Director, Licensing & Strategic Alliances for Physical Sciences – Stanford University

Please note: this job has already been filled by Gardner Innovation Search Partners.

The Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) at Stanford University was established in 1970 to manage the intellectual property assets of Stanford University. OTL evaluates, markets, and licenses technology owned by the University. OTL’s mission is to encourage effective technology transfer for the public benefit as well as generating royalty income for Stanford to benefit research and education. OTL is one of the country’s most active offices in the field of technology transfer from the university to industry. Their staff, most of whom are professionals engaged directly in licensing, manages over 3,000 active dockets.


Director, Licensing and Strategic Alliances for Physical Sciences Job Duties:

The Director for Licensing and Strategic Alliances for Physical Sciences provides strategic direction, cross-functional coordination, and oversight for a large intellectual property (IP) portfolio and high-visibility, high-value strategic industry and non-profit collaborations and alliances, to achieve the goals and objectives of Stanford and OTL senior leadership. Responsibilities include life cycle management of major strategic alliance programs and management of protection and licensing of a large portfolio of physical science and engineering IP assets, staff training and management, intra- and cross-unit stakeholder coordination, contractual and IP risk mitigation, and serving as the team lead during negotiation, drafting and implementation of strategic alliance agreements.

 Core Duties:

  • Oversee the management of areas of responsibility. Direct staff and provide leadership to achieve goals and vision of the organization. Responsible for hiring and retaining staff, career coaching, personal development for direct reports and accountable for the performance of employees.
    • Provide leadership and direction to licensing staff and guidance to industrial contracts staff to foster successful strategic alliance outcomes. Accountable for the performance of the strategic alliance negotiation teams.
  • Provide strategic direction for multiple areas of business; create strategic plans of considerable complexity and scope; set long range direction and make high level decisions; propose and manage the implementation of complex and significant programmatic change; establish policies as needed.
  • Make decisions for programs that provide critical support services for the University’s mission of teaching and research. Oversee allocation of all resources.
  • Set the direction of an organization and direct the policy development and implementation of administrative operations and workforce planning.
  • Evaluate the performance of the organization and develop plans accordingly. Responsible for the financial viability and success of the organization. Responsible for committing University resources with limited review by senior management.
  • Advise executive management on programmatic and policy development. Negotiate and influence university leaders on issues that have university-wide impact.
  • Champion major initiatives lead complex, high-visibility process redesign and innovation projects; develop and implement initiatives.

 Specific job responsibilities include:

  • Identify and resolve strategic issues that could have significant financial or reputational impact for Stanford and its researchers and are critical to overall functioning beyond the immediate unit; advise and consult with Executive Director.
  • Oversee the physical science strategic alliance program and complete life cycle of a large portfolio of high visibility and complex industry and non-profit strategic alliances and resulting IP assets, including development and implementation of strategies for: deal structure; contract negotiation; protection, marketing and licensing of IP assets; and financial oversight of the portfolio.
  • Mitigate IP, legal and reputational risks by developing and implementing a pre-award due diligence process to track and manage background IP and legal obligations for alliance research proposals submitted by Stanford faculty; maintain an overview of scientific directions of alliance research projects to avoid conflicting legal obligations.
  • Monitor alliance and license agreements for compliance with financial, diligent performance and other contractual terms and conditions.
  • Develop and maintain positive and effective relationships with deans, department chairs, faculty, and senior campus administrators; outside patent counsel; and executives and legal counsel of external entities.
  • As part of the OTL Executive Management Team, collaborate with other Team members to ensure that consistency in research alliance and licensing terms is maintained across the organization.
  • Advise Executive Director on programmatic and policy development to ensure successful research alliances and licensee relationships, including related contracting and licensing activities. May provide input to university leadership on institutional administrative policies and guidelines.
  • Coordinate with the Office of Sponsored Research, Office of Development and other OTL staff to ensure ancillary research agreements required for successful functioning of alliances are negotiated and executed in a timely manner.
  • Network with executives in industry, and peers in academic institutions and licensing associations to develop relationships and gain a broader understanding of industry-academic relationships outside of Stanford. Promote Stanford and best practices in presentations at industry and academic research conferences and technology transfer conferences.
  • Other duties as may be assigned.

Target Salary: $250,000

Here is the Stanford University Director, Licensing & Strategic Alliances for Physical Sciences Position Specification with further details.

Director, Licensing & Strategic Alliances for Physical Sciences Qualifications

Education & Experience Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree and ten years of relevant experience, or combination of education and relevant experience. Advanced degree in physical sciences, engineering or related discipline strongly preferred.

Strongly Preferred Experience:

  • 10+ years of business development, alliance management, licensing or other relevant experience related to development and commercialization of early-stage technologies.
  • 5+ years of experience recruiting, training and managing a team of professional business development, alliance management or licensing staff.
  • Successful track record of both solo and team-based strategic alliance or licensing deal negotiations involving partners that include both small and large global companies and deal sizes of at least $10M. 

 Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated strategic leadership, planning and change management skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. Advanced financial expertise in budget planning and financial forecasting.
  • Exceptional interpersonal, negotiation and political acumen skills. Able to influence people, solve problems, trouble shoot, think creatively, and resolve conflicts.
  • Strong knowledge of industry standards, trends and/or regulatory requirements.
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, written and presentation skills, including demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate effectively across multiple units of an organization.
  • Advanced leadership skills, political acumen, and demonstrated ability to develop and execute organizational vision.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently exercise sound judgement and decision making, including ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative and effective solutions.
  • Solid record of substantial achievement in technology transfer and the application of intellectual property principles, preferably as they impact institutions of higher education.
  • Exceptional customer relationship skills, consensus building skills and proven ability to cultivate and maintain strong collaborative relationships with faculty, build professional business relationships, and represent the university externally.
  • Proven ability to influence, negotiate with and professionally interact with internal constituencies, external business partners and senior leadership.
  • Proven ability to strategically manage personnel and other resources, and effectively prioritize and manage multiple time-sensitive and complex projects from inception to timely completion.
  • Demonstrated expertise and advanced knowledge of contract and IP laws, University policies, relevant industry trends and related government regulatory requirements.
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office Suite and ability to learn applicable business systems. Highly proficient working with IP data information systems, typical academic policies and standard operating procedures while performing the core responsibilities of technology transfer.

Director, Licensing & Strategic Alliances for Physical Sciences Applicants

Stanford University has exclusively retained Gardner Innovation Search Partners to manage this search. Gardner Innovation Search Partners is the top technology transfer recruiter in the world, and is committed to presenting a diverse slate of candidates who possess the skills, expertise, and enthusiasm to thrive in this role.

Interested applicants should send their resume and any questions to:

Lisa Rooney, Recruiter
(740) 251-7390

Gardner Innovation Search Partners is committed to diversity in both people and ideas. Read more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion.