Presidential Search Home

Dr. Jose Zaglul, founding President of EARTH University, announced to the Board of Directors in March 2015, his plan to retire at the end of the 2016 academic year. When his service concludes, President Zaglul will have led EARTH University for 27 years, one year before the institution opened its doors to the first group of students in 1990. The Chairman of the Board, Tim Solso, has appointed Board member Anne Slaughter Andrew, to lead the Board Committee formed to recommend EARTH’s next president to the full Board of Directors. Isaacson, Miller has been retained to assist with the search.

Updates from the Committee Chair


Greetings to our EARTH Community.

I want to update everyone on the progress of the Presidential Search Committee. This Summer we have been focused on campus visits by 2 of our candidates Larry Coben, who visited campus in May, and Arturo Condo, who visited campus in late June. In July, the Committee has been following up after these visits with more conversations with the candidates and reviewing information from the candidates’ references.

As we proceed, I want to thank everyone in the EARTH Community for working with our Committee and with Isaacson and Miller (I&M), our search consultants, to bring forward the names of so many people who could serve as referral sources or candidates for our search process. As a result of all of our efforts, I&M has talked to hundreds of sources and potential candidates—ensuring that we have cast the broadest network in our efforts to select the next Rector of EARTH University.

I hope everyone is enjoying summer and I look forward to updating you again soon.

My best regards,

Anne Slaughter Andrew
Chair, Presidential Search Committee


Greetings to our EARTH Community:

I wanted to update you on the work of our Presidential Search Committee. The Committee met in early April and we completed a round of in-person interviews with a range of candidates with impressive backgrounds and experiences. Several of these preliminary candidates will be coming to campus to explore the opportunity further and to have a chance to meet members of the EARTH community. The Search Committee is planning to convene in late summer following these visits to continue its review and consideration of possible candidates. We appreciate everyone’s support for this process as we move to the next stage.

My best regards

Anne Slaughter Andrew
Chair, President’s Search Committee


I am pleased to report that the search for a new President/Rector continues to advance. During the meetings of the EARTH Joint Boards last week, the Presidential Search Committee met with our search consultants to review their activities and progress to date. The search consultants have already consulted widely with more than 350 individuals throughout Central and Latin America, North America, and beyond, resulting in approximately 80 applications thus far.

The Search Committee expects to conduct a set of preliminary interviews with potential candidates in April. We will proceed as planned through the summer and early fall, and our hope is to have the Board of Directors make its final selection by its October meeting.

We continue to welcome names of referral sources or possible candidates, directed to our Search Firm as noted in the position profile. We look forward to updating the EARTH community as we proceed through the search process and appreciate your support for the efforts of the Search Committee.

Warm regards,

Anne Slaughter Andrew
U.S. Ambassador, Ret.


Happy New Year! It will certainly be an exciting year for EARTH University as we welcome the new class of 2016-2019, our first class with a majority of women! 2016 will also be a memorable year in which to celebrate EARTH’s beloved Rector, Don José, and EARTH’s global impact under his inspiring leadership.

Amidst the milestones and celebrations of 2016, I am pleased to share with you the progress of the Presidential Search Committee.

The Search Committee is working with the highly regarded search firm, Isaacson Miller, which has decades of experience in recruiting top positions for universities and mission-driven organizations. Since the launch of our search, Isaacson Miller has received many names of referral sources and potential candidates from our EARTH community, and they have reached out to hundreds of people across the Americas to raise awareness of our search and to identify potential candidates. Isaacson Miller’s efforts have already brought some interesting prospects to our attention, and we are confident that through this process we are developing a strong group of qualified and inspiring candidates to consider for EARTH University’s next president. While the potential candidates reflect diverse backgrounds and experiences, the types of people who most interest the search committee all have in common a demonstrated lifelong commitment to the values and mission that define EARTH University.

We are encouraged by the early efforts of outreach and recruitment for the next president of EARTH University. We are continuing this outreach over the coming months to identify the strongest pool of possible candidates. Once again, we look to our EARTH community to consider recommending referral sources or possible candidates. You may forward any names of referral sources or potential candidates directly to Karen Wilcox at Isaacson Miller. Please see the link for Isaacson Miller at the end of the Presidential Profile which is provided below.

