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University of California
Posted: 06/27/2023
Executive Director For Research & Innovation And Special Assistant To The Vice President

Executive Director For Research & Innovation And Special Assistant To The Vice President

Location: OaklandFull Time

Job ID: 55051

Job Posting

For UCOP internal applicants, please login to the internal candidate gateway at: https://jobs.ucop.edu/


At the University of California (UC), your contributions make a difference. A world leader producing Nobel and Pulitzer Prize recipients with over 150 years of groundbreaking research transforming the world. Choose a career where you can leverage your knowledge, skills, and aspirations to inspire and support some of the greatest minds in the world, and those who will follow in their footsteps. Working at the University of California is being part of a unique institution, and a vibrant and diverse community. At the University of California, Office of the President, we propel our mission through impactful work locally, in government centers and systemwide. We are passionate people, serving the greater good.

The University of California, one of the largest and most acclaimed institutions of higher learning in the world, is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and public service. The University of California Office of the President is the headquarters to the 10 campuses, six academic medical centers and three national laboratories and enrolls premier students from California, the nation, and the world. https://www.ucop.edu/about

Department Overview

As part of the UC system, the Vice President’s Immediate Office provides strategic, operational, and administrative support to the systemwide Vice President for Research and Innovation (R&I). The Immediate Office collaborates with the leadership and departments within R&I, the subdivisions within Academic Affairs, and across the UC Office of the President, ten campuses and three national laboratories. In addition, the Immediate Office coordinates administrative operations and communications, manages approval processes for decision memos and correspondence, and ensures accountability for budgetary and operational management.

Position Summary

The Executive Director for Research & Innovation and Special Assistant to the Vice President functions as a chief of staff and reports directly to the Vice President for Research and Innovation at UC. It is their responsibility to lead an extraordinarily complex and wide-ranging organization that contributes to the university’s research and innovation mission. As the subdivision’s Executive Director and Special Assistant, they initiate and develop long- and short-range plans. Additionally, they make official commitments and represent the Vice President’s interests across the organization. This position requires in-depth analysis of complex issues or problems frequently without precedent or structure. To obtain results, the Executive Director and Special Assistant selects methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria with a great deal of judgment. It is essential that the individual be able to work well with a variety of people and display integrity, honesty, and flexibility. The Executive Director and Special Assistant serves as senior advisor to the Vice President and provides the highest level of analytical, strategic planning and implementation support with respect to current and emerging issues of interest to the President, Provost, Academic Senate, Regents, chancellors, campus and national laboratory leadership, and leadership of the subdivisions of Academic Affairs, among others. In collaboration with subdivision and department leaders, the incumbent develops strategic plans and ensures their implementation. Additionally, the Executive Director and Special Assistant serves in the role of executive officer of the Vice President’s Immediate Office. This individual oversees all operations in coordination with the R&I immediate office, including the operating budget and financial activities, operational and human resource functions, facility and space planning, and administrative services. The position has a wide range of discretionary authority. Typically, this position manages and administers independent programs with significant organizational impact. The position also manages professional staff responsible for administrative support, human resources, and budgetary planning and management. In addition to participating and responding to a variety of issues, the incumbent engages in sensitive negotiations without precedent, requiring a high degree of diplomatic and expedient conduct. He or she develops long- and short-term plans, builds relationships with key constituencies and stakeholders, and identifies, formulates, and advises on policy.

Key Responsibilities

• 20% Problem-solving, Strategic Planning, and Executive Advising: Serves as a trusted advisor to the Vice President and senior leadership team, providing insights and recommendations on key initiatives and strategic opportunities. Negotiates directly with high level stakeholders, including faculty, Academic Senate leaders, university administrators, other UC locations, public agencies, and the community, to develop solutions to complex problems. Stays informed and abreast of current and emerging issues to provide the Vice President with a broad perspective across Academic Affairs and the Office of the President, as well as the campuses and national laboratories. Prepares briefings, analyses, and recommendations on high-profile and sensitive issues requiring senior leadership attention and/or action. Coordinates strategy development and day-to-day implementation across the subdivision’s departments. On behalf of the Vice President, may lead subdivision initiatives, including developing and implementing solutions to departmental, subdivision, division, or systemwide issues.

