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ISCApad Archive  »  2021  »  ISCApad #277  »  Jobs  »  (2021-04-15) Director, Center for Language and Speech Processing, Baltimore, MA, USA

ISCApad #277

Saturday, July 10, 2021 by Chris Wellekens

6-15 (2021-04-15) Director, Center for Language and Speech Processing, Baltimore, MA, USA

POSITION: Director, Center for Language and Speech Processing

REPORTS TO: Ed Schlesinger, Benjamin T. Rome Dean Johns Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering

INSTITUTION: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD


The Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University invites nominations and applications for the position of Director of the Center for Language and Speech Processing (CLSP). The Director will be appointed as a full-time tenured faculty member in the Whiting School of Engineering and will be encouraged to remain active in research, with strategic leadership of the Center as their top priority. This is an outstanding opportunity for an accomplished scholar with leadership experience to further strengthen an exceptional interdisciplinary research center at the nation’s first research university. The best candidates will embody the intellectual distinction, entrepreneurial capacity, collaborative spirit, transparency, inclusiveness, and creativity that characterize the School’s culture and will bring a scholarly record deserving appointment as tenured professor at The Johns Hopkins University.

The Center for Language and Speech Processing

CLSP is one of the Whiting School’s 25 Interdisciplinary Centers and Institutes. The Center currently comprises over 25 tenure-line and research faculty whose primary appointments are in the Whiting School of Engineering or in other closely related schools, along with over 70 PhD students. CLSP was established in 1992 and grew to prominence under the directorship of the late Frederick Jelinek. It aims to understand how human language is used to communicate ideas, and to develop technology for machine analysis, translation, and transformation of multilingual speech and text. In 2007 CLSP gained a sibling, the national Human Language Technology Center of Excellence (, a governmentfunded research center at Johns Hopkins that develops critical speech and language technology for government use; several HLTCOE researchers are tightly integrated into CLSP. Recently, CLSP has further expanded its research portfolio by adding several prominent researchers in computer vision and related fields. As part of its educational mission, CLSP coordinates a full complement of courses dealing with a diverse array of topics in language and speech. It offers a weekly seminar featuring prominent visiting speakers in speech and language processing. It also runs the Fred Jelinek Memorial Workshop in Speech and Language Technology (JSALT), a widely-known residential research workshop that annually assembles teams of researchers from around the world to spend 6 summer weeks conducting intensive research on fundamental problems. Held annually since 1995, the workshop has produced many important advances in speech and language technology.

Opportunities for the Center Director

The CLSP Director will work with colleagues in and beyond CLSP to increase its impact by both enhancing its historic strengths and positioning it as a central element of a set of AI-related initiatives across the Whiting School and the University more broadly. To these ends, the Director will identify ways in which the Center will continue to grow and evolve and through which the Center, the Whiting School, and Hopkins can recruit, sustain, and deploy the human and financial resources needed to further distinguish itself.The Director will work to maintain the Center’s position as the disciplinary and intellectual hub of language and speech processing research within the University, enabling CLSP to contribute to and benefit from the success of significant institutional investment in artificial intelligence and machine learning more broadly, including potential applications to key societal problems such as healthcare and scientific endeavors such as linguistics and neuroscience. Collaborations with the Applied Physics Lab ( present opportunities to bring additional resource, expertise, and scale to advance CLSP research including potentially in classified research. Beyond Hopkins, CLSP’s Director will foster connections with industry as part of the Center’s efforts to expand its base of resources and relationships, to disseminate knowledge and discoveries, and to develop and transfer technologies that may have an impact in the world. In these various external activities, the Director will work with the University’s technology ventures office (, with faculty and students, and with alumni and donors. Specific strategies for enhancing CLSP’s strengths, broadening its impact, and positioning it relative to Hopkins-wide initiatives, along with measures of success and the prioritization of activities designed to achieve success, will be developed by the Director in collaboration with CLSP’s faculty and the Dean.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Whiting School

WSE has a stated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion: “Diversity and inclusion enrich our entire community and are critical to both educational excellence and to the advancement of knowledge. Discovery, creativity, and innovation flourish in an environment where the broadest range of experiences are shared, where all voices are heard and are valued, and where individuals from different cultures and backgrounds can collaborate freely to understand and solve problems in entirely new ways.” As the leader of the Center and within the School, CLSP’s Director will work to enhance and expand diversity and inclusion at all levels and will ensure that the Center is a welcoming and supportive environment for all.

Position Qualifications

The new Director will be a proven, entrepreneurial leader who can bring faculty, staff, and students together to pursue a compelling vision of CLSP as an international hub for Language and Speech Processing research and as a site of innovation, teaching, and translation. They will have strong skills for mentoring junior faculty and will promote the interests of the Center. Intellectual curiosity and fundraising experience are valued. They will have a dossier that represent a distinguished track record of scholarship and teaching; a passionate commitment to research, discovery, and application; and an interest in and success at academic administration. Expected educational background and qualifications include:

• An earned doctorate in an area such as electrical and computer engineering, computer science, or a closely related field and a scholarly record deserving appointment as tenured professor at The Johns Hopkins University;

• Recognized leadership in their respective field with a distinguished national and international reputation for research and education;

• Excellent communication skills in both internal and external interactions;

• Strong commitment to diversity and inclusion at all levels among faculty, students, and staff, along with measurable and sustained impact on the diversity and inclusiveness of organizations they have led or been part of; and

• Leadership and administrative experience within a complex research environment or in national/international organizations connected to their respective field.



The Whiting School of Engineering has engaged Opus Partners ( to support the recruitment of the CLSP Director. Craig Smith, Partner, and Jeff Stafford, Senior Associate, are leading the search. Applicants should submit their CV and a letter of interest outlining their research and leadership experience to Nominations, expressions of interest, and inquiries should go to the same address. Review of credentials will begin promptly and will continue until the appointment is finalized. Every effort will be made to ensure candidate confidentiality. The Whiting School of Engineering and CLSP are committed to building a diverse educational environment, and women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Johns Hopkins University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, other legally protected characteristics or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria. The University promotes Affirmative Action for minorities, women, individuals who are disabled, and veterans. Johns Hopkins University is a drug-free, smoke-free workplace.


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