Development Director

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If this job were any cooler, your screen would be coated in frost.

I mean, this job is really cool. Like, dip-your-fingers-in-Puget-Sound cool. Cool like the breezes that slice through the Cascade Mountain passes around this time of year. It’s just … cool. 

I absolutely guarantee that within three months, max, of taking this job, you will have at least one conversation where someone hears what you now do for a living, and their response will include the word “cool.” In fact, that word might very well constitute the entirety of their response

In fact, I’ll make you a bet: By the end of this paragraph, your mind will involuntarily generate the word entirely on its own. Ready? Here we go! The Institute for Systems Biology is a cross-disciplinary nonprofit research organization based in Seattle. One of their mottos is “Great minds don’t think alike,” and they draw upon experts from a vast range of disciplines to find entirely new ways to tackle the most pressing health challenges of our time, from COVID to cancer to brain disorders to tropical disease.

OK – if by now the word “cool!” didn’t cross your mental transom at least once, you are officially excused. Read no further. You are not the droid they are looking for. But if, like me, you find this kind of work at least a little goosebumpy, there’s another fact you need to know: ISB is, right now, looking for someone to lead their efforts to raise money for their literally life-saving work.

That’s right: The Institute for Systems Biology is seeking a Development Director. Actually, I’ll just let them tell you, because they make it all sound so … cool: “ISB seeks a Development Director with an entrepreneurial spirit; linking donors and volunteers with our pioneering scientists and educators. This role requires a leader of vision, energy, experience, sophistication, and personal integrity, with a passion for science, technology and medical research and the ability to inspire and influence others, including potential donors.”

This is a fine overview of the gig, and a very cool example of the coolness that I’m talking about here, but I can provide a few additional particulars. This position is responsible for the management of ISB’s entire development program, including the creation and implementation of the strategic-development plan; the maintenance of donor relationships and records; the projection of development revenue; the identification of funding needs and opportunities; and the leadership of all solicitation campaigns and events. 

This Director is a member of ISB’s Administrative Leadership Team, and is expected to be an active participant in the management of the organization. The management nature of this role extends to the hiring, evaluation, and coaching of the development staff.

For this role, ISB is looking for someone with at least eight years of development experience; a background in research or science would be a decided plus. Beyond that, the organization seeks someone with genuine interest in scientific research, STEM education, and innovation – as well as very strong interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to present compelling ideas to a variety of audiences.

I would say “strike while the iron is hot,” or something like that, but it would totally mess up the coolness metaphor I’ve so painstakingly and annoyingly constructed here, like an ice castle! You know what I’m getting at – this is a highly desirable vocational opportunity, and any individuals interested in said opportunity are advised to proceed with alacrity. How’s that? 

Given ISB researchers have focused their attention on the COVID-19 pandemic and virus for two tireless years, ISB requires employees to be fully vaccinated according to the CDC guidelines. 

PS From PSP: I realize the bulk of the announcements you read about in this space are for for-profit companies, and I fully anticipate that will always remain the case. But ISB is a great example of a client from the Pacific Northwest’s very strong nonprofit and research sectors. If your organization operates in or near these realms, and you need to make a strategic hire or build out a team, please know that PS Partners is delighted to talk with you about how we can help you get it right. Let us know how we can serve you – so that you can serve others.

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