Duke University Executive Director, Office of Licensing & Ventures

The Vortechs Group has been exclusively retained by Duke University in its search for an Executive Director of its Office of Licensing & Ventures.

This unique opportunity at one of the nation’s top research institutions requires a dynamic leader with:

  • At least 10 years of progressive leadership experience in either a university technology transfer office, or in industry leadership positions responsible for technology development and/or acquisition;
  • Experience managing a large group of professionals in a faculty-driven environment, as well as effectively collaborating with a wide variety of industry and legal professionals in a professional and positive manner;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; a flexible personality and ability to handle peak stress periods with logic and a calm demeanor;
  • Ability to mentor others and contribute to their professional growth;
  • Desire to be an advocate for diversity in the workforce.

About the Position:


The Executive Director will:

    • Lead all aspects of university technology transfer operations, including identifying, patenting, marketing, and licensing University Intellectual Property assets, and managing license compliance. Develop and implement, in consultation with OLV Advisory Board, technology transfer strategies to maximize benefit to University stakeholders. Prepare and recommend policies in consultation with appropriate University stakeholders that facilitate technology sourcing, evaluation and commercialization through licensing.
    • Oversee day-to-day operations of the office, including supervision of permanent and temporary staff. Provide coaching and career development to staff and interns.
    • Set office procedures to promptly and competently document, review, evaluate and market technologies and inventions for patent protection and licensing to companies.
    • Negotiate and manage major IP related agreements for the University, which may include exclusive and non-exclusive license agreements; technology option agreements; investor and stock purchase agreements; patent assignment agreements; and multiparty, inter-institutional agreements.



About the Office:

Duke University is recognized as one of the premier research institutions in the world and routinely ranks in the top of all U.S. universities in research expenditures. Currently, Duke ranks 13th in the US for new license agreements.

The Office of Licensing & Ventures (OLV) provides licensing and new venture creation services for the University and the Medical Center. They have created a supportive, innovative environment in which to foster and direct the translation and commercialization of Duke research. Duke innovations meet industrial, entrepreneurial, legal, and investment markets through OLV to create the partnerships necessary to generate value for the University and benefit greater society.

OLV establishes and executes all facets of strategy, plans, programs, budgets, and operations for the pro-active “mining” of inventions from Duke laboratories; market and patent assessments and ranking of technology for investment potential; business development; negotiation of license and option agreements; alliance building; and translational development support.


About Durham:

Durham has dedicated itself to an economic and cultural renaissance led by its downtown revitalization movement. A cornerstone of that project was the transformation of its large tobacco factories into a mix-use entertainment, business, and living area.

While Durham is known for its education opportunities, research triangle, and cultural events, one can’t miss the chance to check out its minor league baseball team – the Durham Bulls. They put on quite a show and it’s one of the many reasons 245,000+ people call this city home.


Read More:  Duke University Executive Director Position Specification



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