Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) invites applications, nominations, and expressions of interest for the inaugural position of executive director of the CMU Rales Fellows Program. This individual will have an extraordinary opportunity to shape and lead an innovative and high-impact graduate fellows program within one of the most creative and entrepreneurial institutions in higher education.

This is an on-site and in-person role; the anticipated start date is early summer 2023.

The Position


The Missing Millions

Over the past few years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Science Board (NSB) have issued urgent calls to increase the U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) talent pool—and to address wide-ranging issues that have kept women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups from pursuing education and careers in STEM fields—for the U.S. to maintain its position as a leader in research and to compete globally. In its Vision 2030, the NSB called for the U.S. to “be aggressive about cultivating the fullness of the nation’s domestic talent” by broadening the diversity of the STEM workforce, in which women, Black, and Latinx people are significantly underrepresented compared to their share of the overall population. The CMU Rales Fellows Program will contribute toward solving the issues raised by the NSF and NSB.

Data from the NSF and NSB show that women, Black, and Latinx students are one-half and sometimes even one-third as likely to be working in STEM fields as their white male counterparts. Similarly, the Pew Research Center in 2021 found that first-generation students were about 20 percent less likely to pursue a graduate degree. Carnegie Mellon’s own analysis finds this underrepresentation is reflected in students completing graduate STEM degrees. These underrepresented groups cite cost and undergraduate debt as the key reasons they do not pursue graduate education. According to the Council of Graduate Schools, the average undergraduate loan for first-generation students pursuing doctoral degrees was 65 percent higher than for continuing-generation students.

Empowering students from underrepresented and under-resourced backgrounds—dubbed the Missing Millions by the National Science Foundation—through a graduate degree will increase the number and diversity of voices within STEM research, education, and innovation and help the U.S. meet the growing need for a new generation of leaders.

The CMU Rales Fellows Program

Established in February 2023, the CMU Rales Fellows Program will directly address the Missing Millions issue through a comprehensive fellows program that will increase access to STEM graduate education and help cultivate a new generation of domestic national STEM leaders. At its core, the program will eliminate cost as a barrier to certain master’s degree and PhD programs for students from under-resourced and underrepresented backgrounds by providing full tuition and a stipend; it also will support students through distinctive, holistic development opportunities and networks that will benefit the fellows both during their time at CMU and as they advance in their careers.

CMU Rales Fellows will benefit from an ecosystem of holistic opportunities to ensure their success as they work to develop into future STEM leaders. This support and development system will include comprehensive, cohort-based onboarding; dedicated career services to assist fellows in preparing for a broad range of professional outcomes; faculty mentoring; programs to build their personal networks; and opportunities to build leadership skills in local and global communities.

Initially, the CMU Rales Fellows program will be open to CMU students pursuing certain graduate degrees in the College of Engineering, Mellon College of Science, School of Computer Science, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Neuroscience Institute. Eventually, the program will be open to all of CMU’s graduate STEM programs. The first cohort of fellows will enroll in fall 2024; at steady state, the CMU Rales Fellows program is expected to support 86 graduate students in STEM fields annually, educating thousands of research and industry leaders in the coming decades.

Carnegie Mellon has entered into a partnership with the nationally recognized Ron Brown Scholar Program to help identify and engage excellent candidates for the CMU Rales Fellows program. The Ron Brown Scholar Program has worked for nearly three decades to create pathways to higher education for African American high school students through scholarships and support initiatives. In addition, CMU has and will continue to develop partnerships with multiple higher education institutions, including minority-serving institutions and the National GEM Consortium, to facilitate access to graduate STEM education.

The CMU Rales Fellows program is part of a larger, coordinated vision around access and support for students from underrepresented and under-resourced backgrounds, complementing the university’s successful pre-college programs, including the Summer Academy for Math and Science for high school students interested in STEM, and the Tartan Scholars program for undergraduate students.


