Assistant/Associate Dean of Students, Director of Spiritual Life & Intercultural Education

Assistant/Associate Dean of Students, Director of Spiritual Life & Intercultural Education

New York University Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, UAE   |   April 16, 2020

Assistant/Associate Dean of Students, Director of Spiritual Life & Intercultural Education

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) seeks to appoint a visionary, dynamic individual with notable experience in intercultural education and diversity, equity, and inclusion to serve as its next Assistant/Associate Dean (AD) of Students and Director of Spiritual Life and Intercultural Education. A world-class research university with liberal arts and sciences at its core, NYUAD resides in the United Arab Emirates at a new crossroads of today’s changing world, and a critical portal in NYU’s Global Network University.

This role is a unique opportunity to live and work in an exciting region with a student/staff community that draws from all across the world. While this position will have a broad purview across the entire Division and will hold responsibilities for larger, strategic initiatives, they will work particularly closely with the areas of intercultural education and spiritual life, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYUAD is a highly selective institution of over 1,500 students from about 120 countries around the world studying in 24 undergraduate majors across Arts and Humanities, Engineering, Science, and Social Science and in Global PhD Fellowships in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Engineering. Since welcoming its inaugural class in 2010, NYUAD students have excelled and thrived in both academic and extracurricular activities and have received awards and public recognition for accomplishments across academia, athletics, public service, and the arts. NYUAD has produced Fulbright scholars, a Truman scholar, and ten NYUAD students have been named Rhodes Scholars in just five graduating classes, more per capita than any other university in the world.

NYUAD’s 370 faculty and 400 research staff have been attracted to Abu Dhabi from around the world. As prolific scholars and committed teachers, the University’s faculty are leaders in their disciplines and are committed to developing NYUAD into a leading world center of research, scholarship, and artistic creativity. A substantial amount of research awards and grants have been awarded to date in all disciplines.

The NYUAD vision is to be one of the world’s great research universities with an exceptional liberal arts and sciences college as its core. A diverse and vital center of distinctive education and scholarship, actively embedded in NYU’s global network, it will be recognized as the model for a new paradigm in higher education: the university as an engine of a more peaceful, cooperative, and productive world. The commitment of the Abu Dhabi government to that vision has been continually renewed, most recently in its endorsement of the next stage of NYUAD’s growth: by 2025, NYUAD is on track to increase its undergraduate student body to 2,200; will grow the faculty significantly; will establish Abu Dhabi-based graduate programs, tailored to NYUAD’s strengths and local interests; and will develop signature research themes and academic programs to respond to critical 21st century challenges.

For more information about NYU Abu Dhabi visit the website at

NYU Abu Dhabi Division of Campus Life

Led by Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students Kyle Farley, NYUAD’s Division of Campus Life brings together multiple functional areas within student affairs – cultural engagement, spiritual life, student involvement, community outreach, career development, athletics, residential education, fitness, student conduct, health and wellness, accessibility services, and more – to provide students with the structure, resources, and support to maximize their educational experience and reach their full potential. The Division of Campus Life consists of more than 75 full-time staff and plays a crucial role in shaping the out-of-classroom experience for a highly diverse residential population of approximately 1,500+ undergraduate students.

The Division of Campus Life includes the following departments:

  • Dean of Students Office: The Dean’s Office connects all areas of Campus Life to engage the NYUAD community on issues important to the student body, and partner with faculty and academic administration to further enhance the student experience. This office oversees communications, policy, assessment, Senior Year/Commencement activities, accessibility services, and coordination with NYU New York and NYU Shanghai.
  • Athletics: The Department of Athletics, Intramurals & Recreation promotes health and fitness by engaging students in a wide variety of extracurricular activities including intercollegiate sports, intramurals, club sports, and recreational opportunities.
  • Wellness Department: The Wellness Department provides a nurturing, challenging, and supportive environment that enables students to grow emotionally, personally, and socially as part of their fitness journey through One to One Training, Group Fitness Classes, Physical Education, Women-Only offerings, and specialized group activities.
    • Health Promotion (HPO): seeks to enhance the emotional and physical well-being of students so they can experience academic and personal success. The HPO, in collaboration with the peer support group, REACH, offer a wide range of programs to address health-related concerns so students are empowered to make health-enhancing choices towards individual and collective well-being.
  • Career Development Center: The Career Development Center (CDC) empowers NYUAD students and alumni to take first steps and next steps along meaningful career paths. A holistic approach to career development challenges students to think beyond a single internship to who they want to be and what they want to accomplish in their professional lives, both during their time at NYU Abu Dhabi and after graduation.
  • Student Life: This department includes several functional areas focused on student involvement and engagement outside the classroom:
    • Community Outreach: develops partnerships to foster a deep commitment to civic engagement and service with volunteer opportunities to help students engage with the UAE through meaningful community involvement.
    • First Year Experience: supports first year transition into the intellectual, social, and cultural community of NYUAD, beginning with first year student orientation and a semester-long student dialogue program.
    • Spiritual Life and Intercultural Education (SLICE): connects NYUAD’s educational and intercultural goals by creating seamless, inter-connected, and student-centered co-educational opportunities exploring matters of identity, diversity, and inclusion. Critical to this mission is student understanding of self, and the cultural self in relation to others across various contexts.
    • Student Activities: offers a robust array of programming and supports NYUAD’s 75+ different Student Interest Groups (SIGs).
  • Student Health Center: the center provides convenient access to medical care and counseling support to help ensure students stay healthy and are able to fully benefit from their time at NYU Abu Dhabi. The Health Center is staffed by physicians and nurses with expertise in college and adolescent health, and also offers confidential counseling services through licensed Clinical Psychologists.
  • Residential Education: Living on campus is an integral part of the NYU Abu Dhabi experience and nearly all students, in addition to many faculty, live on campus. The Office of Residential Education supports student development by providing resources and implementing purposeful and engaging programs. The office fosters a welcoming living and learning residential environment for students. The office facilitates meaningful community development that utilizes the diverse spectrum of student experiences and backgrounds as an opportunity to engage with peers meeting the individual and collective needs of the student body.

