Position Description
Press University of Chicago Press
Acquisitions Editorial
Senior Editor for Economics, Business, and Public Policy


The University of Chicago Press seeks a senior acquisitions editor to develop its list in economics, business, and public policy. The Press’s list in this area ranges from trade to specialist books about the application of economic ideas to important public issues in the United States and abroad, and aims to reach an interdisciplinary academic and policy audience.  The list also is anchored by the books we publish for the NBER. Topics and themes covered by our books include:

                ---the application of ideas and methods of analysis developed by economists to subjects of public interest including economic growth, economic inequality, labor, health, the environment, race and gender issues, community development,  and international trade and finance,  

                ---the history of economic ideas

                ---new methods of economic analysis

                ---law as applied to the regulation of the economy and business

                ---the study of foreign economies including comparative and international economics 

                ---the study of the challenges faced by businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

The Press’s list in economics, business, and public policy complements other active lists including sociology, anthropology, history, law, and political science.  We expect the senior editor to focus especially on “impact” books that gain significant review attention, awards, and sales, and strengthen the Press's overall publishing program and reputation. The position is best served by an individual who understands and embraces the intellectual enterprise, is aware of the evolving changes in the publishing industry and higher education, can productively balance high scholarly standards with the demands of bottom-line economics, thinks creatively about potential books in the field,  is comfortable with a high degree of autonomy, and is both confident and collegial. 

This acquisitions editor will commission, select, and evaluate manuscripts to create a coherent program of trade, scholarly, and course books following the parameters set out above. The editor will be expected to publish approximately 20-25 books annually, and to meet annual signing goals set by the editorial director.  Titles sponsored by the editor are expected to contribute significantly to the Press's frontlist and, eventually, backlist income.  The editor will work closely with other Press departments to manage projects from acquisition to publication.

Essential Functions:

20% Maintains and expands network of authors, advisors, and agents by email, mail, telephone, and in person during editorial trips and at academic conferences.  Cultivates new areas of acquisitions, including series, within areas of responsibility.  Establishes excellent relations with editors of any book series published by the Press in assigned disciplines, including the National Bureau of Economic Research.  Engages routinely with faculty at the University as a source of potential collaborations.

20%  Evaluates appropriate projects in assigned subject areas by inviting and commissioning projects and by evaluating unsolicited submissions. Maintains sense of key literature and authors in economics, business, and finance to learn of new work and to understand trends in the disciplines. May commission new book series in consultation with Press management, and works with series editors of established series, including the National Bureau of Economic Research.

20% Selects proposals and manuscripts for consideration. Seeks advice from qualified referees and arranges formal review.  Works with authors on arranging appropriate revisions and provides editorial advice to supplement reviewer commentary. Acts as primary liaison for author, whether as author “advocate” in stimulating interest and support for a project internally at the Press or as representative of the Press responsible for upholding publication and financial policies.

15% Presents projects at biweekly Editorial Committee meeting and seeks approval from the Press faculty board at monthly Board meetings. Prepares book budgets and sales projections, and proposes contract terms to Press management. Negotiates contracts with authors and agents for books acquired.

15% Works with other Press departments to ensure that accepted books are given appropriate levels of editing, design, production, and marketing. Presents projects at transmittal meetings, marketing/production meetings, and biannual sales meetings.

10%  Collaborates with and assists in mentoring editorial associate and student assistant.   



 1)         Education. Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.

2)         Experience.  five or more years of work in publishing.  Demonstrable track record of scholarly, professional, or trade list building      required; a list of signed and published books should accompany any applications.

3)         Skills.  Outstanding oral and written communication skills required, including public         speaking. Good judgment, tact, and diplomatic skills required. Ability to help authors           organize and develop proposals and manuscripts and prepare work to Press specifications          required. Ability to set goals and organize work required. Understanding of publishing           finances and larger landscape of scholarly publishing required. 

Mental Demands:

 Analytic and strategic planning skills.  Independent motivation and follow through. Negotiating skills. Multitasking skills essential.

 Physical Demands:

 Some travel to academic conferences and campuses required. Keyboarding; database maintenance; filing.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by people assigned to this job.  They are not an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities associated with it.


Interested applicants should apply online at: https://uchicago.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/External/job/Hyde-Park-Campus/Senior-Economics-Editor_JR05598

Posting Statement

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