The executive director of the CMU Rales Fellows Program (executive director) will provide overall leadership for the newly created CMU Rales Fellows Program and serve as its chief ambassador and advocate on campus and in the local and national contexts. They will be charged with translating the program’s ambitious shared vision into action by creating, developing, and sustaining an innovative and collaborative graduate fellows program. The program aims to expand access and opportunity for historically marginalized populations and address critical societal needs by preparing and expanding the workforce of today and tomorrow. The executive director will have the unique opportunity to establish a new administrative office; create its organizational and operational structure; manage a complex, multi-million dollar annual budget; and hire three staff members to support the successful launch and growth of the program. The executive director will report to Dr. Amy Burkert, vice provost for education.

This inaugural leader will engage with various campus partners, particularly the deans and associate deans of the College of Engineering, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mellon College of Science, and School of Computer Science, and coordinate efforts to ensure successful outcomes for the program and the fellows. Chief among these efforts will be the development of the recruitment strategies for the inaugural and subsequent cohorts of Rales Fellows and the cultivation and identification of three Faculty Fellows in partnership with program and department leads. The executive director will also have primary responsibility for the strategic cultivation of relationships with national corporate and institutional partners. In collaboration with the provost and vice provost, they will drive the development of partnerships with key external stakeholders, including institutions of higher education, that serve historically underrepresented and under-resourced populations. The executive director will also serve as the program’s liaison with the Rales Foundation and Ron Brown Scholar Program and ensure regular and timely communication on the program’s growth and outcomes.


A master’s degree, successful and progressive professional and leadership experiences suitable for appointment at the executive director level, and a significant record of success in student academic services and staff management will be expected of the executive director. The successful candidate will be known for partnering well in complex environments and will have a deep understanding of the needs and best practices of inclusive excellence and graduate education.

The search advisory committee particularly invites applications from candidates with demonstrated experience with current trends and impactful practices in recruiting and supporting underrepresented graduate students in STEM fields; a record of collaborative and dynamic leadership; a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and an affinity for the distinctive vision and mission of the CMU Rales Fellows Program.

Institution & Location


As the university’s chief academic officer, the provost has broad responsibility for leading CMU’s schools, institutes, and campuses and is instrumental in long-range institutional and academic planning and implementation. The provost also oversees academic and budgetary policy and priorities, ensures the quality of the student body, and maintains educational excellence. In addition, the provost has oversight responsibility for recruiting, hiring, and advancement of faculty and academic administrators and for the university’s promotion and tenure of the 1,500 members of CMU’s faculty.

The provost’s office advances Carnegie Mellon University’s mission for teaching, research, and scholarly excellence. Its resources nurture the personal, professional, and intellectual growth of CMU’s community of students, faculty, and staff in diverse academic contexts.

An extraordinary group of academic and administrative leaders supports these efforts and initiatives, including deans, vice provosts, and key faculty and professional staff committed to continuing CMU’s success and tradition in education, research, and societal impact. Members of the provost’s office serve as points of contact for this division, which plans and guides the policies and practices that shape the university’s academic vision.

The provost division’s 2021-22 year in review report can be found here.

Divisional Leadership

James H. Garrett, Jr., Provost, and Chief Academic Officer; Thomas Lord Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

James H. Garrett, Jr. was named provost and chief academic officer of Carnegie Mellon University in January 2019. A faculty member since 1990, James H. Garrett, Jr. became dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering in 2013. Immediately prior to that, he spent six years as head of the department of civil and environmental engineering.

Garrett is Carnegie Mellon plaid through and through, having received his BS (‘82), MS (‘83), and PhD (‘86) degrees in civil and environmental engineering from the institution. He joined the faculty of the college as an assistant professor in 1990 and was promoted to full professor in 1996. Garrett has served in other administrative roles, including associate dean for graduate and faculty affairs (2000-2006), acting dean (2004), and faculty co-director of the smart infrastructure institute, a research center aimed at developing sensing technology for construction and infrastructure systems.