I look forward to continuing to provide general updates on our progress, recognizing that strict confidentiality regarding potential candidates is key to a successful search. Throughout this process, please feel free to contact me or any members of our search committee with your comments and suggestions.

To a wonderful 2016 for everyone in our EARTH community!

Anne Slaughter Andrew
U.S. Ambassador, Ret.


I am honored to have been asked by our Board Chair, Tim Solso, to serve as the Chair of the Board Committee that will recommend the next president for EARTH University to the Board of Directors. I am mindful of the important responsibility that this Committee is undertaking, but excited to assume this effort with such an esteemed Committee that includes our Board Chair Tim Solso and members from the Board of Directors, the EARTH University Foundation Board, the Administration, Faculty and Alumni.

Over the last 25 years and under the leadership of Dr Jose Zaglul, EARTH has established itself as a path-breaking educational institution, distinctive in its mission and values, its global outlook, and the boldness of its vision to help alleviate poverty, promote social justice, and achieve sustainable and shared prosperity worldwide. Embodying this vision in action, EARTH can point to a track record of transforming the lives of 2,000 young people from over 40 countries, leaders who in turn are using their world-class education to transform their home communities and countries – and the global community beyond.

With Dr. Zaglul stepping down as President in 2016, the University seeks a new President to build on this remarkable momentum, a visionary leader of stature who will promote EARTH’s values and approach, secure its future, and propel the institution to a new level of visibility, influence, and impact.

We anticipate significant interest in this opportunity. Please feel free to contact members of the Search Committee with your suggestions, nominations and ideas, and check back periodically on this site for updates in this process.

Anne Slaughter Andrew
U.S. Ambassador, Ret.

Search Committee Members

  • Anne Andrew, Search Committee Chair
  • Sergio Callau, Member of the Faculty
  • Yanine Chan, Member of the Faculty
  • Christine Hoek, Director, EARTH University Foundation
  • Pedro Leon, Member, Board of Director and Former Chair
  • Mark Ohrstrom, Chair, EARTH University Board of Trustees
  • Jasmira Petit, Alumna, ’95
  • Regina de Riojas, Member, Board of Directors
  • Daniel Sherrard, Provost
  • Tim Solso, Chair, Board of Directors


José A. Zaglul is the President of EARTH University, an international, private, not-for-profit institution in Costa Rica, dedicated to preparing leaders with ethical values to contribute to the sustainable development of the tropics and to construct a prosperous and just society. Dr. Zaglul has been President of EARTH University since its inception in 1989 and has provided the vision and leadership for this innovative institution and its unique educational environment that encourages the development of responsible leadership based on values, social commitment, environmental consciousness, academic excellence and an entrepreneurial and enterprising spirit.

As President of EARTH University, his vision has led this global institution for 25 years, fostering a new kind of business leadership, educating tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and agents of change who are already impacting their communities and nations, constructing a prosperous and just society.

Born and raised in Costa Rica to parents of Lebanese descent, Dr. Zaglul holds a PhD in Animal Science from the University of Florida. In addition, he obtained two masters degrees: an M.S. in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Florida and an Animal Science from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He completed his undergraduate studies at the American University of Beirut.

Dr. Zaglul is the former President (2005-2007) and a current Executive Committee member of the Global Consortium of Higher Education and Research for Agriculture (GCHERA), the founder and president of the Central American and Caribbean Meat Processing Symposia (1983-2005) and serves on the Boards of the American University of Beirut, Citizens in Solidarity and United World College. He served as the co-chair of the five-year SEMCIT international seminar series (Sustainability, Education and the Management of Change in the Tropics) and travels extensively around the world to present EARTH University’s innovative educational model and raise funds for the institution.

Position profile


Guácimo, Costa Rica

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Our Mission: Prepare leaders with ethical values to contribute to sustainable development and to construct a prosperous and just society.

