Executive Recruitment

Vice President, People Culture, & Inclusion

Vice President of Policy

Pacifica is underway in a process to recruit and hire a Vice President of Policy, a position new to our Institution.

A Search Committee for the VP of Policy position is being organized and will follow the process outlined below to engage the community in the needs for this position, building a diverse pool of candidates, interviewing and selection.

The Search Committee will get an overview of their Roles & Responsibilities, EEO Guidelines, Best Practices, and Legal dos and don’ts, along with Training videos provided by Higher Education Recruitment Consortium. These videos will educate and train the committee members on inclusive, equitable recruitment practices. Committee will use structured cloud-based competency and values-based interview questionnaire and evaluation form.

Search Committee Members:

Dr. Thyonne Gordon, Ph.D.
Board of Trustees Chair

David Odorisio, Ph.D.
Co-Chair/Associate Core Faculty–Mythological Studies

Jemma Elliott, MA, LMFT, LPCC
Co-Chair/Core Faculty–Counseling Psychology

Lisa Runyen
ADA/Title IX Coordinator, Office of the Provost

Nicholas Sabatino, M.P.A.
Chief of Staff

Norma Mesa, M.S.
Director of Human Resources

Non-voting members:
Jackie Ivy
Executive Assistant to Dr. Leonie Mattison
(Assisting with administrative tasks)

Karina Monares

Tensie J. Taylor, M.Ed.

Expectations and Timeline:

  • Intake process, virtual Town Hall, and surveys
  • Finalize job description and prospectus
  • Begin promoting position broadly
  • Build and vet a diverse pool of candidates

Tentative Timeline:

Week of September 18Intake with the Search Committee

Week of September 24:  Build a diverse pool of candidates

Week of October 2: Search committee will begin Resume Review and first round interviews.

Week of October 16: Second round interviews are conducted with the finalists. A selection is made for the finalist and references are conducted.

Week of October 30th: Search concludes.

Supporting Documentation & Resources:

The Role: Vice President of Policy

Pacifica Graduate Institute seeks a Vice President, Policy. Reporting to the President & CEO, in this role, the individual will be a visionary and strategic leader who will bring deep policy expertise and experience overseeing and coordinating policy work, internal processes, and external products across issue areas. This person will help guide and facilitate policy development and collaboration, while serving as a policy expert and an external spokesperson for the Institute in legal and regulatory matters.

The Vice President, Policy will help set a strategic vision for Pacifica Graduate Institute’s policy work, both on the state and federal level, and will conceptualize, contribute to, review, and oversee research and analytic work, including the body of written materials that Pacifica produces. Additionally, the individual will be the primary point of contact with Pacifica Graduate Institute’s outside law firms.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic vision and leadership for both day-to-day and longer-term work across multiple teams, working in close collaboration with senior
  • Oversee and guide work focused on federal and state-level policies, including engaging with teams to conceptualize and execute on analytic work, reviewing and contributing to written materials, and ensuring that Pacifica Graduate Institute’s work meets a high analytic standard and is compliant with laws and various regulatory requirements.
  • Help develop and maintain strong partnerships with state and national organizations.
  • Contribute to organizational-wide efforts to bring an equity and inclusion lens to the work across policy areas.
  • Guide, coordinate, and support efforts to generate and develop new ideas, bringing a cross-policy perspective to the federal portfolio of Pacifica Graduate Institute’s work.
  • Develop, lead, and facilitate internal processes around cross-policy and cross- team collaboration and effectiveness.
  • Have experience analyzing adequacy of insurance
  • Possess familiarity with federal regulations relevant to higher education, including Title IV, Title VI, and Title Oversee policy development process and documentation across the institution.
  • Ensure effective and clear communication to policies across constituent bodies and provide them with training.
  • Supervise 1-2

Additional Duties Include:

  • Help to ensure Pacifica Graduate Institute has strong relationships with other national partners, including but not limited to WSCUC, APA, CACREP, ACA, CAMFT, CPA, and engage state partners in federal policy debates in effective and thoughtful ways.
  • Evaluate and identify areas for greater effectiveness and develop strategies for maximizing the impact of the Institute’s work.
  • Work with other senior leaders to establish goals and priorities and strategies to achieve them.
  • Develop mechanisms for reviewing Pacifica Graduate Institute’s research and policy agenda to ensure it aligns with short-term and long-term policy goals and the external environment.
  • Serve as an advisor to the President & CEO and other senior leaders on federal policy issues, engagement strategies, and the intersection of federal and state.
  • Continue to engage with current partners and create new community.

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in law, public policy, public administration, or related field, including a JD and/or PhD in Higher Education
  • Intimate understanding of higher education policy, including both the appropriations and authorization processes.
  • Knowledge of Department of Education regulatory schemes and ability to respond quickly to new legislation and policy shifts and know about future trends in higher education and best practices.
  • Ability to provide strong leadership and vision for state and federal policy
  • Understand how to influence policy debates at the state and federal level, including the role of analysis, data, and research; strategic communications; national and state partners and outside experts; and direct engagement with policymakers.
  • Demonstrated experience shaping and advancing state and federal
  • Exceptional leadership and management skills with a collaborative management style that centers equity and inclusion, and a successful track record of drawing on the talents of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Keen awareness of multiple group identities and their dynamics, and the ability to bring a high level of self-awareness, empathy, and social skills to interpersonal work interactions.
  • Excellent writing and public speaking skills, particularly the ability to communicate in clear and compelling ways to a wide range of stakeholders, including faculty and staff, about cross-cutting policy issues, the importance of policy change, equity, and advocacy campaigns.
  • Be adept in contracts.
  • 5-10 years of relevant experience is desired.


This position is based in Santa Barbara, California and the salary range is $120,000 – $180,000.

To apply for this position, please submit a cover letter and resume, in confidence, to Tensie J. Taylor at tensiejtaylorconsulting@outlook.com.