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Job ID: 221421

Managing Director, Food is Medicine Institute
Tufts University

Date Posted Sep. 15, 2023
Title Managing Director, Food is Medicine Institute
University Tufts University
Medford, MA, United States
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Research


The Food is Medicine Institute is a new, cross-university collaborative effort at Tufts, bringing together faculty from the Friedman School, Tufts University School of Medicine, Tufts Medicine, and other local and national partners to advance research, training, patient care, and community engagement around food is medicine (FIM). FIM is a set of food-based nutrition programs and interventions integrated into the health care system to advance specific health needs and health equity in different populations.


Tufts is already the leading academic institution globally for advancing FIM.  Information on some of the FIM activities at Tufts is here: This new, first-of-its-kind Institute will lead the nation in collaborative, high impact efforts to transform healthcare by integrating high-value food-based nutritional interventions and related programs as therapeutic and preventive interventions.  The Institute’s activities will include research and translation, clinical care pathways and implementation, education and training, and community outreach and policy development around FIM.  Through these activities, the Institute will serve as a catalyst to drive change, improve health, reduce health disparities, and create a more equitable and resilient healthcare system that recognizes the power of food as medicine.

What You'll Do

This is a grant funded and 4 year limited term position.


The Managing Director at the Food is Medicine Institute will work closely with the Director, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, core faculty, and staff at the Institute to manage the complexity of its operations, help guide and ensure successful implementation of its goals, and drive its growth in scope, activities, funding, and partners. This individual will report directly to the Director, who reports to the University Provost. The efforts and responsibilities of the Managing Director are expected to grow and evolve over time as appropriate to implement and manage the activities of this new, multi-disciplinary Institute. The Managing Director will be expected to have a solid understanding of the scientific principles driving the Institute’s mission and the national landscape around FIM in order to provide strategic planning and management assistance to the Director. The Managing Director will also serve as one of the public faces of the Institute, in particular as a key Institute liaison with current and potential future partners and funders, as well as speaking to media as relevant. This individual will help develop and manage the Institute’s operational policies and procedures to ensure the successful implementation of the Institute’s mission, aims, and tactics. This includes oversight of operations toward milestones, and oversight of effective collaborations among multiple constituents including but not limited to faculty, staff, and students; university schools and central administration; healthcare, foundation, community, and private sector stakeholders; and vendors and consultants.


Principal Duties and Essential Functions


  • Formulate strategic direction and future success metrics in collaboration with the Institute Director, core faculty, and other key stakeholders. This includes plans to grow the Institute, meet specific short- and long-range goals, and acquire new funding for projects.
  • Identify, create, and nurture strategic partnerships with a range of stakeholders, including partners in healthcare, nonprofits, community-based organizations, private sector, and government.
  • Shape and implement an operations plan to support the Institute’s strategic directions, as well as future opportunities for growth.
  • Promote recruitment, retention, and career growth of key personnel to support the Institute goals. 
  • Manage and ensure a diverse, high functioning, collaborative staff, with potential positions including but not limited to a Director of Clinical Trials, Manager of Research and Content Development (including grant writing), Director of Policy Strategy and Operations, Communications Liaison, and Program Coordinators.
  • Develop and implement a clear strategy to advance diversity, equity, and inclusiveness within the Institute and in its external activities and achievements.
  • Formulate and facilitate behaviors, activities, and strategies across the Institute that advance a collaborative, collegial, respectful, and welcoming workplace.
  • Oversee the efficient and effective day-to-day research development and operations of the Institute by maintaining regular oversight and communication with all participants to ensure continued progress along the Institute milestones and provide regular actionable reports to the Director. Organize and supervise action on key objectives from team meetings.
  • Development of an Institute business plan to provide financial sustainability and growth.
  • Oversee the Institute budget by establishing and implementing spending priorities in consultation with the Director.  Track budget in collaboration with Tufts University. Ensure fiscal compliance with Tufts policies and ensure budget remains consistent with projections.
  • Create and advance a plan, in collaboration with the Director, core faculty, and relevant central university staff for new funding opportunities that meet the Institute’s focus areas through grant proposals, gifts, and other sources of external funding.
  • Seek and help to oversee submissions of grants for core faculty to expand funding portfolio, targeting government sources, foundations, and industry partners, in collaboration with the sponsored research staff and advancement staff of the Friedman School, School of Medicine, and other relevant units.
  • Supervise projects and associated project coordinators for core faculty members to facilitate timely completion of aims and milestones.
  • Develop and implement a media and communications strategy for the Institute and its activities, in collaboration with school unit and central university communications, external partners, and potential consultants.
  • Identify, assess and inform the Director, core faculty and its various stakeholders of internal and external issues that affect the operations or technology development at the Institute. Stay apprised of developments in the field and availability of new resources that may expand research and other opportunities.
  • Lead and oversee analysis of current scientific literature to help identify new technologies, data, and human expertise that could impact aspects of the strategic plan. Bring new ideas and potential collaborations to the attention of the Director. Catalyze the launch of new initiatives.
  • Work closely with appropriate University administration to maintain accountability for directing the information and data integrity of the Institute, its faculty groups, and all their Information Technology functions.
  • Generate performance metrics and reports for the University. Track and communicate metrics such as publications, grants, conference presentations, media reach, policy influence, awards, etc.
  • Direct efforts related to business development, identifying and cultivating new funding sources and private sector relationships worldwide including design and execution of marketing and public relations activities, and speaking in public forums on behalf of the Institute.
  • Represent the Institute externally with partner organizations. Occasionally give lectures on the Institute research and results to audiences of varying scientific fluency. Highlight the Institute’s mission and support government actions by working with national policy associations.

What We're Looking For

Basic Requirements:

  • Knowledge and skills as typically acquired by a graduate degree in science, public health, or healthcare related fields
  • At least 5 years of demonstrated significant experience and success in managing an academic research center or consortium, or similar research, public health, or community group focused on translational research and activities
  • A passion for advancing nutrition, public health, and health equity through Food is Medicine approaches and a personal career commitment to making the world a better place for all
  • A leader who excels in building high level strategic alliances, trusted relationships, and cross-functional team collaborations, successfully driving growth
  • Entrepreneurially minded and dynamic
  • Direct experience with managing executive relationships, strategic planning, business negotiations, strategic alliances, marketing, project management, and coaching and mentoring
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills, with an emphasis on synthesizing work products from multiple teams and facilitating interaction and accountability
  • Excellent interpersonal, listening, and collaboration abilities, especially in linking scientific vision to resource allocation and administrative operations
  • Demonstrated success at identifying and advancing specific strategies to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and across external activities
  • Demonstrated abilities and skills to formulate and implement a collaborative vision for the strategic direction of an organization, engage and win the support of various stakeholders and constituencies, and energize and integrate multidisciplinary groups with diverse priorities

Preferred Qualifications:

  • MD or PhD
  • 10 years of demonstrated significant experience and success in managing an academic research center or consortium, or similar research, public health, or community group focused on translational research and activities. Experience and/or a degree in business administration would be a plus.
  • Experience and/or a degree in business administration
  • Management experience in a results-focused, research and development start-up organization (academic or private sector)


Pay Range

Minimum $149,800.00, Midpoint $187,250.00, Maximum $224,700.00

Salary is based on related experience, expertise, and internal equity; generally, new hires can expect pay between the minimum and midpoint of the range.

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