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 periodically scheduled in-person meetings and travel to conferences and industry events.
Established in 2017, the Greenhouse Lighting and Systems Engineering (GLASE) Consortium is a unique association of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs from academia, industry and government representing multidisciplinary expertise on efficient greenhouse operations. Focused on energy-efficient greenhouse lighting systems, GLASE has developed a series of technical and educational activities to meet the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) market needs as well as addressing the associated barriers to new technologies implementation. Currently, GLASE has 25 industry members and a series of established activities including webinars, short courses, online tools, monthly newsletters, annual summits, pilot demonstrations, and a CEA energy database and benchmark tool.
Focusing on CEA sustainability practices, GLASE generates new, industry relevant evidence to help tackle the most significant challenges constraining development and implementation of energy efficient technologies in CEA facilities. Working with industry leaders in the US and around the world, GLASE prioritizes efforts to provide the industry with a greater understanding of what sustainability in CEA means, why it matters, what can be done to promote sustainable practices, and how CEA growers can implement it. The intended outcome is for the new knowledge and evidence to lead to the development of a conceptual framework for sustainability in CEA and increase the investment in sustainable CEA practices.
To achieve these goals, and building on the existing GLASE platform, the new Executive Director (ED) will be responsible for identifying and prioritizing outreach activities, identify sources of funding to maintain the consortium activities, recruit and maintain industry members, and explore new business models and industry partnerships to continuously grow the consortium. The ED will work closely with the GLASE Extension Support Specialist, who oversees day-to-day operations and communication.
The GLASE ED will be responsible for leading the GLASE Consortium between four major areas of work:
- Providing managerial oversight and intellectual leadership
- Pursuing and maintaining financial self-sustainability
- Serving as the first point of contact for the consortium academic partners and funding agencies
- Remaining accountable for all annual goals.
The GLASE ED will lead development of the consortium activities and business strategy and ensure coordination and coherence between GLASE researchers and stakeholders:
- Broad industry CEA sustainability – concepts and theory
- Promote the implementation of CEA sustainable practices – research and empirical data
- Educational activities and industry awareness
Furthermore, the GLASE ED will:
- Lead a strategic planning effort to evaluate and realign the consortium mission, geographic reach and partnerships to ensure long-term goals related to sustainability have broad industry impact.
- Explore and develop business models to support the consortium self-sustainability and ensure a minimum runway of 12 months at all times.
- Develop and prioritize the consortium annual activities to maximize the value and benefits to paying GLASE members.
- Develop a program budget with projected revenue/expenses and secure required funds to support the execution of annual activities.
- Ensure the consortium goals are achieved within budget and with annual financial reporting/forecasting to GLASE members.
- Oversee management of the consortium, including develop partnerships and establish agreements with relevant CEA industry stakeholders, academics and public institutions.
- Provide strategic oversight on the Consortium research strategy and draw on the advice of relevant experts via the Industry and Scientific Advisory Boards
- Lead the development and implementation of a Research-Into-Use strategy to ensure research is targeted and accessible, with clear pathways to achieving uptake and impact through policymakers and other partners and stakeholders
- Manage and nurture working relationships with all consortium members, broad industry stakeholders, partners and relevant agencies.
- Coordinate the development and submission of bi-annual technical reports to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and schedule annual wrap-up meetings to review problems and achievements and discuss future action and solutions.
- Perform additional tasks as necessary
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 will have an understanding and experience in technology transfer, as well as an understanding of intellectual property and the activities needed to launch a product to commercialization. In addition, the successful candidate will have experience in working within university structures and a holistic/systems view of the relevant markets and industries across the entire product supply chain.
Key Requirements are:
- Significant experience in designing and managing public-private consortiums
- Expertise in, or experience managing, complex, multi-sectoral research and/or outreach programs
- Fundraising and business administration experience
- Strong track record in engaging with a myriad of stakeholder across government, academics and donor bodies both nationally and internationally
- Experience in fostering relationships with industry stakeholders, with the ability to influence decision-making
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
For more details regarding the position, and to apply please contact: Neil Mattson at email@example.com.
Applicants must include a cover letter outlining relevant expertise, a resume, and list a minimum of three references. A valid driver’s license is required. Subject to background check. Position requires occasional travel.