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

The University of Rhode Island (URI) seeks a highly accomplished scientist with the vision, drive and capacity to lead and further develop innovation in discovery science and translational medicine through service as the executive director of the endowed George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience. The next executive director will join URI at an exciting time with new presidential leadership and institutional aspiration to extend and amplify URI’s presence on a global scale through collaboration.

Initially established in 2013 with a $15 million gift from 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. It is currently home to a dynamic cohort of nationally known and rising scientific talent, including six full-time faculty and two research faculty dedicated to understanding mechanisms that drive the development and progression of Alzheimer’s, ALS, aging-related disease, and other central nervous system disorders. In addition, an affiliated network of faculty at URI and other Rhode Island institutions identify as potential collaborators or have been actively engaged in Institute research or outreach projects. 

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; 1180 full and part-time faculty; and an academic enterprise consisting of 10 academic colleges that offer 92 bachelor’s degree programs, 71 graduate degree programs and 23 certificate and non-degree programs. 

The executive director will report to the provost and serve as the chief research and administrative officer of the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience. The primary responsibility of the executive director is to drive the production of high-quality research findings. The executive 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. The next executive director will expand research and drive results, increase philanthropy and diversify revenue streams, foster and expand internal relationships, build and sustain external partnerships, and support the educational mission and faculty. 

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. This individual will have a record of academic, industrial and/or government accomplishment as well as a record of research focused on neurodegenerative diseases, as evidenced by publications and external research funding. Evidence of leadership and the ability to manage the administrative, personnel, and financial aspects of a complex research enterprise are essential, as are strong interpersonal and collaborative skills. 

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. For fullest consideration, applicants should submit a CV and letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile to WittKieffer’s candidate portal by April 29, 2022. A comprehensive leadership profile can be found at 

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to Suzanne Teer and Sandra Chu are the WittKieffer 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.