Executive Director, Renewable Bioproducts Institute

Atlanta, Georgia, United States Full-time

The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) seeks to fill the Executive Director position within its Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI).  RBI works across all of Georgia Tech, catalyzing the community to deliver innovation in bio-derived research and translation into products. RBI has a long history in the pulp and paper industry, and focuses on building the bioeconomy by converting biomass into value-added products, developing advanced chemical and bio‐based refining technologies, exploring new applications for lignocellulosic-based materials, and advancing excellence in manufacturing processes. The Institute leverages capabilities across Georgia Tech to bring sophisticated resources and multidisciplinary expertise to partners with renewable materials and product development needs. In addition, the Institute works to leverage its strong historical relationship with the pulp and paper industry to develop substantive new partnerships with relevant organizations, including the federal government. The RBI has significant resources to execute this mission, possessing the largest endowment in the country to support graduate student research. 

Even as the traditional pulp and paper industry is undergoing significant changes, significant new opportunities are emerging for bio-derived products in terms of science and applications.  The successful candidate will understand this industry context and legacy, while also envisioning future opportunities and articulating a compelling vision for how to leverage Georgia Tech’s strengths to address grand challenges.    


The Executive Director leads and administers the Renewable Bioproducts Institute, advancing research leadership by partnering, connecting and promoting collaborations among faculty, other Georgia Tech organizations, and external entities.  S/he will be responsible for mentoring, developing, and stewarding RBI’s overall strategic direction, key initiatives, and human resources.   

The Executive Director builds the research portfolio of Georgia Tech by promoting research engagement with companies, government agencies, and other entities within Georgia Tech.  They work with faculty to develop research collaborations and initiatives; proactively prepares campus for and coordinates preparation of major research grant applications; builds communities of interest across campus on relevant topics; and otherwise attracts research partners to Georgia Tech.    

The Executive Director coordinates the graduate‐level Paper Science and Engineering (PSE) minor offered through four participating Schools.  Student enrollment and successful pursuit of this minor is a requirement for MS or PhD fellowship funding by the RBI Endowment, the distribution of which is managed by the Executive Director.  The Executive Director provides advice and counsel to the Academic Director of the online Master’s in Manufacturing Leadership degree program regarding the forest bioproducts concentration.  

Skills & Expertise  

The successful candidate will be an energetic, innovative, and entrepreneurial leader, with a strong marketing mindset.  S/he will be a dynamic oral and written communicator, and a visionary with capability to formulate goals and execute a strategic plan. Organizational agility is desired, both in terms of program management and program change management, as is evidence of prior experience in conducting research across multiple disciplines and building networks and consortia within a research institution. The candidate should have experience in developing and maintaining a vibrant R&D program in areas related to the RBI mission.  The candidate must be able to build and expand relationships with federal and industry partners, and to manage a strategic research agenda and related financial responsibilities.  


The successful candidate will preferably have an earned PhD in a related field, such as engineering or chemistry.  Applicants should currently hold an academic or research faculty position at Georgia Tech.   The candidate must demonstrate broad technical competence and have related research and/or academic faculty experience.  Direct or collaborative experience with a related manufacturing industry is attractive, as is experience in attracting external funding and prior leadership experience. 

Reporting Relationship  

RBI reports centrally through the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research.  

Nominations and Applications

Complete applications, including cover letter, curriculum vitae, and 5 letters of reference should be submitted at https://georgiatech.recruiterbox.com/jobs/fk03xew.  While applications and nominations will be received until the Executive Director is selected, interested parties are encouraged to respond by October 17, 2019, to assure full consideration.

We anticipate that campus interviews will take place the week of October 31-November 1, so prospects are encouraged to hold those dates open.  These interviews will consist of a 1 hour, “town hall” style open presentation, followed by a 90 minute interview with the search committee.

Georgia Tech is an Equal Education/Employment Opportunity Institution and offers a dynamic academic environment with competitive salary and benefits. The selection process will include successful completion of a pre-employment background screening. Georgia Tech is building a culturally diverse faculty and strongly encourages applications from female and under-represented candidates. For more information about Georgia Tech, please visit http://www.gatech.edu.