Our Vision: Our actions are mission-driven to alleviate poverty, promote social justice, and build a future where our communities achieve sustainable and shared prosperity.

Our Values: Human development, academic excellence, ethical behavior, sustainable development, social and environmental consciousness and commitment, the search for knowledge, and biodiversity conservation.


EARTH University – a unique, international private university in Costa Rica – seeks a President/Rector. Since 1990, EARTH has offered students from around the world a rigorous four-year undergraduate program in agricultural sciences, natural resources management, and community development.

While at EARTH, these students – most of whom come from disadvantaged rural communities in the developing world – acquire not only a strong scientific and technical foundation in a highly experiential educational environment, they also learn to be entrepreneurs. They develop the ethics, values, and commitment to environmental and social well-being that serve as their guides as they return to their home countries. EARTH alumni are both well trained agriculturalists and driven change agents, armed with the capacity and commitment to build a more just, prosperous, and sustainable world. They have been part of an extraordinary learning environment within a close-knit, diverse, multicultural community of more than 400 students from more than 40 countries, 40 faculty from 20 countries, and 420 staff; have applied their training to intensive community service projects and international internships; and have developed and run a business venture. It is a transformative educational experience and one that changes the course of their lives and careers.

After more than 25 years of inspirational leadership, EARTH’s founding President, José A. Zaglul, is stepping down at the end of 2016. Building on Dr. Zaglul’s remarkable legacy, the next President will have the opportunity to help EARTH move from a bold and successful new paradigm in higher education to an ever more strategic, stable, and well-recognized institution with the potential to influence the course of education around the world. EARTH’s mission and vision are vital in the face of the intensifying global challenges of poverty, food insecurity, climate change, and biodiversity loss. Its commitment to educate globally responsible citizens, and its innovative model of how to do so, positions the University to have influence and impact well beyond Costa Rica and Latin America.

The new President will be expected to sustain and build on EARTH’s momentum and provide dynamic strategic leadership in the years ahead. Recruiting and supporting the University’s next generation of academic and administrative leadership; raising funds to ensure financial sustainability; serving as a spokesperson for the EARTH mission and model; building productive partnerships with academia, businesses, and governments; and maintaining strong community and government relations in Costa Rica are all important challenges.

The incoming President must be a person of exceptional integrity, ethics, humility, creativity, and intellectual vision, a proven leader and educator who listens well and communicates persuasively, and a person who embraces the work of EARTH with passion. All candidates must be bilingual in Spanish and English, with experience working across cultures, and must bring deep appreciation of Latin and Central American cultures and societies in particular and of the developing world in general. Academic credibility and credentials in agriculture, agribusiness, education, natural resources, or sustainable development are also required.

A 10-member search committee of University board members, alumni, and faculty has been appointed to conduct the search for EARTH’s next President. The committee is assisted by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller. All inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to the search firm as indicated at the end of this document.



EARTH University (Escuela de Agricultura de la Región Trópica Húmeda) was established by Costa Rican law in 1986 as a private, non-profit, international university. The visionary leaders who created EARTH, together with its original funders – USAID, the Government of Costa Rica, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation – believed that, given the opportunity and the right kind of education, promising young men and women from rural and often disadvantaged communities around the world could become not only successful professionals, but also ethical leaders with the capacity and commitment to guide their families, neighbors, and countrymen towards a more prosperous and just future.

In 1990, EARTH’s first academic year, the University welcomed 60 students from Central America to its new campus located in Guácimo in the heart of Costa Rica’s tropical rainforest. By the turn of the century, it had expanded to include students from the whole of Latin America and the Caribbean, and in 2000 began to serve students from Africa as well. Today, EARTH’s 420 students come from more than 40 countries in Central and Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and elsewhere. The opportunity for truly intercultural interaction and learning are now part of the essence of the EARTH experience, helping students to fully develop as global citizens.

EARTH offers its students a rigorous four-year undergraduate program in agricultural sciences and natural resources management led by a prestigious, international faculty. The student-centric program emphasizes experiential learning while providing a world-class scientific and technological education that incorporates values, ethical entrepreneurship, and environmental and social commitment.

