Director, Genomics Institute:
Position Description

Sarah Lawrence College is searching for the inaugural director of its recently announced genomics institute.

The Director Role

In this role, you will lead the genomics institute in vision, strategy and execution. As director, you will be the first hire in the institute. It will be your role to develop the proper planning, strategy, and team to ensure that the institute meets its launch, partnership, and programming goals on the established timelines. You will be building the institute from the ground up and will be expected to create a strategic plan for the long-term success of the institute, communicate that plan to College leadership, and implement that plan. You will have significant autonomy to shape the function of your role as director and the future of the institute itself, but it will be expected that:

  • Your short-term (six months) goals will include:
    • Formulate a plan to establish the institute as a center of thought leadership
    • Participate in a highly public launch in your capacity as the primary public-facing champion for the overall mission of the institute, as well as the efficacy and value of its thought leadership in genomics applications, workforce development, and service to the communities of people who stand to benefit from genomic innovations
    • Articulate realistic, meaningful, measurable goals for the institute’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work as it relates to larger societal issues in genetics and genomics
    • Create a strategy and roadmap for the institute’s initial areas of academic exploration and begin planning first program’s launch
    • Identify and establish an initial set of industry relationships and partnerships
    • Plan and execute a hiring strategy to build a small team of key institute personnel with a breadth of experience primed to build an innovative center of thought leadership 
    • Propose an initial plan towards medium-term financial sustainability for the institute
    • Identify grant and philanthropy opportunities that will enable to the institute to grow and thrive 
    • Partner with other areas of the College, including:
      • The SLC Genetic Counseling program to build and foster an engaged alumni community to support the growing institute 
      • The Strategic Initiatives Office to assess new academic opportunities for new degree and certificate programs
      • Health Sciences and Society Cluster Directors to build academic collaborations
      • The Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to advise on best practices for fulfilling DEI goals within the institute
  • Your long-term (one year) goals will include
    • Create a long-term business plan for the institute that allows it to operate sustainably into the future
    • Create a plan to scale the numbers of learners who will engage with the institute in different capacities
    • Identify and communicate the overall effect the institute will aim to make on society in its first five years of operation

In order to accomplish these goals, as director you will benefit from:

  • Full support from college leadership and the Board of Trustees
  • Significant startup funding
  • Significant decision-making autonomy in a nimble administrative environment
  • The College’s strong brand in genetics and large network of genetic counseling alumni
  • An extensive network of well-connected and highly committed external advisors already engaged by the College 

What Leads to Success

  • Domain expertise. Someone with deep roots in both the applied genomics/genetic counseling space and with experience in higher education 
  • Comfort with ambiguity. You have a proven track record of success building new programs, breaking from the status quo, and building towards a future that is different from today. 
  • Effective change agent. You build rapport and great working relationships with senior leaders, peers, and external partners and use the relationships you’ve built to drive the institute forward. You are a powerful spokesperson for the institute and its vision and mission. 
  • People Management. You have the skills to lead a cohesive team with diverse perspectives to effectively launch and manage the program. 
  • Executes well. You are biased to action and get things done. You account for unknowns and recover from setbacks well. 
  • Person-centered. You’re personally motivated to drive more ethical, equitable, and effective integration of genomic technologies into clinical care.  You are naturally empathetic, and desire to understand problems and help people solve them. 
  • Networked. You have strong connections with companies in the genetics, genomics, life sciences, diagnostics, pharmaceutical, and/or other related spaces, or you possess the ability to build such a network and to create academic-industry partnerships.

In launching this institute, we recognize a history of inequality in healthcare. We are committed to challenging the status quo and to leveraging the community of the institute to create a culture of inclusion both within the institute and for all who stand to benefit from genomic technologies. We embrace and celebrate a diversity of perspectives.

Sarah Lawrence College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and has as one of its goals the recruitment and retention of a racially and culturally diverse administration, staff and faculty. To that end, every job opening is seen as an opportunity to increase diversity and every effort will be made to expand the applicant pool in accordance with these goals.