Executive Director, IP Exchange – Auburn University

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

The IP Exchange at Auburn University connects university research with the commercial marketplace. They help researchers protect their intellectual property in the marketplace and help users leverage that technology across multiple industries.

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The IPX Team has decades of experience in translating technology to industry, from working with researchers and faculty to patent lawyers and entrepreneurs.

Between FY 2014 and FY 2020, Auburn received:

  • 452 invention disclosures
  • 115 US patents issued
  • Executed 101 exclusive license and option agreements
  • Formed 13 start-up companies
  • Received over $11,700,000 in licensing revenue

Executive Director, IP Exchange Job Duties

The Executive Director, IP Exchange provides senior level direction, management, administrative and fiscal oversight for the Intellectual Property Exchange (IPX) in support of Auburn University research and economic development programs. They will also serve as chief advocate for intellectual property and technology commercialization at Auburn University.

Essential Functions Include:

  1. Provides overall management and proactive direction for the Intellectual Property Exchange to include providing leadership, development, and implementation of plans, establishment of priorities for technology commercialization initiatives, and administrative and fiscal oversight.
  2. Provides day-to-day guidance to staff and makes balanced decisions that ensure the positive reputation of the University.
  3. Provides advice and counsel to the Senior Vice President of Research and Economic Development on strategic and operational issues as well as critical policy issues, related to technology commercialization and intellectual property protection and administration.
  4. Recommends and implements new administrative concepts, systems, technologies, and programs designed to benefit technology commercialization and industry funded research, and to advance a University culture of innovation and collaboration. Provides operational standards for the agreements negotiated by the office and works to ensure that agreements are fair to all stakeholders represented by the IPX.
  5. Strengthens and supports faculty across the institution in the commercialization of research. Regularly communicates with University senior administration, deans and department chairs on the progress of technologies arising from development efforts at the University.
  6. Advises University administration, faculty, staff, and students on intellectual property, technology development, and commercialization.
  7. Participates in local, regional, and national organizations, conferences, committees, and panels to enhance the image and reputation of Auburn University.

Position Details

Job position specifications & more info

Executive Director, IP Exchange Qualifications

To excel in this position, candidates must have:

Education & Experience

  • Master’s Degree in Business, Law, Engineering, Physical or Life Sciences.
  • 10 years or more of demonstrated experience in technology transfer, business development, intellectual property management, and related activities.
  • Experience working with diverse stakeholders.
  • Experience and strong technical competence negotiating deal terms, complex and standard, including an understanding of both industry and startup perspectives and needs.
  • Research administration experience; contracts experience, including drafting of complex agreements.
  • General knowledge of University policies related to accounting principles and financial management, academic personnel, the appropriate use of University facilities, sales and services activities, research regulatory compliance requirements, stewardship responsibilities, use of human and animal subjects, intellectual property, appropriate Facilities and Administrative rates, publication rights, conflicts of interests, etc.

Minimum Required Knowledge

  • Knowledge of industry sponsored research, intellectual property management, and technology transfer in a complex organizational context
  • Knowledge of evolving issues related to patent and other intellectual property
  • Knowledge of contract drafting and negotiation practices; knowledge of licensing practices
  • Working knowledge of startup funding deal terms as well as equity and shareholder agreements
  • Knowledge of risk management and conflict of interest issues related to technology commercialization; knowledge of state, federal and industry contract guidelines, procedures and laws as they pertain to university research and the intellectual property developed from research and intellectual property protection procedures
  • Knowledge of patent administration and Bayh-Dole compliance requirements
  • General understanding of business including startups, venture capital, equity, etc.


  • The salary for this role is $200,000-$250,000, commensurate with experience.

Executive Director, IP Exchange Applicants

Interested in Applying?

Auburn 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 along with any questions to:

Lisa Rooney, Recruiter
(740) 251-7390

Glen Gardner, Recruiter
(614) 354-8400

Tom Sweetman, Recruiter
(614) 563-2389

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