EARTH’s Guácimo campus – the hub of most of the University’s activities – stretches across more than 8,000 acres, encompassing classrooms, laboratories, academic farms, sports and recreational facilities, student and faculty residences, reforested areas and a forest reserve, and a commercial banana plantation. The campus is carbon neutral. Currently, more than 80 percent of its solid domestic waste is recycled, transformed, or reused, in part through eight bio-digesters on site that collect animal and human waste and convert it into bio-fuel.

Since 2005, EARTH has had a second 3,700-acre campus, La Flor, located next to the international airport in Liberia, Guanacaste, which was donated to the University by the family of former Costa Rican President Daniel Oduber Quirós. Unlike the lowland humid tropics of Guácimo, La Flor is in the dry tropics of Northwestern Costa Rica, and therefore provides new opportunities for research and learning. Together, the ecosystems, crops, and livestock found at one campus or the other are similar to those of the tropical regions of the EARTH students’ home communities. Currently, third-year students spend seven weeks at La Flor working on sustainable development projects in surrounding communities. The La Flor campus also offers seminars and training programs for the public in areas such as renewable energy, water management, and sustainable agriculture. Going forward, La Flor has potential to become its own hub of learning, research, and continued innovation as well as an important center of commercial development.

People & Programs

EARTH’s students, 80 percent of whom are from rural communities, are recruited based on their academic and leadership potential, vocation, values, and social and environmental commitment, regardless of their ability to pay. Seventy percent of these students receive full scholarships and the remaining students receive significant financial aid. The admissions process is intensive and highly personalized, with EARTH professors conducting interviews in the students’ home countries. The process is designed to reach promising young people who otherwise might not have a chance at a college education.

The University’s academic model and curriculum are based on four formative areas: technical and scientific knowledge; personal development, attitudes, and values; ethical entrepreneurship; and social and environmental awareness and commitment. EARTH’s academic program is demanding and one of a kind. Classes, almost of all which are in Spanish, are held 11 months per year, six days per week, usually beginning at 6:30 a.m. Much of the students’ time is spent in the field and surrounding communities, where they have the opportunity to test and apply the theoretical concepts learned in the classroom and lab. Notably, 84 percent of EARTH students graduate in four or five years, a significantly higher rate than most universities worldwide.

EARTH’s 40-member faculty hails from 20 countries and provides a dynamic and participatory learning environment for the University’s students based on two key principles: student-centered learning and experiential learning. Professors encourage their students to explore real-world challenges and to become active participants in generating knowledge. Students learn through experiences designed to heighten the educational process, and they are given opportunities to build knowledge and develop abilities that they can put into practice through their coursework. Through EARTH’s three-year entrepreneurial projects program, one of the most valuable components of the innovative curriculum, every student is required to plan, operate, and share in the profits of a real business venture, all while maintaining the highest standard of ethical best practices.

Research is an integral part of EARTH’s commitment to generating solutions to the agricultural and environmental problems facing the tropics. Through their research, faculty and students aim to address and strengthen the sustainable management of natural resources and to benefit the work of farmers and communities in Costa Rica and around the world.

The University proudly supports a growing network of nearly 2,000 alumni with a remarkable and inspiring record of success since graduating from EARTH. Over 80 percent of the alumni work in their country of origin, drawing on their EARTH training and experience to improve their home communities. Eighty-one percent report having a positive social impact since leaving the University, 78 percent a positive environmental impact, and 83 percent a positive impact on the agricultural sector. Many graduates have gone on to create their own sustainable businesses where they are providing jobs and opportunities for others. They and their families invariably describe their EARTH education as transformative, and today they serve as exemplars of the EARTH mission.

The achievements of EARTH’s alumni reflect the University’s core commitment to community development and engagement, both locally and across the globe. Through EARTH’s community development program – which in 2014 impacted more than 2,500 people in the nearby communities – students participate in a service-learning course that pairs groups of students with small-scale, local farmers to promote sustainable practices and community development. In addition, EARTH has provided training courses for small-scale farming families on how to implement sustainable practices within their own enterprises. The University also welcomes more than 7,500 international visitors every year through educational tourism programs, study-abroad programs, conferences, seminars as well as visits from other educators interested in better understanding EARTH and its unique academic model.

