Rice University Director of Operations in Houston, Texas

Position Information
Position Summary

The Director of Operations is part of the Rice 360: Institute for Global Health senior leadership team working closely with the faculty Directors and executive committee in directing and managing critical priorities, initiatives and activities that advance the mission and overall goals. Rice 360 develops highly effective, low-cost health solutions that address critical public health needs in low-resource communities. Students in the program are trained to design and deploy highly effective, affordable technologies to solve real global health challenges.

Rice 360 has a unique role at Rice and in the global health community. Its programs and students embody forward-looking principles of leadership, entrepreneurship, problem-based learning and impactful, actionable social conscience. Rice 360 is becoming a major force in Global Health education, research and implementation, and is a true model for experiential and problem-based learning. The program was recognized as a model of excellence by Science magazine and the US National Academy of Engineering.

Rice 360 works closely with partners in the developing world, the private sector and with collaborators within Rice, the TMC and other educational and medical institutions. Rice 360 has worked in communities in the United States and around the world and has staff permanently located in Blantyre, Malawi where they have partnerships with the University of Malawi Polytechnic, the University of Malawi Medical School and a long-standing relationship with the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.

The Director of Operations develops plans to help achieve the institute’s mission and is responsible for directing the implementation of these plans. The Director of Operations serves as a key liaison with internal partners, assisting in nurturing contacts and relationships for continued and expanded support of Rice 360 programs. The Director of Operations provides administrative, personnel and budget management leadership for the Institute’s research, technology and educational programs and manages the Institute’s administrative workload. The Director of Operations reports directly to the Institute faculty Directors and represents the Institute Directors as needed.

Education Required

Bachelor's Degree

Substitution for Education Requirement

Experience may not be substituted for the education requirement.

Experience Required

8 years

Type of Experience
  • Experience working in a complex organization where accomplishing job duties requires strong relationships among many diverse units of the organization.

  • Experience in overseeing and ensuring sound financial management practice and responsibilities.

  • Experience in managing complex research grants.

  • Experience working closely with faculty, students, and staff in a research environment.

  • Experience in human resource management.

Substitution for Experience Requirement

Education may not be substituted for the experience requirement.

Experience Preferred
  • ­Experience coordinating with administrators at granting agencies for existing and potential grants and contracts.

  • Experience participating in advisory boards.

Skills Required
  • Demonstrated skill in providing creative and innovative solutions for complex strategic and operational challenges with ability to anticipate probable obstacles to success and to organize self and others to surmount such obstacles.

  • Demonstrated leadership skills that show an ability to gain the respect and trust of others regardless of level.

  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and effectively prioritize those tasks as informed by the vision of the Institute.

  • Demonstrated skill in problem solving, analysis, and attention to detail.

  • Demonstrated ability to exercise sound judgment in difficult situations.

  • Demonstrated ability to provide administrative leadership, particularly in the areas of personnel and budget management, including management of major research awards.

  • Strong oral and written communication skills.

  • Demonstrated ability to work with groups to manage projects and to work as a team member.

  • Acceptance of responsibility and accountability.

  • Demonstrated ability to identify and act on early indicators of problems and to determine when to implement solutions across multiple functional areas.

  • Diplomacy and interpersonal skills that are successful in working with diverse groups of individuals.

  • Demonstrated ability to extrapolate information and knowledge gained from one experience or situation and apply them in new situations.

  • Demonstrated ability to work with faculty, staff and students and understand the motivations and issues unique to an academic culture.

  • Demonstrated ability to make, maintain, and leverage relationships across the university and externally.

Internal / External Contacts

Internal: Faculty, departmental chairs and administrators of the faculty associated with Rice 360, staff of the Comptroller’s Office, Research Accounting, Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance, Technology Transfer, Information Technology, Development Office, Human Resources, Office of the President, Provost, and Deans of Engineering, Office of Research, Office of the Registrar, Rice 360 staff, Rice 360 students.

External: Government agencies’ grant and contract officials and program managers, foundation officials, industrial representatives, faculty researchers and administrators at other universities and hospitals, equipment vendors.

Physical Demands

Extended periods at a desk and computer. Must be able to move around campus.

Working Conditions

This is a position of considerable scope and importance to the current and future success of the Rice 360 Institute for Global Health. Incumbent will be expected to regularly devote the necessary effort to complete the full responsibilities of the position within critical timeliness and quality standards. International travel is required for this position.

Security Sensitive


Quick Link for Posting


Job Duty Name

Operations Administration

Description of Job Duty
  • Manages and directs the day-to-day operation of Rice 360 in close coordination with the faculty Directors and the staff Director of Education and Director of Technology.

  • Develops and implements organization protocols, procedures, and operating policies.

  • Manages space needs of the Institute.

  • In collaboration with Director of Education for Rice 360, manages and tracks educational program metrics for program students.

  • In collaboration with Director of Technology for Rice 360, manages and tracks commercialization activities.

  • In collaboration with in-country research and implementation teams (currently in Malawi but may expand) manages and coordinates administrative processes in the country.

  • Other administrative coordination duties as assigned by faculty directors.

  • Represents the Institute to the rest of the University regarding administrative matters.

  • Upon specific assignment, represents the organization on behalf of the faculty Directors.

Percentage of Time


Job Duty Name

Research Administration

Description of Job Duty
  • Provides oversight and direction in the management, administration and funding of research activities in the organization as outlined by the faculty Directors.

  • Manages all grant administration activities.

  • Oversees and participates in the development of grant budgets.

  • Oversees preparation of reports to sponsors.

  • Assists the faculty Directors develop proposals to foundations, federal agencies, and industrial sources to ensure funding for existing programs and to support new programs.

Percentage of Time


Job Duty Name

Budget Management

Description of Job Duty
  • Develop the Rice 360 budget and steward financial resources.

  • Manages business and accounting systems in collaboration with other senior members of the staff, including creating new processes, databases and forms.

  • Creates short- and long-term financial and budgetary reporting and analysis to accomplish the mission of the Institute.

Percentage of Time


Job Duty Name

Personnel Administration

Description of Job Duty
  • Provides oversight and direction in matters pertaining to personnel management.

  • Oversees development of job descriptions, recruitment, hiring, termination, performance monitoring, workload distribution and recommends changes to job duties.

  • Oversees communications to staff within the Institute regarding university and funding agency policies and procedures and events and information within the University and the Institute.

Percentage of Time


Job Duty Name

Strategic Planning

Description of Job Duty
  • As part of the leadership team and in conjunction with the faculty Directors sets vision and direction for the Institute.

  • In collaboration with members of the leadership team, advises faculty Directors regarding staffing levels and organizational structure.

  • In conjunction with the faculty Directors, works with Rice officials to establish a non-profit arm of Rice in Malawi and other places.

Percentage of Time


Job Title: Director of Operations

Department: Rice 360: Institute for Global Health

Full Time/Part Time: Full-Time

Requisition Number: S17490

Open Date: 06/15/2017

Salary Information: Salary Commensurate with Experience and Qualifications

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (flexible).

Benefits Eligible: Yes

Eligible for Overtime: No