Regional CEO and Dean, San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco, California
03 Jun 2019
End of advertisement period
01 Aug 2019
Contract Type

Northeastern University is akin to a 120 year old startup, continually innovating the future of higher education. It is globally recognized as not only an innovator in higher education, but also for its ability to set its graduates up for success in today’s complex global economy. It is a global, experiential, research university built on a tradition of engagement with the world, creating a distinctive approach to education and research. Northeastern has long been a pioneer in its model and moves beyond traditional boundaries – in both its well-established co-op program and in exploring new avenues of education across online learning, hybrid environments, and new graduate campuses that function as true knowledge hubs outside of the main campus in Boston. Students and professionals alike understand that to keep pace with the speed of change – in business, industry, and technology – they need to keep learning, now and in the years to come. Northeastern is at the forefront of evolving higher education to meet the growing demand for lifelong learning, and has a long tradition of partnership and engagement that creates an innovative, distinctive approach to the academic enterprise. The University integrates classroom studies with experiential learning opportunities – including its signature cooperative education program – in 128 countries, and pursues use-inspired research with a focus on global challenges in health, security, and sustainability. Northeastern’s long-standing connections to the corporate world and experiential learning positions it extremely well as students and employers compete in an increasingly competitive world. Northeastern’s established relationships with more than 3,000 employers, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and global NGOs, is a distinct advantage. Northeastern has launched new online initiatives, as well as campuses in Charlotte, Seattle, Toronto and Silicon Valley, under the Lifelong Learning Network. Northeastern is now launching a campus in San Francisco to create a Bay Area hub, building on the success of the Silicon Valley campus launched in 2015. The Silicon Valley campus was the first hub to be co-located with an entrepreneurial and widely respected industry partner, Integrated Device Technology, a company led by a Northeastern alum who understands the importance of facilitating real-world tech education in this region. Northeastern Silicon Valley has 8,000 dedicated square feet and plans to serve as an incubator for top-tier talent, producing students with graduate degrees and certificates who have real-world, marketplace relevance. The school has attracted attention on a global scale due to the innovative and forward thinking leadership of its current senior team. Under the guidance of President Joseph Aoun, the University has embarked on Northeastern 2025, the University’s plan for building and sustaining a “networked university,” one that unites all constituencies across a global system. Northeastern 2025 will magnify the impact, mobility, and reach of co-op and other experiential opportunities, creating a diverse, inclusive ecosystem of entrepreneurial learners. When realized to its full potential, Northeastern’s global university system will exist as an interconnected network of campus nodes, people, and communities. The system will embrace, celebrate, and benefit from local differences with worldwide reach and impact. System nodes will serve and benefit from one another, creating a platform to scale the university’s core and essential elements – experiential learning, research, corporate relations, alumni relations, and lifelong education – consistent with the needs and realities of local communities. The Northeastern Bay Area hub will be a cornerstone of the growing the envisioned West Coast network, spanning from Los Angeles to Vancouver, over the next few years.

The Opportunity

Northeastern has created a new role to build a Bay Area hub that will bring together the Silicon Valley and San Francisco campuses, and lead Northeastern’s business and growth in the Bay Area. Reporting directly to the COO of Northeastern’s Lifelong Learning Network and working very closely with the CEO of Lifelong Learning Network and key leaders across the University, the Northeastern University, San Francisco Bay Area Regional CEO and Dean will chart the future and continue to build the Northeastern brand on the West Coast, leveraging the core assets of the University. This next leader will develop and drive innovative and quality programs and partnerships, serve as a network leader, and bring a connectedness to the San Francisco Bay Area technology community. The Regional CEO and Dean will drive a strategy built on industry alignment and partnerships that include programming, research and co-development opportunities based on the needs of learners, companies, and the Northeastern academic community. S/he will play a critical role in establishing Northeastern’s presence on the West Coast, and will position the Bay Area hub as accelerating and helping the overall Northeastern portfolio remain at the leading edge.

Based in Bay Area, the Regional CEO and Dean will partner with Academic Deans, faculty and local companies to develop programs and research opportunities that build the Northeastern brand in the region, raise the school’s profile, drive revenue streams, and grow enrollments, research activity, and funding. Northeastern’s strategy views the regional campuses as resources and platforms for the entire University. Success will be developing and incubating new products that are unique and specific to San Francisco Bay Area, and then bringing them to the rest of the network to enhance product offerings elsewhere. For example, the Master of Science in Computer Science ALIGN program began in Seattle and is now available across campuses. ALIGN serves students with diverse non-computer science academic and professional backgrounds seeking to begin a career in computer science.