Commercial Activities

When the University acquired its campus in Guácimo, its founders were advised to close the commercial banana farm on the site. Instead, they chose to operate it as a sustainable, environmentally-responsible business that provides fair wages, safe working conditions, and development opportunities to more than 600 employees. They were able to demonstrate to EARTH’s students and to the world that sustainability can be achieved. Today EARTH’s bananas are Rainforest Alliance Certified and carbon neutral. They are sold in Costa Rica and, through a partnership with Whole Foods Markets, at stores across the United States.

A range of other commercial products are also grown or produced by the University. In addition to sustainably-grown bananas, Whole Foods sells EARTH pineapples, tropical flowers, and coffee in the U.S. University researchers have developed natural cleaning products and biological agricultural products to support healthy plant growth, which are sold in Costa Rica and in Latin America.

Organization & Governance

A private, non-profit, international university, EARTH is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors, including five members from Costa Rica. An overlapping Board of Trustees provides fiduciary oversight of the funds in the EARTH Trust, which holds the original endowment for the University. The University is also supported by the EARTH University Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) public charity in the United States that furthers the educational vision of EARTH through generous gifts from the global community. The 17 members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees serve as champions and fund raisers for the University.

EARTH benefits from significant support from major partners such as the MasterCard Foundation, whose Scholars Program provides 120 scholarships to EARTH students from disadvantaged communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. EARTH also receives significant support from the Cummins Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, as well as the governments of Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama.

For fiscal year 2014, EARTH’s revenue was approximately $18M, with 48 percent coming from donations, 35 percent from the endowment, 9 percent from student tuition, and 8 percent from commercial activities and special projects. Currently, EARTH’s endowment stands at approximately $90M.

EARTH is accredited by the Costa Rican Higher Education Accreditation System (SINAES in Spanish). Additionally, EARTH is the first institution in Central America to have its academic program certified regionally as part of a pilot program of the Ibero-American Network of Accreditation Agencies (RIACES in Spanish) and SINAES.

Leadership Transition

José A. Zaglul has served as EARTH University’s President since its inception in 1989. Under his impassioned and inspirational leadership, the University has grown from a regional university committed to preparing leaders from the humid tropics to a global institution with 2,000 graduates who are demonstrating that they can indeed change the world. Dr. Zaglul has worked in close partnership with committed board colleagues, a strong administrative team, and an accomplished and engaged international faculty, many of whom have been part of the University community since its early days. Dr. Zaglul’s passion for the EARTH mission is widely shared, and it serves as a firm foundation for the institution’s future success.

A significant transition will begin with Dr. Zaglul’s departure and will continue over the next few years as several key administrative leaders and faculty also retire. With enormous respect for all that has been accomplished over 25 years, the EARTH community is prepared to welcome a new leader’s perspectives and innovation and looks forward to the University’s exciting next chapter.


Over 25 years, EARTH has established itself as a path-breaking educational institution, distinctive in its mission and values, its global outlook, and the boldness of its vision to help alleviate poverty, promote social justice, and achieve sustainable and shared prosperity worldwide. Embodying this vision in action, EARTH can point to a track record of transforming the lives of nearly 2,000 young people from over 40 countries, leaders who in turn are using their world-class education to transform their home communities and countries – and the global community beyond.

The University seeks a President to build on this remarkable momentum, a visionary leader of stature who will promote EARTH’s values and approach, secure its future, and propel the institution to a new level of visibility, influence, and impact.

The key objectives for EARTH’s President include:

Provide inspirational leadership.

The President must embody the values and integrity of EARTH and champion its unique educational approach. He or she will be expected to lead by example, inspiring students and colleagues within the University and serving externally as an impassioned ambassador for EARTH’s mission. Through his or her leadership, the President will coalesce and galvanize the University community – students, faculty, and staff from diverse cultures – around an enduring sense of shared purpose, collective impact, and the belief that EARTH can influence the future course of the world.

