Director, Center for Ethics in Health Care

Posted March 25th 2024

Oregon Health & Science University

Portland, OR

Director, Center for Ethics in Health Care at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) invites nominations and applications for the position of Director in its Center for Ethics in Health Care. After serving as the inaugural and founding Director for over 34 years, Dr. Susan Tolle has retired, and a national search is now underway for her successor. The Director will hold the prestigious “Cornelia Hayes Stevens Endowed Chair” and they will report directly to the Executive Vice President and Provost of OHSU, Dr. Marie Chisholm-Burns. The Center is recognized nationally and internationally for its pivotal and groundbreaking work in Death with Dignity, end-of-life and serious illness education, programs in compassionate communication and health literacy, and the creation and dissemination of the Portable Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Program (POLST). Funding for the Center’s activities is primarily supported by private philanthropy (96%) with a business model of building innovative programs and sustaining them through endowment income. The successful candidate will have training and experience in programmatic areas including but not limited to biomedical ethics, compassionate communication, and serious illness education, and they will be familiar with the POLST Program. Experience with fundraising and donor relations is essential.

Qualifications and Credentials:

A doctoral level terminal degree in Medicine (MD, DO, MBBS), Nursing (DNP, DNS, DNSc, PhD), Dentistry (DDS, DMD), Pharmacy (PharmD), Public Health (DrPH), Social Work (DSW) or a PhD / PsyD / EdD / DSc in a related area.
Training and/or experience in ethics, biomedical ethics, compassionate communication, serious illness education and familiarity with POLST.
10 (ten) or more years of relevant experience in an area of specialization or combination of relevant education, training and/or experience and at least 5 years of management experience.
Progressive administrative experience, preferably in an academic medical center setting.
A distinguished academic background that includes achievement in education, scholarship, service, and administration; scholarship should be sufficient to qualify for an appointment at the academic rank of Associate or full Professor. The Center for Ethics does not award academic appointments. Academic ranks are awarded by the Promotion and Tenure Committee from the department / school that the candidate seeks affiliation with.
Procedure for Candidacy:
OHSU has retained the services of the executive search firm Korn Ferry to conduct this important search. To apply, applicants should submit the following three documents (in 3 separate PDFs) to
Dr. Melissa Bacon at

An up-to-date curriculum vitae
A letter of interest (2-3 pages) addressed to “Members of the Search Committee” that describes:
Your interest in the role of Director, Center for Ethics in Health Care at OHSU
Why you believe you would be successful in the Director role based on your professional and/or lived experience
Why now is a good time for you to consider this opportunity
Diversity Statement (1 page) that shares:
How diversity, equity and inclusion factor into your past and present work, community engagement and your lived experience
The search committee will begin reviewing candidates immediately and will continue until the position is filled. To ensure full consideration, inquiries, nominations, and applications should be submitted electronically in confidence, to:

OHSU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of, race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. OHSU also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.

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