Career Opportunities

Chief Executive Officer

Posted on: Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Organization: Empire Discovery Institute (EDI)
Location: Rochester, NY

The Empire Discovery Institute (EDI) invites applications and nominations for the position of Chief Executive Officer.  Announced by Governor Cuomo in May 2018 , EDI  represents a $47 million not-for profit drug discovery and development collaborative formed between three premiere Upstate New York academic, research, and clinical institutions—the University of Rochester, the University at Buffalo, and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center—to advance drug discovery throughout New York State.  EDI will harness New York's wealth of academic capital and provide resources and expertise needed to convert groundbreaking discoveries in the lab into life-changing treatments and medicines. 

EDI is seeking a highly enthusiastic, entrepreneurial leader to build a new drug discovery company unrivaled within New York State.  This visionary candidate will work with the EDI Board, its partner institutions, NYS health care companies, venture capital firms, NewYorkBIO, MedTech, and the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institution (Tri-TDI) to transform New York State into an unparalleled life science hub.  This unified hub will advance life-saving science to patients and serve as a catalyst for new jobs, new companies and new industry-academic drug discovery collaboration opportunities in Upstate New York and throughout the state. 

The Empire Discovery Institute (EDI) is a key component of the larger NYS life sciences initiative.  In the FY 2018 budget, New York State enacted a $620 million initiative to spur the growth of a world-class life science research cluster in New York, as well as expand the state's ability to commercialize this research and grow the economy.

This multi-faceted initiative includes $100 million to expand the Excelsior Jobs Program Tax Credit to the life sciences industry, $100 million for a life sciences research and development refundable tax credit program, and $320 million in other forms of investment.  This includes state capital grants to support the development of wet-lab and innovation space, operating support and investment capital for early stage life science companies that leverages an additional match of at least $100 million from the private sector.

The Life Science sector encompasses the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, life systems technologies, and includes organizations and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts to the various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialization.  Every day, firms in this sector are developing new medical and pharmaceutical breakthroughs that have the potential to save lives, whether through new therapies or the early detection of diseases like autism and cancer.  These firms are also making significant advancements in the realms of agriculture and environmental biotechnologies, helping create a cleaner and more sustainable future.

By strengthening incentives, investing in the facilities, and improving access to talent and expertise, New York will significantly increase its share of industry-funded research and development, support the commercialization of existing academic research, and usher in the next generation of advanced technologies. Beyond the advancements in science, this initiative will position New York as a magnet for emerging manufacturing- based enterprises, bolstering regional economies and creating thousands of jobs.

The Position

At the direction of the EDI Board comprised of representatives from the University of Rochester, University at Buffalo, and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, the CEO will have primary responsibility for the operating performance of the EDI.  The duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Develop and implement EDI’s strategic plan.
  • Plan, direct and administer the operations of EDI.
  • Recruit and manage EDI’s senior leadership team.
  • Build relationships to allow outsourcing of key functions associated with the drug development process with a priority on outsourcing to NYS based firms.
  • Develop and manage a network of innovative external scientific partnerships to identify and prioritize first-in-class therapeutic concepts, establish project value propositions and implement scientific differentiation and pharmacology studies to support portfolio decision-making.
  • Responsible for growth, prioritization, and sustenance of a robust pipeline that includes: identification and validation of new targets and assets through internal and external collaborations, and through commercial licensing and acquisition deals.
  • Develop and sustain effective collaborations with related organizations to include pharmaceutical and biologics companies and with venture capital firms to expedite the process of bringing new therapeutics to patients.
  • Serve as an active leader and partner with the Board in efforts to secure ongoing funding for EDI through Empire State Development as well as private sector pharmaceutical, biotech and venture capital firms.
  • Support the establishment and development of life science companies in New York State, and especially in Upstate New York.
  • Insure compliance with legal, regulatory and other laws and regulations application to the operations of the Institute.
  • Provide timely and complete reporting to the EDI Board.



Preferred Skills & Knowledge

  • PhD degree or higher in science and/or related medical field.
  • 10-15+ years’ experience within the pharmaceutical and/or biotech industry, including experience with multiple therapy areas/ modalities and program development from lead ID to early clinical development.
  • An extensive network of connections with leading investigators in the global science field actively supporting open exchange of expert opinions and visions of technology.
  • Demonstrated management and leadership skills, expertise in the drug development and commercialization process, strategic thinking abilities, and strong oral and written communication skills.  
  • Strong problem-solving skills and sound judgment to accelerate strategic and project decision-making and evidence for successful cross-disciplinary stakeholder negotiation to drive portfolio and project results.
  • A demonstrated passion to translate research into pathway and target identification and validation.
  • Able to work effectively with diverse groups of people, the capacity to listen, and the ability to gain trust and inspire others to further the Institute’s mission and priorities.
  • Comfortable prioritizing, delegating and overseeing a complex organizational environment that includes collaborating with multiple academic research institutions, corporate partners, venture capital firms, and governmental agencies.
  • Capable of independently assuming project and licensing evaluation leadership roles to define and achieve team objectives and successfully generate organizational alignment in a timely manner, while simultaneously setting and directing the portfolio priorities.
  • Fiscally responsible and able to lead decision-making in enterprise resource planning, finance, project management, and outsourced CRO relationships.

To apply, click the "Apply Now" link below, select "All other openings" and search posting number 211305.

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