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Job ID: 232920

Executive Director (0379U), Molecular & Cell Biology - Research - 66217
University of California, Berkeley

Date Posted Mar. 14, 2024
Title Executive Director (0379U), Molecular & Cell Biology - Research - 66217
University University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA, United States
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Human Resources

Executive Director (0379U), Molecular & Cell Biology - Research - 66217

About Berkeley

At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.

We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.

At UC Berkeley, we believe that learning is a fundamental part of working, and our goal is for everyone on the Berkeley campus to feel supported and equipped to realize their full potential. We actively support this by providing all of our staff employees with at least 80 hours (10 days) of paid time per year to engage in professional development activities. To find out more about how you can grow your career at UC Berkeley, visit

Departmental Overview

The UC Berkeley Molecular Therapeutics Initiative (MTI) seeks to accelerate campus-wide drug discovery efforts by creating therapeutic modalities that overcome challenges in druggability and address unmet medical need. The MTI aims to bring together campus-wide efforts to take early stage and fundamental discoveries and act as a bridge to advance these efforts into drug discovery programs that can be translated into the clinic. The MTI will reinvent drug discovery at the interface of academia and biotech by building on unique strengths of UC Berkeley: a deep mechanistic understanding of the pathobiology at the heart of disease; the trailblazing nature of UCB science; the collaborative and interdisciplinary research that connects labs in cell, structural and chemical biology, chemistry and data science/AI; and the deep relationships between MTI faculty and the biotech startup world. It will unite geneticists to find and validate new drug targets; cell and structural biologists to reveal the molecular signaling logic of disease; neurobiologists to build organoid model systems; drug hunters to find early lead molecules; and chemists to create induced proximity compounds that deliver a pathological protein to the cellular machinery that can overcome its damaging effect. UC Berkeley has recently created the Innovative Genomics Institute based on pioneering work of Professor Jennifer Doudna to bring gene editing therapies to patients. The MTI seeks to harness pioneering work from UC Berkeley faculty for all other new and emerging therapeutic modalities outside of gene editing for developing next-generation therapeutics that will impact patient lives.

Application Review Date

The First Review Date for this job is: Tuesday, March 26, 2024


The Executive Director will be responsible for formulating the overall scientific vision of the Institute, including research programs and platforms, as well as monitoring its development and execution via multiple assessment strategies and planning tools.

  • Helping to shape the scientific vision of the MTI.
  • Monitoring strategic direction of MTI, impacting all financial support and academic programs, with respect to funding new programs and ongoing oversight of projects to ensure achievement of mission.
  • Ensuring the assessment and success of the MTI and related programs' effectiveness, and recommending changes to programs' content, policies and strategic goals accordingly.
  • Overseeing scientific directions and programs of the MTI and associated collaborations and projects.

The Executive Director will be tasked with conceiving and directing the day-to-day functioning of the MTI, manage the outside collaborations, reporting to the supervising bodies (MTI faculty directors and governing bodies) and expanding the visibility of the Institute.

  • Managing administrative requirements of the MTI.
  • Establishing pharma-academic collaborations.
  • Helping to translate MTI discoveries into the clinic.
  • Serving as a bridge between MTI and venture capital to enable company formation from MTI discoveries.
  • Interfacing with the MTI board of directors.
  • Representing the program to other campus institutes and offices.
  • Representing the MTI to the public.

The Executive Director will manage funds and financial obligations to ensure that personnel, platforms and research programs within MTI remains well supported at all times.

  • Overseeing execution of funded research programs from the MTI.
  • Planning, directing and overseeing program budget(s) and oversees financial, HR, technical and other supporting resources.
  • Ensuring overall compliance of unit operations with UC policies and procedures.
  • Making recommendations and implementing decisions on issues (operational and budget processes, staff FTE, finance, and space planning) that have program-wide impact.
  • Developing, implementing and adhering to policies regarding intellectual property in addition to negotiating and managing IP agreements and contracts of highly significant impact.

The Executive Director will be the main initiator and catalyst for bringing outside funds and grant programs to the MTI, thus promoting steady expansion of its programs and research operations.

  • Bringing together teams of investigators to apply for and manage large funding initiatives (e.g. program project grants, collaborative center grants, etc.).
  • Interfacing with funding agencies, Program Officers and foundations to align the Institute's programs and capabilities to existing and upcoming funding opportunities.
  • Garnering philanthropic funds to support the MTI.

Required Qualifications

  • Academic background and recognized expertise in multiple disciplines of research.
  • Demonstrated expertise with program building within a leading academic institution or pharmaceutical company/biotech/venture capital for handling administrative, budgetary, human resources and financial principles and practices.
  • Expert oral and written communication skills; ability to convey complex concepts to multiple audiences including across scientific researchers, industry, donors, funding agencies, students, the media, and the public.
  • Expert ability to think creatively and independently on concepts requiring advanced analytical skills.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Expert interpersonal skills and ability to work with diverse groups of campus and external partners to achieve results.
  • Expert ability to work collaboratively with a dynamic and diverse group of faculty, staff, employees, students, philanthropists, and industry/venture capital partners.
  • Strong leadership and management skills; expert ability to foster teamwork, collaboration, and achievement of results through others, and to resolve conflicts in the workplace.
  • Ability to work in ambiguous conditions, and develop relationships, systems and processes to advance organizational goals.


  • Doctorate in related area and / or equivalent experience training.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Expert fundraising experience.
  • Experience cultivating relationships with executives and donors to create engagement.
  • Expert negotiation skills.
  • Demonstrated expertise building collaborations between academia, industry and / or governmental agencies, and venture capital.
  • Expert knowledge in program design.
  • Leadership experience in academic or government agencies, in pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, consulting firms, or venture capital.

Salary & Benefits

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University, please visit the University of California's Compensation & Benefits website.

Under California law, the University of California, Berkeley is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role and should not offer a salary outside of the range posted in this job announcement. 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, analysis of internal equity, 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 budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position is $135,000.00 - $226,000.00.

  • This is a 100%, full-time (40 hours per week), career position that is eligible for full UC benefits.
  • This position is exempt and paid monthly.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter.

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California 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, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant, please see the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission poster.

For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, please see the University of California Discrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action in the Workplace policy.

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