The MIT Press welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds. Candidates who have significant personal experience or engagement with low-income communities or communities that are underrepresented in scholarly publishing are strongly encouraged to apply.

Open Positions:

Editorial Director

This position directs the MIT Press’s acquisitions department of 20+ staff and a book publishing program that outputs 300+ titles per year. Reporting to the Director of the Press, and working in close conjunction with the other strategic managers and functional directors who each manage large areas of the Press’s operations, the Editorial Director establishes the editorial vision and sets the overall direction for the book publishing at the MIT Press, consistent with the MIT Press’s mission statement and its objectives for the distinction of its imprint. This position is responsible for ensuring that each book project is well selected, developed, peer-reviewed and prepared for publication. The Editorial Director administers the Editorial Board, manages the acquisitions department, and serves as a senior member of Press management. 

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Assigns general editorial direction to editors at all levels and monitors the implementation of publishing plans; helps plan future directions for the book program and the MIT Press as a whole; sets individual signing goals annually for acquiring editors in consultation with the Director; monitors the total pipeline of unpublished projects with an eye to yielding balanced and full seasonal lists in future years; reviews all contracts prior to signing by the Director and Publisher; ensures the accurate recordkeeping of author contracts. 

As a member of the senior management team at the Press, works with the Director and other managers to explore and implement new areas of the publishing program or the Press infrastructure that support the Press’s healthy future.

Sets annual title targets and list goals (e.g., number and type of titles, sales per title) for individual editors; meets regularly with the department and with individual staff members, including assistants; works with acquisitions editors to propose sound financial projections and publishing plans for each book, setting short-and long-term goals for individual editors and reviewing performance regularly; directs and and supports acquisitions staff through supervision, goal setting, performance evaluation, and professional development.

Develops lists, acquire occasional projects, and assists as needed in the acquisition of journals.; acquires TBD titles per year in relevant subject areas, depending on the candidate’s areas of expertise.

Ensures the effective supervision of acquisitions editors and assistants including work allocation, performance management, training, and professional development; incorporates new responsibilities and new roles as necessary; establishes effective training and professional development programs for all department staff.

Keeps abreast of developments in the all aspects of the MIT Press’s publishing program; tracks emerging fields, Press backlist sales performance, e-book sales and other factors in order to recommend appropriate program shifts; develops and implements new workflows and procedures. 

Coordinates the preparation of sales information sheets for the marketing and promotions departments.

Prepares and monitors annual department budget—including readers’ fees, conference attendance, and variance analyses.

Tracks external factors such as competitor’s publishing plans, publishing industry trends, and authors’ concerns in order to keep the MIT Press book program healthy and forward-thinking. 

Works with editorial, production, and design departments to ensure the efficient production of projects, and with marketing and promotion departments to ensure the most effective distribution of books to their intended audience; negotiates problems that may arise in production and serves as final arbiter between MIT Press and authors as necessary; establishes a culture of team work, continuous learning, and collegiality within the group and with other groups at the Press.

Creates the agendas for Editorial Board meetings and ensure that topic presentations and dockets are ready for distribution in advance of the meetings; assist the Director in recruiting faculty for the Board; works with editors and the Press Director to determine the agenda for Editorial Board meetings and oversees the preparation of materials.

Represents the Press to other Institute units; represents Press at scholarly conferences and at public events; furthers MITP’s brand reputation for publishing high-quality scholarly, text, and trade titles in vital fields that align with Institute priorities.


BA/BS required.

Experience managing a team or leading projects, programs, or functions is required.

Minimum 10 years relevant publishing/leadership experience.

Outstanding interpersonal and communication (written and verbal) skills, and demonstrated ability to work effectively with others across a wide range of constituencies.

In-depth knowledge of the publishing industry, and of publishing contracts and terms.

Demonstrated success as an acquiring editor; thorough knowledge of book markets and trends.

Acquaintance with academic community and the ability to communicate with authors required.

A proven acquisitions track record required

Preferred Skills and Experience

Advanced degree.

Experience working for a university press is preferred.

Demonstrated ability to manage editorial staff effectively, knowledge of and experience with electronic publishing initiatives.

Skilled at analyzing and re-engineering operations and procedures, formulating policy, and developing and implementing new strategies.

Experience in preparing budgets and analyzing results.

Thorough knowledge of copyright and fair use practices.

Supervision Exercised

TBD number of acquisitions editors at varied levels of experience. Manage workflow issues and job design issues among the acquisition assistants.  Responsible for the total acquisitions department budget including travel. 

Supervision Received

Supervised by the Director of the Press.

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To comply with regulations by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the principal duties in job descriptions must be essential to the job. To identify essential functions, focus on the purpose and the result of the duties rather than the manner in which they are performed. The following definition applies: a job function is essential if removal of that function would fundamentally change the job.

The MIT Press welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds. Candidates who have significant personal experience or engagement with low-income communities or communities that are underrepresented in scholarly publishing are strongly encouraged to apply.

Please apply for these positions with a cover letter, on the MIT Careers Site using the job cart portal.

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