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Job ID: 219865

AI-CLIMATE Institute Executive Director
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Date Posted Aug. 17, 2023
Title AI-CLIMATE Institute Executive Director
University University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Minneapolis, MN, United States
Department AI-CLIMATE Institute
Application Deadline Sep. 30, 2023
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Forest Ecology & Management
    Environmental Science & Ecology
    Agronomy/Plant & Soil Sciences
    Agricultural - General

We are seeking a highly motivated and experienced Executive Director to build and manage the administrative infrastructure of our federally funded Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Institute. The ideal candidate will be responsible for implementing and developing financial and operational policies and procedures related to finance, grant management, information technology, facilities, human resources, communications, academic governance, non-academic partnerships, and workforce development. In this role, you will have the opportunity to spearhead special projects, oversee Institute-wide events, and identify new initiatives to foster collaborative interdisciplinary programming. You will also represent the Institute at meetings, conferences, symposia, and other events, and assist with broadening the Institute's impact among public partners as a highly effective communicator and proven leader who has successfully managed research Institutes. The position requires strong research management and communication (written and oral) skills, as well as the ability to work well independently and as part of a team. This position requires a high tolerance for ambiguity that may occur with multi-institutional, multi-investigator, interdisciplinary work, and be able to develop solutions for nascent, less defined, or complex issues. 

The AI-CLIMATE Institute Executive Director will manage the following phases:

  • Early Stage Start-up and team building – During the startup phase, team members will need to wear multiple hats to help develop the Strategic Implementation Plan and explain the Institute deliverables and show competitive advantages.
    * Executive Director will be responsible for hiring project support team and may need to look after roles and responsibilities until staff is in place.
  • Scaling – The Executive Director will help the team execute the Strategic Implementation Plan, which will be revised annually based on internal and external evaluation.
  • Maturity –The Executive Director will help the team address sustainability of AI-CLIMATE beyond project end date.


Job Duties:

50% - Personnel & Leadership support

  • Supervise staff members (Project Coordinator, Shared Services Team members) and collaborate with Education and Outreach Coordinators who support the Institute’s broader impact initiatives, including education, diversity, equity and inclusion, and knowledge transfer.
  • Set performance tasks and objectives, motivate personnel to achieve desired results, review work products, meet regularly for one-on-one check-ins and all-hands staff meetings, and ensure necessary staff support of faculty efforts across research, education, broadening participation, and knowledge transfer.
  • Lead the planning and execution of activities across all strategic objectives, including public engagement, community building, knowledge transfer, workforce development and diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a focus on implementation and outcomes (e.g., annual cycle for adaptive management, AI-CLIMATE policies for IP-sharing).
  • Ensure that Institute faculty and leadership have the administrative support necessary to achieve excellence in intellectual activities, societal impact, and overall operations.
  • Represent the Institute Director and Board of Directors’ goals and vision and serve as a liaison to faculty, schools, and administrative units of the University of Minnesota, including senior University leadership, as well as to the partnering Universities.
  • Coordinate the engagement, integration, and quality of reporting deliverables from all members of the Institute’s 25+-person/multi-institutional team of faculty, trainees, non-academic institutional partners, and administrators.

20% - Project Management

  • Facilitate and Lead a multi-sector, multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary Institute-scale project spanning research, education, broadening participation, collaboration nexus
  • Build and manage team (forge interactions across sectors, institutions, disciplinary, career-stages)
  • Directs all organizational elements of the institute, ensuring smooth functioning of the institute across all sites.
  • Exercises independent judgment and discretion, while managing multiple moving project targets simultaneously and has the delegated authority to make commitments affecting AI-CLIMATE operations.
  • Work with Shared Services or vendors on Project Management Solutions towards time critical deliverables.  (i.e. First major deliverable is the Strategic Implementation Plan due September 2023).

15% - Finance & Operations

  • Work with College of Science & Engineering and other University-wide offices (SPA, CFANS) to manage and report on a $4M annual operating budget, including monitoring subaward agreements and the achievement milestones of partner universities and partnering organizations. 
  • Develop individualized trackers, summaries, and other documents to help facilitate discussions and decision-making on the Institute’s budget.
  • Review and approve spending and funding requests, designate the appropriate funding source for spending and purchases, and oversee complex daily, monthly, and detailed annual tracking of these expenditures by the budget officer.
  • Oversee annual budgeting and re-budgeting activities and report on financial affairs to the federal agency sponsor on an annual and as-needed basis, and communicate sponsor requests and other updates to Executive Committee and University partners.

15% - Communications, Events & Special Projects

  • Develop and manage Marketing and Communications plan for AI-CLIMATE Institute that leverages other existing AIVO Institute networks, website and social media platforms.
  • Works with communication professionals in both CSE and CFANS to develop a promotions plan for education, outreach and nexus events.
  • Manage AI-CLIMATE Institute outward facing public products such as the website, newsletter, social media channels, and other special projects that communicate compelling AI-powered knowledge and solutions.
  • Assists team with event support as needed.

  • The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission.  The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

    The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  To learn more about diversity at the U:

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources Manager
    AI-CLIMATE Institute
    University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
    1500 Gortner Avenue
    110 Cargill Building - Microbial and Plant Genomic
    Saint Paul, MN 55108


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