Throughout his research career, Garrett focused on how sensors and data analytics can make our cities more adaptive and efficient. This approach aims to give built infrastructures the ability to detect and report on problems directly to the humans charged with maintaining those structures, allowing for more proactive and cost-effective infrastructure management.

Among his many recognitions and awards, in 2018, Garrett was awarded the title of Distinguished Member of American Society of Civil Engineers, the highest honor available to civil engineers.


Amy L. Burkert, Vice Provost for Education

Amy L. Burkert is vice provost for education at Carnegie Mellon University. In this role, she is responsible for university-wide education initiatives at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and will serve as the direct supervisor for the executive director of the Rales Graduate Fellows Program.

Burkert is a biologist whose research focused on the molecular etiology of disease. As a postdoctoral fellow, she directed a multinational research project on occupational asthma that involved time as a visiting researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. This opportunity gave her direct experience with the power of collaborative science that crosses borders and disciplines and bridges university research with companies and communities. Since then, her rich understanding of the broad context of the practice of science today has been reflected in her work at CMU as a researcher, teacher, mentor, and faculty colleague.

Burkert has long been recognized as an innovator in higher education. Before becoming vice provost in 2010, she served as the assistant dean for the health professions program at the Mellon College of Science, where she was credited with strengthening and advancing the pre-medical education programs across the university. Burkert is also a teaching professor in the department of biological science, and has won many awards for teaching and mentoring students and sustained contributions to educational practice.

Burkert has spearheaded the development of new pathways for science students to grow intellectually and personally. She helped to create new interdisciplinary options (the Bachelor of Science and Arts degree and the Science and Humanities Scholars Program); the unified major in biological sciences and psychology; the biomedical engineering minor for non-engineering students; and the minor in health care policy and management. She also helped develop the intercollegiate bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in computational biology. She has been dedicated advocate for broadening access to education and enabling educational innovation and student success through advancing numerous pathway programs, student resources and academic policies. Burkert received her BA from Washington and Jefferson College and her PhD from Carnegie Mellon.


Carnegie Mellon University, a member of the Association of American Universities, is a global, research-intensive university with nearly 16,800 students, 125,000 living alumni, and approximately 6,300 faculty and staff. In 2022, U.S. News & World Report ranked CMU number 22 among national universities, and many of its programs are among the top-ranked in the world. Carnegie Mellon boasts academic strength across a broad range of fields spanning physical and life sciences, computer science, engineering, social sciences, humanities, fine arts, business, and public policy, and, indicative of this breadth, is home to the number one ranked programs in computer science, software engineering, management information systems, and time-based/new media. CMU’s annual budget exceeds $1.3 billion, with total research expenditures of $400 million. In addition to its main campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in California’s Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Mexico.

Over the past 50 years, CMU has set the standard for scholarship, education, and impact for a 21st-century research university. The university is known for its distinctive culture, which champions interdisciplinary inquiry in a technology-rich environment. It maintains a forward-thinking stance towards all disciplines, strives to be socially relevant, and embraces the traditions and values of humanistic inquiry across all pursuits. CMU faculty are renowned for inspiring students to think creatively, interpret with insight, and solve significant societal, scientific, and technological challenges. Current and former faculty and alumni include 20 Nobel Laureates, 79 members of the National Academies, 12 Turing Awards, 10 Academy Awards, 116 Emmy Awards, and 47 Tony Awards. Exceptionally talented students are drawn to the university’s commitment to innovative education and training and its outstanding programs across its seven schools and colleges. CMU has seen a dramatic increase in undergraduate applications that have led to increasing selectivity and rising yield, as well as substantial increases in master’s level students

CMU is a dynamic institution with a remarkable impact on the world relative to its size and endowment. The university’s success emanates from its deeply held core values: dedication, impact, collaboration, creativity, empathy and compassion, inclusion, integrity, and sustainability. It is a place of creativity, pragmatism, and ambition, with a tradition of strategically focusing its efforts and resources in areas where it can lead, then pursuing those areas with startling intensity.


