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Executive Director of Licensing, PSOM

University of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not specified
Date posted
Apr 23, 2024

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Executive Director of Licensing, PSOM

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Large Employers in 2023.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Executive Director of Licensing, PSOM

Job Profile Title
Director F, Business and Finance, Innovation

Job Description Summary
Reporting to the Deputy Managing Director of the Penn Center for Innovation, the Executive Director of Licensing, Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM), will lead and manage the PSOM Licensing Team, which currently comprises seven business development professionals and an administrative coordinator.

The Executive Director of Licensing for PSOM will provide, and lead the PSOM Licensing Team in providing, outstanding customer service to PSOM faculty and researchers. Key duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to,
(i) working collaboratively with investigators in PSOM to identify research programs and intellectual property assets of interest to industry and investors;
(ii) identifying and evaluating the commercial potential of new inventions and discoveries, and making considered and well-articulated recommendations for pursuing intellectual property protection, where applicable,
(iii) working collaboratively with other business development groups at PCI to identify and facilitate the establishment of research collaborations with industry;
(iv) developing and negotiating the business terms associated with such research collaborations and coordinating with, and supporting, the PCI Corporate Contracts team in implementing agreements in an efficient manner;
(v) leading or supporting, as applicable, the negotiation of agreements managed by the PSOM Licensing team related to licensing or optioning Penn intellectual property rights;
(vi) encouraging and increasing start-up company formation by identifying suitable Penn assets and providing as-needed guidance and support to faculty (in conjunction with the PCI Ventures team, as applicable);
(vii) conceptualizing and coordinating the strategic application of PCI and PSOM resources to achieve these targets, including the creation of innovative business arrangements and collaborations in partnership with other business development teams at PCI and Penn;
(viii) supervising, mentoring and actively managing the PSOM Licensing team across all of the preceding activities; and
(ix) coordinating and communicating closely and regularly in coordination with the Deputy Managing Director with the Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer of PSOM to ensure alignment of PCI's activities with the school's short- and long-term strategic objectives.

In addition, the Executive Director of Licensing will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies for enhancing PCI support of commercialization and industry engagement and identifying potential new areas of business development opportunity across all life sciences areas at Penn.

Job Description

The Penn Center for Innovation has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Nominations, inquiries, and applications, including a letter of interest describing the individual's qualifications for the position and curriculum vitae, should be submitted electronically and in confidence to: Patricia Hastie, Partner, and Alexandra Lolavar, Associate, at the link provided:

Job Responsibilities
  • Work in conjunction with the PCI leadership, as applicable, to develop and implement new strategies for enhancing PCI support of commercialization and industry engagement for PSOM faculty and researchers. More specifically, such strategies will increase engagement of faculty, staff, post-docs, and students in PSOM with industry and the investor community, resulting in the effective translation of PSOM technologies into new products and services. Lead or support, as applicable, regular communication and coordination with the PSOM Dean's offices to ensure close alignment of PCI's ongoing activities with the school's short- and long-term strategic objectives.
  • Lead, manage and mentor all business development professionals in the PSOM Licensing Team to accomplish all listed responsibilities herein, and deploy the resources of the Administrative Coordinator in support of these efforts. Ensure that each business development professional has a portfolio that is appropriately balanced based on their experience and skills. Identify opportunities for continued professional development and learning for the PSOM Licensing Team. Work with the Deputy Managing Director to set appropriate goals based on the broader goals of PCI and PSOM, and support the team in achieving such goals.
  • Continue to foster and develop new relationships with faculty, researchers, and entrepreneurs in PSOM. Identify research programs and assets with commercial potential. Work in coordination with PCI's Marketing, Communication, and Program (MCP) team to develop and implement strategies for increased interaction between PCI and PSOM faculty, researchers, and entrepreneurs and in support of enhanced commercialization of Penn technology, startup company formation, and industry engagement.
  • Evaluate the commercial potential of assets disclosed to PCI by PSOM faculty and researchers. Provide well-founded recommendations at weekly Patent Investment Meeting for securing intellectual property protection for such assets, as applicable. Work collaboratively with the inventors, IP team and outside patent counsel to develop plans for successful protection of such assets, as applicable. Ensure these processes are transparent to faculty and other stakeholders.
  • Identify prospective licensees, investors, and commercial research partners to advance Penn technology and support PSOM's research enterprise. Work with faculty to determine the optimal commercial path to advance Penn technology, whether through a research partnership, new venture, or licensing opportunity, and successfully execute on the chosen path. Ensure these processes are transparent to faculty and other stakeholders.
  • Structure, negotiate and finalize agreements related to the licensing or optioning of Penn intellectual property and tangible property rights. Develop and structure business terms associated with research collaborations (e.g., sponsored research, collaborative research, material transfer, data use, etc.) and work collaboratively with the Corporate Contracts team to implement the associated agreements in an efficient manner. Act as a concierge with faculty to ensure that they are regularly updated on transactional activities.
  • Work in partnership with other administrative groups at Penn (e.g., Office of Research Services, Office of General Counsel, Office of Clinical Research) to (a) review, modify and/or incorporate, as necessary, nonstandard IP related provisions during contract drafting and negotiation, and (b) help resolve both IP and non-IP related issues related to agreements between Penn and industry partners.

  • The successful candidate will have an advanced degree (Ph.D. preferred) in life sciences.
  • Candidates are required to have 10+ years of experience in business development and licensing, supporting start-up company formation and leading the commercialization of early-stage life science technologies.
  • Preference will be given to the candidates with both commercial and academic experience in a relevant industry sector.
  • CLP preferred.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Provost's Center

Pay Range

Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

To learn more, please visit:

To apply, visit


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