The University of Rhode Island — Executive Director, George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience

The University of Rhode Island (URI) is seeking a highly accomplished researcher and administrative leader to serve as the executive director of the endowed George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience. 

Initially established in 2013 with a $15 million gift by Tom and Cathy Ryan, which has since been augmented with an additional gift of $24 million from the Ryan family, the Institute was created to research potential therapies to combat neurodegenerative diseases. The Institute has nationally renowned faculty experts including five full-time faculty, two research faculty, 18 affiliated faculty, and 18 collaborating faculty from a wide array of academic disciplines on campus and from the community. These celebrated faculty pursue the successful treatment and eventual prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. The Ryan Institute fills a niche in pursuing under-explored and critical areas of research.

URI is a proud land and sea grant institution. It is a vibrant learning-centered research university and community of about 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students; 820 full- and part-time faculty; and an academic enterprise consisting of 10 academic colleges that offer 97 bachelor’s degree programs, 76 graduate degree programs and 22 certificate and non-degree programs. In the last 12 years, $902 million has been invested in capital projects and improvements across all four campuses, with new facilities for chemistry and forensic science, pharmacy and communications. 

The executive director will report directly to the provost and serve as the chief administrative and research officer of the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience. The primary responsibility of the executive director is to lead and support the work leading to the production of high-quality research findings. The director will lead and advance the Institute in becoming an internationally recognized neuroscience research center committed to excellence in interdisciplinary research, education and outreach in areas of neuroscience with a special focus on neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, the next executive director will expand research and drive results, foster and expand internal relationships, build and sustain external partnerships, support the educational mission and faculty and increase philanthropy and diversify revenue streams. 

The next executive director must hold a Ph.D., M.D., M.D./Ph.D. or equivalent degree and qualify as either a tenured, clinical, or research professor. Candidates with an appropriate record of academic and scholarly accomplishments will be granted tenure as a professor within one of the academic departments affiliated with the Institute at the University of Rhode Island and will hold the Thomas M. Ryan Professorship of Neuroscience. In addition, this individual will have a record of academic, industrial and/or government accomplishments. The next executive director will also have a reputation for conducting research focused on neurodegenerative diseases, as evidenced by publications and external research funding. Lastly, a history of progressive leadership and administrative, personnel, and financial management experience is essential. An essential element of success will be strong interpersonal and collaborative skills. 

For a detailed leadership profile, please visit, 

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by Friday, September 4, 2020. 

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to: Robert Luke and Veena Abraham, J.D. are the consultants supporting this search. 

It is the policy of the University of Rhode Island not to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, citizenship status, genetic information, marital status, aids/hiv and domestic abuse victim, homelessness or discriminate against disabled and Vietnam era veterans in the recruitment, admission or treatment of students, the recruitment, hiring or treatment of faculty and staff, and in the operation of its activities and programs, as specified by State and Federal Laws, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments to the Higher Education ActExecutive Order 11246, as amended, New Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended,  Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and all other laws which pertain to access and equity.

The University of Rhode Island is committed to the principles of Affirmative Action and the attainment of Equal Employment and Equal Educational opportunities for all qualified individuals. The Director of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity has been designated by the President as the person who shall have overall responsibility for the implementation and maintenance of such programs. For further information, please contact the Affirmative Action Office at (401) 874-2442.