Executive Director of Research

Loyola Marymount University

Executive Director of Research

Los Angeles, CA



Loyola Marymount University (LMU) is the successor to the pioneer Catholic college and first institution of higher learning in Southern California. Loyola University and Marymount College merged and formed Loyola Marymount University in 1973. Through this union, the expanded university maintained the century-old mission of Catholic higher education in Los Angeles. In articulating a vision for this unique collegiate enterprise, the Board of Trustees turned to the history of the 500-year-old Jesuit educational philosophy, as well as to the history and traditions of the RSHMs and CSJs. They also recognized the riches of a variety of religious traditions represented among the dedicated faculty and staff, which complement and enhance the school's heritage of Catholic values.


Loyola Marymount University offers rigorous undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to academically ambitious students committed to lives of meaning and purpose. LMU benefits from its location in Los Angeles, a dynamic city that brings into sharp focus the issues of our time and provides an ideal context for study, research, creative work, and active engagement. By intention and philosophy, LMU invites men and women diverse in talents, interests, and cultural backgrounds to enrich the campus educational community and advance the mission:


  • The encouragement of learning
  • The education of the whole person
  • The service of faith and the promotion of justice


Scholarship is strong at LMU; one faculty member has been a Nobel Prize Winner, one faculty member has won a Pulitzer Prize, two members have been awarded Princeton Fellowships, and over the past 10 years there have been 19 Fulbright Scholars. In Fiscal year 2017, there was $10.2 million dollars in faculty research and sponsored projects. There are 585 full-time faculty and 25 endowed chairs.


To learn more about Loyola Marymount University, visit www.lmu.edu.



Loyola Marymount University is seeking an Executive Director of Research. This is an exciting opportunity for a strategic and experienced research leader and manager to think entrepreneurially and creatively about the quality of research support that LMU faculty receive on campus. The University recently moved to the Doctoral University: High Research Activity (R2) classification. This was the first substantive change in LMU’s classification since 1994. Given this new classification, the new Executive Director will have a tremendous opportunity to bolster and reimagine the research infrastructure on campus in partnership with the Associate Provost for Research and Professional Development.


Reporting to the Provost’s Office, the Executive Director of Research will take an active role in all aspects of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) and the Office of Evaluation and Statistical Support (OESS). In this role, this leader will contribute to the commitment to research and faculty development by providing University-wide strategic leadership and inclusive operation oversight. The Executive Director will support faculty research, scholarship, and creative works, and will develop and execute a clear vision for ORSP and OESS.


Specific duties will include:


  • Provide leadership and vision for collaboration and an effective infrastructure to support faculty scholarly and creative endeavors.
    • Build strategic collaborations and partnerships of programs and events affiliated with departments, offices, and stakeholders including, but not limited to, the Associate Provost for Research and Professional Development, Deans, IT, Library, Finance, Institutional Research and Decision Support, and University Advancement.
  • Ability to coordinate interdisciplinary or mission-centered research initiatives and sponsored project development.
  • Oversee budget, sponsored projects reporting and grant compliance checks 


Sponsored Programs

  • Supervise the staff within the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects and the Office of Evaluation and Statistical Support
  • Oversee all pre- and non-financial post-award activities.
  • Lead effort to strengthen the support for grantsmanship
  • Serve as liaison between the pre- and financial post-award offices, streamlining operations and maximizing efficiency
  • Provide oversight and elevate the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects through the development of a clear vision, mission, and strategic plan
  • Support faculty in identifying and securing external support through local, state, and federal grants (individual and institutional), partnerships and contracts, as well as corporations and foundations (in partnership with University Advancement).
  • Communicate new awards; maintain records and reports on LMU grant activity and provide formal documentation to Provost, Deans, and Institutional Research; maintain the Office of Research and Sponsored Project’s website and all online resources.


Funding Agency Compliance

  • Serve as LMU’s Research Integrity Officer and oversee research ethics and integrity, safety and compliance, and annual ORI research misconduct report.
  • Manage risk and keeps abreast of current practices, policies, and regulations to maintain regulatory compliance


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of personnel so classified.



A successful candidate will have at least seven years of progressively responsible professional experience in research administration, with 3-5 years in a managerial role preferred and a demonstrated history of success as a strategic leader in a research setting. The Executive Director will build trust and credibility across campus as they inspire faculty to think creatively and entrepreneurially about their research. The Executive Director will have a successful history of effectively securing and structuring extramural funding.


An adept manager, this person will have solid capabilities in leading and supervising an office with a committed staff. This person will thrive in a fast paced, intellectually intense, and service-oriented environment. This individual will be collaborative and team-oriented with the ability to provide quick turnaround and updates for multiple requests, while maintaining high quality work.


The Executive Director will have a strong qualitative and quantitative analytical background as well as demonstrated excellence in written/oral communication and interpersonal relations. Experience developing and delivering professional presentations and trainings to large audiences is ideal. A Master’s degree is required, and a PhD is preferred for this position.


Additionally, the successful candidate will have the following professional competencies and personal characteristics:


Strategic and Visionary Leader: In partnership with the Associate Provost for Research and Professional Development, the Executive Director of Research will elevate the ORSP through the development of a clear vision, mission, and strategic plan. This person will oversee all pre- and non-financial post-award activities for LMU’s sponsored projects and will ensure that these processes advance the new strategic plan. This strategic plan will be at the center of university-wide research policies and initiatives, and this person will be responsible for expanding the breadth and depth of LMU’s research portfolio.


Relationship Building and Collaboration: The new Executive Director will build relationships across LMU’s different schools and departments. This leader will establish trust and enthusiasm for the ORSP’s work and will capitalize on these new relationships by coordinating interdisciplinary research initiatives. This person will bring a service-oriented leadership style to the role, as they work to support faculty through strategic partnerships and relationships. This leader will need both the academic sophistication to understand faculty’s varying research interests and the creativity to anticipate natural partnerships and interdisciplinary research opportunities. By developing relationships and building trust, this person will be able to establish efficient teams that can serve the LMU faculty.


Operational Excellence: The ORSP needs the Executive Director to build an effective infrastructure that can support the faculty’s academic and creative endeavors. This person will help implement existing technologies, establish clear processes, and apply uniform standards to help ensure the office is promoting an equitable culture of support for all faculty. As the ORSP starts supporting and facilitating more interdisciplinary work, the entire staff will need clear systems to manage workflow and provide the best possible support for the campus.


The Executive Director will be able to inspire, empower, and provide focus for a dedicated team. This individual will possess a sense of humor and bring to life the strategic vision of the department in a way that engenders broad support. A thorough and transparent communicator, the Executive Director will demonstrate the ability to provide clear expectations and accountability measures for staff deliverables while encouraging innovation and initiative.


Fidelity to the Mission: The new Executive Director will authentically connect with LMU’s three pillars: the encouragement of learning, the education of the whole person, and the service of faith and the promotion of justice. This mission is central to LMU’s Jesuit and Marymount traditions and informs the work of faculty, staff, and students on campus. This person will see the direct connection between these pillars and their leadership of the ORSP.



Loyola Marymount University has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Michelle Bonoan and Charlotte Harris. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here, or email Michelle and Charlotte at the following:

Michelle R.S. Bonoan

Managing Director



Charlotte Harris




LMU, an equal opportunity employer, values diversity and is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment as defined by federal, state and local law. See our Statement of Non-Discrimination and Discrimination Harassment and Complaint Process for more information.



Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital-consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.