Director of the Jill Ker Conway Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center

Smith College
Smith College

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Job Details

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Job Description

Job Summary

Responsible for the development and implementation of a strategic vision for the next phase of the Conway Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (CIEC) consistent with the mission, values and strategic priorities of Smith College. Create a culture that fosters an inclusive and expansive definition of entrepreneurship, innovation, and financial literacy within the academically rooted context of an undergraduate women’s liberal arts college. Work collaboratively with students, faculty and staff in the design, coordination, and implementation of capacity-building initiatives focused on fostering entrepreneurial mindsets and financial education within a larger framework of developing student agency around the ethical practice of innovation, the practice and critique of entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Nurture and expand connections with faculty across disciplinary and divisional lines, to develop a more substantive integration of the work of the Center into the broader curriculum of the college.

Promote and represent the Center with relevant professional associations and partner organizations to maintain and expand Smith’s reputation as a leader at the intersection of entrepreneurship, innovation, and financial education and the liberal arts. Collaborate with other Integrative Learning Centers at the College to create mutually beneficial opportunities for real world entrepreneurial engagement with students. Work with the Office of Alumnae Relations and Development to forge meaningful connections with Smith alumnae, including the Smith Business Network. Collaborate with the Lazarus Career Development Center, to support pre-professional pathways to business and finance. Support the Director of Operations and Special Programs in enhancing the success of the Draper Business Plan Competition, one of the first of its kind for undergraduate collegiate women seeking access to entrepreneurship opportunities, capital and networks.


Applications should include a letter of application, diversity statement, and resume. Applications and nominations will be accepted until the position is filled. Confidential review of materials and screening of candidates will begin immediately. Harris Search Associates ( is assisting Smith College for this search.

Please send application materials to the email address below or contact Jeffrey Harris, Managing Partner for further details.

Jeffrey Harris, Managing Partner

Ofc: 614-798-8500 Cell: 614-354-2100


Essential Functions

Strategic Program Leadership and Instruction (60%)

Provide leadership and strategic planning efforts for all aspects of the Conway Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, including financial education. Oversee the development of innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives, including workshops, lecture series, networking events, faculty partnerships, courses, student venture creation programs and pipelines to regional and national accelerators. Collaborate with the Wurtele Center for Leadership and The Design Thinking Initiative on creating programming and educational opportunities at the intersection of entrepreneurship, collaborative and ethical leadership, and human centered design. Work with Institutional Research on instrument design and data tracking related to CIEC initiatives. Advise students and teach/co-teach entrepreneurship courses and workshops as needed. Support development of current and future concentrations related to finance or innovation and entrepreneurship.

Development and Stewardship (20%)

Work with the Office of Development and Alumnae Relations on fund-raising initiatives and outreach, effectively stewarding donor support for the CIEC. Facilitate venture development by student innovators. Connect innovators with competent, affordable and accessible external sources of expertise and services including mentors through the refinement of the Alumna Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program.

Partnership, Outreach and Reporting (20%)

Grow entrepreneurial programs in alignment with the strategic mission and vision of the College. Nurture existing and develop new local, statewide and national relationships with educators, entrepreneurs and funders to support initiatives at the intersection of entrepreneurship, innovation and the liberal arts. Develop partnerships with other programs/centers and entrepreneurship organizations to ensure interconnectedness, resource availability and visibility. Represent the CIEC at major campus and off campus events when required. Draft and submit reports to inform faculty, administrators, donors and the campus community on the work of the Center.

Other Functions

Other Duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications (knowledge, skills, education, experience, certifications, licenses)

MBA degree plus 5-7 years of relevant experience and/or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience. Work experience in higher education setting (in faculty or staff role).

Preferred Qualifications

Doctoral degree highly preferred. Supervisory and teaching experience required. Experience working at the intersection of entrepreneurship and design thinking/human centered design is a plus.


Experience working collaboratively with diverse constituencies and demonstrated commitment to liberal arts education, women’s education, and to diversity, equity, and inclusion; ability to interact effectively with people of all backgrounds and multiple units on campus; experience designing and facilitating educational engagements of various durations aimed at developing entrepreneurial mindsets and skillsets; ability to supervise high-functioning staff; ability to work through a human-centered design process to produce a shared vision, in collaboration with center staff, integrative learning staff, faculty advisors, and other campus stakeholders; experience with budget management; the ability to simultaneously execute multiple projects effectively and efficiently; track record of demonstrated creativity and vision. Must be able to work independently and collaboratively, have strong organizational and planning skills, excellent written and oral communications skills, excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to exercise sound judgment.

Additional Information

Take appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and participate in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment. All employees are expected to participate in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

For the care and safety of our community, Smith College requires that all employees be vaccinated as a condition of employment and as such, the incumbent will be required to be immunized against COVID-19 on or before their first day of employment. Proof of vaccination status will be required. Individuals may seek medical or religious exemption with HR, but must do so prior to their arrival.

Please attach/upload a current resume and cover letter in order for your application to be considered for this position.

Position Type:


About Smith College

Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts.  A faculty of outstanding scholars interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges.

Smith College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or veteran status in the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Working at Smith College 

Founded in 1871, Smith College is the nation's largest liberal arts college for women. The reputation of the College as one of the finest in the country holds strong because of the dedicated work of our staff, faculty, and administration. We are a diverse group bringing to our community different talents, perspectives, and experiences. Our strength arises from this diversity and is sustained by a community value of providing an outstanding educational environment for our nearly 2,700 students. Smith College is located in Northampton, a lively town of 30,000 in the Connecticut River valley of western Massachusetts.

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