Campus Leadership

The Division of Campus Life is led by Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Kyle Farley together with a senior leadership team responsible for supporting the academic, personal, and professional success of NYU Abu Dhabi students so that they may graduate prepared to make an impact in their communities and shape a more collaborative, inclusive world.

About Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is located in the cultural and political center of the United Arab Emirates. The UAE’s population is about ten million people and it is one of the most ethnically diverse in the world. International residents from 120 countries make up 80+ percent of the population. A city of 1.5 million, Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE, located on the southern coast of the Arabian Gulf and enjoys a sub-tropical climate with sunshine almost all year round and comfortable temperatures throughout the fall, winter and spring months.

Abu Dhabi is at the forefront of building one of the world’s next great “idea capitals.” The city has developed a progressive agenda in health care, the arts, economic and environmental sustainability, educational and human development, and the advancement of women — with impressive resources supporting the vital talent and infrastructure required to both achieve and leverage these advances. Education is central: today, 90 percent of women and 80 percent of men attend a higher education institution. Together, this strategic location and forward-looking commitment create a dazzling array of opportunities for learning, research, and innovation.

Abu Dhabi offers a range of cultural, culinary, and leisure activities for all lifestyles. The Saadiyat Cultural District, adjacent to NYU Abu Dhabi, is a portion of Saadiyat Island dedicated to arts and culture and includes the newly opened Louvre Abu Dhabi, with the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi on the horizon. They will bring additional cultural richness to the island, augmenting the cultural offerings at NYUAD’s Arts Center and Art Gallery.

The Corniche, a pedestrian promenade adjacent to the beach, is a center of Abu Dhabi activity, with running and bicycle lanes and access to beaches, gardens, and cafes along its paths. Opportunities for shopping are varied and plentiful, from ultra-modern malls to small souks with traditional goods. Restaurants reflect the diversity of the population and range from local food stalls to upscale restaurants in the city’s many luxury hotels. Sports and recreation offerings abound, with beautifully landscaped golf courses, watersports, horseback riding, and even a Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit. Less than 100 miles away, the thriving metropolis of Dubai is a convenient day trip. For longer travel, Abu Dhabi is situated at a crossroads of the world, and is a convenient geographical hub to travel to Africa, Europe, and Asia.

For information about living in Abu Dhabi, please visit

The Opportunity

Intercultural Education is absolutely central to the core mission of NYUAD and this is a unique opportunity to innovate theory and practice for the most diverse student body in the world. The Assistant/Associate Dean (AD) of Students and Director of Spiritual Life & Intercultural Education (SLICE) is a central member of the Dean of Students’ senior staff who works across the Division on a variety of strategic, operational, and management initiatives that support the mission of both NYUAD and Campus Life. The AD and Director of SLICE works to provide leadership and vision for the development and implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives for the Division of Campus Life that reflect the unique cultural context of the NYU Abu Dhabi student community. This includes – but is not limited to – analyzing and understanding the student experience, embedding University-wide DEI priorities into student affairs practice, and representing the Division of Campus Life on the university’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and with University-wide stakeholders.

The AD and Director of SLICE will oversee and guide the implementation of an innovative, co-curricular program of intercultural and multi-faith education and outreach that prepares students with the knowledge and skills to become ethical leaders in an increasingly interdependent world. The AD and Director of SLICE will serve as an architect and facilitator of student conversations across a wide range of identity development and community issues and will guide the creation of programming that ensures intercultural and multifaith dialogue between students, staff, and faculty. This role will provide leadership to a 3-person SLICE team and serve as an active resource for students and student groups. The AD and Director of SLICE will take a lead role in driving forward diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at NYUAD and creating educational opportunities for students, faculty, and staff around DEI topics contextual to the NYUAD community.

