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: Executive Director, URI Research Foundation
REPORTS TO: URI Research Foundation Board of Directors
SUPERVISES: Professional, Technical, Administrative, and Clerical Support Staff

Responsible as the chief executive officer for the URI Research Foundation (URIRF). Manage the URIRF’s execution of programs, outcomes, and governance to meet the aims of the legislative statute, as well as the strategic plan developed by the URIRF Board of Directors. Advance overall effectiveness of the URIRF in its support of the research and economic development missions of the University of Rhode Island. Ensure that the URIRF meets all fiscal and regulatory requirements, that it excels in the range of services that the foundation provides to the University and citizens of Rhode Island, and that it is seen as a responsible and responsive partner by various departments within the Rhode Island state government, by university leadership, by the Rhode Island Federal delegation, by Federal funding agencies, and by its many varied corporate and civic partners.


Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Serve as the key URIRF representative to the University of Rhode Island in stewarding the economic development initiatives under the Foundation’s management.
  • Assist the URI Vice President for Research and Economic Development in crafting and executing on the long-term vision and strategic plan for the University’s economic development initiatives.
  • Organize, manage and direct the URI Research Foundation business units, including Polaris MEP, 401 Tech Bridge and URI Ventures.
  • Lead initiatives which include University faculty and staff on matters related to entrepreneurship, intellectual property, commercialization, and economic development.
  • Assist the Vice President for Research and Economic Development in the formulation of strategies to promote regional economic development through intellectual property transfer to key industry and government partners, with a goal of maximizing revenue from the university’s intellectual property
  • Evaluate federal, state, and private funding opportunities which support the strategic plan of URIRF and direct team to facilitate grant writing and application for those solicitations.
  • Identify and develop partnerships with other economic development organizations and vendors and oversee the execution of related programs to support URIRF Strategic Plan.
  • Responsible for the execution of plans and reporting as required by the Board of Directors and its several board committees
  • Responsible for generating and managing to an organizational budget the day-to-day operations of the Foundation, to ensure that monthly, quarterly, and annual sales, revenue, and expense objectives are met.
  • Determine staffing and operating requirements. Oversee the planning and deployment of resources within the organization to ensure that objectives are met, including recruiting, training, developing, setting objectives, measuring, and evaluating performance, and providing feedback to Foundation staff. Makes compensation and employment decisions.
  • Lead and coach staff to provide strategic direction to ensure initiatives are created and executed to enhance the continuous economic improvement and growth for the University (e.g., commercialization of novel technologies) and for the State of Rhode Island
  • Successful research partnerships with funded projects involving industry partners, as well as other types of fundraising for the Foundation and for the university.



  • Bachelors and master’s degrees in business, science, engineering, or a related field and at least five (5) years of experience managing technology transfer and economic development organizations.
  • Professional experience demonstrating responsibility in the strategic management of economic development initiatives, demonstrated understanding of financial management of a grant funded organization and proven success in a for-profit commercial industry



  • Experience working with the State of Rhode Island Governor’s office, Commerce Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training. Prior experience with these state agencies that include negotiation of partnerships and testifying to the legislature, or very similar experience in another state, is particularly desirable.
  • Experience managing a product-based organization such as RI’s local Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP).
  • Experience working with congressional delegations and staff to build consensus around statewide and federal initiatives.
  • Experience working with federal agencies such as the Department of Defense, Economic Development Administration, and the Department of Labor for funding solicitations and overseeing the management of federal grant execution.
  • Prior experience in successful large grant writing, in securing award(s), and executing the work funded under these awards for large Federally funded economic development initiatives.


Please submit your resume, cover letter, and three references to Melissa McCarthy ( by 9:00am, Thursday, September 22, 2022.

Position open until filled, with preference given to candidates who submit their applications by September, 22, 2022, 9:00am.

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.