Carnegie Mellon University will have a transformative impact on society through continual innovation in education, research, creativity, and entrepreneurship.


To create a transformative educational experience for students focused on deep disciplinary knowledge; problem-solving; leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills; and personal health and well-being.

To cultivate a transformative university community committed to (a) attracting and retaining diverse, world-class talent; (b) creating a collaborative environment open to the free exchange of ideas where research, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship can flourish; and (c) ensuring individuals can achieve their full potential.

To impact society in a transformative way—regionally, nationally, and globally—by engaging with partners outside the traditional borders of the university campus.

Strategic Plan

CMU is positioned like never before to meet the challenges of the 21st century. In the coming years, the university will see the largest expansion to the Pittsburgh campus since 1900. CMU’s research, innovation, and creativity will continue to guide its future as a world-class university at the intersection of technology and humanity.

As outlined in the Strategic Plan 2025, the university will focus on advancing the individual student experience, the broader Carnegie Mellon community experience, and the social impact of Carnegie Mellon throughout the world.

For more information:


Farnam Jahanian, President

Farnam Jahanian was appointed the tenth president of Carnegie Mellon University by its Board of Trustees in March 2018 and was recently reappointed for another term. He was previously the university’s provost and later served as interim president from July 2017 to February 2018. A nationally recognized computer scientist, entrepreneur, public servant, and higher education leader, Jahanian brings to CMU extensive leadership and administrative expertise in advancing research and education within and across disciplines and translating research into technologies and practices that benefit society.

He first joined CMU as vice president for research in 2014, where he was responsible for nurturing excellence in research, scholarship, and creative activities. In his role as provost and chief academic officer from May 2015 to June 2017, Jahanian had broad responsibility for leading CMU’s schools, colleges, institutes, and campuses and was instrumental in long-range institutional and academic planning and implementation.

Prior to coming to CMU, Jahanian led the National Science Foundation Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) from 2011 to 2014. He guided CISE, with a budget of almost $900 million, in its mission to advance scientific discovery and engineering innovation through its support of fundamental research. Previously, Jahanian was the Edward S. Davidson Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan, where he served as chair for computer science and engineering from 2007 to 2011 and as director of the software systems laboratory from 1997 to 2000.

Jahanian has actively advocated for how basic research can be uniquely central to an innovation ecosystem that drives global competitiveness and addresses national priorities. His highly influential research on internet infrastructure security formed the basis for the internet security company Arbor Networks, which he co-founded in 2001 and where he served as chairman until its acquisition in 2010. Jahanian serves as chair of the National Research Council’s Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB), sits on the executive committee of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, and is a board member of the National Center for Women and Information Technology. He is also active with the World Economic Forum, co-chairing the Global University Leaders Forum, and as a member of the Internet of Things Council through WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Jahanian holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Carnegie Mellon University leadership organizational chart



The College of Engineering, consistently ranked among the top ten engineering schools in the U.S., is a world-class engineering college recognized for excellence, innovation, and the societal relevance and impact of its pursuits. It produces creative and technically strong engineers and pioneering research solutions to global challenges, with an unprecedented commitment to integrating across engineering, sciences, arts, business, and other disciplines to yield transformative results.

The School of Computer Science (SCS) is widely recognized as one of the world’s first and best computer science programs. Its programs train the next generation of innovators to solve real-world problems and improve how people live and work. Since its founding over 25 years ago, SCS has been a world leader in computing research and education. Its graduate programs consistently rank among the top in the nation and are highly rated in specialty areas such as programming languages, artificial intelligence, systems, and theory.

The Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences is home to nine departments and programs and research centers that often cross disciplines. The college embodies one of the most varied groups of students, faculty, staff, and alumni in the Carnegie Mellon University community, all united by a common goal: confronting and solving society’s most complex problems.