• 20% Subdivisional Leadership and Management: Provides leadership for establishing partnerships with campus and academic senate leadership, vice provosts and executive directors, within the Vice President’s area, at the UC Office of the President, and with UC campuses and national laboratories. Conducts research and drafts articles, speeches, and presentations to advance the executive’s vision. Manages complex issues for the Vice President and supervises various committees and work groups. Leads and manages cross-functional teams to execute on key strategic initiatives, ensuring alignment and collaboration across the organization. Participates in high-level task forces and workgroups with other senior leadership at the University and external constituencies.

• 25% Immediate Office Management: Manages the Vice President’s Immediate Office, including the supervision of full-time career and contract staff. Manage complex and critical projects for the Vice President’s Immediate Office. Additionally, leads significant projects requiring collaboration across organizational functions at the UC Office of the President and other UC campuses. Recommends the subdivision’s annual operating budget in collaboration with the Director of Budget and Administration. In accordance with delegated authority, approves expenditures for the Immediate Office and other departments.

• 25% Policy & Program Management and Analysis: Conducts high level analyses of a wide range of issues, including proposed programs. Communicates and coordinates internal policies, procedures, and practices effectively with the Provost’s Chief of Staff, the division’s Director of Administration, and Academic Affairs deputies. Develops strategies for change management to achieve goals and objectives and provides frameworks for policy and administrative change.

• 10% Assigned duties: Other duties as assigned. Assists new leaders with organizational and governance protocols and overall operations within areas of responsibility, as well as participating in their own training and development.

Required Qualifications

• At least 10 years’ experience in a research field or in public policy, education, or a related discipline.

Skills and Abilities
Required Qualifications

• Knowledge of the protocols, policies, and organizational networks and cultures of higher education and/or other large public and governmental institutions.

• Ten or more years of experience in roles spanning senior leadership, program/operations management, and project/change management.

• Advanced skills in short- and long-range planning, program evaluation, personnel training, facilitation, and collaboration.

• Proven experience in managing complex, cross-functional teams to execute on key strategic initiatives.

• Strong strategic thinking skills, with the ability to identify and prioritize key institutional initiatives and allocate resources accordingly.

• Excellent organizational and communication skills, with the ability to build relationships and work collaboratively across the organization.

• Ability to operate in a fast-paced and dynamic environment, with a sense of urgency and a focus on results.

Preferred Qualifications

• Experience developing competitive proposals and conducting research and projects funded through state or federal contracts and grant awards.

• Experience in designing and implementing broad and sustainable systemic changes in large institutions.

Required Qualifications

• Master’s degree in a research field or in public policy, education, or a related discipline or equivalent experience / training.

Preferred Qualifications

• Advanced degree preferred.



Job Title
Executive Advisor Manager 2

Job Code

Salary Grade
Grade 28

Payscale (the salary that University reasonably expects to pay for this position based on budget and experience):

$200,000 – $235,000

Full Salary Range (the full salary range shows the growth potential for this position. New hires will not be brought in at a rate higher than the budgeted payscale of the position):

$140,400 – $279,400

The University of California, Office of the President, is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role. This range takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. It is not typical for an individual to be offered a salary at or near the top of the range for a position. Salary offers are determined based on final candidate qualifications and experience. The full salary range shows the growth potential for this position and the pay scale is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position.

Benefits: For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit: https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/compensation-and-benefits/benefits-of-belonging.html


Position Base

UCOP – Franklin Building


Please be prepared to attach a cover letter and resume with your application.


The first review date for this job is July 11, 2023. The position will be open until filled.


Background Check Process: Successful completion of a background check is required for this critical position. https://www.ucop.edu/local-human-resources/manager-resources/hiring-process/background-checks.html

Smoke Free Work Environment: The University of California, Office of the President, is smoke & tobacco-free as of January 1, 2014. https://www.ucop.edu/safety-and-loss-prevention/environmental/program-resources/uc-smoke-free/uc-smoke-tobacco-free.html

August 2021 Update: The University of California has issued a policy requiring employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID -19 before physically accessing the University location or programs. Upon hire into a UCOP position, you will be provided detailed instructions on how to comply with this policy including access to the COVID vaccination at no cost. New hires to UCOP who work onsite or will come onsite for any activities at a UCOP or other UC location must comply with this policy within 8 weeks after their start date. The policy allows for employees to request approval for an exception or deferral. https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/5000695/SARS-CoV-2_Covid-19


The University of California, Office of the President, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/DiscHarassAffirmAction

The University of California, Office of the President, strives to make this job board accessible to any and all users. If you have comments regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact us at: https://www.ucop.edu/accessibility/index.html or email the Human Resource Department at: mailto:epost@ucop.edu.


To apply, visit https://apptrkr.com/4306556