Organization: Institute of the Americas

Location: La Jolla, CA

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About Institute of the Americas:

For over 30 years, the Institute of the Americas (“Institute”) working with the public and private sectors, multilateral development banks, universities, and with nonprofit leaders has been at the forefront of shaping public policy in the Western Hemisphere. Its principle objective is to encourage public-private sector dialogue and collaboration on public policy issues, challenges, and opportunities to enhance sustainable economic development, prosperity, and social well-being in the region.

As an impartial and independent nonprofit organization, the Institute advances its mandate through hosting roundtables and conferences in major cities throughout the Western Hemisphere as well as offering specific professional workshops and special programs at the Institute’s complex located on the campus of the University of California, San Diego. The Institute’s location 30 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as within reach of the major innovation hubs of Silicon Valley and Southern California, positions it as a strategic point of entry to Latin and South America.

Leadership: The Institute is guided and supported by a distinguished Board of Directors of which approximately half are from Latin and South America and the other half are from North America. They are leaders in business, finance, multilateral institutions, NGOs, and academia, and each are personally committed to advancing the mandate of the Institute throughout the hemisphere. In the Spring of 2015 after an international search, the Board appointed the Institute’s new President & CEO, Ambassador Jamal Khokhar, a 30-year long career diplomat with Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Under his vision and leadership, the Institute will be renewing its strategic engagement and re-orienting itself to better serve the needs and opportunities in the dynamic emerging markets of Latin and South America in order to make a greater and more significant impact in the region.

Policy Areas: Traditionally, energy, trade, science and innovation, science-based journalism, Mexico and North American border and competitiveness, and China-Latin America relations were amongst the areas of the Institutes activities. Looking forward, the Institute will re-align its objectives and focus engagement under two key pillars: Energy and Sustainability; and, Innovation, Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship.

Affiliation: The Institute is a 501(c)(3) corporation registered in the State of California. The Institute receives no core funding from either UC San Diego or the U.S. federal government. However, the Institute works closely with the private sector, governments, multilateral development banks, universities, and not-for-profit organizations throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Founding: The Institute was founded in 1983 by Theodore E. Gildred in collaboration with Richard Atkinson, who was then Chancellor of UC San Diego and later served as President of the University of California System. Gildred, a San Diego land developer with deep and long-standing ties to Mexico, also served as U.S. Ambassador to Argentina. Through his vision and commitment, he established the endowment and the framework for the Institute that is still in place today.

This is a full-time position located in La Jolla, CA. For more information on Institute of the Americas, please visit

Position Summary:

The Institute of the America’s long history of success has it well positioned for growth and renewal. At this unique moment of the organization’s transformation, the Institute is seeking a strategic thinking, dynamic, collaborative, and hands-on Vice President who, alongside the President, will design and execute the new Innovation, Competitiveness & Entrepreneurship program.

The VP should be a strategic thinker who combines strong analytical with outstanding management and execution skills as s/he will play a leading role in the planning, design and delivery of programs and activities. In addition to being the internal expert on Innovation, Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship initiatives, s/he should have expertise in program and project development and delivery, including leading and managing teams and budgets. S/he will have an energetic, empathetic, and inclusive leadership style. The VP should possess strong business development and “resource mobilization” skills and experience. The VP will report directly to the President, and will be a key member of the Institute’s new senior leadership team. As a representative of the Institute and in delivering its programs, s/he should have strong public speaking and written communication skills as well as possess strong representational and interpersonal skills. The VP should be bilingual in English and Spanish. Additional linguistic capabilities in Portuguese and/or French would be an additional asset.

CORE Competencies:

Program Development, Management & Evaluation

The VP will drive a collaborative approach towards creating and delivering innovative and scalable programs to achieve the Institute’s priority to cultivate and advance Innovation, Competitiveness & Entrepreneurship activities across various sectors in the Western Hemisphere. S/he will design successful and empowering programs and projects. The VP will also create processes to evaluate and assess these new programs to ensure program effectiveness and ongoing quality improvement. Ideally, the VP will have a minimum of seven years of experience in successful program development and leadership.

Business Development & Resource Mobilization

The VP will be instrumental in developing new sources of revenue and meaningful partnerships with corporations, foundations, institutions, multilateral development banks, regional municipalities and NGOs. S/he will have demonstrated expertise with a wide range of fundraising channels and oversee external relations related to the Institute’s efforts in this area. With a creative and entrepreneurial mindset, the VP will collaborate with the CEO, board members, and other colleagues across the Institute in identifying fundraising strategies to fund current and future programming. The VP will have a strong record of personal success in raising money and support from individuals, foundations, multilateral institutions or corporations.

Collaborative Relationship Building Abilities & Knowledge of Emerging Economies

The VP will have a proven international track record and experience including of establishing connections, partnerships, and alliances across the public and private sectors regarding Innovation, Competitiveness & Entrepreneurship. Ideally, this experience would be within the Western Hemisphere. However, equivalent and significant experience in other global regions would be acceptable. The VP will build relationships with new program partners and maintain existing relationships. S/he will construct systems, processes, and tools to support the knowledge base generated by the Institute’s programs and disseminate related information to diverse constituencies. The VP will design and oversee plans for collaboration across and beyond the Institute, utilizing meetings, conferences, and other outreach opportunities. This executive will have a strong understanding of emerging economies, and possess keen cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Analytical & Forward Thinking

The VP will be able to tackle problems using logical, systematic approaches. S/he will have excellent capacity to notice and compare alternative solutions, and identify parameters and considerations when analyzing situations, problems, or when making decisions. S/he will anticipate implications and consequences of organizational and managerial decisions, and will be able to take appropriate actions for possible contingencies. The VP will have keen awareness of trends in relevant industries and marketplaces. In additional to overseeing program management and direction, s/he will provide analytical and problem-solving guidance, and sound business judgment to support the Institutes’ strategic initiatives.

Team Management

The VP will effectively manage a program staff and budgets and will serve as a member of the Institute’s senior leadership team. S/he will recruit, mentor, and supervise program staff as well as develop and conduct performance reviews and goal setting for employees. The ideal VP will have a proven track record of effectively managing staff and project-managing key organizational initiatives.

Effective Communication Style

The VP will ensure that regular, consistent, and clear communication takes place between all relevant stakeholders. S/he will have high interpersonal awareness and the ability to tailor and deliver powerful written and verbal communications to targeted audiences. A successful candidate will be aware of how best to utilize web content, published materials, and marketing activities. Media training and awareness would be an asset.

Additional Qualifications

Availability and interest in travelling within the hemisphere is highly desirable.

Master’s degree in business, science, engineering, policy, or related field required; Ph.D. in related field desirable.

Native or bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish is essential. Additional capabilities in Portuguese and/or French would be highly desirable.


Institute of the Americas has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here.

Institute of the Americas is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

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