The Regional CEO and Dean will continue to bring research into the San Francisco Bay Area campuses, and build experiential opportunities and company connections, in addition to educational programming, that meet the region’s needs. Based on the rich ecosystem of the Bay Area, the goal is to become the network leader and increase revenues from $7M to over $20M in the next three years by advancing the intersection of work and learning, and diversifying STEM, particularly in the areas computer science, IoT, and life sciences, which are core strengths of the University. This next leader will help other network participants see, prioritize, and invest to exploit opportunities specific to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Essential Requirements

The Regional CEO and Dean will have an entrepreneurial drive, a strategic growth and P&L orientation, and experience managing and developing a growing team across multiple sites. This next leader will be a proven strategic operating executive who straddles the academic and business worlds on the West Coast. S/he will thrive in developing relationships and credibility on behalf of the University, and will quickly grasp Northeastern’s unique strengths, strategic objectives, and achievements to drive traditional and novel programs. By recognizing the needs of employers and learners not currently being served, the Regional CEO and Dean will modernize the existing portfolio of programs, while also expanding the portfolio with unique programs. S/he will also ensure a commitment to the quality and experience of existing learners as the portfolio grows and programs scale.

The successful candidate will be connected to the technology ecosystem in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have an understanding of growth industries. S/he has the gravitas and network to open doors and thinks creatively to identify new product and partnership opportunities.This next leader also must be an outstanding collaborator and inspirer of people with a very high organizational EQ, and must have the ability to work with, and influence, academic and functional partners across the University. S/he will possess the intellectual heft and passion for education that resonates and builds credibility within and outside of the University. In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for this position, we highlight the following:

Major Objectives

  • Build the team – One that is culturally aligned with a desire to disrupt existing and new segments/markets with a strong service-oriented approach.
  • Build the vision – In conjunction with the Lifelong Learning Network leadership, set and execute a strategy taking advantage of current market dynamics to aggressively build a scalable, dominant and sustainable brand.
  • Build the organization – Execute upon the strategy, building additional products, services and partnerships to create stronger competitive separation in the market.
  • Build a reputation – Use your existing network and expand it, never losing sight of the vision.
  • Transformational leadership – Lead change with energy and resilience to propel the University forward. Have the courage to make difficult decisions and take calculated risks.
  • Serve as the chief public spokesperson for the Bay Area campus to develop key relationships and promote Northeastern’s vision, mission, and success on a national and international level.
  •  Collaborative approach – Work effectively across a complex organization with a team and mission-first orientation.

Alignment with Northeastern’s Mission and Values

  • Demonstrates a fundamental commitment to Northeastern’s mission, academic vision, and role in the global economy.
  • Strong, positive presence that conveys confidence and credibility both externally and within the Northeastern community.
  •  Has the disposition to thrive in an intensely driven and ambitious Northeastern culture, with the willingness to work hard and the ability to learn quickly in a fast-paced environment.

- Embodies servant leadership.


  • The candidate must have obvious intellectual and emotional intelligence, a demonstrable passion for leading the organization, be willing to set aggressive, well-defined goals, and possess the personal character and leadership skills to inspire the organization to attain these goals.
  • The candidate must have a successful track record of developing & leading a senior leadership team and leading growth.
  • The candidate must have a strong and compelling history of successful business development and building excellent internal and external/customer relationships.
  • The candidate will assess and design current structure vs. future needs including executive structure, KPI’s, strategy and leadership meeting structure and cadence.
  • Establishes and leverages internal and external strategic networks to facilitate current and future organization goals.
  • Attracts, builds and motivates talent, leveraging diversity and inclusion; facilitates teamwork; widely viewed as a strong developer of self and others.
  • High organizational EQ; Can work collaboratively and closely with Northeastern’s academic leaders, senior staff and regional partners across a complex organization.
  • Strong connections to the technology ecosystem in the Bay Area – proven ability to open doors, make connections and frame relationships. A “convener.”
  • Active listener – demonstrated strong listening, information gathering and empathy skills for uncovering and defining deliverables, needs and outcomes.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.


  • Visionary and adept at identifying future and breakthrough opportunities that align the needs of corporate partners with the needs, assets and capabilities across Northeastern.
  • Creates strategies, identify unique product opportunities, and drives innovation to improve Northeastern’s market positioning in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Leads through ambiguity and complexity to develop a detailed plan of action in order to drive change successfully.
  • Proven entrepreneurial and hands-on leader with track record of leading a business, and developing and launching new programs and/or products.

Business Management

  • Brings a strong P&L orientation and GM/CEO perspective to driving product innovation and expansion, and scaling the learner and learning and experience while maintaining quality.
  • Possesses strong management, finance and operations skills with an overall results orientation, and ability to drive execution while maintaining program quality. Prioritizes, allocates and manages resources strategically and efficiently.
  • Balances an entrepreneurial style with a considered, collaborative decision-making approach to drive programming, research and co-development opportunities. Ability to ideate and lead through influence within a University environment.
  • Quickly acts to seize opportunities to customize and secure program and research partnerships with local and regional companies.
  • Displays nimbleness, patience, resiliency, and tenacity in the face of obstacles, resistance, and critical feedback.

Personal Characteristics

  • Strong executive presence and intellectual heft that exudes confidence, integrity, transparency and competence.
  • Comfort with ambiguity.
  •  Low ego; high confidence; high energy.
  • Creative problem solver who is results-oriented and has a strong record of accountability.
  •  Knows where to go to get what s/he needs; politically aware and agile; presents views and arguments well.