Director, Industrial Contracts Officer

California, United States
13 Nov 2018
End of advertisement period
13 Jan 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Job Code: 4510
Grade: M
Exempt, Full-time


The Industrial Contracts Office at Stanford University is seeking a Director to provide oversight and strategic direction for the Industrial Contracts Office (ICO). Reporting to the Executive Director of the Office of Technology Licensing, the Director leads ICO staff to align with University-wide initiatives, and achieve ICO goals and objectives, related to industry sponsored research. The Director negotiates high-profile industry research agreements.

The Industrial Contracts Office (ICO) is part of Stanford University’s Office of Technology Licensing (OTL), which evaluates, protects, markets, and licenses technology owned by the University, and advises University faculty, staff and students on intellectual property (IP) matters. ICO negotiates and signs sponsored research and other research-related agreements with industry and handles all University material transfer agreements, working closely with OTL on IP terms for such research-related agreements. ICO also works closely with the Office of Sponsored Research and many other University research administration offices. ICO's mission is to foster and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with industry sponsors and provide high-quality and timely service to our constituents -- Stanford faculty and staff -- while maintaining a balance between Stanford and industry interests.


  • Direct staff and provide leadership to Industrial Contracts officers. Promote the goals and vision of ICO. Responsible for hiring, training and retaining staff, career coaching, professional development, and accountable for the performance of direct reports. 
  • Develop strategic plans for ICO. Identify and resolve strategic issues of substantial significance that affect the university’s research relationships with companies, consult and advise senior University leadership. Advise senior management on programmatic and policy development. 
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of ICO’s organizational structure and programs to promote successful achievement of goals, development of employees and effective use of staff resources.
  • Negotiate, sign and administer high visibility, complex research agreements with companies. Supervise ICO staff on negotiation and administration of other agreements such as master sponsored research agreements, unfunded collaboration agreements, material transfer agreements, equipment loan agreements, and other related agreements, including for the University’s Industrial Affililates programs.
  • Foster effective communication and coordination between Industry Contracts officers and the OTL licensing and marketing staff to ensure effective and coordinated IP and industry research portfolio management. 
  • Develop positive working relationships with senior school and campus administrators, and faculty. Advise deans, department chairs, unit directors, faculty, and senior campus administrators of critical and/or sensitive issues related to the negotiation of industry sponsored project agreements and the management of resulting projects. Provide guidance to deans, faculty, senior management, research staff, and other Stanford offices on Stanford policies on intellectual property, contracts, and related issues. Oversee the resolution of issues related to intellectual property, contracts, research administration, and other related issues. 
  • Negotiate, advise, and coordinate work among various University offices on emerging new models for research funding and collaborations with companies and nonprofit entities.
  • Establish and maintain effective and productive working relationships with representatives from the seven University schools, research administration-related offices, the Office of Development, Risk Management, Office of General Counsel, and other Stanford offices or units involved in sponsored projects. Work in close collaboration with other contracting offices to ensure institutional consistency in negotiations and in multiple transactions with the same entity. 
  • Coordinate the development and maintenance of internal group documents, databases and procedures to ensure work product and workflow are efficient and up-to-date.
  • Develop and deliver training on intellectual property, contracts, and other issues to co-workers, faculty, staff, and other Stanford offices. 
  • Network with colleagues at other institutions, at companies, and licensing associations to develop relationships and gain a broader understanding of industry-academic relationships outside of Stanford. Promote best practices in presentations at industry and academic research and technology transfer conferences.

* - Other duties may also be assigned


Education & Experience: 

  • Bachelor’s degree and nine years of relevant experience or a combination of education and relevant experience.
  • An advanced degree, such as J.D. or M.B.A. is preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated leadership, supervisory, planning and change management skills.
  • Excellent listening and oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with a wide range of faculty and staff and to establish productive working relationships with industry legal and business personnel. Ability to influence people, solve problems, trouble shoot, think creatively, resolve conflicts, and thrive in a team-based environment.
  • Advanced skills in analysis of complex problems and development of creative solutions. 
  • Expertise in intellectual property, licensing, contract and regulatory issues pertaining to research agreements with industry. Solid knowledge of industry practices and regulatory requirements.
  • Ability to work efficiently within a complex university administration, often under pressure and short deadlines. Understanding of the structure, purpose, functions and objectives of research at Stanford. 
  • Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail required.
  • Professional comport, and demonstrated ability to apply sound judgment and common sense to all work activities.


  • Frequently perform desk-based computer tasks, seated work and use light/ fine grasping. 
  • Occasionally stand, walk, use a telephone, lift, carry, push, and pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.
  • Rarely writes by hand.

*Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Stanford welcomes applications from all who would bring additional dimensions to the University’s research, teaching and clinical missions.

Background check will be required for all final candidates.