Georgia Tech Senior Vice President and GTRI Director

Atlanta, Georgia, United States Full-time

Georgia Tech Senior Vice President and GTRI Director

The Georgia Institute of Technology seeks to fill the position of Senior Vice President and Director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute. The successful candidate will lead a world-class applied research organization and support Georgia Tech’s mission to improve the human condition.

The Opportunity in Brief

      The Georgia Institute of Technology is seeking an experienced senior executive with demonstrated success in leading a major research and development organization that engages in research for both government and industry to serve as a Georgia Tech Senior Vice President for Research and the Director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

      A successful candidate will have served as a senior leader of a major research organization of multiple technical competencies with success in all aspects of leadership, management, and budgeting. Candidates must have a record of demonstrated success in development and execution of strategy, effective and efficient management of operations, substantial interactions with DoD stakeholders, and a track record in organizational transformation in a dynamic environment focused on development and deployment of innovations. Experience in developing strategic relationships with senior leaders of national security sponsors is essential.

      The successful candidate will have a demonstrated record of success in facilitating growth of organizational leaders, equipping them with skills essential to providing national leadership in the areas of strategic interest to the organization. Experience in linking across organizational boundaries to establish leadership in major research and development opportunities will be most important to fulfilling expectations for synergy between GTRI and the broader body of academic research at Georgia Tech.  The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience in creating and implementing a strategy or impactful growth of a previous organization. 

GTRI - The Organization

The Georgia Tech Research Institute is one of the world’s leading applied research and development organizations. GTRI’s world-class scientists and engineers have an 80-year track record solving complex problems, creating capabilities and providing critical solutions for government and industry.

History: Established in 1934 as the Georgia Engineering Experiment Station under charter from the State of Georgia, today GTRI remains an integral unit of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and a trusted research partner to government and industry.

Location: Headquartered on the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta, Georgia with facilities in Huntsville, AL, Washington, DC, Dayton, OH and 17 other US cities.

Employees: Over 2,300, including more than 1,300 full-time research faculty.

Financials: Total awards of $497 million in fiscal year 2018.



Mission: GTRI’s central purpose is to conduct applied research that solves critical challenges for government and industry. The Director will be responsible for meeting this purpose through GTRI’s core research areas which span the following 16 Mission Areas:

  • Aeronautical Systems and Avionics
  • Agriculture and Food Technology
  • Air and Missile Defense
  • Autonomous Systems and Robotics
  • C3 and Multi-Domain Mission Management Systems
  • Cyber Security and Protection
  • Data, Information, and Human-centric Systems
  • Education and Outreach
  • Electronic Warfare
  • Health Systems
  • ISR Systems
  • Materials and Micro-devices
  • Sensor Systems
  • Space Systems
  • Systems Engineering Research and Applications
  • Test and Evaluation Systems and Technologies
  • Threat Systems
  • Undersea Systems

GTRI is a leading technical resource for the Department of Defense and other federal agencies and has a growing business in technological innovation for industry. GTRI’s interdisciplinary expertise produces creative solutions that are principally applied to:

  • National Security and Intelligence
  • Law Enforcement
  • Agriculture
  • Weather, Traffic, and Public Safety
  • Health Care

      Over the course of the last few years, GTRI has grown dramatically. Research funding has grown from $109 million in fiscal year 2006 to $497 million in fiscal year 2018. Additionally, GTRI has also expanded its facilities and currently has researchers operating in 20 different locations throughout the United States.


Georgia Tech 

      GTRI remains an integral element of the research and innovation ecosystem of Georgia Tech. Its research volume represents roughly half of the annual research expenditures at Tech. GTRI's central position within Georgia Tech opens the door to the vast intellectual resources of one of America’s leading research universities. Georgia Tech is located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta and is ranked 35th among national research universities and in the top 10 public research universities by US News & World Report.  Across all of its academic programs, its 32,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 14,000 professional education participants receive a technology-based education rich with applied learning opportunities. All of its undergraduate engineering degree programs are ranked among the top five in the nation.

      Georgia Tech’s research expenditures have grown dramatically over the past decade, with expenditures currently over $900 million. In addition, it has an estimated $2 billion impact on the metro Atlanta economy. Georgia Tech has made significant impact globally with strategic alliances around the world that are key to its mission; research and education partners provide opportunities for students and faculty to immerse themselves in a research abroad or study abroad experience. Georgia Tech has a rich history both inside and outside the classroom. With state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms, the campus is well-equipped to support the academic and research inquiry of the campus community. Georgia Tech has a strategic plan to take the institution forward to its 150th anniversary in 2035, and this plan is located at  For further information on Georgia Tech, please visit the website at

      As an integral part of Georgia Tech, GTRI is the largest employer of co-op students at Georgia Tech.  It provides support annually to over 500 undergraduate and graduate students.  It is an important research partner with academic research in areas spanning cyber security autonomy/robotics, digital media, health information systems, sensors and other electromagnetic application areas, and electronics and advanced materials.  It is the largest collaborator with the College of Engineering in the Vertical Integrated Project (VIP) program, whereby research faculty lead undergraduate student teams on long-term research projects, and it provides extensive support to GT Professional Education via continuing education programs and the professional master’s in systems engineering.   

