Peter Vasher named Ford School director of career services

August 31, 2022

The Ford School of Public Policy today announced the appointment of Peter Vasher as the school’s director of career services, effective September 1, 2022.

Vasher joined the Ford School in 2017 and has been the associate director for graduate career services since 2019. He holds an MEd in higher education and student affairs from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the Ford School, Vasher worked in undergraduate career services and academic advising at the U-M College of Engineering, Purdue University, and the University of South Florida.

Vasher is deeply connected within key professional networks in the policy, career development, and recruiting fields. His affiliations include the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA); the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA); and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) as well as University of Michigan units such as the International Center, the office of Global Engagement, and the Career Services Network.

“We launched an extensive national search for the very best person to lead the next chapter in the Ford School’s career services delivery,” says interim dean Celeste Watkins-Hayes. “I’m delighted with this good news for the Ford School and for Peter, who is widely respected among his colleagues and the students he’s supported.”

“With Peter’s leadership, we’ll continue to deliver and grow best-in-class service to our graduate students and in addition, bring significant growth to the career services we provide to our undergraduate students.”

In his current role, Vasher works with Ford School graduate students, helping them discover future career paths, navigate their career journey, and enhance their professional competencies and skills. He leads workshop development, plans career exploration events, oversees a robust peer advisor program, and collaborates on employer and alumni engagement.

"I look forward to leading the strategic next chapter of career services at the Ford School,” says Vasher. “It’s a privilege to provide support to our students, who have such ability and potential to make an impact for the public good across sectors, organizations, countries, and continents.”

“The career services team and I look forward to delivering and evolving high impact, intentional, inclusive, and equitable career growth, connection, and development to all students across degree programs in Weill Hall.”  

Vasher will join the school’s senior leadership team, composed of the dean and associate deans along with the other four directors of the school’s staff teams.

Vasher succeeds Jennifer Niggemeier, who led graduate career services at the Ford School for 24 years and built the school into a national leader for strategic, supportive, and innovative career service delivery. Niggemeier will transition full-time into the role of associate director of the school’s Leadership Initiative. 

Niggemeier’s appointment is part of the school’s broader efforts to grow the size and the reach of its Leadership Initiative, which serves all Ford School students and is integrated within the school’s core training in analysis and communication. The Ford School is the only policy school that offers leadership coaching to all graduate students as part of the required summer internship.