Executive Director of the Joint Institute for the Future of Health

University of Oklahoma

Norman, OK

Job posting number: #7230524 (Ref:if135821)

Posted: March 21, 2024

Job Description


Executive Summary

The University of Oklahoma (OU) Norman Campus and its Health Sciences Campus in Oklahoma City are launching a new Joint Institute for the Future of Health (JIFH), which aims to revolutionize healthcare through an interdisciplinary approach with a mission to harness the transformative power of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML), data science, engineering, the social sciences and the humanities, chemistry, and the life, medical, and clinical sciences to create a healthier future for all. The Joint Institute for the Future of Health will engage with industry sector leaders, foster and develop public-private partnerships, and catalyze commercialization and startup creation efforts. By fostering innovation and collaboration across traditional academic boundaries and industry, it aims to address the most pressing health challenges of our time.


The Executive Director, who will report jointly to the University of Oklahoma's Vice Presidents for Research and Partnerships (VPRP) at the Norman Campus and Health Sciences, will provide strong leadership in guiding the mission of the Joint Institute for the Future of Health, which is to advance positive health outcomes through convergence research to create new diagnostics, therapies, policies, and practices that will enable recognition of and response to continuing and emerging disease threats and address social and environmental risk factors impacting health equity and disparity in Oklahoma, the United States and the world.


This vision of convergence in the life sciences will capitalize on existing strengths on the Norman Campus in biomedical engineering, chemistry and biochemistry, biological sciences, AI/ML and data science, including the Data Science Institute for Societal Challenges, and areas such as anthropology and the medical humanities, all of which will partner with the outstanding research and clinical enterprise strengths of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences and OU Health, to build productive partnerships with the major goal of growing NIH and other federal funding and helping to steer new strategic faculty hires, including joint hires between the two campuses. Joint Institute for the Future of Health is part of the University of Oklahoma's Lead On, University strategic plan.


The University of Oklahoma is the state’s flagship university and a national leader in research, ranking in the top 8% in the National Science Foundation’s 2022 Higher Education Research Data Report. The Norman Campus ranks number 1 nationally in atmospheric science and meteorology, and its research in climate change and extreme/severe weather is closely tied to human impacts, including global health outcomes. Extensive research efforts exist in partnership with the Health Sciences Campus and the Stephenson Cancer Center in immunoengineering and the application of AI/ML to drug discovery, medical diagnostics and other areas of biochemistry and biomedical research. The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences is one of the nation’s few academic health centers with all health professions colleges – Allied Health, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Graduate Studies, and School of Community Medicine with campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and is the academic and research partner of OU Health, the state’s only comprehensive academic healthcare system.


The successful candidate will be an experienced and dynamic leader with exceptional scholarly credentials in medical and life sciences research, biomedical engineering, and AI/ML and data science applications to health or related fields and eligible for a faculty position in the University of Oklahoma.


Key Responsibilities of the Executive Director


The Institute Director is expected to:

  •  Provide strategic leadership, direction, and organizational and financial management of the new institute and its personnel.
  • Work closely with faculty across all University of Oklahoma campuses, with institutes associated with other strategic research verticals, and with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences and its primary clinical centers and OU Health clinics and hospitals to advance the mission of the Joint Institute for the Future of Health and the overall research agenda of the University of Oklahoma.
  • Create an environment that facilitates the ideation and development of winning proposals by multidisciplinary University of Oklahoma faculty teams in response to significant funding opportunities.
  • Help develop corporate partnerships and corporate-sponsored research supporting the institute's mission and any commercialization of intellectual property.
  • Foster engagement in innovative transdisciplinary research related to human health issues and fundamental scientific discoveries, particularly in areas of OU Health Sciences clinical strength, such as cancer, diabetes, neuroscience, gerontology, and others.
  • Support convergent research in new therapies, policies, and technologies to address chronic and deadly diseases in the University of Oklahoma's ecosystem areas of clinical strength.
  • Enhance community partnerships with urban, rural, and tribal communities to ensure the feasibility of efforts to intervene in health disparities while furthering the institute’s convergence research and educational mission.




Professional Qualifications

  • Education: Ph.D. and/or M.D. in life sciences research or related area.
  • Expertise at the intersection of AI/ML and the health sciences is highly desirable.
  • A demonstrated record of education and research/clinical accomplishments that warrant tenure in a University of Oklahoma academic department.


Professional Experience

  • At least two years of relevant academic or corporate leadership experience.
  • Evidence of a nationally recognized and well-funded research program.



  • Leadership experience in running an organization or large department.


Knowledge and Skills

  • A deep understanding of the critical importance of the research and creative activity mission at a top-tier public university.
  • Collaborative mindset and congenial nature to network and work effectively with faculty, administrators, and external partners.
  • Understanding of Responsible Conduct of Research principles and knowledge of federal, state, and higher education institutional rules and regulations.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Proven experience in fostering and maintaining key relationships with internal and external constituents.



How to Apply

The University of Oklahoma has retained the services of the executive search firm Korn Ferry to conduct this important search. All inquiries, nominations, and applications should be submitted to Korn Ferry at [email protected]. Initial applications should consist a full-length curriculum vitae and a letter of interest. For priority consideration, please submit application materials in confidence by May 6, 2024.

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More Info

Job posting number:#7230524 (Ref:if135821)
Application Deadline:Open Until Filled
Employer Location:University of Oklahoma
United States
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