Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.



Associate Vice President for Research and Executive Director of the Innovation and New Ventures Office Evanston, IL

Northwestern University seeks a visionary, strategic, and seasoned leader to serve as the Associate Vice President for Research and the Executive Director of the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO). Reporting to the Vice President for Research, Milan Mrksich, the Associate Vice President (AVP) and Executive Director of INVO will chart the future course of innovation and commercialization activities to enhance Northwestern’s impact through translation of its outstanding educational and research activities. Launched in 2011, INVO has developed a broad array of programs and services to harness and channel the innovative and entrepreneurial energy of faculty and students. The next AVP will build on this strong foundation to position Northwestern as an international leader in this domain and capitalize on the unique assets across the University. Additionally, the AVP will foster impactful partnerships with external entities to extend Northwestern’s innovation ecosystem, tapping into the vibrant new business development landscape in Greater Chicago. The AVP will work closely and collaboratively with University leadership as well as local, regional, and national partners to catalyze the translation of Northwestern innovations to benefit the public and promote economic growth.

The AVP oversees the Innovation and New Ventures Office, which is responsible for maximizing the societal impact of the University's intellectual property assets by shepherding them through critical processes that get them from campus to market, including patent application, prosecution, licensing, compliance, and enforcement, enabling commercial investment in and licensing of inventions and discoveries flowing from Northwestern’s research. The AVP has 6 direct reports and an overall supervisory portfolio of more than 30 staff. Additionally, the AVP oversees the Querrey InQbation Lab, a University incubator that accelerates translation of its rich faculty research portfolio by providing an array of startup resources from work spaces and legal assistance to mentorship and funding. In support of a student culture that embraces innovation and delivers relevant entrepreneurship training, the AVP’s portfolio includes The Garage, which serves as a vehicle to inspire students to solve real-world problems. 

Northwestern University seeks an AVP with the experience and vision to provide strategic leadership across INVO’s broad portfolio. To succeed in this role, the AVP must possess a demonstrated record of successful organizational leadership as well as a deep understanding of how to move Northwestern’s research innovations to the market through a sophisticated awareness of the evolving issues in intellectual property, technology licensing, and patent management. The AVP must possess a forward-looking strategic view of how to shape the next phase of a university innovation engine and be a tireless advocate for and champion of INVO’s mission internally and externally, to grow the awareness and reputation of INVO and Northwestern more broadly.

Confidential review of applications and nominations will continue until an appointment is made. Applications, nominations, and inquiries should be submitted electronically below.

John Muckle and Becca Kennedy are leading this search with Katie White. 

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment. 


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