President & Chief Executive Officer

Req Number: SKSXYH
Location: Providence, RI
Posted: 5/21/2024
Category: Life Sciences/Healthcare : Biotechnology
Job Type: Permanent


  • Position: President & Chief Executive Officer, Rhode Island Life Science Hub (RILSH)
  • Location: Providence, Rhode Island
  • Reporting Relationship: Board of Directors


The Rhode Island Life Science Hub (RILSH) is a quasi-public entity established by the State of Rhode Island in the FY24 RI Ready budget. The Hub will be the central entity and coordinating organization of life science initiatives on behalf of the state. In addition to this new quasi-public body, the FY24 budget includes a 3-year $45M investment in the life sciences; these funds will be used to support much-needed wet lab spaces, grants, loans, business development, and company incubation services to grow this sector.

The Rhode Island Life Science Hub will facilitate the development of medical advances and scientific breakthroughs by supporting companies who specialize in the life science fields of biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, biomedical technology, biomanufacturing, cell and gene therapies, biomedical engineering, genomics, diagnostics, and the broader life sciences. Through targeted investments of grants, tax credits, and incentives, the Hub will fund and incubate Rhode Island-based life science companies to promote innovation and economic development within the state and allow Rhode Island to successfully compete on the national and international level. The Hub will also place a key focus on Rhode Island’s life sciences work force development, which will be integral across the industry.

RILSH’s Mission:

The global innovation economy recognizes the revolution occurring in the life sciences sector bringing together physical, digital, and biological knowledge to impact all phases of health and wellness. Fueled by remarkable advances in science and technology, the life sciences are now recognized as an attractive economic engine for Rhode Island. Further the 2023 HSBC Venture Healthcare Report notes that biopharma companies alone raised approximately $22.9 billion in venture capital validating the investment hypothesis.

With the creation of the Rhode Island Life Science Hub, we are now poised to deliver on a bold vision of: transforming the state into a globally recognized life sciences innovation hub by coalescing existing life sciences stakeholders, activities and investments and building new capabilities, to create a true “Life Sciences Innovation Ecosystem.” We believe the future economic prosperity of RI depends on our ability to build RILSH to support this integrated Life Sciences Innovation Ecosystem fuelled by the discoveries emerging from our local universities, hospitals and colleges, the formation of new, innovative venture-backed life science companies, the attraction of larger established companies to the state seeking our innovation and ensuring a workforce prepared for this industry.

Why Rhode Island: Given the advantageous geographic location of Rhode Island, the state is well-positioned to establish its own unique identity as a Life Sciences leader. Nestled between the Biotech and Life Sciences powerhouse of Massachusetts and the economic titan of New York City, Rhode Island possesses assets such as a strong economy, academia, industry, and the political will to succeed. With time, infrastructure investments, and great leadership, the current disparate nature of the industry in Rhode Island can grow into a productive, collaborative, and prosperous destination for Biotech and Life Sciences companies.

The Opportunity

Purpose of the Position: The inaugural Rhode Island Life Science Hub President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) role will be focused on driving significant growth and the capturing of white space opportunities for the state in the expansive life sciences industry (biopharma, medical device, bio-manufacturing, diagnostics, and digital health).

The President and CEO of RILSH will lead and manage the Hub to ensure the successful promotion of a vibrant, growing, and cutting-edge life sciences ecosystem within the State of Rhode Island. Leveraging the strength of a world-class Board of Directors, this person will be expected to successfully build and implement RILSH’s initiatives and programs, while developing a strategy for increased and sustained activity.

The successful candidate will lead efforts to map a compelling long-term strategy that ensures that RILSH continues to support and strengthen the state’s position and ambitions in the life sciences.

Key Responsibilities

The President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will be responsible for building and driving effective leadership of the RILSH, and execution of its mission and goals. This person will be an innovative and transformative leader with strong strategic communications skills, and political and business acumen, who will provide leadership and effective stewardship of the organization’s resources, operations, programs, and staff.

The President & CEO will be a dynamic and visionary leader who will bring strong strategic, management, and critical thinking skills with an inclusive, dedicated focus to advancing the goals of the RILSH and its constituents. This person will be the organization’s lead advocate and spokesperson before all external audiences including government, media, organizational partners, business partners and the public. The President & CEO will have a proven track record of leading an organization of comparable complexity that has faced a rapidly changing environment.

