The URI Research Foundation oversees commercialization of protected intellectual property, and the development of business relationships with corporate and government partners for the University of Rhode Island. These commercialization activities advance Rhode Island’s economy while improving society and human lives.

POSITION TITLE: Director of Special Projects
REPORTS TO: Chief Business Development Officer

The Director of Special Projects at The URI Research Foundation (URIRF) is a new position in our rapidly growing organization.  URIRF is looking for a motivated leader to manage complex projects with a variety of disparate stakeholders. Candidates should have the right blend of relationships, analytical talent and organizational capabilities. Successful applicants should be team players who not only understand how to leverage multiple funding sources to execute big vision projects, but also know what it takes to lead a team forward and realize that opportunity. We are especially looking for someone with great communication skills, prior experience with federal and state programs, demonstrated leadership experience and the ability to represent the foundation as a leader of the organization.  The successful candidate will be routinely interacting with a wide variety of corporate, federal, state, philanthropic, and academic partners.


Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Identify gaps in the Rhode Island economic development plans and partner or implement programs to support economic growth for the state.
  • Work with university stakeholders to identify key strategic areas of interest and investment for implementation through staff, partners, and funding
  • Convene public, private, academic, and civic leaders around bottom-up competitiveness for URI and the state of Rhode Island
  • Collaborate with regional partners for larger programs that would advance the university and collaborative regional economy
  • Coordinate new and existing programmatic and physical resources to the benefit of regional competitiveness
  • Convene public, private, academic, and civic leaders around bottom-up competitiveness for identified strategic growth areas
  • Investigate, recommend, and potentially manage new business opportunities which support the URIRF mission of technology commercialization and economic development.
  • Support URIRF involvement with RI Innovation Campus programs in order to advance the competitiveness of Rhode Island
  • Work with URIRF management team to define and execute business sustainability and growth of the organization.
  • Perform market research to identify new opportunities and engage with executives to establish strategies for pursuing those new opportunities.
  • Create and improve proposals for our existing and new partners.
  • Support creation of organizational budget and continually track expenses, as well as make sure we are on track to hit revenue targets.
  • Provide training and mentoring to members of the organization.
  • Develop and deliver pitches for potential funding partners and clients.

The above listed duties and responsibilities are for reference only. Additional duties and responsibilities may apply.



  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Diplomacy, Finance, Accounting, Science or related field. MBA desirable. Experience may be substituted for field of study.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in project leadership, with technical and business development experience. (Leadership/Management role in high tech environment highly desirable.)
  • Strong and effective strategic management skills are required, including long range planning, organizing, facilitating, communicating, influencing, gathering, and using information, and motivating a team to achieve results
  • Prior experience managing others including recruiting, developing, setting objectives, measuring performance, and providing feedback.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills including the ability to influence external and internal decision-makers and to provide direction and feedback to others.
  • Skilled in the use of computer for communication, data management and reporting including Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
  • Must be able to work well under pressure, manage and prioritize multiple tasks and have a flexible schedule.
  • Previous knowledge/experience of Economic Development is highly desirable.
  • Previous Consulting experience highly desirable.
  • Great leadership skills.
  • Top-notch analytical skills — you must have an eye for detail!
  • The ability to travel to meet partners, clients, attend conferences and research new markets as needed.



Compensation for this position includes competitive pay based on qualifications and experience and top-rated benefits package with health, dental, retirement and paid time off.

The URI Research Foundation follows safe COVID practices and is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply for this position, please send a resume and cover letter to

The URI Research Foundation is committed to creating a diverse environment built on respect for all. We are proud to be Equal Opportunity Employers.

No persons will be discriminated against in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or expression, veteran status or any other protected characteristic.

We are committed to the fulfillment of this principle by employing individuals based upon job-related criteria including education, experience, and skills.

Each employee is expected to support and carry out this policy fully in all their relations with present and prospective employees and in any dealings, they may have with others as a representative of The URI Research Foundation. In fulfilling our commitment to creating and maintaining a diverse environment, The URI Research Foundation and its business units will not tolerate discrimination of any kind.