Managing Director, Tech Ecosystem and Economic Development

Fairfax, VA
Commensurate with education and experience.
Oct 09, 2019
Oct 21, 2019
Full Time
Managing Director, Tech Ecosystem & Economic Development

The George Mason University Office of Research invites applications for a Managing Director, Tech Ecosystem and Economic Development. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason's academic and culturally inclusive environment.

About George Mason University: The largest public university in Virginia, George Mason University enrolls more than 37,000 students from all 50 states and 130 countries on four campuses: a 677-acre campus in Fairfax, Virginia; a professional campus in Arlington, Virginia; a science and technology (SciTech) campus in Prince William County, Virginia; and an international campus in Songdo, Korea. The Fairfax, SciTech, and Arlington campuses are in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., providing unmatched access to many federal agencies and national laboratories. Northern Virginia is also home to one of the largest concentrations of tech firms in the nation, providing excellent opportunities for innovation in computing. Mason was founded as a branch of the University of Virginia in 1957 and became an independent institution in 1972.

With 1,800 faculty, Mason offers 81 undergraduate degrees, 85 master's degrees, and 39 doctoral degrees across ten schools and colleges: * Antonin Scalia Law School * College of Education and Human Development * College of Health and Human Services * College of Humanities and Social Sciences * College of Science * College of Visual and Performing Arts * Schar School of Policy and Government * School of Business * School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution * Volgenau School of Engineering

The University will soon add an eleventh unit - its new School of Computing, which will be among the largest such schools in the country.

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education includes Mason among institutions int eh "Highest Research Activity" (R1) category. In addition, in 2018, U.S. News and World Report ranked Mason among the top 30 most innovative universities int eh United States, and one of the nation's top institutions for diversity, innovative learning, and a campus atmosphere that allows its students to thrive.

The university prides itself on being an innovative and inclusive academic community committed to making the world more prosperous, free, and just. As a public research university in one of the most important political, economic, and intellectual hubs in the world, Mason accepts its responsibility to serve others: to help its students succeed, to enrich the life of its community, and to contribute to solving some of the most complex global problems of our time.

Purpose of the Position: The Managing Director, Tech Ecosystem & Economic Development will generate new and nurture existing academic, community, public, and corporate partnerships with the goal of growing and sustaining a thriving technology innovation ecosystem in the region. The Managing Director joins Mason at a critical time as the University expands its leadership role in computing both regionally and nationally. With the creation of the Commonwealth of Virginia's first School of Computing, the launch of its multidisciplinary Institute for Digital Innovation, and the arrival of Amazon HQ2 just a few miles from the University's Arlington campus, Mason is primed to play a vital role in Northern Virginia's increasingly vibrant technology and digital innovation ecosystem. The new Managing Director, Tech Ecosystem & Economic Development will be a kay component in further establishing Mason's prominence on the forefront of tech innovation in Northern Virginia as other institutions like the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and the University of Maryland look to establish a presence in the highly competitive area.

The University expects to play a key role in the Commonwealth's Tech Talent Initiative, committing to increase to 10,000 the number of undergraduates enrolled in computing programs, and to grow the number of graduate students to 5,000. Mason is actively raising $125 million to match Virginia's $125 million commitment to add a 400,000 square foot mixed-use building on its Arlington campus, with a focus on promoting partnership-based, tech-focused research, innovation, new venture creation, and economic development in fields like information technology, data science, and cybersecurity that will serve the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. By identifying and building far-reaching partnerships that leverage the University's rich assets - including its talent, and research, entrepreneurship and innovation capacity, - the Managing Director will play a critical role in advancing the University at a time of great transformation in the region.

Duties: Reporting to the Vice President of Research, Innovation and Economic Impact, the Managing Director, Tech Ecosystem & Economic Development thrives in developing relationships and credibility on behalf of the University and quickly grasps Mason's unique strengths and capacity for tech innovation and transformation. The right individual will be knowledgeable about and/or have had experience with innovation ecosystem and economic development in other urban centers, particularly those with a strong research university presence. The Managing Director will identify areas of value across the University and identify potential partners, understand and articulate the value proposition, and bring partnerships to fruition. The competitive candidate will have demonstrated experience leading large teams. Success leading cross-functional teams is essential, as the individual must work with key stakeholders across and outside the University including community partners, faculty and staff, VCs and other investors, research and tech transfer colleagues, public and private sector entities, career services, development/advancement, alumni relations, university communications, and others.

The Managing Director will work from the University's Arlington campus.

Required Qualifications: The Managing Director, Tech Ecosystem & Economic Development will possess a proven ability to grow businesses, establish mutually beneficial partnerships, and build collaborative spaces for Mason and the surrounding technology industry. Prior experience in business development, corporate development and/or partnership building is essential, as is strong financial acumen. They should have demonstrated track record of successfully identifying and operationalizing partnerships across a complex organization to meet growth expectations and other objectives. The Managing Director must have the gravitas to open doors and think creatively. They have deep experience in and strong ties to the technology sector. The successful candidate must be an outstanding collaborator, inspire colleagues, have a very high organizational EQ, and possess the ability to work with, and influence, senior leadership teams in universities, industry and the public sector. The Managing Director must possess excellent interpersonal skill and high integrity, combined with an outstanding personal style that is characterized by executive-level communication skills, transparency, trust, active listening, authenticity, persuasiveness, self-awareness, and drive. They will possess a passion and deep understanding of the research university mission and its role in adding value to civil society and all its stakeholders.

In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, we highlight the following: * Master's degree, or equivalent combination of education and experience is required; * Proven, hands-on leader and builder with a growth mindset and ability to open doors, make connections, and develop large-scale academic-industry-government partnerships; * Ability to recognize the needs of corporate and community partners, translate needs and opportunities for academic partners, and customize a relationship encompassing varying assets and capabilities across Mason; * Visionary and adept at identifying future opportunities to deploy Mason's assets in partnership with corporate, community and other partners; * Creative and entrepreneurial; * Ability to operate in an academic setting where enfranchisement of multiple constituencies is a must; * Prior experience working with universities in innovation ecosystem settings; * High organizational EQ and people agile. Naturally connects and builds strong relationships with others. A strong influencer; * Comfortable managing ambiguity and has a track record of success with complex and challenging situations; * Metrics driven, systems thinking that has the inclination to seek and analyze data from a variety of sources to support decisions and to align others; * Comfortable operating autonomously and "running with things" while managing executive relationships and handling multiple projects effectively in a fast-paced environment; * Ability to get things done; * Strong executive presence that exudes integrity, transparency, and competence.

"For full consideration, applicants must apply at ; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information."

"Great Careers Begin at Mason!

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in both academics and research. Mason holds a top U.S. News and World Report "Up and Coming" spot for national universities and is recognized for its global appeal and excellence in higher education.

Mason is currently the largest and most diverse university in Virginia with students and faculty from all 50 states and over 135 countries studying in over 200 degree programs at campuses in Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William, as well as at learning locations across the commonwealth. Rooted in Mason's diversity is a campus culture that is both rewarding and exciting, work that is meaningful, and opportunities to both collaborate and create.

If you are interested in joining the Mason family take a look at our current opportunities and catch some Mason spirit at!

George Mason University, Where Innovation is Tradition."

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