The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) seeks a highly accomplished and visionary leader as its next Executive Director. The Executive Director of GIX is responsible for leadership and management of GIX, including building and strengthening relationships which contribute to the strategic mission and goals of GIX.


GIX is a new model of experiential education and practice to develop leaders in innovation. Our goal is to build the talent that will leverage emerging technologies to address local and global challenges with health, sustainability, and social innovation. Founded by the University of Washington, Tsinghua University, and Microsoft, GIX is a global collaboration between leading academic and cross-sector industrial partners.


GIX has an exceptional opportunity for an experienced leader who is passionate about building innovative programs and teams. The new Executive Director will join GIX at a moment of great opportunity, as its initial academic programs gain momentum, and the organization is poised to launch a new set of innovation experiences for students, executives, and working professionals – in partnership with key members of industry, organizational stakeholders, and a global network of leading academic institutions and companies.

The Executive Director will work with GIX’s diverse stakeholders to develop a compelling vision for the future of GIX programs and will lead the development of a long-term strategic plan and ensure GIX has the necessary resources to make the plan a reality. The individual in this position will oversee all GIX programs and resources, and will manage GIX staff, with a temporary reporting line to the UW President and accountability to the GIX Executive Board. When the new GIX entity is formed, the Executive Director’s employment will transition to the new organization and will report to the GIX Executive Board. The Executive Director will work closely with the GIX transition team to launch the next phase of GIX, especially around advancing the master’s programs in collaboration with the academic partners, developing an executive training program, and developing an environment to support the incubation of innovative ideas and companies. The Executive Director will serve as a highly visible spokesperson and advocate for the organization both locally and globally.

The ideal candidate has a passion for building an internationally renowned education program that would have long lasting impact on the world. They have experience in founding, building and leading successful startup companies or nonprofit organizations and are recognized as a strong leader and expert in their field. The candidate has a passion for education, particularly experiential learning and experience in nonprofit institutions (preferably education). They have experience in executive training, working with global partners (outside North America) and working in diverse contexts across the business startup and academic communities. The candidate values diversity and has proven experience in creating and leading collaborative teams. They also have a proven track record of successful fundraising.


Executive Leadership

  • Serves as an ex officio member of, maintains communications with and is responsible to the GIX Executive Board. Works with GIX founders Microsoft, Tsinghua University and the University of Washington leadership to ensure implementation of the vision of GIX 2.0.
  • Works closely with all global partners leadership, staff and faculty to ensure the success of GIX.
  • Represents GIX globally, serves as the chief spokesperson for GIX, and maintains strategic community and industry relationships.
  • Develops and maintains beneficial relationships with individual donors, institutional funders, supporters, consortium members, academic network partners, and other stakeholders.
  • Stays informed and abreast of innovation issues and practices, as well as issues affecting the private sector, higher education and the learning community.

Strategy & Business Development

  • Drives the business development strategy and fund raising to ensure a sustainable financial footing for GIX.
  • Oversees the development of a long-term strategic plan that articulates the clear vision and core values of GIX, identifies the 5-year goals and objectives, and provides teams with a framework for understanding and contributing to the organization’s growth, decisions, and goals.
  • Oversees all outcomes and ensures metrics are met as outlined by the Executive Board and identified in the strategic plan.
  • Works with GIX leadership, Executive Board, and development staff on the strategic planning and implementation of a successful fundraising plan, from cultivation through solicitation and stewardship.

Program Oversight

  • Grows GIX according to the near-term and long-term strategic goals.
  • Develops and maintains appropriate organizational structures to support growth in all GIX programs.
  • Brings the customer experience viewpoint to help inform the academic, operations, technical and executive lifelong learning programs.
  • Manages and empowers those overseeing academic programs, development, operations, academic partnerships, technical programs, and executive & lifelong learning to execute at the highest level.
  • Works closely with the academic partners to drive innovative new degree programs.
  • Works closely with the founders on the formation of the new GIX 2.0 entity.


Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree engineering, business, or a related field.
  • Progressive experience in technology innovation, with leadership experience creating and leading successful, collaborative teams in an academic, non-profit, start up or industry setting.
  • Proven track record for building sustainable teams, businesses, or products and securing funding and building new innovative programs.
  • Strong knowledge of academic and learning environments.
  • Experience working with global companies, startups, and organizations and ability to engage with leadership at the highest level of an organization.
  • High visibility in at least one of GIX’s stakeholder groups or target communities (e.g. business, startup, tech, research, academia)
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, used in situations requiring political acumen, conflict management, and an awareness of cultural differences; demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and diplomatically, experienced in empathetic listening, presentations and public speaking.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and experience working with individuals from different cultural, ethnic, geographic, and experiential backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ph.D. or equivalent degree in engineering, business, or a related field.
  • Experience as a Director, VP, or in other executive roles.
  • Fundraising experience in working with the private sector.


The Search Committee invites nominations, applications (this consists of a letter of interest describing relevant qualifications and experiences; curriculum vitae; the names of at least five references) to be submitted to Parker Executive Search. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The Search Committee prefers that all nominations and applications be submitted to Parker Executive Search prior to February 1, 2021.

Laurie C. Wilder, President
Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Jacob C. Anderson, Principal
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875, Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 770-804-1996 ext: 109 and 111 || ||

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

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