Executive Director, University of Chicago, STAGE | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University

Executive Director, University of Chicago, STAGE

Dates or Deadline: 
22 February 2023 to 31 May 2023
Organized by: 
University of Chicago
United States


PME Stage Lab


About the Department 

STAGE (Scientists, Technologists and Artists Generating Exploration) is a full-scale laboratory embedded within the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME). Devoted to collaborations among scientists and artists, STAGE is at the helm of one of the PME’s four research themes, that of "Arts, Sciences and Technology.” The STAGE Lab's distinct research focuses on creating and developing new theatre, film, games, and other artistic endeavors inspired by science and technology. The lab’s approach is strongly influenced by the exploratory process of experimental science. Projects employ a non-traditional creative process that involves finding subtle parallels and metaphors between scientific themes and human experience to translate the richness and nuances of science into relatable forms of expression. The STAGE Lab will be transitioning to a Center (the new STAGE Center) over the next year to grow its theatre and film efforts and to expand into additional unique methods of science communication.

Job Summary 

The STAGE Lab is seeking an Executive Director to help drive its next phase of growth. Reporting to the Faculty Director, the Executive Director will serve as the key administrative leader, continuously developing, enhancing, and effectively steering STAGE’s operations. They will build support strategies to ensure the continued success of STAGE, while generating new and innovative initiatives. The Executive Director will help develop new strategic plans and increase the external visibility of STAGE, as well as raise funds though grant applications and corporate/private philanthropy. They will work closely with campus partners and manage the STAGE staff.

This position offers the opportunity to help drive a uniquely creative endeavor, and to interface with diverse scientists, technology experts, and multidisciplinary artists across academia, industry, and the professional arts world. The ideal candidate will be innovative and intellectually curious, a collaborative leader with experience in higher education.



  • Leads STAGE’s operations and administrative functions. Contributes to strategic planning efforts; develops and executes a strategy to support STAGE’s goals in consultation with the Faculty Director; implements strategic plans.
  • Coordinates administration and execution of STAGE’s programs and activities.
  • Develops and executes a funding strategy in consultation with the Faculty Director.
  • Pursues fundraising opportunities and identifies various funding sources (federal, corporate, and private); prepares, writes, and manages grants, contract proposals, reports, and reviews. Develops relationships with foundations and federal program officers to obtain new grants or renewals.
  • Engages with and builds relationships with foundations, funding agencies, donors, and other development prospects to represent and further STAGE’s strategic goals. In consultation and coordination with the Faculty Director, represents STAGE internally and externally.
  • Resolves issues referred by STAGE staff, University administrators, or other constituencies. Expands student recruitment and engagement activities.
  • Oversees a communication strategy, marketing efforts, and external relations for STAGE, aimed at increasing STAGE’s visibility.
  • Oversees development and maintenance of websites and coordinate media presence for STAGE.
  • Identifies, builds, maintains and strengthens strategic relationships, including across the University and with individuals, funders, external organizations and existing and potential collaborators; seek industrial partnerships for relevant initiatives.
  • Develops and executes strategies to build interest in STAGE’s work; represents STAGE and the Faculty Director in national and international collaborations, conferences, and consortiums.
  • Promotes an organizational culture that fosters a commitment to the STAGE’s mission, excellent work, and building and maintaining a collaborative, inclusive, interdisciplinary, and multi-cultural work environment.
  • Manages other managers and professional staff by establishing annual performance goals, allocating resources, assessing annual performance, and determining individual merit, incentive and/or promotional increases.
  • Manages program operations and administrative functions to include planning and scheduling, program evaluation, policy implementation, personnel administration, budget, marketing, fundraising and proposal development.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications 


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree in the sciences, engineering, or technology.
  • Master’s degree or PhD a plus.


  • A minimum of 3 years experience in a complex research university environment, national laboratory, and/or medical center; familiarity with higher education environment.
  • Demonstrated administrative leadership experience; a minimum of 3 years of administrative experience involving multidisciplinary efforts.
  • Demonstrated record of working collaboratively and communicating effectively with a variety of constituencies. 
  • Management experience with scientific programs.   


Preferred Competencies

  • Professional expertise in program management.
  • Excellent organizational skills and high attention to detail.
  • Effective time management, prioritize and manage multiple competing high-impact tasks to optimal benefit during high demand periods.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills, including excellent grant writing and presentation skills.
  • Partner with the Office of Legal Counsel in the development of complex contracts.
  • Anticipate and solve a range of complex problems; work assignments are broad and can be challenging in nature, requiring creativity, originality, and ingenuity.
  • Work well in a dynamic environment that may involve uncertainties or changes from time-to-time.
  • Demonstrate a high degree of initiative, and motivation as a self-starter and learner.
  • Translate complex ideas into clear, compelling, and thoughtful messaging.
  • Problem-solving skills; proven record of accomplishment as a strong, strategic thinker who approaches challenges with thoughtfulness and drive, and urgency, when appropriate.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills; collaborative, enthusiastic, diplomatic, and flexible; high level of collegiality working with faculty, staff, and others at all levels of the organization.
  • Build strong relationships internally and externally.
  • Remain calm, courteous, and good-humored, and to work productively and efficiently despite challenges and competing and/or changing priorities; must have a positive, can do attitude.
  • Manage people and works collaboratively and effectively within a team; lead administratively and organizationally, while also enjoying getting your hands dirty in the execution.
  • Work independently, take direction, and achieve consensus.
  • Respond promptly, directly, and effectively to internal and external inquiries and requests for service, while managing competing demands.
  • Manage and forecast budgets responsibly.


Working Conditions

  • The position may involve an irregular work schedule and long hours, evening and weekend work, and flexibility of work hours and availability.


Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required) 
  • Cover Letter (required) 
  • References Contact Information (3)(required) 
  • Writing Sample (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.


Posting Statement 

Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

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