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Chief Executive Officer
PAVIR in Palo Alto, California
Date Posted 06/10/2021
Executive-President and Chancellor
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is seeking a Chief Executive Officer to provide comprehensive institutional leadership and direction and manage the administration of programs and services provided by PAVIR - a nonprofit foundation located on the premises of and affiliated with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS).

PAVIR and VAPAHCS administer the second largest research program (in dollar amount) in the VA system. The CEO will maintain strong relationships with PAVIR investigators, many of whom are internationally renowned recipients of prestigious scientific awards, hold dual appointments at VAPAHCS and Stanford University, and possess a sustained track record of successful competition for peer-reviewed research funding from NIH, DOD, health agencies, and foundations.

The CEO will serve as an authorized representative of the Board of Directors and protect the organization's integrity and financial assets while ensuring compliance with Board directives and applicable sponsor, federal, and state rules, regulations, and requirements.


This is a fulfilling opportunity to exercise broad discretion in setting policy, developing priorities, and making decisions, while leading an organization which has a profound impact on improving the health and well-being of Veterans and people with disabilities.

Reporting to the Board of Directors and supervised by the Board Chair, the CEO is responsible for the effective leadership, management, and financial health of PAVIR.

The CEO is expected to embrace PAVIR's mission of advancing Veteran and public health through innovative research, maintain strong relationships with its affiliates (principally VA Palo Alto and Stanford University), and other similar non-profit corporations (NPCs) affiliated with VAs, and build on currently successful strategies and programs.

PAVIR operates as an independent 501(C)3 corporation with more than 200 employees, an annual budget of more than $30M, a generous benefits program, a funded retirement plan with $31M in assets, and its own research administration, payroll, human resources, finance and accounting, and IT systems.

The CEO role is well-suited for an independent and innovative leader open to change who works well in collaborative and transparent environments.

This position offers work from home flexibility. The office is in Palo Alto, CA.

PAVIR offers competitive salary, supportive and collaborative environment, comprehensive health, dental and vision insurance, 13 paid holidays, executive-level vacation plan, sick pay and a generous 401(k) with a fully vested 6% company match and 3% profit share. Plus, we pay for life, short-term disability, and long-term disability insurance.


Strategic Planning and Leadership:

  • Works closely with the Board of Directors and VA research leadership the on the organization's vision and strategic plan.
  • Provides leadership in the implementation of the organization's goals and plans and continually refines and improves operations while meeting measurable goals and objectives.
  • Continuously monitors developments in the non-profit medical research arena, researching successful programs to introduce new ideas to advance PAVIR's programs and financial health.

Financial Management:

  • Provides leadership and direction for the organization's ongoing financial sustainability.
  • Monitors, directs, and evaluates the fiscal performance of PAVIR to assure quality service within PAVIR's financial means.
  • Directs the development of the annual operating budgets for PAVIR and monitors the receipt and expenditure of funds to assure fiscal responsibility.
  • Supervises the business affairs of PAVIR to assure that its funds are expended appropriately and effectively through a strong system of internal controls.
  • Represents PAVIR in business negotiations; executes business agreements/arrangements on behalf of PAVIR.
  • Negotiates indirect cost rate with cognizant federal agency.
  • Serves as designated sponsor for PAVIR's retirement plan.


  • Develops strategies and successfully designs and implements activities that support targeted growth.
  • Works closely with principal investigators (PIs) and their staff to ensure they are provided with appropriate support systems and responsive, quality service in the areas of grant and contract preparation and post-award management, project accounting, human resources, purchasing and related administrative functions.
  • Promotes an open communication system at all levels and develops and maintains strong management and administrative teams.
  • Organizes the administrative functions of the organization, delegates responsibilities and duties, and establishes formal means of accountability for subordinates.
  • Ensures that a solid and meaningful system of policies and procedures exist to guide the day-to-day operations of PAVIR, including research administration, human resources, payroll, benefits, accounting, and computer networking.
  • Ensures that appropriate decision-making processes exist in the organization, including appropriate delegation.
  • Oversees special projects and performs other duties as needed to fulfill the goals and objectives of the organization.

Personnel Management:

  • Oversees effective and sound personnel procedures to keep the organization in compliance with applicable laws/regulations.
  • Manages, mentors, and supervises direct reports, providing ongoing support and feedback, and formally evaluating performance at least annually; addresses performance issues in a timely manner.

Board Relations:

  • Provides leadership, support, and information to facilitate Board members' efforts to develop policy, assure sound financial practices, increase revenue, and improve governance and decision-making.
  • Communicates regularly to the Board regarding achievement of strategic plan objectives, financial status of the organization, updates on current initiatives/activities, and other issues relevant to the Board.
  • Seeks and provides advice and direction in conjunction with Board requirements/needs.
  • Implements Board approved policies, program goals and objectives.
  • Orients new Board members.

External Relations:

  • Develops and maintains strong supportive working relationships with investigators, sponsors, and partners, especially at VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS), Stanford University, and the National Association of Veterans' Research and Education Foundations (NAVREF), and the VA's Nonprofit Program Office (NPPO).
  • Establishes and cultivates collaborative and strategic partnerships between the organization and its affiliates, with charitable and other organizations, and with regulatory agencies.
  • Stays abreast of industry/market needs and shifts; recommends and implements modifications to meet changing needs; manages government relations.
  • Performs other duties that may be necessary and in the best interests of PAVIR.


  • Bachelor's degree.
  • At least 8 years of increasingly responsible management experience in a non-profit organization with annual revenues of at least $10 million.
  • Relevant and up-to-date knowledge of research administration.
  • Strategic Planning and Leadership: Visionary leader with experience directing an evolving organization in adapting to market forces to best benefit the organization. Demonstrated visioning and strategic planning skills. Ability to lead, influence, inspire and motivate individuals and teams, including staff, the Board, academics, and partners. Team builder who has experience in maintaining excellent working relationships across institutional boundaries. Capacity to enforce accountability, experience in implementing and fostering continuous process improvement, ability to engage employees in a participatory management.
  • Planning and Organization: Ability to translate the vision and strategy into an operational plan from big institutional goals to departmental and individual targets. Demonstrated track record of setting and meeting goals in a continuous process improvement environment with a focus on transparency. Strong decision-making, organizational, planning and implementation skills. Ability to set priorities, analyze, and resolve problems.
  • Financial Management: Experience in setting overarching goals for the development and management of financial plans, forecasts, and budgets. Experience in reporting financial results to different audiences. Serve as the POC for institutional audits.
  • Personnel Management: Demonstrated experience attracting, managing, developing, evaluating, and retaining staff. Ability to engage, lead, mentor, and motivate individuals and teams.
  • Interpersonal Skills/Communication: Excellent verbal and written communication skills and a respectful, collaborative, effective approach to building alliances to strengthen the organization. Relationship builder who can comfortably connect with organizational and external partners.


  • Master's degree.
  • Appropriate management experience in a research-intensive organization.

ARE YOU READY TO JOIN OUR TEAM? Please fill out our initial 3-minute, mobile-friendly application. We look forward to meeting you!

PAVIR is a nonprofit foundation affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to have an approved without compensation appointment with VAPAHCS and complete a background check before they can commence work.

PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Minorities, Women, Veterans, and Individuals with a Disability are encouraged to apply. We welcome and encourage diversity in the workplace regardless of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for a posted position, please contact jobs@pavir.org - Human Resources department.

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