Leader Spotlight

searsDr. Douglas Sears (Young Leader 2000)

Vice President and Chief of Staff, Office of the President, Boston University

What do you like most about Switzerland? 
It shows that James Madison was right. Federalism works.

 What do you like most about the USA? 
Walmart. Quality of life isn't just for the elite.

What defines your leadership style?
Grudging acceptance of charisma deficit

Who inspires you? 
I get to work with some very dedicated, very brave military officers.

Do you have any weaknesses? 
How much space do I have?

What is your favorite place in the world?
Winchester, New Hampshire

What is the best book you ever read? 
Federalist Papers

What is your goal in life? 
Protect the future for my daughters and other young people.



About Doug Sears

Douglas Sears serves as Vice President and Chief of Staff for the President of Boston University. He is also Director of the Division of Military Education, the unit which supports U.S. military officer education (ROTC) at Boston University.

From July 2006 to June 2011 Dr. Sears was Associate Provost and Assistant to the President for Special Initiatives and Outreach at Boston University. In this capacity he oversaw a variety of University initiatives and projects. In 2009 he chaired the university-wide re-accreditation steering committee and managed preparations for the accreditation site visit. In the 2006-2007 academic year, he chaired the University’s first strategic planning initiative, which resulted in a ten-year strategic plan for the University. In 2010 Dr. Sears supervised preparations for a review of Boston University by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church and also managed the search for a new University Provost, working closely with the University President.

Dr. Sears came to Boston University in 1988 and served as chair of the Management Team of the BU/Chelsea Public Schools Partnership, among other responsibilities. The Partnership was a 20-year collaboration in which Boston University accepted responsibility for the management of a troubled public school system. Dr. Sears was appointed superintendent of the Chelsea Public Schools in 1995. During his tenure as superintendent, the Chelsea school district made substantial improvements in academic achievement and student attendance, and also reestablished art and music programs. Upon his return to the University in 2001, he served for five years as Dean of the School of Education and exercised oversight for the BU/Chelsea Partnership through June 2008, when the Partnership concluded.

Before coming to Boston University, Dr. Sears served as an American diplomat in the U.S. embassies in Switzerland and the Philippines, earning tenure and the Department of State’s Meritorious Honor Award. He is currently a vice president of the board of the American Swiss Foundation. In May 2009 Dr. Sears was awarded the Stratton Prize for Intercultural Achievement, in recognition of his work in American-Swiss relations as well as his contributions to education reform. Dr. Sears holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Pennsylvania State University, M.A. in Government from Lehigh University, and a B.A. in History from Bates College.

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