The NDSU Research Foundation has exclusively retained Gardner Innovation Search Partners to find their next Executive Director.
NDSU is looking for an experienced, collaborative leader in technology transfer, licensing, and commercialization to serve as the next Executive Director of the NDSU Research Foundation (NDSURF), a non-profit 501(c)(3) that advances technology transfer and commercialization for NDSU research. While NDSURF is a separate entity, the Executive Director will be appointed subject to Board approval and serve on the Board ex-officio, but will be an employee of NDSU, reporting to the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity. The Board seeks an Executive Director who will create impact and outcomes via NDSU research, including by advancing the public benefit and commercialization potential of the research.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a science or engineering discipline
  • Proven ability of working effectively with internal and external stakeholders of all levels
  • Minimum of eight years’ involvement and experience in technology transfer
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to connect and even bridge academic and industry audiences
  • Marketing and business development acumen, including principles of licensing
  • Demonstrated superlative interpersonal and collaborative skills, including ability to work closely with external stakeholders and industry partners and teams within an organization by providing a strong customer-service orientation towards academic inventors
  • Relevant knowledge of the sciences or experience working with scientists and engineers across various disciplines
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility
  • An advanced degree (master’s degree, juris doctorate, or a doctorate in a STEM discipline)
  • Three to five years of leadership or management experience. Demonstrated depth of leadership experience working in a Foundation technology transfer office/with a Board of Directors
  • Proven experience with team building and management
  • Thorough knowledge of patent prosecution, IP law, and regulations regarding government funded inventions (e.g. Bayh-Dole Act), including ensuring compliance with, and adherence to those laws and regulations, while building trust and providing efficient and effective service to diverse constituents inside and outside of the organization
  • Demonstrated expertise in at least one of the areas of industry strengths in the region and/or at NDSU: agricultural products; biosciences and biotechnology; engineering; uncrewed autonomous systems; software; materials sciences; or agricultural technology
  • Experience in private industry related to technology transfer and intellectual property
  • Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP) or Certified Licensing Professional (CLP)

Interested candidates should read more about the role at Email Lisa Rooney at to apply.