The successful candidate will report to the Board of Directors and lead the Hub’s operations. The President & CEO will work to align resources with strategic priorities and focus the organization on advancing the state’s life sciences stature for the long term.

Specifically, the new President & Chief Executive Officer will: 

• Oversee development and execution of the organization’s strategic plan and annual operating budget, exercising fiscal discipline over the investment of the organization’s resources. The President & CEO will work with the State, most notably Rhode Island Commerce, and the RILSH Board of Directors on these efforts. Establish and grow relationships with stakeholders including federal, state, and local elected officials and industry associations including, RI Bio and NEMIC, from across Rhode Island.
• Strengthening Rhode Island’s leadership position in the life sciences by improving the region's competitiveness, stimulating cluster growth, and identifying and fostering collaborations involving government, industry, and academia.
• Partner with life sciences companies, investors, and academic institutions to serve the needs of the RI ecosystem. Engage with scientific, industry, and medical leaders across the state and beyond to lead RILSH's economic development efforts to grow the entrepreneurial life sciences ecosystem as well as attract businesses and support the thriving life sciences ecosystem within Rhode Island in the near, mid, and long-term.
• Build and manage an organizational structure that attracts and encourages a talented team to achieve excellence and establish accountability; develop and implement internal policies and procedures that facilitate the organization’s success.
• Represent the State of Rhode Island life sciences industry in regional, national, and international activities and forums. Develop and maintain productive relationships with key opinion leaders and members of the media to ensure an understanding of RILSH, its objectives and mission, and the interests of the broader life sciences community.
• Oversee the organization’s business policies, financial planning, and human resources, in a manner consistent with the initiatives identified by the RILSH Board of Directors; and develop comprehensive business plans and performance goals.
• Provide leadership and support to the RILSH’s Board of Directors to perform their duties; and provide support for planning and executing Board meetings.
• Forge and maintain key alliances among organizations that share similar objectives, including relevant life sciences hubs and associations, working to explore consistent messaging when possible.
• Identify public affairs strategies that encourage legislators to enact and support policies advancing the RILSH.
• Demonstrate visionary leadership with the ability to clearly define a strong value proposition of building and growing current and prospective life sciences companies and organizations in Rhode Island.
• Establish and monitor progress against key performance indicators.
• Actively participate in professional meetings and conventions as appropriate.
• Performs other work-related duties as assigned. Extensive travel may be required.

Professional Experience and Qualifications

The President & CEO role calls for a highly committed individual whose leadership enables RILSH to play a critical role in the growth of the Rhode Island biotech and life sciences ecosystem. The successful candidate will be a recognized leader with strategic vision, exceptional communication skills, financial acumen, an understanding of budget and policy processes, and have a proven track record of delivering results. The President & CEO must be comfortable operating in a public capacity, adept at working with a board, experienced at developing strategic plans, and proficient at managing staff and partnerships.

Specific experience should include: 

• Ability to establish RILSH and history of driving visibility of a new established organization among targeted audiences and forge strategic partnerships and coalitions with organizations that share common objectives, across regions.
• Ten or more years' experience in positions of increasing responsibility involving organizational management in the public or non-profit sectors, with significant exposure to the life sciences, technology, or other related sectors.
• Must be comfortable operating in a public capacity, adept at working with a board, experienced at developing strategic plans, and proficient at managing staff and partnerships.
• Visionary leader capable of anticipating and addressing significant industry challenges and opportunities.
• Ability to identify and gain new sources of funding for RILSH’s; established track record of having accomplished this in other organizations.
• Track record of effectively working with diverse stakeholders to forge an organization’s strategic plan and execute upon that plan with appropriate urgency, timeliness, and responsiveness to outline goals, establish metrics and meet benchmarks, and deliver projects on budget.
• Experience partnering with entrepreneurs and academic institutions, as it will be essential that RILSH can help to establish companies from universities within the state.
• Outstanding interpersonal and persuasion skills, including the ability to relate well to a wide range of constituencies; outstanding listening skills, with the ability to clearly articulate the message and command the respect of their audience. An effective, credible principal spokesperson before all audiences including the media, government officials, business leaders, and the public at large.
• Superior presentation, documentation, negotiation, leadership, and interpersonal skills with a solid team-oriented approach.
• Ability to perform several tasks simultaneously to meet deadlines is necessary.

• Bachelor's Degree required; Advanced Degree(s) preferred.

• A highly competitive compensation package will be offered to attract the most qualified candidates.


Korn Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis.