Managing Director, Wu Tsai Institute (Yale)

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina's picture


The Wu Tsai Institute is a major new initiative at Yale University with the mission to understand human cognition — how we perceive, think, remember, and decide — through neuroscience and data science. This cross-cutting, University-wide effort will launch and manage a range of academic programs including endowed faculty chairs, postdoctoral fellowships, graduate student positions, undergraduate student internships, innovation grants, academic and industry partnerships, lecture series, and conferences/workshops. The research catalyzed by these programs will be pursued across three new academic Centers, dedicated to Neurodevelopment and Plasticity, Neurocognition and Behavior, and Neurocomputation and Machine Intelligence, funded to offer cutting-edge scientific programming, core facilities, equipment, and services. The Institute represents a key strategic investment by the University in neuroscience as a top science priority, bringing together researchers, departments, and schools from across Yale in new alignments at a new home in 100 College Street in New Haven.

The Managing Director of the Wu Tsai Institute reports to the Institute Director and is responsible for overseeing the operations of the Institute. As the staff head of the organization, they will develop and implement strategic plans; design, run and evaluate programs; organize seminars, workshops and retreats; identify and recruit world-class faculty and staff; and allocate and track considerable resources. With proven and resourceful leadership, the Managing Director will coordinate the Executive Committee of faculty leaders, the Steering Committee of University stakeholders, and the External Advisory Board of thought leaders in science and industry. The Managing Director will be the face of the Institute, representing the research and its societal impact through regular outreach to University constituencies, the local community, and the broader field. They will be responsible for regular reporting and oversight, including donor relations and stewardship. Supported by the faculty serving as Institute Director and Associate Directors (one per Center) and supervising administrative and scientific staff, this position presents an outstanding opportunity for executive leadership of a visionary and dynamic organization tackling one of the greatest scientific mysteries.

Essential Duties

1. Partner with the Institute Director and Center Directors to develop and execute strategic plans and goals. 2. Develop and implement programs and activities related to the mission of the Institute. 3. Support the recruitment, onboarding, retention, and space needs of faculty, staff, and students. 4. Work with Institute Director and Lead Administrator on annual budgeting process, monitor revenue and major expenditures. 5. Provide infrastructure for the research activities of the Centers via space planning, budgeting, grant writing, and staffing. 6. Represent the Institute within Yale, in the community, at scientific conferences, with donors and alumni, with government agencies and foundations, and in the media. 7. Serve as a bridge between affiliated members, faculty leadership, department chairs, school deans, and other high-level administrators. 8. Supervise exempt and non-exempt staff, including working with HR and conducting annual performance reviews. 9. Participate in fundraising efforts, donor relations, and stewardship reporting, in conjunction with the Institute Director and Office of Development. 10. Perform other duties related to the operations of the Institute.

Required Education and Experience

PhD in neuroscience, biology, psychology, data science, computer science, or related field. Five years of post-PhD academic or work experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Required Skill/Ability 1:

Demonstrated evidence of being a hard-working and passionate leader. Demonstrated change and operational management skills, including supervision and professional development of staff and financial and budgetary oversight of a center, department, division, or institute.

Required Skill/Ability 2:

Demonstrated ability to respectfully engage and inspire constituents at all levels, including faculty, students, staff, alumni, and donors. Demonstrated commitment to diversity and equity. Comfort with working unusual hours including events outside of business hours.

Required Skill/Ability 3:

Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills with a team player mentality. Discreet and effective at representing the Institute and faculty leaders in sensitive and high-level interactions with internal and external stakeholders. Excellent written, graphic, and oral communication and presentation skills.

Required Skill/Ability 4:

Demonstrated proficiency in working through organizational channels to manage fundraising and budgeting efforts, including but not limited to grant writing, donor relations, stewardship, partnering with development function, and external communications.

Required Skill/Ability 5:

Demonstrated commitment to data-driven decision-making and self-evaluation, including measuring programmatic outcomes and the Institute’s impact and success using qualitative and quantitative feedback.

Preferred Education, Experience, and Skills:

Leadership experience in an advanced higher education setting or other research-intensive organization, including technology or healthcare company, scientific publisher, or government agency. Understanding of structures and policies of a leading research university, for example, as related to faculty hiring, funding models, laboratory science, and consensus-based decision-making.