 The Position

      The Senior Vice President and Director will bring strategic, technical and administrative leadership, as well as planning and direction, to the overall operation of GTRI.

      In this role, the Director reports to the Executive Vice President for Research at Georgia Tech. The new Director will build upon and expand GTRI’s strong partnerships with various Georgia Tech academic divisions and external research organizations.  The SVP and Director will play a leading role in the execution of Georgia Tech’s Concurrent Research Strategy, which seeks to create transformative opportunities by linking discovery to impactful deployment of solutions to major challenges facing government and industry through sustained collaborative relationships. In this regard, GTRI serves as the applied development organization, collaborating with academic departments and the Interdisciplinary Research Institutes. Further information on research strategy can be found at the Research website at


As an Institute Official, the Senior Vice President and Director’s specific responsibilities include:

  • Serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet and work collaboratively with the Institute executive, research, and academic leadership to foster the values, strategies, and priorities of the Institute.
  • Develop the management and leadership acumen throughout the organization needed to ensure success in an environment characterized by constant change, especially within the markets in which GTRI competes.
  • Promote the services and capabilities of GTRI to outside funding sources and initiate contacts with new sources, both government and commercial, to ensure sustained growth and success.
  • Direct the expansion of GTRI’s overall research and development capabilities through promotion of collaboration, interaction and joint activity with Georgia Tech’s academic colleges and schools, as well as internally at GTRI.
  • Be a thought leader in the broader national and global conversations regarding science, technology and engineering.
  • Manage the growth of the GTRI organization and articulate the role of key members within that organization in ways that result in the most efficient use of resources.
  • Formulate and oversee the attainment of strategic goals and objectives for GTRI in areas including management and development of research, human resources development and continuous quality improvement.
  • Ensure GTRI’s ongoing fiscal viability and competitiveness.
  • Provide direct oversight to many operations groups within GTRI that include Research Security, Finances/Research Administration, Talent Management, Information Systems, Enterprise Systems, Facilities/Capital Planning, Machine Shop and Communications.
  • Serve as chief spokesperson to the GTRI External Advisory Council, ensuring their awareness of GTRI’s ongoing efforts and future plans. 
  • Assist the Executive Vice President for Research in articulating a long-term vision and strategically focused program of work to guide the development and execution of research and economic development within the Institute, as outlined in the Georgia Tech Strategic Vision (
  • Promote interdepartmental collaboration, interaction and joint activities with Georgia Tech’s academic colleges, research centers and economic development units.
  • Support Georgia Tech graduate and undergraduate students by facilitating work study opportunities as well as creating and supporting opportunities for academic and research faculty collaboration including the sustainment and development of new professional education programs.


The Person


      The successful candidate will ideally be an accomplished leader with demonstrable success in managing a complex and diverse organization in rapidly changing market sectors and have an excellent track record in mentoring others to develop leadership and management skills in order to assume greater levels of responsibility.  A leadership philosophy with demonstrable experience that blends the servant and adaptive models of leadership is desired.  A central career theme will be leadership in organizations engaged in advanced science and engineering.  This will require a high level of collaboration, empowerment, innovation and interdisciplinary efforts involving complex levels of systems engineering challenges. Organizational leadership and technical process management experience will preferably have been in situations consistent with GTRI’s scope and its diverse, multi-sponsor, multi-disciplinary work.  Success in developing and maintaining key customer and community relationships is crucial. Excellent communication skills are essential for success in this role, both for the leadership and engagement of the GTRI staff and partnership with Georgia Tech and external sponsors.

      The ideal candidate would have extensive personal contacts in relevant federal agencies, with a focus on the Department of Defense, as well as industry and academia. Success in the business elements of research and development – rigorous achievement of cost, schedule and quality milestones – should be evident in the individual’s management experiences. As threats evolve and technologies emerge at an ever-increasing pace, a successful candidate should have the ability and comfort with exploration of and experimentation with disruptive concepts, a willingness to explore effective means to accelerate and mature technologies.  Additionally, a commitment to and an ability to influence adoption of new technical solutions; and experience in organizational effectiveness are anticipated as crucial in the experience base of candidates for this position.