Set a University-wide strategic direction.

The President will be expected to lead EARTH in developing its next 5-10 year strategic plan, including sharply defined priorities and transparent systems of resource allocation. The plan must allow the University to stay nimble and innovative while providing sufficient direction and accountability.

An important piece of this planning will include the development of a comprehensive vision for the 3,700-acre La Flor campus in Guanacaste. La Flor is a significant and valuable asset of the University, with tremendous potential to strengthen EARTH’s academic and research capabilities and to provide financial support through commercial activities. The vision for La Flor must be well integrated with the activities of the Guácimo campus, serving to enhance the mission of the University as a whole.

Lead EARTH’s fundraising efforts; ensure the University’s long-term financial sustainability by significantly growing the endowment and strengthening earned revenues.

EARTH’s current endowment and sources of earned revenues are not sufficient for long-term sustainability. The University’s unique and highly experiential curriculum is costly, and the majority of its students come from disadvantaged communities and families that are unable to contribute financially to their education. Attracting and supporting top-level faculty and staff, updating facilities and building new ones to accommodate growth, improving technology, and pursuing ongoing innovations in teaching and research all require investment and support.

The Board estimates that over the next 5-10 years, the EARTH endowment will need to grow substantially to meet its ambitious goals. This will require intensive fund raising from foundations, governments, and individuals, with the President playing the pivotal role in that effort.

The President will also be expected to pursue strategic and innovative approaches to increasing earned revenues, potentially through income from ancillary programming, strategic partnerships, further development or commercial uses of EARTH land and facilities, including the La Flor campus, or other ventures.

Although the EARTH educational model will always require a significant investment per student, the President must also make certain that the University is disciplined and prudent in all its operations, realizing efficiencies and economies of scale wherever possible.

Collaborate with and leverage the strengths and connections of EARTH’s boards.

The University’s governing Board of Directors and the Board of the EARTH University Foundation comprise a group of deeply committed ambassadors for the institution who work in close partnership with the President and collaborate on matters related to the University’s strategic direction, fiscal health, government and community relations, fund raising, and other issues. The President must continue to engage these supporters on the University’s behalf as well as help to recruit new board members.

Recruit a cohesive and effective next-generation leadership team. Working closely with that team, ensure that EARTH is well managed administratively and fiscally.

Many of EARTH’s senior leaders – including the provost, academic dean, senior advancement professionals, and others – are in transition themselves or will retire within two to three years of the presidential transition. Roughly a quarter of the 40-member faculty (many of them with EARTH since its inception) will also retire in the near future. This offers the new President the opportunity to build his or her own leadership team. The President will need to recruit, retain, coalesce, and manage a high-performing group of bilingual administrative and academic professionals who operate well in a close environment of trust and collegiality. It will also be important to ensure that as much institutional knowledge and history as possible is captured and transferred to this new leadership team.

With and through the senior team, the President must promote a supportive, equitable working environment that encourages creativity as well as accountability at all levels. As it shifts to leadership beyond the founding EARTH “family” and undertakes strategic growth and change, the University will need to put in place more defined policies, structures, systems, and controls than it has had in the past. Strengthening internal channels of communication, improving technological capacity and infrastructure, and promoting transparency of decision-making will also be essential.

Build strategic partnerships with academia, businesses, and governments.

EARTH has successfully begun to leverage its model through strategic partnerships, and it is poised to pursue more of these in the future. It seeks to enlist individuals, other educational institutions, businesses, and governments in replicating or drawing on the EARTH paradigm to promote values-based education that develops world citizens and agents of change. The President will play a key role in building and nurturing these partnerships.

Raise the visibility and public profile of EARTH among broad audiences.

The University does not yet have the public profile it deserves. It is respected and cherished by those who know it, and its alumni body increasingly helps to spread the word about the school’s transformational impact on their lives. The President will serve as a key spokesperson for EARTH and will also help to strengthen and drive the University’s marketing and external communications.

