Job Openings

Job Opening: Executive Director of GLASE

Title:  Executive Director, Greenhouse Lighting and Systems Engineering (GLASE) Consortium

Position Type:  Independent Consultant (initially 50% FTE with ability to increase over time), renewable annually

Location: Most work will be performed in collaboration/coordination with researchers at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI; Troy, NY). It is anticipated that the majority of the work related to this position can be accomplished remotely, with regularly scheduled in-person meetings primarily at Cornell University (but also at RPI) as needed over the course of the project and some travel to conferences and industry events.

Program Description:  The GLASE consortium is a unique association founded by scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs from academia, industry and government representing multidisciplinary expertise in efficient greenhouse and controlled environment agriculture (CEA, greenhouse or vertical farm production of vegetable, herb, flower, and medicinal crops) and the related industry supply chain.  The consortium is focused on energy-efficient lighting, lighting control technology, system integration, market opportunities, as well as addressing the associated barriers to commercialization of all facets of environmental control systems that support the rapidly expanding industry.

The GLASE consortium has an established 5-year track record of industry-supported outreach and technology transfer built upon core GLASE research and industry pilot activities. The project’s overarching objectives are to transform lighting and systems management in the industry by optimizing energy efficiency, crop yield and crop quality through research, demonstration, education, and technology transfer. The consortium has 25+ members and maintains annual activities, including quarterly industry advisory board (IAB) meetings, annual in-person meetings, an online short-course, website with tools and resources, monthly webinar series, and a monthly newsletter with >1700 subscribers. GLASE was seeded with funding from New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) and is now tasked with becoming financially self-sustaining by bringing together academia and marketplace knowledge and experience to secure continued federal, state and industry funding. GLASE will focus on continuous improvements of energy-efficient technologies and best operating practices across the industry. GLASE is a non-profit organization under a letter of agreement between Cornell University and RPI. There is interest in exploring stand-alone 501(c)(3) non-profit status. The Executive Director will work closely with the GLASE extension support specialist (ESS), who coordinates GLASE meetings, event scheduling, special projects, and implementation of industry outreach campaigns.

Minimum Qualifications: The successful candidate will have experience with managing large projects with many members and have business and fundraising experience, including business plan development and execution. The candidate should have knowledge of the industry and familiarity with CEA new technology adoption practices. The candidate should have a bachelor’s degree in business, management, engineering, or plant science related fields. The ideal candidate will have a graduate degree in plant science, engineering, or an MBA. The ideal candidate will also have understanding and experience in research relating to LED lighting for crop production. In addition, the ideal candidate will have experience in working within university structures and 5-10 years of relevant experience in markets and industries across the entire product supply chain.

Position and Task Description:  The successful candidate will serve as the coordinator between all project participants; be responsible for the consortium strategic decisions to ensure relevant industry engagement and to provide value to the consortium industry members; oversee the legal and operational activities; ensure the consortium financial sustainability; work closely with the consortium extension support specialist to develop the annual activities; and other tasks including but not limited to:

    • Actively recruit new industry members from various segments of the industry
    • Work with the Academic Principal Investigators (APIs, i.e., academic project leads at Cornell and RPI) and the GLASE Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to develop and conduct annual Consortium membership satisfaction surveys
    • Explore and execute value-added activities for GLASE members and the industry

    • Explore creation of stand-alone 501(c)(3) non-profit entity
    • Develop a portfolio of revenue generating activities to support the consortium annual activities, including but not limited to grants, industry events, training courses, educational activities

    • Identify funding sources aligned with the consortium areas of research
    • Develop grant proposal goals and identify team members
    • Define the project scope of work, milestones and timeline in consultation with the APIs
    • Coordinate the grant applications process with Cornell office of sponsored research
    • Secure multiyear funds to support the consortium operation
    • Oversee quarterly and annual reports to funding agencies with support from the ESS

    • Coordinate the annual collection of GLASE membership fees
    • Annual review of GLASE membership agreements
    • Annual review of GLASE academic members’ contractual agreements
    • Annual GLASE budget review
    • Annual consortium evaluation: Industry members survey to improve consortium activities
    • Coordinate quarterly IAB and bi-annual SAB meetings
    • Coordinate the development and submission of bi-annual technical reports to NYSERDA
    • Coordinate quarterly review and planning meetings with APIs on project direction including corrective measures
    • Coordinate the annual wrap-up meeting with NYSERDA and APIs to review problems and achievements and discuss future action and solutions
    • Coordinate the development of annual analysis and summary of metrics addressing the anticipated energy, environmental and economic benefits that are realized by the project

    • Develop a marketing plan to increase membership, attract funding and increase recognition of GLASE and its members.
    • Represent GLASE at annual industry events around the U.S.
    • Develop a marketing plan including:
      • Recurring trade journals publications
      • Advertisement opportunities
      • Sponsorship packages for all GLASE outreach activities
    • Create and maintain marketing materials and a website with assistance from the ESS
    • Plan GLASE webinar series with support from the ESS
    • Coordinate the content development for the GLASE monthly newsletter with support from the ESS

    • Through Dec. 2023, the Executive Director is responsible for monthly communications with the NYSERDA Project Manager
    • Coordinate communications among and between GLASE academic partners (Cornell University, RPI), academic contractors (Rutgers University, USDA ARS) and industrial members
    • For all meetings, the Executive Director prepares the meeting agenda, takes minutes, and records key meeting results

Initial Responsibilities:

  • Within six months of hiring, provide a schedule to the NYSERDA Project Manager that outlines the Financial Sustainability Plan, including an annual update indicating progress towards goals and any strategy changes
  • Develop an updated organizational structure of the Consortium (with assistance of the outgoing Executive Director), including preparation of an organization chart, job descriptions and responsibilities for organizations and key personnel and a description of the roles and key members of the APIs, the Leadership Team, SAB and IAB as well as the reporting structure within and among each of the organizational components
  • Review and update, as needed, the Industry Membership Agreement, including fee structure, membership duration, structure of the IAB, model Intellectual Property (IP) Agreements, and other rights/privileges of GLASE industry members, including access to training, participation in meetings, and the extent of access to APIs and support staff
  • Review and update, as needed, Consortium by-laws and operational policies, including IP, licensing, and other legal components, in concert with the universities

Management and Team Integration: The Executive Director reports to Cornell University API and works with the team members as follows

  • GLASE Cornell API: Project lead from Cornell University, currently Dr. Neil Mattson. The Executive Director reports to and serves the project through the direction of the GLASE Cornell API
  • GLASE Leadership Team: The GLASE Leadership team is comprised of the Executive Director and the APIs. Together, the leadership team is responsible for creating the tools and processes that allow the Executive Director to meet the responsibilities of that office.
  • GLASE Rensselaer API: Project lead from RPI, currently Dr. Elsebeth Kolmos, The Executive Director, together with the Cornell API, work to represent the project needs and accomplishments of the Rensselaer API as part of the regular meetings of the Consortium leadership team.
  • NYSERDA Project Manager: The Executive Director serves as the project point of contact with the NYSERDA PM and will respond until the NYSERDA funding is fully expended to the sponsor’s requests for documentation clarifications, edits and other improvements over the course of the project.
  • Extension Support Specialist (ESS): An 80% FTE staff position at Cornell University, provides administrative and outreach technical support to the GLASE team and reports directly to the Executive Director.

For more details regarding the position, and to apply please contact: Neil Mattson at

Applicants must include a cover letter outlining relevant expertise, a resume, and a minimum of three references. A valid driver’s license is required. Subject to background check. Position requires occasional travel.