplary ambassador of CIEE and its mission and programs
Candidate Instructions

Interested candidates please apply using the link below. Please include a cover letter and resume. No phone calls or emails, please. This position in pending approval.

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