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Candidates for Executive Director and Chief Innovation and Corporate Officer, Office of Innovation and Corporate Relations must provide a cover letter, résumé, and references. Review of candidate materials will begin immediately and continue until the successful candidate has been selected. 

For additional information, please contact Human Resources at (405) 325-4310.

Executive Director and Chief Innovation and Corporate Officer, Office of Innovation and Corporate Relations


The University of Oklahoma is seeking an experienced, dynamic, and visionary leader to craft and implement a framework for supporting the University of Oklahoma’s objectives of enhanced technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, regional economic development, and partnerships with private-sector corporations and investors.

The Chief Innovation and Corporate Officer (CICO) is a senior-level administrator responsible for creating and managing the new Office Innovation and Corporate Relations (OICP) that integrates the university’s offices and efforts in technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, and corporate partnerships for sponsored research and education. Reporting to the Vice Presidents for Research and Partnerships at the OU Norman and OU Health Sciences Center Campuses, the CICO will stand up the new OICP with the synergistic goals of:

  • Enhancing OU’s ability to engage strategically with private sector companies interested in research and educational partnerships and growing private sector sponsored research at all three of OU’s campuses.
  • Working with the Governor’s office, state and local chambers of commerce, the Innovation District, entrepreneurs, investors, and other stakeholders to help attract new companies into the Norman/Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro area to enhance local and regional economic development.
  • Enhancing the university’s management of Intellectual property and commercialization of technologies in order to facilitate corporate and private sector engagement and enhanced licensing of OU technologies.
  • Working with faculty, staff, and students to grow the local entrepreneurial community on the OU campuses and surrounding communities to enhance the university’s ability to launch new companies based on OU Intellectual Property.

The CICO will work closely with the university’s Office of Advancement and with select offices in the State of Oklahoma to build productive relations between OU faculty, staff and students, and private-sector corporations and to facilitate the establishment of strategic research partnerships in key areas of mutual interest. In addition, the CICO will have expertise in negotiating Intellectual Property (IP) and will serve as the university’s senior IP officer. In this capacity, s/he will work closely with the office of legal counsel, the research offices at the Norman and HSC campuses, and others as appropriate to ensure smooth and timely negotiation of the university’s position relative to potential new IP created through research partnerships with industry.  In addition to a focus on research partnerships, and working with OU Online, the CICO will ensure that companies approaching the university through the OICP portal will have access to all that OU has to offer when it comes to online workforce training and development.

In addition, the CICO coordinates technology transfer for the entire university and is responsible for managing all OU technology transfer and commercialization operations. He or she oversees a portfolio of hundreds of pieces of intellectual property, including patents and commercial copyrights, and it is expected that under his or her tenure, invention disclosures, newly issued patents, and new royalty-generating licenses will all increase significantly over current numbers. He or she will build productive relations with OU faculty, staff, and students to facilitate the process of disclosing new inventions, evaluating the potential for, and patenting of new IP as appropriate, and negotiating the licensing of OU IP to third parties.

 The CICO leads a staff of professionals including individuals with PhDs, JDs, and MBAs and is responsible for organizational planning, hiring, and evaluation of this staff. The position reports to the OU-Norman and OU-HSC Vice Presidents for Research and Partnerships. 


The Chief Innovation and Corporate Officer administers the process and documentation required to move OU knowledge and ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace through partnerships with the private sector and industry. In this role, the CICO assists OU faculty, staff, and student researchers with identifying potential venture capital funds, industry partners, and other stakeholders for their work, negotiating IP agreements and maintaining and building strong internal relationships (research administrations, budget offices, college leadership, faculty and staff contact, outreach, and informative forums) to advance their work.

Additional specific duties and responsibilities include:

  • Promotes and builds capacity in intellectual property negotiation and protection.
  • Leads and collaborates on the planning, development and implementation of strategic initiatives and programs that support the university's mission of research and creative and scholarly activity, knowledge advancement, and societal impact. 
  • Works with appropriate University departments and assists in the development and application of policies and procedures to ensure the protection and utilization of OU system intellectual property rights, along with commercial use of OU intellectual property.
  • In collaboration with General Counsel, interprets laws, regulations, and policies to ensure that the university complies with university, state, and federal policies and procedures associated with intellectual property negotiations with companies; grants exceptions to established policies.
  •  Establishes and maintains mechanisms for working with faculty, staff, and students. Develops and presents industry partnering training sessions.
  • Working with the VPRP at Norman and the VPR at HSC, develops annual industry partnership objectives and provides regular reporting on progress to milestones.
  • Develops and maintains a set of appropriate US peer programs and associated metrics.
  • Works with others at OU to partner with local and state economic development programs in order to maximize and enhance OU relations with local industry. 


  • Master’s degree or higher in a scientific, business, or other related discipline (MBA, JD, PhD) with at least five years of relevant experience.
  • Knowledge and experience with intellectual property, technology transfer, and licensing.

  • Demonstrated ability to comprehend scientific and technical systems as well as business needs. Track record of creativity, flexibility, and initiative in planning, launching, and executing projects and products for commercial markets.
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and higher education institutional rules and regulations.
  • Collaborative mind-set and congenial nature to network and work effectively with faculty, staff, students, administrators, outside companies, and other external partners.
  • Strong negotiating skills and knowledge of industry practices, with an ability to participate in, advise and oversee negotiations, drafting, and execution of agreements.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively – to present ideas, both in writing and orally, in an understandable, non-technical manner, with internal and external constituencies. 
  • Ability to function successfully in a matrixed, collaborative environment.
  • Excellent oral/written communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with conflicts of interest issues in an academic environment.
  • Industry research experience

The University of Oklahoma has a Tobacco Free Policy. No Tobacco use is allowed on any university property. You can review the Tobacco Free Policy here. 

The University of Oklahoma, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, disability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures. This includes, but is not limited to: admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. This includes, but is not limited to: admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies may be directed to: Shaniqua Crawford, Institutional Equity Officer and Title IX Coordinator, 405-325-3546, scrawford@ou.edu, or visit www.ou.edu/eoo.  

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