Executive Director, Plant Sciences Initiative
Posted on Apr 5, 2021 by North Carolina State University
The Executive Director - Plant Services Initiative position, leadership for the Plant Sciences Initiative and team with State leadership and key stakeholders to establish long-range goals, strategies, partnerships and plans to make the PSI the premier destination for plant sciences. Within this leadership role, the Executive Director will have the ability to establish new basic and applied research partnerships and chart the future course of plant science research that will have far-reaching impact on both local and global needs. The Executive Director will hold a tenured, full professor faculty position in an appropriate academic department.
Due to the fact that the PSI transcends traditional college boundaries, the Executive Director will report jointly to the Dean of State's College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and the Internal Management Committee (comprised of high- level University administrators). The Executive Director will be expected to set aggressive research goals and establish an effective outreach program for knowledge dissemination, and enhanced student learning. This position will also focus on building interdisciplinary teams to solve the grand global challenges of agriculture and plant sciences, forming partnerships among industry, government, and academia, and creating unique experiences for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as other early career researchers.
Major responsibilities of the Executive Director - NC PSI include, but are not limited to:
- Develop and lead the PSI's strategic and technical vision. Develop the PSI's national and international profile by building a dynamic community of world-class researchers, including faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and students.
- Provide a coherent vision for collaborative research through effective leadership across the University and throughout the state and partnerships with the private/public sectors - statewide, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
- Foster and support interdisciplinary research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialization.
- Advise and evaluate the impact of PSI strategies, programs, and economic development initiatives. Engage with a broad group of internal and external stakeholders on PSI research initiatives and subsequent economic benefits to communicate its impact and relevance.
- Ensure financial health and sustainability of the initiative by increasing internal and external research opportunities for faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students.
- Direct and manage resources to ensure success of the overall operation and effectiveness of the PSI. Oversee fundraising and growing endowments to ensure long term sustainability of the PSI.
- Attract, retain, and develop faculty who will promote academic and research excellence within the PSI.
- Assess gaps and needs of the PSI and seek solutions that will strengthen the initiative.
- Position contingent upon final approvals from System Office.
Minimum Education and Experience
- PhD in a discipline relevant to plant sciences.
- Minimum of three years of expertise in plant science research and commercialization, either within academia, industry, and/or government.
- Prior leadership at a significant science-oriented or technology-oriented organization in academia, industry, government, or the nonprofit sector.
- Proven track record in organizational team building. Experience and a commitment to advancing nontraditional interdisciplinary team science approaches and training.
- Commitment to build an organization that will solve global grand challenges relevant to plant science research, and to realize the translation of discovery into commercial products, technologies, and solutions.
- Gravitas, credentials, and leadership ability required to lead a world-class organization comprising world-class scientists and leading industry researchers while being responsive to key stakeholder input.
Other Required Qualifications
- Visionary scientist who possesses a true passion for building a world-class plant science institute and is willing to take risks to achieve that vision.
- Leader who will fully embrace the continuum of basic, applied, and translational research, as well as commercial research partnerships, technology transfer activities, and the internal incubation of new business ventures based upon NC PSI research innovations.
- Conviction to addressing agricultural issues relevant to local and global stakeholders.
- Demonstrated talent for constructive critical thinking, creative problem solving and risk assessment.
- Talent for managing, motivating, developing, connecting, coaching, and mentoring people.
- Clear, consistent, and effective communication (written, presentation and verbal) of complex ideas to a wide diversity of audiences. Has a passion for educating and inspiring excitement in people about science.
- Confidence, assertiveness, initiative, sound judgment, and a straightforward tenor to interpersonal relationships. High level of integrity, flexibility, and energy.
- Experience that would qualify the candidate for academic rank at the level of tenured full professor.
- Five years or greater of relevant experience.
- Seeking a prominent, well-recognized plant scientist with demonstrated management and integrative leadership skills, who is a collaborative leader with a track record of exceptional scientific results.