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Executive Director, National Security

San Diego, CA, USA | UC San Diego

  • Industry:
    Education (Higher)
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    General Management
  • Experience:
    5-7 years
Job Description:
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The University of California’s only school of international affairs, the School of Global Policy & Strategy (GPS) provides a unique resource for training leaders, creating ideas, and building networks for the Pacific Century. GPS is internationally renowned for its innovative programs, superb faculty and outstanding students and now stands among the world's top graduate schools of international relations and is the established leader in its focus on Asia and the Americas. GPS instructs a diverse student body consisting of 60% domestic and 40% international students in MPP, MCEPA, MIA, BA-MIA, MAS, joint PhD with Department of Political Science and executive education programs.

GPS also administers the International Studies Program, a fast-growing interdisciplinary program with over 1700 declared undergraduate majors, that offers a rigorous curriculum for undergraduate students interested in international affairs. Offering nine B.A. degree options, three combined BA/MIA programs, and a minor program, the International Studies Program explores the interaction between the international and national, global and local, contemporary and historical ideas shaping globalization. GPS is also the parent organization to major research centers: Center on Global Transformation (CGT), Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, 21st Century China Center, Fudan-UC Center on China, Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC), Policy Design and Evaluation Lab (PDEL), Laboratory on International Law and Regulation (ILAR), and Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology (JFIT).

Catalyst overview: The San Diego National Security Catalyst is an innovation platform that brings together the commercial, academic, and national security communities of San Diego. It is designed to effectively and efficiently link the resources of the San Diego ecosystem in a way that improves national security by quickly getting innovative solutions fielded against important problems in a way that is economically sustainable, strengthens the local economy by attracting more investment and broadening market opportunities, and provides actionable policy options on ways to improve San Diego’s competitive advantages to national security decision makers.

The Executive Director of Catalyst, in collaboration with Director of IGCC and GPS Dean, will strategize ways to position national security program locally, nationally and internationally. Serve as the lead and strategic advisor to senior leaders across the campus regarding all aspects of program. Develop, implement and contribute original ideas on research studies and methods on a variety of issues critical to program planning, immediate needs and long-term strategy development for the Catalyst Program. Interact with high level government, institutional and scientific officials in the US and in foreign countries to promote, organize, negotiate, coordinate and monitor initiatives on national security.

Must be available for instate, domestic, and international travel. Must be available to work evenings/weekends as needed.


Advanced Degree in business administration, public policy, political science, economics, or social sciences and a minimum of six (6) years work experience in a related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Demonstrated experience administering programs, including budgeting, fiscal management, marketing/promoting, program revision/expansion and evaluation.

Deep understanding of faculty and programmatic research interests within the University. Understanding of partnership agreements, patent law, licensing and commercialization.

Prior management experience to independently plan and execute research programs to completion by selecting approaches, deploying resources, coordinating phases and interpreting and evaluating results with colleagues and supervisors. Ability to establish realistic research priorities and motivate colleagues and staff for a sustained effort.

Proven interpersonal skills to establish and maintain working relationships with colleagues, faculty, donors, and industry partners, with an emphasis on collaboration, tact, diplomacy, flexibility, professionalism, and discretion.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Persuasive ability to establish rapport and express the mission of an organization and its interest. Active listening, critical thinking, persuasiveness, advising and counseling skills. Ability to use discretion and respect confidentiality.

Advanced organizational and project management skills. Ability to lead a team, prioritize personal and team tasks and see projects through from inception to completion on schedule.

Proficiency performing all commonly applicable functions in the Microsoft Suite. Advanced knowledge of software applications specific to industry alliance programs. Ability to teach others.

Strong experience researching grant opportunities and/or other funding to fund not-for-profit activities, and strong experience writing successful grant applications and grant requests for similar activities, initiatives, or programs.

Experience with the details of grant writing and submission: text, format, sequence, organization, development of theme, promotion of home institution's strengths, uniqueness, quality, reputation, etc.

Superior ability to develop and implement persuasive cultivation ideas and techniques and provide critical analysis, using sound judgment with realistic expectations. Ability to break down complex concepts and tailor communication to industry partner unique needs and interests.

Ability to effectively interact with diplomacy, tact, and a collaborative tone to build bridges with partner organizations, individuals within GPS, across the University, and in other outside communities. Ability to interact appropriately and with sensitivity in a culturally diverse environment

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