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Director, Monash Sustainable Development Institute

Senior executive position at Monash University

Welcome to Monash

From the Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Marc Parlange

Professor Parlange

MSDI brings together Monash University’s leading researchers, along with government, industry and the community to focus on large-scale, interdisciplinary projects that address global issues aligned to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.  Our research and education initiatives harness the full potential of these partnerships – because we know just how much of a powerful, permanent impact we can make together.

With so many thinkers from university, government, industry and the community, we don’t just believe we can turn ideas into action to make a bigger impact. We know we can.

We’re already making progress…

Our work creating pathways for deep decarbonisation has had an impact both globally and locally, influencing the 2015 Paris Climate Conference agreement and providing evidence for Australian State Governments to set a net zero emissions target by 2050.

In Indonesia, our work in efficient wastewater recycling and stormwater harvesting will see cities in different parts of the country enjoying cleaner water – and for the people who call those cities home, that means brighter, healthier futures as well.

Whether we’re working in Australia or overseas, all of our work connects with the Sustainable Development Goals, and is motivated by a common purpose – to make a bigger impact around the world.

The Director is responsible for the overall leadership of the Institute.  They will lead MSDI to make a meaningful impact on shifting systems to achieve a more innovative, inclusive and sustainable society, strengthen interdisciplinary research and education activities, increase the institute’s relevance to and impact on sustainable development and progress towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Our leading University

At Monash we have a lot to be proud of:

  • Largest university in Australia.
  • Consistently ranked in the top 100 universities worldwide.
  • An inspiring innovation and learning culture.

We are characterised by the people who work here with:

  • A sense of purpose.
  • A global outlook.
  • The skills and confidence to make positive change – to their own lives, and to the lives of those around them.

As a team we are inspired by, and driven to achieve the goals outlined in our strategic plan Focus Monash, which articulates the goals that will shape our future to 2020 and beyond – to be Excellent, International, Enterprising and Inclusive.


To undertake research and education of the highest international quality that addresses the great challenges of our age.


To build the strength, networks and scale of our international research and education across campuses and faculties to ensure they respond to the issues and opportunities of our region and the world.


To build enduring partnerships with industry, government and other organisations that will enrich our ability to innovate, to infuse our students and staff with enterprising capabilities and provide opportunities to apply our research to make a significant impact for the betterment of our communities.


To seek talented students and staff, irrespective of social or economic circumstances, and build a connected community of students and staff in a diverse University that is deeply engaged with the wider community.

We are the only Group of Eight university to be accredited as an  Employer of Choice for Gender Equality from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

About the Monash Sustainable Development Institute

The Provost & Senior Vice-President is the Chief Academic Officer of the University and is responsible for: setting the University's academic strategy and priorities with view to improving the education and research performance of the University; oversight of faculties, academic related portfolios and university-wide centres and institutes oversight of academic staffing including recruitment, development, reward and recognition, policies and procedures; strategic leadership for the delivery of academic programs; identifying and cultivating interdisciplinary areas of excellence and collaboration.

Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI) is driven to find real solutions to some of the most significant challenges facing our world today.  We harness the research, education and engagement strength within MSDI and across Monash to address the interconnected challenges posed by the Sustainable Development Goals.  We bring together interdisciplinary research teams and co-produce research and action projects with industry and government partners to develop policies and solutions to key sustainable development challenges: climate change, water and sanitation, food and land use, social inclusion, sustainable urbanisation, health, safety and wellbeing. We focus on transforming systems, engage and influence key decision makers and networks. We have specialist programs focusing on behaviour change (BehaviourWorks Australia), deep decarbonisation (ClimateWorks Australia) and urban water (Monash Water Sensitive Cities). We have a growing education program that includes postgraduate courses and PhD supervision alongside executive education, capacity development and student leadership activities. We have a global focus and expanding research activity in Asia and the Pacific. MSDI is a global leader in university collaboration in support of the Sustainable Development Goals and is the host to the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, and the Oxfam-Monash Partnership. For more information, please visit

See our video collection below for more

An opportunity to lead

The Director, Monash Sustainable Development Institute is responsible for overall leadership of the Institute and works closely with the MSDI leadership team to deliver all aspects of strategy, management and financial viability. The Director has a robust understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals and the knowledge and capacity to make a meaningful impact on shifting systems to achieve a more innovative, inclusive and sustainable society. The Director creates strong, outcome-focused partnerships with faculties and strategically positions Monash for global leadership in catalysing sustainable development research, translation and education. The Director leads the Institute to grow and strengthen its interdisciplinary research and education activities, and increase its relevance to impact on sustainable development across South-East Asia and the Pacific. The Director links sustainable development capabilities to needs across government, industry, academia and civil society, including the promotion of Monash’s capability to play a significant role in national and international sustainable development research, translation and education.  The Director will actively pursue new partnerships and global networks of excellence through which MSDI and Monash can mobilise specialists from diverse scholastic fields, organisations, sectors and places to generate newly funded and globally significant programs to accelerate progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Reporting line

Reports to the Provost and Senior Vice-President of the University, working closely with the MSDI Executive Chair

Supervisory responsibilities

Provides oversight to approximately 90 staff

Financial Delegation

Yes, the position has a financial delegation of $150,000

Budget Responsibilities

Oversight of a budget of approximately $21 million

About the role

How to apply

The University has engaged RLC Search to assist in the recruitment process.  For a confidential discussion please contact:

Dr Rachel Lucas +61 402 891 029 or

Applications close: Sunday 10 February 2019, 11:55pm AEDT

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