Executive Director of Industry Partnerships - Life Sciences

POSTED: February 17, 2021
BUSINESS: Purdue for Life Foundation
START DATE: Immediate Availability

About the Office

The Office of Industry Partnerships (OIP) at Purdue University is seeking a proactive, highly analytical and trustworthy individual to serve as an Executive Director of Industry Partnerships, providing university-level strategy, leadership and management oversight for a strategic portfolio of companies in life sciences sector. OIP was established as a presidential priority in 2020 as the ‘front door’ for companies to build cross-cutting partnerships with Purdue and its affiliates, encompassing talent, research, philanthropy, and more. Purdue stands out as a top-25 public research institution, home to more than 1,800 faculty and 45,500 students, two-thirds in STEM disciplines. In 2020, Purdue’s research enterprise reached record expenditures of $697 million, with the largest growth from industry. In 2019, the Ever True campaign closed with over $2.5 billion generated from private and corporate philanthropy, exceeding the goal by over 25%. As the 5-th most innovative in the university, Purdue takes top marks in commercialization and start-ups, and is partnering to develop the 450-acre Discovery Park District one the west end of campus. This position is key to the Purdue’s ambitious plans to advance our reach and impact through building even stronger private-public partnerships.

Job Summary

The ED will manage a portfolio of strategic industry partners generally within the life sciences sector, and also build a team of individuals managing partnerships within two additional life science sectors: agriculture-food science, and big pharma-health services. The ED will play a key role in advancing private-public partnerships with a focus on increasing private, i.e. non-governmental, support and sponsorship for student engagement, research, commercialization, executive and online programs, and other value-added opportunities. Within Purdue, the team will represent all of Purdue, but with core competencies and relationships that align most closely with programs that cut across engineering, science, and technology.

The ED will have the opportunity to help shape the newly created OIP early in its development, and with the support of a highly committed and invested University leadership team. Taking on the role of player-coach, the ED will personally and successfully manage a portfolio of strategic partners within the life sciences sector, and will lead a team of business development and relationship management professionals to determine appropriate strategies and define mutually acceptable annual and multi-year performance goals.  The ED will report to the vice president for industry partnerships, who in turn reports jointly to the executive vice president for research and partnerships of Purdue and the CEO of the Purdue for Life Foundation.


Essential Functions

  • Serve as lead industry partnerships officer for a portfolio of top university corporate and corporate foundation prospects within the life sciences sector.
  • Implement comprehensive goals and strategies, significantly building strong and mutually beneficial partnerships with these top university corporate and corporate foundation prospects.
  • Lead a highly effective team of business development and relationship managers to develop a portfolio of strategic industry partners engaged across the institution.
  • Effectively utilize a relationship building process, including identifying corporate partner for collaborative research initiatives, particularly those related to large multidisciplinary or multi-investigator projects.
  • Work in tandem with university administrative and academic leadership in designing and implementing corporate visits, events, and informational exchanges.
  • Ensure cooperation and coordination with appropriate University constituencies through consistent and effective communication.
  • Build out a team portfolio and proposal pipeline of opportunity totaling $200M on a rolling 12 month basis that produces $50M annual production credit.
  • Ability to travel, work some weekends and evenings.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the Vice President, Office of Industry Partnerships (VP-OIP), university administrative and academic leadership, development directors, other university partners, and corporate executives to develop comprehensive and sophisticated goals and strategies to broaden and deepen Purdue’s strategic partnerships with key corporations and corporate foundations.
  • Leverage and maximize opportunities by working strategically and integrating efforts with the Office of Research Sponsored Program Services, Purdue Research Park, the Center for Career Opportunities, Office of Engagement, and others across campus.
  • Set annual and long-term holistic investment goals for key corporations and corporate foundations, including philanthropic support, investment in research, investment in facilities and/or placemaking, and educational priorities.
  • In conjunction with the VP-OIP, provide leadership as a senior industry lead in the strategic planning and direction of the overall university-wide industry partnerships team, including serving as a resource and mentor to staff.
  • Continually pursue professional development opportunities including leadership in and service to national organizations.
  • Supervise Director, Office of Industry Partnerships and additional staff as needed.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated track record of organizing successful business activities and the ability to lead the development of high-level industry partnerships.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability as reflected in, among others, preparing proposals and presentations.
  • Ability to operate effectively in a wide range of professional and social settings.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with and motivate faculty, development colleagues, volunteers and donors with respect to fundraising activities.
  • Maintain a leadership style that is open and fluid and that empowers staff through active communication and delegation.
  • Familiarity with and ability to operate effectively in, a multi-faceted and complex institutional structure.
  • Knowledge of, and top level contact with, major sources of corporate funding.
  • Regular and reliable attendance are requirements of this position.




  • Bachelor’s degree required; technical BA is preferred.
  • Advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum of ten years of professional industry experience within the life sciences, agriculture, biomedical, or biotechnology industries.
  • Minimum of ten years of professional technical sales experience with progressively increasing responsibility as well as a successful track record of meeting or exceeding goals.
  • Minimum of five years of development and/or management experience required with successful leadership and mentoring of staff.

If you are interested in applying, please click here to begin the process: https://www.applyatprf.com.The application deadline is Friday, March 12, 2021.

A criminal conviction check and negative controlled substance test are required for employment in this position. 

Purdue Research Foundation is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. PRF views, evaluates, and treats all persons in all Foundation-related activities solely as individuals on the basis of their own personal abilities, qualifications, and other relevant characteristics.  All qualified applicants for employment will receive consideration without regard to race, religion, color, gender, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or status as a veteran. 

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