Ensure that EARTH’s academic program and curriculum remain innovative, impactful, and aligned with world trends in business and society.

The University is in the midst of evaluating and revising its academic program and curriculum. With a bedrock commitment to academic excellence and student-centric, experiential learning that emphasizes ethical entrepreneurship, leadership development, and social and environmental responsibility, EARTH is committed to adapting its program to the rapid environmental, technical, and societal changes in its fields of interest. It must stay current with and have its teaching reflect global trends in education, sustainable development, and the agricultural sciences. The University seeks to strengthen its research capacities and integrate technology more effectively into its academic programming. It is launching a new Master’s program in Innovation in Agribusiness as well as a Master’s in Health and Sustainable Development in partnership with the American University of Beirut. EARTH is also exploring how best to significantly improve the English language competency of its Spanish speaking students. The President will be integrally involved in this ongoing work.

Continue EARTH’s strong, positive government and community relations in Costa Rica.

Since its founding, the University has benefitted from positive, supportive relations with Costa Rican elected and public officials and other key influencers. EARTH serves as an exemplar of Costa Rica’s global influence and commitment to sustainability, peace, and social justice, and is a source of pride within the nation. At the local level, the University has a steadfast commitment to supporting development in the communities surrounding its campuses through service-learning projects and other efforts. With the Board and colleagues, the President must ensure that these positive relationships are continued and extended and that EARTH continues to operate with absolute political neutrality.


For this important role, EARTH seeks an exceptional leader who is passionate about the institution’s mission, committed to its longstanding values and standards of excellence, supportive of its entrepreneurial and collegial culture, and farsighted about its future potential.

EARTH will search broadly for candidates, with a particular emphasis on professionals with deep and varied experience in Central or Latin America, Africa, or other areas of the developing world.

The Search Committee understands that no single candidate will bring all of the ideal qualifications but seeks candidates with many of the following professional experiences and personal qualities:

Global citizen: Experience working successfully across cultures, ideally in agriculture, agribusiness, education, natural resources, or sustainable development. Solid grounding in poverty alleviation, peace, and social justice. Knowledge and appreciation of Latin and Central American cultures and societies in particular and of the developing world in general. Bilingual in Spanish and English required.

Proven leader and visionary: Record of imaginative and verifiable leadership in an enterprise with global interests. Professional success that will inspire and earn the confidence of all the University’s constituents. Leadership experience in an academic or research institution preferred, ideally leading through growth and change.

Enthusiasm for fundraising: The capacity to make a compelling case for support to donors – foundations, individuals, and governments. Significant experience and success in fund raising preferred.

Academic credibility: Demonstrated academic record and credentials along with an affinity for students, a commitment to teaching and scholarship, and a belief in the transformative power of education. Demonstrated appreciation for both disciplinary and interdisciplinary science.

Public presence and exceptional communication skills in both Spanish and English: Ability to energize and inspire internal and external stakeholders and to represent the University to diverse audiences worldwide. Comfortable in multiple and varied settings and in interacting with EARTH’s many constituency groups.

Demonstrated commitment to multi-culturalism and inclusion: Broad experience with diverse students, faculty, and communities, and the proven capacity to embrace and promote diversity in all aspects.

Managerial skills: Strengths in team building, delegation, and consultative management. Proven ability to execute ambitious and fiscally responsible plans and make difficult decisions when necessary. Sophistication about communications technologies and their applications to EARTH’s administrative and academic challenges would be a distinct asset.

Personal qualities and style: An outgoing and engaging personality. Collaborative, authentic, inclusive, humble, and transparent leadership style with a willingness to circulate widely within the EARTH community, listen well, and learn from others. Politically savvy but demonstrably neutral. The highest standards of ethics and integrity. Creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, resilience, tenacity, and very high energy. Willingness to travel as much as 40-50% of the time.

Inquiries, applications, and nominations may be directed in confidence to:
Karen Wilcox, Phillip Petree, or Katie Rockman
Isaacson, Miller, Inc.
263 Summer Street, 7th floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02210
Applications should include a CV or resume and 1-3 page letter of interest.