Leadership & Service

An experienced administrator with demonstrated results, Dr. Vicino brings a passion for building programs, empowering faculty and students, and leading the scholarly profession. Read about his leadership and service philosophy, administrative and organizational experience, student advising and support experience, and leadership and service to the profession and discipline.


Leadership and Service Philosophy

As citizens of a university, we have a commitment to improve the human condition. One of the primary reasons that attracted me to a career in higher education was the commitment to public engagement and global education. As a scholar of urban affairs, I believe it is important to serve our communities through inclusive engagement. I work to strengthen this mission by capitalizing on the local and global opportunities through experiential learning and service. My approach to leadership and service seeks to contribute beyond the walls of the classroom or the pages of a book. I carry the duties and responsibilities of service to our students, our institution, and to my discipline and field. Above all, I value service to the community, whether serving those in our own backyard in Boston or our global neighbors in places like Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo. Through all of my work, I weave a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion to support faculty, staff, and students.

The articulation of a vision, mission, goals, and objectives are the foundation of strong academic leadership and management. As an academic administrator, I seek to: lead, manage, advocate, facilitate, and communicate for and with our community. Throughout my career, I have learned that an inclusive and collaborative approach to leadership and management is essential. With an established record of serving institutions in fruitful ways, I have developed a wealth of administrative experience and a record of leadership in program development, including my various leadership roles as an Associate Dean, Department Chair, Program Director, and as a thought leader in the profession.


Administrative and Organizational Experience

As Associate Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Northeastern University, I create and implement strategies to grow the experiential liberal arts across the graduate programs in the social sciences and humanities. In this role, I direct a portfolio of graduate programs that includes 9 PhD programs, 15 master’s programs, and 12 certificate programs. The College enrolls over 500 graduate students through on ground, online, and hybrid modalities.  In collaboration with the Dean, I provide strategic vision and leadership for the general planning, development, and management of the College and the execution of its mission and goals.

In my prior role, as the Chair of the Department of Political Science, I had the opportunity to lead and manage a large academic unit in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Northeastern University. In this role, I identify and implement strategies to align the Department’s activities with the mission and goals of the College and the University and maintain the Department’s excellence in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and service to the profession and public. I support our commitment to innovation and interdisciplinary research by building on our strategic areas of strength in the fields of security and resilience studies, network science and big data, international affairs, and public policy.

As the unit head, I provided vision and leadership for the department to:

  • Aspire to be globally recognized as distinctive thought leaders that confront the toughest challenges facing society and politics; and
  • Strive to be the undisputed global leader in the experiential liberal arts for the study of politics and government in which we create meaningful opportunities for students to transform the world around them.

Major responsibilities included:

  • Lead an academic unit that offers 15 undergraduate interdisciplinary degree programs for the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Political Science, 4 minors, the Master of Arts in Political Science, the Master of Science in Security and Resilience Studies, and the PhD in Political Science. The Department enrolls 580 undergraduate majors and 75 graduate students.
  • Identify and implement strategies to align the Department’s activities with the mission and goals of the University, ensuring its contributions to the College’s mission in the Experiential Liberal Arts and fostering excellence in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and service.
  • Supervise departmental personnel composed of 30 tenure-line faculty members, 3 full-time teaching faculty members, 12 affiliated faculty members, 5 adjunct faculty members, and 3 staff members.
  • Manage $4.1 million unit budget; schedule classes in collaboration with other academic units; supervise admissions; recruit and supervise adjunct faculty; monitor enrollments; and oversee internships and student services.
  • Coordinate marketing, advertising, development, and outreach initiatives.

Previously, in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University, I have also worked diligently to grow the School and build an interdisciplinary faculty, curriculum, and governance process for professional masters programs. As Director of the Master of Public Administration program for six years, the College’s largest graduate program, I was responsible for the following:

  • Led a nationally-ranked and professionally-accredited masters program that offers the Master of Public Administration degree and five graduate certificates in Boston, Seattle, and Charlotte through online, on ground, and hybrid platforms. The Program is composed of 13 faculty nucleus members, 15 affiliated faculty members, 10 adjunct faculty, and 2 staff
  • Managed $1.7 million Program budget; schedule classes in collaboration with other academic units; supervise admissions; recruit and supervise adjunct faculty; monitor enrollments; and oversee internships and student services
  • Grew program enrollments, tripling from 2011 – 2016, and improved the program’s ranking by 13 places in the US News and World Report among Public Affairs programs to become a program ranked in the top third of all programs nationally
  • Developed initiatives to launch three new graduate certificates in Public Policy Analysis, Urban Studies, and Non-Profit Management and Social Change
  • Led the process of online course development for over 20 graduate-level courses. In 2016, my work culminated with the production of the Self Study Report and Site Team Visit for reaccreditation to the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). In 2017, the program was successfully reaccredited for seven years
  • Developed the Program Diversity and Inclusion Plan and Comprehensive Program Assessment Plan
  • Coordinated marketing, advertising, development, and outreach initiatives


Student Advising and Support

I have had the privilege to share in the successes of my students in a variety of advisory capacities. Over the years, I have advised on:

  • preparing students for cooperative educational experiences, professional internships, graduate study, and employment
  • assisting students with their winning applications to the Truman Scholarship, the Fulbright Fellowship, and the Presidential Management Fellowship
  • mentoring students on undergraduate thesis projects, advising PhD dissertations, and guiding numerous independent research projects
  • nominating one of my doctoral students for the Alma H. Young Emerging Scholar Award from the Urban Affairs Association, which she won this distinguished award, recognizing the work of scholars who demonstrate a commitment to rigorous and impactful research and service

Such successes give me great joy and fulfillment as I serve students and help them achieve their goals.

Leadership and Service to the Profession and Discipline  

I have served the discipline and profession in several substantive ways. My service work is related to activities that promote the field of urban affairs as well as the discipline of political science. My leadership and service to the profession includes:

  • Non-profit executive leadership to the Urban Affairs Association, as follows:
    • Chair of the Governing Board (2020 – Present)
    • Vice Chair of the Governing Board (2019 – 2020)
    • Treasurer of the Association (2018 – 2019)
    • Elected Member of the Governing Board  (2017 – Present)
    • Institutional Member Representative for Northeastern University (2015 – Present)
    • Member, Finance Committee (2013 – 2016)
    • Chair, Selection Committee for the Alma H. Young Emerging Scholar Award (2012 – 2013)

Ultimately, I have provided academically grounded leadership and service to my scholarly communities and to the public. I believe that it is important to translate research into service to the community and public—especially on issues of public policy. By regularly contributing public commentary, informed by scholarship, to various news and media outlets, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Scientific American, I engage with broader publics to fulfill part of our mission as educators.