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an artist rendering of the Discovery Partners Institute headquarters in downtown Chicago

The University of Illinois System is seeking a new executive director for its Discovery Partners Institute. This position is an extraordinary and unparalleled opportunity for a visionary leader who can harness the boundless potential of DPI to achieve impactful contributions to our state, our region, and internationally.


DPI's objectives promote economic growth and cultivate an inclusive economic renaissance that spans the State of Illinois through its core programs of kindergarten through adult talent development, applied research, and business development. Core to that success is DPI’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, ensuring that its transformative power is woven throughout its programs. Further, DPI partners with academia, industry, and governmental and community organizations locally, regionally, and globally to build programs with impact.
Learn more about DPI DPI overview



The executive director of Discovery Partners Institute oversees all aspects of the institute including articulation and communication of the DPI vision and strategy as well as the development of the operations necessary to achieve that vision including staffing; budget development, fundraising, and philanthropy; facility planning, acquisition, construction, and operations; the development of corporate and academic partnerships; and inclusive economic development. This is a 100%, 12-month academic professional appointment.
View appointment details  Meet the DPI team View the U of I System org chart University of Illinois Non-Discrimination Statement


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The firm of Perrett Laver is assisting the U of I System in the search for a DPI executive director. Applications should be received by Sunday, June 9 at 6:00 p.m. CDT for full consideration. The search will be conducted with a commitment of confidentiality for candidates until finalists are selected.

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  • April/May/June: Candidate Sourcing
  • July: Candidate Interviews
  • August: Semi-Finalist Interviews
  • August/September: Hiring Decision and Announcement

Search Committee

Jay Walsh, Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation, Chair
Nancy Amato, Department Head and Professor, Computer Science, UIUC
TJ Augustine, Vice Chancellor for Innovation, UIC
German Bollero, Dean, ACES, UIUC
Vickie Cook, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Retention Management, UIS
Deneen Jackson-Gillespie, Assistant Vice President, Strategic Communications and Marketing, System Offices
Robert Kerr, Executive Director, Innovation Center, UIS
Kumar Kintala, Director, Innovation Hub, Discovery Partners Institute
Praveen Kumar, Executive Director, Prairie Research Institute, and Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, UIUC
Susan Martinis, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, UIUC
Jami Painter, Senior Associate Vice President and CHRO, System Human Resource Services
Amita Shetty, Director, BTT, Computer Science, UIC
Sandy Wayne, Dean, College of Business Administration, UIC
Donald Wink, Professor, Chemistry, UIC

Search Firm

Perrett Laver
Inquiries about this position or the application process should be directed to Corey Paquette at



The Search Committee welcomes your nominations and suggestions. Deadline for nominations is May 29 at noon CDT.

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an artist rendering of the Discovery Partners Institute headquarters in downtown Chicago