Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.




Executive Director Watertown, MA

Addgene, a thriving nonprofit dedicated to facilitating scientific discoveries by operating a plasmid and viral vector library for researchers, seeks an Executive Director to lead the organization as it expands its influence in the biological research ecosystem. Addgene is dedicated to open science, serving as a biorepository for high quality and high impact research materials and distributing these to six continents. Addgene receives plasmids from over 4,500 labs at no cost to the researcher and distributes these materials at a low cost to its customers. The operation is funded entirely by this fee structure, and Addgene consistently generates excess revenue to invest in new product lines, upgrading operations, or other mission-driven initiatives.

The rapid growth in biological discovery has provided the impetus for Addgene’s growth, and in return, Addgene has played an outsized role in accelerating advancements in research. Over time, it has become a singularly trusted partner for thousands of researchers worldwide. The company became the gold standard for supporting open science very early in its 17-year history because of the scientific depth and rigorous quality control that was and continues to be applied to all products. Addgene has distributed over 1.5 million plasmids to 106 countries, with 200,000 items distributed per year and an annual revenue of over $22 million. To highlight the organization’s contribution to and reach within science, the highest requested plasmids from all labs are CRISPR plasmids. Addgene has been able to distribute these key materials to more than 5000 institutions in the world, effectively fueling the boom in CRISPR innovation. Additionally, they made COVID-19-related plasmids available within days of deposit for use all over the world in the development of diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics.

In addition to the plasmid base business, five years ago, Addgene decided to offer a second product line: adeno-associated viral vectors. This choice was made by observing the research community’s exponentially increasing interest, coupled with a paucity of reliable, available, or affordable sources. The company has also turned to another product class, which it intends to offer as a third product line: antibodies, which are essential to the field but difficult to reproduce with quality. Addgene is pursuing recombinant antibody production and distribution, funded initially and for the first time with external funding by the NIH.

Addgene’s success depends on its employees, the Addgenies, who all joined the organization because they are fundamentally attracted to its mission and want to advance bioscience research to help humanity. They stay and grow in the organization because of the mission and because of the culture, a deep source of pride for all Addgenies. Addgene fosters collaboration, emphasizes transparency, and values openness, and this mission-aligned culture contributes tremendously to employees’ engagement, high performing teams, and tenure.

Addgene seeks an Executive Director to champion its mission and to lead the organization into its third decade of existence. The new Executive Director should have a direct understanding of basic and translational research in the biological sciences, combined with exceptional organizational leadership experience and visionary business acumen. Addgene has the opportunity to dramatically increase its reach and impact, and the Executive Director should be prepared to embrace this opportunity. A collaborative, empowering leadership style must be supported by strong communication skills and a passion for Addgene’s mission of scientific sharing. Proven financial (P&L) management experience and a history of sound organizational and management practice are essential.

All applications will be held in strict confidence. Correspondence should be submitted electronically.

John Isaacson is leading this search with Nicholas Strand.

Addgene is an Equal Opportunity Employer and considers all applicants without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, active military or veteran status, age, handicap, or any other characteristic protected by Federal, State or Local law.


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