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ASN leads the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients.

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Director of Research, Discovery, and Innovation

Posted: January 25, 2021

Location: Washington D.C.

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN)—which represents more than 21,000 physicians, scientists, nurses, and other health professionals dedicated to leading the fight against kidney disease—seeks a full-time Director of Research, Discovery, Innovation (RDI).

The RDI Director provides oversight of day-to-day administrative and operational functions to include portfolio management, business and financial processes, and governance within a new department at the ASN Alliance for Kidney Health. The department's current portfolio includes two large multi-million-dollar public-private partnerships, KidneyX and the Kidney Health Initiative (KHI), both with missions to advance innovations for people with kidney diseases.

Reporting to the RDI Vice President, the Director will develop, implement, and make continuous improvement to internal processes across RDI programs, projects, and activities. The RDI Director will work in collaboration with the VP to establish and track department performance goals, track and manage team capacity and priorities, and support RDI staff to optimize efficiencies at the program, project, and individual levels. The RDI Director will also develop and enforce a departmental governance structure that includes administering the KidneyX Steering Committee and KHI Board of Directors as well as interacting with the ASN Council.

The Director will bring strong leadership skills with experience translating strategic objectives into an implementation plan that contextualizes availability of resources, staff capabilities, internal communications, and business processes.


  • Collaborates with the RDI VP to develop and execute department strategy and goals, in alignment to RDI's vision and mission.
  • Provides oversight by monitoring progress of department, programmatic, and staff-level goals:
    • Participates and occasionally leads department and program-level RDI meetings to maintain a consistent rhythm of business and information sharing between staff.
    • Updates portfolio management tools that track project-level technical and financial progress, as needed, and supports program managers with implementing tools in the design, execution, and wind-down of projects.
    • Supervises or directly manages efforts that cross-over the scope of the KidneyX and KHI or fall outside of both programs but are within the RDI mandate.
    • Collaborates with the ASN Finance Department to integrate budget-tracking tools into RDI workflow and portfolio management; aggregates project-level budget and finance tracking into a department-level dashboard.
    • Develops and implements an RDI governance structure that links the KidneyX Steering Committee, KHI Board of Directors, the ASN Council, and other members of the staff.
    • Collaborates with other strategic departments within the ASN Alliance to execute on cross-Alliance projects and efforts, ensuring the commitment and contribution of RDI resources to meet shared objectives; supports RDI VP by recommending and implementing staff-level adjustment responsibilities to accommodate these efforts, as necessary.
    • Develops, updates, and trains RDI staff on department-level policies and procedures, as needed.

    Skills and Experience:

    • A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience with a demonstrated track record of success, including strong leadership skills.
    • A minimum of five years' proven success supervising staff at various levels, and a track record of advancing professional development on staff teams.
    • Demonstrated organizational leadership experience in day-to-day operations, including portfolio management, finance, and administration, with experience directing projects that rely on internal staff and external experts.
    • At least three years' experience of strategic leadership with demonstrated ability to design and implement organizational plans, facilitate change management, and train and mentor junior staff on policies and procedures.
    • Experience developing, implementing, and enforcing governance structures that include internal and external stakeholders.
    • Experience in legal, audit, compliance, budget, and resource development, particularly in context to public private partnerships with government and other stakeholders.
    • Experience with compliance with Uniform Guidance Requirements in the use of US Government funding is preferred.
    • Proven success facilitating and managing excellent working relationships with volunteers and external partners.
    • Familiarity with biomedical research and the non-profit environment, including the contributions of different stakeholders in commercialization.
    • Willingness to make difficult decisions when needed to ensure the success of organizational priorities.

    ASN offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive package of fringe benefits.

    Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements (with the subject line: Director of Research, Discovery, Innovation) to ASN at Please note the society can only accept online applications for this position.