Vice President of Strategic Engagement

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As stewards of Research Triangle Park (RTP or Park), the Foundation leads the Triangle in creating a thriving business environment, promoting economic development, and facilitating strategic partnerships that benefit the region and state. Through its commitment to fostering connections, environmental stewardship, innovation and collaboration, and diversity and inclusion, the Foundation invests in programs that cultivate vibrant communities within RTP and beyond.

Its founding in 1959 was historic. Located at the center of three Tier-1 research universities (Duke, NC State, and the University of Carolina, Chapel Hill), RTP is the largest research park in the United States and a premier global innovation center. Its 7,000 acres house hundreds of companies, including science and technology firms, government agencies, academic institutions, startups, and nonprofits. Our revitalization, begun in 2015, is ongoing and is repositioning RTP to remain relevant going forward.

This is an exciting leadership opportunity in one of the world’s premier innovation communities. Research Triangle Foundation (Foundation) is seeking a strategic relationship builder to help shape the future of one of North Carolina’s crown jewels.

The VP of Strategic Engagement reports to the President & CEO and is responsible for strategically positioning the Park through strengthening RTP company, university, and other stakeholder relationships. This role promotes RTP and RTF activities while establishing relationships with key Park Company representatives.

The VP of Strategic Engagement will serve as staff and administer the activities of a number of organizations under the RTF umbrella including TUCASI, Owners & Tenants Association, the RTP Service District Advisory Council and sub-committees of Owners & Tenants that currently include the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEI), Security Committee, O&T Executive Committee and Committee on the Environment and Sustainability and the RTP Charitable Fund.

The VP is the RTF representative to the City of Warrenton and Warren County relative to Frontier Warren County and represents RTF on various regional organizations.

Relationship building
• Actively develop strategic relationships within each Park company (C-suite or equivalent) to identify, inform and advance key initiatives directly impacting RTP.
• Represent RTP and its companies on working groups and committees focused on regional issues such as mobility, diversity, and workforce development in collaboration with the planning team and RTF leadership.
• Convene key associations and others working on economic development and participate in efforts to attract prospective companies relocating or expanding within the RTP region.
• Administer the DWSD (Durham Wake Service District) and coordinate its activities with the governing counties, manage the nominating of board members, prepare and report on the annual program and budget and submit the tax rate recommendation to the counties for approval.
• Serve as the RTF point person for developing and managing systems for tracking key relationships.
• Understand the strategic priorities of RTP companies and develop and execute an engagement strategy that enables RTF to support these objectives.
• Assimilate data from constituencies within the organization and third parties and consolidate the information to facilitate informed decision making and develop compelling cases for support to present to the board for discussion and approval.
• Conduct ongoing assessment of trends and patterns to inform the overall RTF approach to doing business.
• Evaluate partnership and programmatic opportunities and determine RTF’s role.
• Identify and effectively communicate RTF’s unique value proposition.
• Present regularly to the Foundation Board on project progress and manage Board expectations.
• Participate and lead meetings with public and private stakeholders to coordinate and share progress.
• Ensure projects and trends are properly tracked, analyzed, and communicated internally and with project stakeholders.
• Work with RTF Marketing and Communications team to enhance collateral that tells the RTP story aligned with the engagement strategy.
• Provide leadership that fosters a work environment that promotes teamwork, performance feedback, high ethical standards, recognition, mutual respect, and employee satisfaction in a fast-paced environment.
• Demonstrate enthusiasm for working in an opportunistic environment with ability to track and evaluate multiple options simultaneously to interpolate to an optimal decision.
• Respect the value and input of team partners to collaboratively achieve best outcomes.
• Be a creative and collaborative problem solver with a strong ability to think out of the box while simultaneously managing and executing multiple strategies and relationships.
• Exhibit strong, persuasive communication skills with excellent verbal, written and analytical abilities.
• Demonstrate strong project leadership skills, the ability to influence, and confidence to have your point of view considered by other senior leaders within RTF.
• Ability to demonstrate a high degree of flexibility and adaptability.
• Demonstrated excellence in entrepreneurial business leadership.
• Live and actively engage in the community, participate in professional and community organizations.

• Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution required.
• Minimum 15 years’ experience in economic development, urban planning, public affairs, community relations or business is preferred.