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Program Director, Innovation Fellows Initiative, Cornell Tech (NYC)

Cornell University

Cornell University

Sales & Business Development, Operations
New York, NY, USA
Posted on Saturday, March 9, 2024

About the Urban Tech Hub at Cornell Tech’s Jacob’s Institute

The Jacobs Urban Tech Hub at Cornell Tech is an academic center in New York City that generates applied research, fosters an expanding tech ecosystem, and cultivates a new generation of urban technology leaders. We approach “urban tech” as an emerging sector of technology encompassing innovations that make cities more connected, livable, efficient, and accessible for people and businesses alike.

We bring a human-centered approach to urban tech focused on users by advancing technology research and education to build a better world by increasing access and opportunity within the tech sector. The Hub bridges the gap between academic resources and public needs, organizing strategic partnerships between researchers, industry, communities, and government.

About the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute
The Jacobs Institute fosters radical experimentation at the intersection of research, education, and entrepreneurship. Established jointly by Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, our mission is to transform key industries through technological innovation, deep-tech startups, and uniquely skilled talent.

Position Summary

The Urban Tech Hub at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Institute, in partnership with the City of New York, is pleased to announce a call for applications for the Program Director of a new Tech Innovation Fellowship Program to be launched in the Spring of 2024. The goal of the Fellows program is to act as a catalyst for developing more robust innovation processes in the City of New York. The program is being launched to create a community of Fellows and codify and share innovation best practices.

The Program Director will manage this program on behalf of Cornell Tech and be responsible for creating program design, implementation, management, and monitoring. The Director will recruit and manage six Urban Innovation Fellows to work directly in New York City government agencies in order to undertake projects that accelerate technology adoption in the city. Each fellow will be embedded in city agencies and serve a two-year, full-time commitment. Fellows will support city-specific strategies, document progress in the innovation delivery process, and implement data collection systems and basic analysis that accelerate tech adoption and advance government innovation.

While position responsibilities vary, all people leaders are expected to foster a culture of belonging and a psychologically healthy work environment by being trustworthy; respecting all individuals; being flexible; supporting work/life integration as well as healthy boundaries; inviting new ideas, alternatives, and perspectives; speaking up and taking action if others are being excluded or treated inappropriately; and recognizing the contributions of others.

This is a full-time benefits-eligible staff position with a two-year appointment with the potential for renewal. The work location is the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City.

Essential Functions Include:

Program Design and Development - 30%

  • Create, lead and direct program design, scope technology deployment projects with agencies, and develop metrics of success along with a monitoring approach to the pilot program.
  • Develop and oversee the implementation of programmatic policies and procedures.
  • Develop a cohesive vision and direction for program; oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive and coordinated programmatic model that addresses needs; provide direct leadership for program development.
  • Develop and oversee plans and expected milestones to address identified deficits; develop assessment plans for remediation and follow up on progress toward goals.
  • Develop and manage program budget.
  • Develop strategic and operational planning for Innovation Fellows Program.

Management - 20%

  • Hire, manage and direct Fellows, providing day-to-day project management and identify project blockers.
  • Lead and supervise a cohort of six Innovation Fellows; conduct performance management, performance dialogues, ongoing coaching and counseling, and growth and professional development opportunities.
  • Cultivate and maintain collaborative relationships with other colleagues across campus to promote the incorporation of programs in the Cornell Tech community; oversee the internal and external planning needs and accountability requirements; oversee the development and implementation of solutions.
  • Develop and oversee the annual reporting and the development of reports and documentation as requested by funder, NYC partner agencies and Cornell Tech.

Stakeholder Engagement - 20%

  • Communicate and confer with key partners and stakeholders; including city agencies, City Hall staff, academic colleagues, funders, and industry partners.
  • Manage relationships with all public sector stakeholders; resolve highly complex concerns and problems; assure resolution of participants' concerns by nurturing relationships and collaboration with other areas.
  • Manage relationship with any outside funders or other key programmatic partners

Urban Tech Hub Coordination - 15%

  • Lead, direct and develop programmatic connections and research projects with the Urban Tech Hub
  • Manage aligned research projects with other concurrent Urban Tech Hub initiatives
  • Communicate with Urban Tech Hub Director and other Cornell Tech Campus leadership on the program and promote new potential research collaborations with existing Cornell Tech, Cornell University or Technion researchers and faculty.

Communications - 10%

  • Direct the development of program publications and other resources and marketing tools to create a comprehensive marketing and communication strategy
  • Direct all public relations efforts and inform high-visibility stakeholders about the program development and accomplishments.
  • Document the Team’s progress in all stages and develop a communications strategy to amplify program, research and pilot findings.
  • Represent Cornell Tech and Fellows Program at high-profile public forums and events; publishing findings in trade and other media outlets
  • Attend local and national conferences, convenings and other relevant public events to advance knowledge and amplify impact of program

Other position-related responsibilities - 5%

  • Participate in projects with occasional work responsibility falling above or below current classification.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree and 3-5 years’ relevant experience or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Background and demonstrated interest in urban tech policy and implementation.
  • Familiarity with technology pilot design/execution, data collection and analysis and strong analytical and writing skills
  • Exhibits leadership and project management responsibilities; positive and proactive “can do” attitude.
  • Demonstrates a collaborative demeanor to build rapport and establish credibility with stakeholders and in maintaining relationships with the Urban Tech Hub’s partners.
  • Demonstrates an empathetic, flexible and diplomatic management style characterized by collaboration that empowers Fellows, sets high expectations, and holds colleagues accountable.
  • Excellent communication skills in writing, meetings, and presentations.
  • Excellent organizational and time-management skills with a proactive approach to work responsibilities.
  • Proven ability to deftly navigate complex projects with all stakeholders.
  • Experience in and/or demonstrated commitment to supporting diversity, equity, access, inclusion, and wellbeing.
  • Demonstrated skill in understanding of cultural differences.
  • Proven experience connecting diversity, inclusion, and wellbeing practices to business goals.

Preferred Qualifications

  • At least 10 years of work experience preferred.
  • Experience working in NYC or other local government
  • Experience with designing, developing, and deploying technology pilots in complex environments

Cornell's Culture of Inclusion and Community Standards

As a university founded to be a place where “…any person can find instruction in any study,” diversity and inclusion are at the core of our values and mission. We strive to be a welcoming, caring, healthy, and equitable community where students, faculty, and staff with different backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn, innovate, and work in an environment of respect, and feel empowered to engage in any community conversation. As a member of the Cornell University community, it is important to recognize our shared responsibility to each other to cultivate a culture of inclusion for all. Cornell Core values

As a people manager and university leader you will model and support a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and wellbeing by fostering an environment where everyone has the ability to thrive and navigate work and life’s challenges because they feel like they belong and have the tools and support they need.

While position responsibilities vary greatly, the Skills for Success and Leadership Skills for Success are foundational to what is expected of every employee and leader working at Cornell. These skills are essential for individual and organizational success. Staff Skills for Success; Leadership Skills for Success

Rewards and Benefits

Competitive compensation, generous time-off, and great benefits …More on Cornell Benefits

Familiarize yourself with Cornell's COVID-19 workplace guidance as well as the university's COVID-19 services and information.

University Job Title:

Mgr Program

Job Family:

Student Services



Pay Rate Type:


Pay Range:

$91,941.00 - $127,696.00

Remote Option Availability:

Hybrid Remote



Contact Name:

Evelyn Gordon

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