Desired Competencies

Strategic Leadership:

  • Demonstrated experience in formulating a shared vision, establishing strategic objectives and ensuring alignment with enterprise perspective and goals.
  • Understands how those in the external environment plan and operate as well as the implications for GTRI.
  • Demonstrates the ability to anticipate/interpret changes in national/customer/sponsor environment and requirements and quickly shift business strategy and GTRI resources to follow.
  • Successfully takes and manages risks.
  • Effectively motivates and communicates at all levels of the organization.

Management and Execution:

  • Operates with a sense of service to the nation, a wide range of current and potential sponsors, and the Georgia Tech community.
  • Appreciates the benefits of GTRI’s culture of researcher independence, initiative, and empowerment, while leading appropriate change to engage staff in strategic initiatives aligned to GTRI’s vision.
  • Ensures that GTRI operations are conducted in full compliance with Georgia Tech and federal government requirements and policies, consistently setting the essential “tone at the top.”
  • Engages effectively with Georgia Tech leadership in pursuing operational excellence.
  • Communicates effectively to customers/sponsors and staff at all levels in a variety of settings.
  • Manage with an open-door policy and is a visible presence within the organization.
  • Operates consistently with the GTRI core values of integrity, excellence and innovation in carrying out all responsibilities.
  • Demonstrates mature skills in negotiation and conflict resolution.

      Relationship Building:

  • Highly “outwardly directed” -- listens to customers/sponsors to understand their needs; makes their satisfaction a top priority, and builds strategic relationships with them.
  • Understands and executes multi-level interaction with diverse sponsor groups, including customer technical, acquisition, operational leaders, and user/field execution organizations, as appropriate.
  • Interacts with senior executives in government and industry, in line with GTRI’s large stakeholder community in the State of Georgia, US Government, and international research agencies.
  • Innovates and encourages team creativity regarding development of new non-government sources of sponsorship and partnership.
  • Conveys presence that commands attention, respect and confidence and achieves influence and impact, both internal and external.
  • Models behaviors s/he expects from others and reflects GTRI and its culture and values, especially regarding individual initiative and empowerment.
  • Encourages individuals and team members to respect differences in other’s culture, race, gender, age, background, and experience.
  • Appreciates, values, and fosters depth and breadth of positive relationships across the overall Georgia Tech community.

Domain Expertise:

  • Experience in one or more technical areas relevant to GTRI, particularly relating to national security.
  • Experienced with leadership and oversight of complex systems engineering projects.
  • Is particularly attuned to sponsor needs that involve highly complex, integrated systems, with extensive hardware/software integration.
  • In the current global technology environment, connects GTRI’s government sponsors to leading technologies that have been created and developed in the commercial sector.
  • Understands and promotes commercial innovation models, and connects GTRI to the needs of commercial industry and small business communities.
  • Understands key sponsor missions, needs, challenges, constraints, and partnership opportunities and risks.
  • Fosters inclusion of colleagues, organizations and third parties to collaborate with GTRI in addressing new and different sponsor needs and requirements.
  • Has an awareness of government contracting mechanisms and processes related to University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs) and rules and regulations under the Federal Acquisition Requirements (FAR), particularly FAR 31.2


Staff Development:

  • Has proven success in promoting and building a diverse community, and shares Georgia Tech’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion of under-represented groups on campus and in the technology workforce.
  • Brings to GTRI a seasoned model and philosophy of research and organizational management.
  • Reinforces and promotes the development of leadership, technical talent, and strategic business development across the organization with special attention to the creation and nurturing of a cadre of leaders able to grow into top leadership roles at GTRI.
  • Strong listening skills, ability to collaborate and empower, and a team-building approach to management.

Personal Characteristics

      GTRI’s new Senior Vice President and Director will have a passion for leading GTRI as a world-recognized research organization.  Communication effectiveness and a willingness to connect with people inside and outside the organization are important.   Belief in the power of teams over individual accomplishment is paramount.

Educational Background

      An advanced degree in engineering, science or other relevant areas is required with a strong preference for a doctoral degree.

Security Clearance

      Must be a U.S. citizen, who currently has a TS/SCI or previously held a TS/SCI clearance, as well as other specialized security clearances.

Nominations & Applications

Application materials, which include: 1) a vision statement, 2) a curriculum vitae/resume, and 3) the names and contact information for three references should be submitted at:

While applications and nominations will be received until the Senior Vice President and Director is selected, interested parties are encouraged to respond by February 15, 2019, to assure optimal consideration. All inquiries and correspondence should be directed in confidence to the search committee human resource representative:  Sheila Garza, Director, Talent Management, GTRI,

 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