Specific accountabilities for the Assistant/Associate Dean and Director of SLICE are as follows:

Program Development and Management: Manage train-the-trainer programs, classes, and workshops that provide diversity training and development to members of the University community with the goal of enhancing an inclusive campus environment supportive of diversity, intercultural intelligence, and multi-faith dialogue. Align programming around the unique needs of the NYUAD student community: design, plan, and implement programs and events that enhance the non-academic experience of students. Oversee and manage departmental budgets.

Partnership and Collaboration: Actively identify opportunities for and drive forward integration between SLICE and other stakeholders to ensure a coherent, aligned set of programs and resources related to DEI topics. Work closely with Campus Life colleagues to ensure intercultural competency and the ability to navigate difference are at the forefront of Campus Life programming priorities. Support ongoing and new initiatives to educate and train the University community to be active and successful participants in a diverse society and to advance a climate of inclusion, diversity, and equity for all persons. Serve as a liaison and active collaborator with NYUAD’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee (DEIC), NYU’s Global Inclusion, Diversity & Strategic Innovation office and other relevant departments to reflect the unique cultural context of the NYU Abu Dhabi student community.

Student Advising: Promote open dialogue and intercultural education, including safe spaces for all students to engage and interact. Advise and support students in personal matters to help resolve difficulties interfering with their achievements, satisfaction, and continued enrollment at the University. Identify needs through regular bi-weekly or monthly meetings with identity SIGs, students needing additional support, and students of concern. Advise and support students in navigating cultural differences and nuances as they transition to life at NYUAD and, for many, the UAE.

Outreach and Case Management: In collaboration with campus partners, determine effective content, themes, and outreach strategies to target student populations; assess and evaluate campus climate to inform Division-wide response for emergent student and community issues. Represent the Campus Life leadership team and the Dean of Students in managing response efforts when students and SIGs need additional support; collaborate with other Campus Life stakeholders to ensure case management and follow-up for critical DEI issues impacting students. Build proactive relationships with faculty members to support more integrated conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Strategic Communications: Promote cultural understanding across the campus and within the local community in collaboration with Public Affairs, Community Relations, NYU’s Global Inclusion, Diversity & Strategic Innovation office, NYUAD’s DEIC, Admissions, Human Resources, Global Education, the Academic Divisions, and the NYUAD Institute. Work with external organizations to establish meaningful DEI-related programming and activities for NYUAD students.

Research and Assessment: Conduct research and assessment with special attention to intercultural competency, student needs, and campus climate. Recommend and implement changes and initiatives as necessary. Direct grounded theory efforts to further understand and analyze the student experience. Develop protocols, manuals and training materials for staff & students, as needed. Work with Campus Life leadership to generate annual reports, strategic plans, and evaluations related to SLICE and the Division.

Division and University Programs and Events: As a senior member of the CL Division, this role may be asked to take on additional duties as required. This may include contributing to Division-wide initiatives; representing the Division at university programs/events; and performing other related duties to support the mission and vision of Campus Life.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

  • Demonstrated awareness of and commitment to operating within the sensitivities of a diverse context and culture.
  • Ability to present materials and adopt training materials for diverse audiences, including adapting various educational formats/models/theories to suit NYUAD’s unique context.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and implementing intercultural education programs/models.
  • Demonstrated success in advising of students and student organizations.
  • Experience facilitating dialogue and/or leading facilitator training for a range of programs/initiatives across the University.
  • Demonstrated record of effective collaboration with faculty and other colleagues.
  • Excellent presentation, written, and oral communication skills.
  • Excellent listening skills to accurately understand others and provide effective feedback.
  • Good judgment, discretion, independence, and initiative.
  • Effective management of financial, risk, operational, and compliance matters.
  • Ability and willingness to work some evening/weekend hours.

Candidates should be accomplished professionals with at least 5-7 years of experience working with students with diverse identities and interests, in higher education or a related field. The strongest candidates will have experience creating and assessing educational programs for students and professionals; supervising and managing a team of professionals; managing budgets and aligning resources with strategic priorities; advising students and student groups, with emphasis on issues of identity and community development; and planning, coordination, and implementation of projects and programs. A master’s degree in Education, Higher Education, Social Sciences, Counseling or a related field is required.


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Amy Sugin and Josyanne Roche are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


NYU is committed to equality and is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will enrich and contribute to the cultural and ethnic diversity of our University.

New York University does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, religion, marital status, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin, or disability status in employment, or in our education programs.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit