Applicants Sought for Executive Director's Position at NWABR

The Board of Directors of the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research is seeking applications from qualified and motivated candidates for the role of Executive Director. This is a senior level role that will work closely with the Board to plan the direction of NWABR and to ensure the successful implementation of its various programs, conferences, and other educational activities.  The Job Description for the role is set out below.  We encourage interested applicants to reach out to the outgoing Executive Director, Ken Gordon (, or the Board President, Aaron Putzke (, if they wish to discuss this role.

This role will remain open until filled.  Shortlisting of potential candidates will commence on October 1, 2023.  Applications together with a cover letter and résumé shall be submitted via email to:

Executive Director Job Description

Organization:      NWABR (Northwest Association for Biomedical Research)

Position Title:      Executive Director

Contact:              Ken Gordon

Location:             Seattle (Fully Virtual Role)


Incorporated in 1988, the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR) is the preeminent voice advocating for ethically conducted biomedical research in the Pacific NW (WA, OR, MT, ID).  NWABR is an independent membership-based association, with 501(c)3 status.  It represents the biomedical research community (made up of industry, universities, and non-profits in the field).  NWABR’s mission is to promote the public’s trust in biomedical research, and its ethical conduct.  NWABR provides several research focused conferences each year, as well as public outreach and education activities such as high school summer camps focused on research.

During the last decade NWABR has solidified its position as the preeminent provider of continuing education focused on the ethical and safe conduct of biomedical research in the NW.  NWABR conferences cover a range of bench to bedside research topics, providing critical training to the research community.  In addition, NWABR provides community outreach through its Research Ambassadors program and helps inspire high school students to consider research careers through its Camp program.  NWABR has a stable budget, strong reserves and a small, but dedicated, staff, who work remotely.  The ED of NWABR is expected to also work remotely and have sufficient space to maintain an official NWABR address for the organization.


Purpose & Role:

NWABR expects that its Executive Director will be passionate and committed to advancing the understanding of, and need for, ethical research. The Executive Director should be experienced and competent at developing and implementing strategic direction, event planning; fund development; membership development; and administrative management. 

The ideal NWABR ED will possess an inspiring strategic vision, strong fiscal management acumen, excellent management skills, and the following skills and attributes:

  • Collaborative leadership style.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Demonstrated record of successful fiscal management.
  • Experience with organizational and board development.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Commitment to the mission of research and sensitivity to issues related to Biomedical Research.
  • Experience working in research or demonstrated ability to be able to quickly immerse themselves and successfully take up a role in a new field, such as research.

Key areas of responsibility:

  • Visionary Leadership & Communication: Communicating NWABR’S mission, goals, events, and strategy to membership and a broad community audience is a key aspect of the Executive Director’s role. Excellent crisis communication and the ability to be a recognized and respected spokesperson both for NWABR and for biomedical research in the region is also required.
  • Staff Development & Supervision:  Provide leadership and staff development to 3 direct reports and a combined staff team of approximately 5 FTEs including several contractors.
  • Financial & Operational Management: Ensure financial viability of the organization through member dues, fees for service education programs, and a comprehensive annual fund development plan (special events and sponsorships, private and public grants). 
  • Board Relations: Clearly communicate expectations and recommendations to the moderate sized Board and the Board’s various Committee meetings.  Ensure that the Board continues to meet all fiduciary, financial, and legal requirements.  Work with the Board to promote effective governance and stewardship of NWABR’s resources.
  • Organizational Development:  Enhance and support all aspects of board development, fund development, education, community development and planning.
  • Fund Development: In collaboration with the Board; focus on increasing reserves while balancing the organizations earned revenue aspirations.
  • Volunteer Management: Ability to recruit, engage, motivate, and retain volunteers to assist with NWABR’s mission.
  • Delivering Successful Conference Programs:  This includes working with a conference planning committee, recruiting speakers, confirming venues, hotels, and virtual options, promoting conferences, registering attendees, facilitating the events, ensuring appropriate technology and in person resources, and ensuring a high-quality worthwhile program for attendees.
  • Maintain Core Partnerships: Maintain and grow positive relationships with key research partners including: PRIM&R; SUBR (and peer Regional Research Associations); NABR; ACRP; SOCRA; ORCA; and We Work for Health.

Required Criteria:

  • Experience recruiting and managing volunteers in the areas of policy, program, and office/technology.
  • Five to seven years of experience in non-profit leadership at the Executive Director or at Senior Management level.
  • Technology savvy and comfortable using a variety of cloud-based solutions.
  • Passion for and/or background in research (animal or human)
  • Demonstrated experience at running conferences and other events, including those that occur both virtually and/or in hybrid formats.
  • Successful track record with financial results and oversight of $500,000 or more.
  • A Bachelor's degree is required, with a Master’s degree, or other post Grad study, in a field pertinent to this role being preferred.


  • A competitive compensation package based on skills and experience will be offered to the successful candidate. The indicative salary range for this role is $115,000 to $145,000.

Additional Requirements:

  • Full-time presence in Washington State. With ability to meet regularly in person with staff currently based in the Seattle metro area. 
  • NWABR will not compensate for relocation costs.
  • Ability to travel locally and nationally.
  • Because of the responsibilities associated with this position a clear criminal background check is required. 

Work Environment and Benefits:

  • Fully remote and able to attend in person events and conferences as required.
  • This position offers Regence Platinum Preferred medical insurance.
  • NWABR offers employees a benefits package designed to enhance health, well-being, and financial security. Benefits for this position include the previously noted medical insurance, paid vacation (20 days per year), plus 10 public holidays, and paid sick leave (10 days per year).




Share this page   Share Facebook Twitter Email