Assistant Director for Business Development

Golisano Institute for Sustainability Published: March 27, 2024
Rochester / Henrietta Campus, NY
Skill Level
Mid Level
Job Type
Fundraising / Membership / Other
(Number of Job Posting Views: 2)

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The Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) is a leading sustainability research and education organization at Rochester Institute of Technology. GIS is made up of a diverse set of academic programs and applied research centers focused on the optimization of industrial systems to maximize material and energy efficiency while minimizing adverse environmental impacts.

We work with partners in all areas of industry, government, and business to put technology and innovation to work for a sustainable future. The diverse perspectives we bring to a project or problem reflect our broad expertise across industries and the many partnerships we’ve formed with forward-thinking corporations, government agencies, and research organizations over the last 30 years.

Our six industry-facing applied research centers focus on sustainable manufacturing, energy, transportation, and buildings. They work to develop advanced technologies, sustainable industrial processes and practices, and data-informed policy recommendations. Each year, about 100+ companies, governments, and other organizations engage GIS’s research centers on a variety of projects to solve technical problems, innovate products or processes, research manufacturing technologies, reduce their environmental footprint, or commercialize a new technology. Research center projects are led by full-time professional staff with significant industry experience.

Position Overview

The Assistant Director for Business Development will provide a broad range of communications, marketing, and external relationship development and support to RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) applied research center.  This individual will report to the GIS Director and will work closely with existing GIS sponsors, as well as potential new sponsors in an effort to cultivate and develop successful long-term partnerships in support of GIS research. 

Job Responsibilities

The main responsibilities of this position are:

  • Establish and maintain relationships with government, non-government organizations, and other important stakeholders (for example: U.S. EPA, NYSERDA, NYS, Monroe County, etc.). Arrange and attend in-person (and remote) meetings with decision makers. Network with corporate and other stakeholders. Conduct detailed and timely follow-up with existing sponsors and partners. Develop strong research program sponsorship.
  • Work with the GIS Director and others to determine target areas and potential emerging focus areas for the GIS applied research center.  Stay abreast of trending or emerging topics that align with our mission, and as part of the senior team, help decide where to focus GIS applied research efforts. Identify, cultivate, and manage prospect relationships.  Develop relationship and business development plans. This includes overall identification of the areas to develop, which organizations would be appropriate to support the target areas, and then development of a plan on how to engage. 
  • Develop marketing and branding strategies with the GIS marketing team and advise the development of marketing materials and marketing plans for various programs.  Review and edit existing promotional materials for content and messaging. Assess marketing effectiveness, using data (e.g. Google Analytics, etc.) to direct marketing activities.  Write, review and provide editing support for outbound communications, which may include promotional materials, website content, reports, etc.  Coordinate communications projects and web site development.
  • Directly supervises the GIS marketing team (team of 5 to 6). Responsible for overall performance of staff: interview, hire, train, schedule, mentor, and evaluate.
  • Edit and provide expert guidance to reports and presentations to ensure alignment with the department’s strategies, priorities, and goals.
  • Lead the planning and coordination of special events (e.g. CEO breakfast series, conferences), including identification and recruitment of keynote and other speakers.
  • Represent GIS at technical conferences, tradeshows, events, and trade organization/economic development meetings. Network and foster relationships in an effort to drive and develop business engagement with GIS programs and research.
  • Conduct secondary research to investigate emerging sustainability and economic issues and trends; develop new program ideas and write white papers; write content and engage partners on grant proposals. Contribute to GIS strategy as a member of the senior staff.

Required Qualifications


  • Bachelor's degree
  • Eight or more years of experience in business/partnership development, or other directly related experience
  • Experience cultivating relationships with government and state or federal research/program sponsors
  • Experience supervising staff or leading a team
  • Ability to travel within and outside of NYS will be required


  • Excellent written and verbal communication, including public speaking skills
  • Ability to effectively work under tight deadlines and manage multiple projects
  • Strong research, organizational, and computer skills
  • Excellent people skills and an enthusiastic attitude
  • Highly motivated and self-directed
  • Project management skills
  • Effective leadership skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's degree
  • Research business development experience
  • Experience networking and developing relationships with leadership at Fortune 100 companies 
  • Business development experience with non-government organization leadership, in a related field
  • Experience in university outreach program or similar environment
  • Event planning experience
  • Strategic, data-driven marketing experience

What do we believe at RIT?

Rochester Institute of Technology is a diverse and collaborative community of engaged, socially conscious, and intellectually curious minds. Through creativity and innovation, and an intentional blending of technology, the arts and design, we provide exceptional individuals with a wide range of academic opportunities, including a leading research program and an internationally recognized education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. We are dedicated to building a diverse community, one where employees feel a sense of belonging, and are valued for their contributions and the perspectives they bring.

As a member of the RIT community, you'll receive a comprehensive employee benefits package that offers multiple options and access to additional employment advantages. You can tailor your benefit elections to meet your needs (affordable medical/dental/vision benefits; paid vacation/sick time/retirement saving plan with exceptional employer match; and tuition assistance for you and your family, to name a few).

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