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Chief Operating Officer

Department: Chief Executive Officer

Chief Operating Officer, Allen Institute

The Allen Institute –The Allen Institute was founded by Paul Allen two decades ago to unlock the complexities of bioscience and advance our knowledge to improve human health. Using an open science, multi-scale, team-oriented approach, the Allen Institute focuses on accelerating foundational research, developing standards and models, and cultivating new ideas to make a broad, transformational impact on science. Our scientists work in thoughtfully calibrated teams that continually find new ways past convention, measuring progress against clear goals and metrics.

The Allen Institute fosters a unique collaborative culture that blends the best of academia, scientific research, and technology. Our scientific reach is global and so is our workforce. We are a talented and diverse group of individuals with multiple perspectives – we accomplish great things because we work, learn, and succeed together.  

We work side-by-side towards common goals by staying mission focused and living our values of Excellence, Integrity, Respect & Inclusion, and Stewardship.

The Role – The Chief Operating Officer (COO) leads the overall execution of operational strategies and plans developed by executive management. The COO will hold overall Institute-level accountability for delivering operational results on a day-to-day basis. The COO will be a change agent who furthers integrated planning efforts across all core functions and business units, ensuring each function and scientific business unit meets committed deliverables. The COO will further an integrated service model and roadmap and lead the implementation across Allen Institute core functions. Additionally, the COO will hold direct accountability for specific core functions, ensuring value-added service to the scientific business units and across the institute. These functions presently consist of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), Site Operations and Facilities (Operations), Human Resources (HR), Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives, Information Technology Operations (Central IT), Legal, Scientific Support, Research Administration, Regulatory Compliance, Enterprise Risk Management and Business Continuity. This executive leads the strategic and tactical alignment beyond these functions within the Administration Team. The executive will partner with key leaders across the Institute, and will develop and implement policies, business philosophies, and systems that continuously improve the overall operating effectiveness of the Institute and empower the scientific business units.

The Allen Institute believes that team science significantly benefits from the participation of diverse voices, experiences, and backgrounds. High-quality science can only be produced when it includes different perspectives. We are committed to increasing diversity across every team and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for this role.

Essential Functions

  • Partners with the CEO and Institute leaders to develop strategies and short, medium, and long-range plans to support the growth of the Institute for the next ten years and beyond, inclusive of space planning and shared services models

  • Translates the Allen Institute’s strategies into a set of integrated operational objectives with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Furthers the Administration Group’s reputation as a valued partner by monitoring business trends and best practices, ensuring effective metrics and value-added proposals for improvement work, and providing timely and accurate analyses of performance and budgets across multiple administrative areas; assists the President/CEO and the Board of Directors, and other senior executives, in optimizing Institute performance

  • Establishes credibility throughout the organization and with the Board as an effective developer of equitable solutions to administrative business challenges

  • Furthers a culture of Administration as the broker of core administrative support that operates with light touch and puts the science first

  • Builds a robust functional organization able to provide technical/professional advice and knowledge to others within the business units

  • Ensures continual optimization of the budgeting process for assigned functions and the Institute by meeting his/her own budgetary commitments and providing a system of advisory services to the scientific business units

  • Acts in the capacity as the Institutional Official for all regulatory and research compliance; interprets and implements all regulations with the highest level of integrity

  • Partners with the Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel to advise, negotiate, manage, and administer all contracts into which the Administration Group may enter

  • Leads the EHS, Facilities and Operations, HR, Central IT, Legal, and Scientific Support functions of the organization

  • Plans, develops, organizes, implements, directs, and evaluates the organization's Administration Group’s performance

  • Acts in concert with other leadership in consistently orienting towards the mission of the organization

  • Enhances the organizational impact of the Administration Group in supporting the goals of the Institute

Required Education and Experience

  • A B.A./B.S. in scientific or business administration is required; M.A./M.S. or Ph.D. is a plus

  • Twenty-plus years of progressively responsible operational leadership and executive-level roles

  • Evidence of operational leadership experience in a scientific environment is highly desirable

  • Held a leadership role with primary responsibility for leading multiple support functions

  • Evidence of leadership in areas of administration and operations, facilities, human resources, planning and evaluation, research administration, regulatory compliance, information technology and risk management are highly desirable

  • Obtained substantive experiences driving alignment and integration across multiple organizations

  • Successfully developed and implemented a shared services-type organization support model, which placed emphasis on customer-centric, value-added services

  • Worked in a highly matrixed environment where influence management was essential to success

  • Proven ability to define and achieve enterprise-level business objectives

  • Scientific understanding from a support and resourcing perspective

Physical Demands

  • Fine motor movements in fingers/hands to operate computers and other office equipment

  • Frequently required to sit, stand, walk, stoop, kneel, or reach

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • This role is currently able to work both remotely and onsite in a hybrid work environment. We are a Washington State employer, and the primary work location for all Allen Institute employees is 615 Westlake Ave N.; any remote work must be performed in Washington State.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • In keeping with our focus on employee safety, all employees must be up to date with vaccinations against COVID-19 as a condition of employment unless a medical or religious accommodation is approved. All employees will be required to keep their vaccination status up to date according to CDC guidance.

It is the policy of the Allen Institute to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. In addition, the Allen Institute will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.





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