Rachel A. Brown has been named the inaugural assistant provost for university career services at the George Washington University following a national search. Ms. Brown will provide strategic leadership, direction and oversight for the university’s career services for students, alumni and employers. She will assume her new role on Feb. 6.
“After extensive planning and a competitive national search, we are excited to have Rachel Brown join us at GW to lead this critical initiative designed to better serve the needs of our students and alumni, and harness all of our career resources campus wide,” said Peter Konwerski, dean of student affairs.
“Rachel is the perfect person to lead this strategic priority given her strong grasp of the employment landscape at a number of exceptional higher education institutions, her extensive insights into the essential career development tools students and alumni need to be successful and her extensive background in designing programs to enhance specialized employer services, which will no doubt serve our students and alumni well as they embark on their careers.”
At the direction of George Washington President Steven Knapp and Provost Steven Lerman and with the support of the university’s Board of Trustees, GW is in the midst of a multiyear, multifaceted university-wide Career Services Enhancement Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to build a distinguished, campus-wide career culture and strengthen connections between the university’s career services efforts and GW faculty, academic advisers, parents, alumni and employers.
Among the components of the initiative is the creation and appointment of the assistant provost for university career services—a new senior administrative position— to oversee the central GW Career Center and coordinate among the school- and unit-based career services operations as chair and convener of the university’s Career Services Advisory Council.
A committee of staff, faculty and students led the national search for the assistant provost for university career services and was assisted by Spelman and Johnson, a nationally known higher education search firm. Professor of Psychology Carol Sigelman chaired the search committee, which included Dr. Konwerski and others from the university community. Visit http://president.gwu.edu/career-services for additional information on the search committee and the Career Services Enhancement Initiative.
“The university-wide commitment to the Career Services Enhancement Initiative underscores GW’s position as an ambitious, forward-looking institution,” said Ms. Brown. “It is an honor to be selected as the assistant provost for university career services and have the opportunity to work collaboratively across the university to provide the highest quality and level of innovative career services for all GW students.”
Ms. Brown currently serves as the senior director of Temple University’s Career Center, where she leads comprehensive career and professional development services for more than 38,000 students and 280,000 alumni. She also served in a variety of career services roles at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, Georgetown University, University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University, as well as in a number of corporate human resources roles.
She earned a master’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University.
Ms. Brown said she was drawn to George Washington University because of its rich history, its tradition of academic excellence and its strong commitment to diversity, service and community.
“During my interviews on campus, I met with more than 35 people and those interactions created the tipping point for me,” she said. “I was struck by everyone’s enthusiasm for this initiative and commitment to GW and its students. I knew I wanted to be a part of this community and am thrilled to be joining the university.”
For the Career Services Enhancement Initiative to reach its full potential, Ms. Brown said career services must be “introduced early, repeated often and championed” by both career services professionals and the larger GW community.
“There are many excellent career resources and services already in place at GW, and through the Career Services Advisory Council, we have the opportunity to capitalize on current best practices and collectively build new ones,” she said. “My hope is to integrate career services into the fabric of the GW experience. It is an exciting opportunity, and I am eager to get started!”