The University of Tennessee – Oak Ridge Innovation Institute Taps JDG Associates to Find New Leader

December 1, 2023 – Rockville, MD-based executive search firm JDG Associates has been retained by the University of Tennessee – Oak Ridge Innovation Institute (UT-ORII) to find its next executive director and vice provost. This executive serves as the senior leader responsible for the oversight of the institute’s vision, management, and operations, as well as for the development, planning, and implementation of strategies to ensure enduring success and impact. Emphasis is placed on strengthening collaborative research opportunities and impact, and on advancing graduate education prominence jointly with UT’s colleges and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s directorates. As vice provost, the position is responsible and accountable to University of Tennessee, Knoxville provost on sole academic matters at UT.

JDG notes that candidates should have at least five years of demonstrated executive management experience, including: Development of vision and strategic plans; successful leadership of large, complex, and multidisciplinary research initiatives; successful management of individuals, research teams; and an understanding of key operational elements important for complex institutes.

Candidates must also have the demonstrated ability to maintain strong communications and relationships with key stakeholders, sponsors, staff, and collaborators. They should have a collaborative leadership style, excellent judgement and diplomatic skills, and ability to execute and delegate with sense of urgency to accelerate progress. Ideally, the successful candidate will have experience with National Laboratories and Universities, with an understanding of how to meld strengths from both to great effect.

The University of Tennessee – Oak Ridge Innovation Institute was officially launched in 2021 with support from the DOE and the State of Tennessee to accelerate innovation on complex and pressing challenges that require convergent research, and to develop a next generation of scientists and engineers who thrive in dynamic, team-based settings. Through strategically aligning the assets across UT and ORNL, UT-ORII aims to become a national coveted home for convergent research and talent development. UT-ORII has a plan to hire 100 joint faculty and over 500 graduate students over the next 10 years.

Related: JDG Associates Recruits Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for the American Veterinary Medical Association

JDG Associates has been providing executive recruitment services to Fortune 1000 corporations, associations and non-profits, federal, state, and local governments, research and consulting firms, and defense contractors since 1973. The firm’s research-intensive process and personal approach have resulted in more than 4,000 senior-level searches across a broad spectrum of industries and disciplines in the Washington, D.C. region and nationally.

JDG Associates Recruits New Leader for American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists Foundation
JDG Associates has placed Diane Swecker as the new executive director of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists Foundation (AARST). “Everyone on the committee is pleased that Ms. Swecker has accepted the offer and is going to help lead the association into the future,” said Peter Hendrick, former CEO and chair of the search committee. “We believe that her natural leadership qualities, plus her experience in working in technical organizations committed to excellence and high professional standards are going to be assets for AARST achieving its long-term goals.” Ms. Swecker has proven successes in association and certification work as well as facilities engineering project management. She has spent her career specializing in civil engineering and infrastructure support, most recently holding the position as director of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute (UESI).

Darren DeGioia serves as president of JDG. He conducts senior-level search assignments for research and consulting organizations as well as the public sector. His areas of expertise include information technology, accounting and finance, the quantitative sciences, operations / general management, marketing, and communications. Prior to joining JDG, Mr. DeGioia spent four years in the hospitality industry with the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Sheraton Hotels.

Recent Assignment

JDG Associates recently recruited Trevor Williams as the new chief financial officer for the Washington, D.C.-based Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB), which manages the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a retirement plan available to federal employees and members of the armed services.

Mr. Williams is a financial executive with more than 26 years of honorable service as a military finance officer. He has experience in strategic financial management integrating cross functional applications of policy, finance, and organizational management. Mr. Williams previously served as the comptroller of the U.S. Cyber Command where he led a team of financial management professionals and a budget in excess of $1 billion.

Related: JDG Associates Taps CEO for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification Accreditation Body

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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