The Mellon College of Science (MCS) is home to four departments: biological Sciences, chemistry, mathematical sciences, and physics, and many programs and research centers that cross disciplines. Faculty and students approach scientific problems from fresh angles using innovative interdisciplinary approaches while drawing on departmental strengths in the core sciences. MCS faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized for their research in various fields, including polymer science, cosmology, mathematical finance, and neuroscience.

The College of Fine Arts cultivates a community of nationally and internationally recognized artists and professionals within five schools (architecture, art, design, drama, and music), associated programs, the Miller Institute for Contemporary Art, and the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. It is internationally renowned for its unique multidisciplinary capabilities and distinctive pedagogical approaches, the success and influence of students and alumni, visionary leadership in developing and transforming the professions, and its vital role in melding the exceptional capabilities of a great university with society and culture.

The Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy (Heinz College) consists of one of the nation’s top-ranked public policy schools—the school of public policy & management—and information schools—the school of information systems & management. The Heinz College educational process integrates policy analysis, management, and information technology.

The Tepper School of Business offers a future-focused business school experience tailored to today’s marketplace’s complexity. The Tepper School is home to several award-winning and nationally ranked programs, including undergraduate business and economics programs, graduate programs in business administration and computational finance, and doctoral-level programs which span numerous areas of study. The Tepper School has more than 200 full-time faculty and staff members and numerous teaching and research centers dedicated to helping students achieve academic excellence in all arenas.

Research Centers and Institutes

Working at the nexus of technology and humanity, Carnegie Mellon enriches the everyday human experience through interdisciplinarity, innovation, and ingenuity collaboration. Home to more than 100 centers and institutes, CMU researchers look across disciplines and reach beyond the boundaries of education for partnerships to create work that matters.

Among the centers is the advanced robotics for manufacturing institute, which was recently awarded more than $250 million. The institute integrates industry practices and institutional knowledge across disciplines to realize the promises of a robust manufacturing innovation ecosystem.

As a global model for smarter city solutions, Carnegie Mellon partners with the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and other government agencies to incubate a range of technological systems that will improve safety, enhance mobility, promote efficiency, and address pollution in the environment. Work-related to traffic lights has decreased travel times and lowered emissions by over 20 percent in test areas, resulting in international recognition.

Global institutions with Pittsburgh presences, like K&L Gates and PwC, also leverage their client engagement experience with CMU’s world-class research, faculty, and students to partner with the university to invest in the future.

Fall 2022 Student Enrollment Data


The anticipated hiring salary range for this position is $150,000-$200,000. Carnegie Mellon considers numerous factors when extending offers of employment, including but not limited to the role and associated responsibilities, a candidate’s work experience, education/training, and key skills.

This position is eligible for full-time benefits as afforded to all full-time Carnegie Mellon University employees, including, but not limited to, comprehensive medical, prescription, dental, and vision insurance; retirement savings programs; tuition benefits; paid time off and holidays; and life and accidental death and disability insurance. Additional information regarding the full range of benefits afforded can be found at

Application & Nomination

Carnegie Mellon University has retained the services of Spelman Johnson, a leading national executive search firm, to assist with leading this search. Review of applications will begin Monday, April 10, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Michel R. Frendian, Senior Consultant, at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

As a condition of employment, Carnegie Mellon University requires all staff and faculty working in the United States to provide proof of their vaccination against COVID-19, including a booster when eligible, or have an approved exemption.

Visit the Carnegie Mellon University website at and the CMU Rales Fellows Program website here.

 Carnegie Mellon University is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EEO/AA). The university bases its employment decisions on the principle of equal employment opportunity. All personnel actions, including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, benefits, transfer, layoff, return from layoff, education tuition assistance, and social and recreational programs are administered in accordance with the university’s commitment to non-discrimination.

 Further, the university takes affirmative action to attract qualified candidates for employment who are minority, female, individuals with disabilities, disabled veterans, and veterans of the Vietnam Era; ensures that bona fide job-related and valid requirements are used to evaluate employees for promotion and applicants for employment; and complies with applicable federal, state and local laws, statutes, orders and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national or ethnic origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status or non-job-related disability.