The Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) invite inquiries, nominations and expressions of interest for the position of President of the Desert Research Institute (DRI). DRI’s next President will be a distinguished, collaborative and entrepreneurial scientific leader who can advance the organization, increase its financial independence and promote its mission to excel in fundamental and applied research in the atmosphere, earth, water and biology to improve people’s lives and the environment throughout Nevada, the United States and the world.
This is a compelling opportunity for a motivated individual to lead a research enterprise that advances environmental study, technological development, science education, and policies that impact the long term sustainability of the planet. Created in 1959 and with campuses in Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada, DRI is comprised of over 500 employees, which includes approximately 150 principal investigators who conduct research and development in more than 40 scientific fields. Its annual operating budget of $50 million is funded through contracts and grants from the government, industry partnerships, state appropriations, investment income, and private philanthropy. DRI faculty members also teach courses and advise students at universities and colleges throughout the Nevada System of Higher Education.
DRI’s faculty investigators are non-tenured, entrepreneurial and responsible for their own salaries from external grants and contracts. This blend of academic rigor and private-sector pragmatism has earned DRI a reputation for delivering rapid, high quality environmental science in a businesslike fashion. Through its research on the effects of natural and human-induced environmental change and on advancing environmental technologies to assess our changing planet, DRI researchers increase scientific knowledge and understanding of the earth's environment, promoting preservation of diverse ecosystems, advancing responsible resource management, and improving human health and welfare.
As the chief executive officer, DRI’s next President will be responsible for creating a shared vision while providing executive leadership and scientific direction. Reporting to the NSHE Chancellor and Board of Regents, the President has overall responsibility for the management and operation of the Institute and serves as the principal spokesperson and advocate to engage external constituencies, industry partners, and private donors to invest in DRI and its mission. She or he also promotes collaborations and represents the interests of DRI regionally, nationally and internationally.
Although a Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree from an accredited institution in a related environmental discipline is preferred, the NSHE Regents will consider innovative leaders who possess knowledge of the environmental sciences as well as a record of advancing scientific and technological initiatives, research and education. The successful candidate must be a United States citizen and have demonstrated achievements in fundraising, leading on a broad intellectual front and developing important programs or initiatives in the environmental or related sciences and engineering. DRI’s next President will be forward thinking and able to promote science and service priorities within funding opportunities and organizational capabilities. He or she will have a track record of successful leadership of a complex research organization and possess both the interpersonal and managerial skills necessary to build and operate an effective enterprise. The President will have evidence of a strong commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion in the environmental and related sciences community and will have demonstrated the highest level of integrity and ethical standards. Compensation will be based upon qualifications and experience. Additional information about DRI and the leadership profile can be found at http://www.dri.edu/dri-Presidential-search.
Nominations and expressions of interest, including a CV and cover letter describing professional background and qualifications, can be sent in confidence to DRI-President@wittkieffer.com. Questions can also be directed to the above email address or by telephone (630-575-6936) to the search consultants assisting DRI: Brian Bloomfield and Zach Smith, Ph.D. The position will remain open until filled, but for initial consideration materials should be received by November 4th, 2016. The recruitment will be conducted in confidence until finalists’ names are presented in the final interview agenda.
DRI is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer. Individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.