Executive Director of Industry Partnerships, Agriculture

POSTED: January 17, 2020
BUSINESS: Purdue Research Foundation
POSITION TYPE: Full-time/Exempt
START DATE: Immediate Availability

The Opportunity

The Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships (EVPRP) and the University Development Office (UDO) are seeking an Executive Director of Industry Partnerships, Agriculture to join our growing team in the Office of Industry Partnerships (OIP). This position will provide leadership to Industry Partnerships within the broader discipline and field of Agriculture.  The successful candidate will join a dynamic team responsible for advancing relationships that deliver value to industry, while supporting scholarship, faculty, corporate giving, sponsored research, place making and more. Purdue University’s College of Agriculture is one of the world’s leading colleges of agricultural, food, life, and natural resource sciences. The College of Agriculture, in partnership with other colleges, research centers, and institutes across campus, is stretching the frontiers of science to find solutions to some of our most pressing global challenges; and, through Purdue Extension and engagement programs, helping the people of Indiana, the nation and the world improve their lives and livelihoods.

The Executive Director of Industry Partnerships, Agriculture will be a leader on a team of professionals who are responsible for growing collaboration with industry. Under his/her leadership, the team will act as a gateway to the university, making connections between external partners and Purdue’s faculty, staff, students, and constituents.  The Executive Director will focus and lead a team supporting university-level priorities and building strategic relationships.

The successful candidate will carry a portfolio of companies in addition to management responsibilities. The Executive Director, Agriculture will nurture and expand relationships through holistic partnerships, driven by connections to research centers, institutes and programs, faculty expertise, facilities and equipment, facilitated working sessions and co-creation activities, fundraising, facilitation of student hiring and internships, professional training, advisory board opportunities, networking events and other university activities and programs in response to industry partner needs and interests.

The Office of Industry Partnerships is a new organization established in partnership between the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships and the Vice President for Development, creating a clear and comprehensive point of entry for corporations to have mutually beneficial relationships with Purdue by leveraging the institutions vast set of offerings and resources.  Purdue recently celebrated record success in both sponsored research funding and philanthropic support and the OIP represents an ambitious effort to scale this success and position Purdue as the premier partner for industry.  Purdue University is a public research university founded in 1869. A member of the Big Ten Conference, Purdue is home to over 44,000 students. 


Essential Functions:

  • Serve as the lead relationship officer for a portfolio of top industry prospects.
  • Implement comprehensive goals and strategies, significantly building strong and mutually beneficial partnerships in coordination with the Associate Vice President (AVP) of Industry partnerships and the Dean of the College of Agriculture.
  • Provide expertise and coordination of Industry activities across assigned industries and sectors under the umbrella of Agriculture.
  • Provide guidance and collaborative leadership to industry activity within colleges across campus, maintaining a University-wide perspective for holistic corporate relationships. Work in close partnership with colleagues across campus on interdsiplinary projects encompassing Agricure initiatives.
  • Manage Senior Directors, Directors, and/or Assistant Directors within Colleges as assigned.
  • Effectively utilize a relationship building process, including identifying partners for collaborative research initiatives, particularly those related to large multidisciplinary or multi-investigator projects.
  • Work in tandem with university administrative, academic leadership, and similarly aligned offices in designing and implementing industry visits, events, and informational exchanges.
  • Ensure cooperation and coordination with appropriate University constituencies through consistent and effective communication.
  • Prepare proposals and solicit investment from corporate prospects meeting or exceeding annual metrics.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with the AVP of Industry Partnerships, university administrative and academic leadership, industry partnership colleagues and development directors, and with corporate executives to develop comprehensive and sophisticated goals and strategies to broaden and deepen Purdue’s strategic partnerships with key industry partners.
  • Leverage and maximize opportunities by working strategically and integrating efforts with the Office of Research, University Development Office, Office of Research Sponsored Programs, Purdue Research Foundation, Center for Career Opportunities, Office of Engagement, and others across campus.
  • Set annual and long-term investment goals for key industry prospects, including investment in research and educational priorities.
  • In conjunction with the AVP of Industry Partnerships, provide leadership as a key relationship manager 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.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability in preparing and delivering proposals and presentations.
  • Ability to operate effectively in a wide range of professional and social settings.
  • Ability and personality to work collaboratively with and motivate faculty, colleagues, volunteers, partners and donors with respect to industry activities.
  • 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 industry funding.
  • Ability to travel, work weekends and evenings.
  • Regular and reliable attendance are requirements of this position.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum of five years of professional experience with progressively responsible experience in relevant industry or in higher education with specific experience in corporate/industry relations.
  • Five years of management experience required with successful leadership and mentoring of staff.


Application Instructions: 

If you are interested in applying, please send a cover letter and resume to the Director of Human Resources at humanresources@prf.org on or before Friday, February 14, 2020.

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

Purdue Research Foundation will not sponsor employment authorization for this position.

Purdue Research Foundation does not accept resumes from third-party recruiters.

Purdue Research Foundation is an affirmative action, equal opportunity 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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