Executive Director – Non-Profit – Washington, D.C.

Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) is seeking an Executive Director to lead the strategic priorities for IPO’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission.

IPO, established in 1972, is a trade association for owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. IPO serves all intellectual property owners in all industries and all fields of technology.

As owners of intellectual property we believe that intellectual property rights accelerate the innovation, creativity, and investment necessary to address major global challenges and improve lives. We strive to maximize innovation across all industries and improve lives throughout the world by fostering high quality rights and effective, harmonized systems to obtain and enforce them, on behalf of all our members.

Job Summary

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for IPO’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. He or she will receive direction from the IPO President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Executive Committee. The Executive Director, assisted by a staff of 17 full and part-time employees and consultants, is responsible for the successful operation of all of the association’s core programs, which include advocacy, IP information for members and the public, meetings and networking opportunities, committees, and related activities. Senior members of the IPO team include the Deputy Executive Director, who is responsible for management and operations including staff, programs and membership, and senior attorneys responsible for government relations, policy and advocacy in the U.S. and globally.

General Responsibilities:

Advocacy and Communication

  • Expand the growth and influence of the association in the U.S. and internationally
  • Communicate IPO policies and positions orally and in writing on complex patent and other IP issues to a wide range of audiences
  • Development and implement legislative strategies for advocating IPO positions, including meeting with members of Congress and their staffs
  • Develop IPO’s working relationships with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Copyright Office, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and other U.S. agencies concerned with IP, with similar officials overseas, and with other association leaders

Executive Management

  • Actively engage and energize IPO’s staff, volunteers, board members, partnering organizations, and funders
  • Maintain, support, and continue development of a strong Board of Directors; seek and build board involvement with strategic direction for ongoing operations worldwide
  • Continue implementation of the 3-year strategic plan adopted by the Board in 2017
  • Ensure professional development opportunities to retain IPO’s high-performing team
  • Assure that the organization stays current with respect to standards in the non-profit sector

Member Relations

  • Act as main IPO contact for the members of the IPO Board of Directors on policy matters
  • Maintain close working relationships and open lines of communication (oral and written) with the 50-member Board, the 17-member IPO Education Foundation Board, and more than 50 committee leaders, and other volunteers
  • Understand the varying IP needs of diverse industries represented within the 200 IPO corporate members and act impartially to ensure that all members have a voice in the association
  • Develop strong substantive offerings and communicate value of offerings to membership
  • Grow organization through a strong membership and Board pipeline, and ensure fiscal strength
  • Work with the IPO elected leaders to achieve consensus positions on IP public policy issues and to motivate volunteers to work to achieve the goals of the association

Legal and International Affairs 

  • Manage a very active amicus brief program for informing the U.S. Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit, and other courts in the U.S. and overseas on IPO positions in significant cases
  • Provide strategic oversight of all matters involving IP legal issues including substantive programs and speakers for the IPO Annual Meeting, the content of the IPO Daily News, IPO’s Chat Channel Programs, the IPO website, written letters and policy statements sent to U.S. and foreign governments, and IPO participation at international meetings
  • Build and maintain relationships with the IP5 and Trilateral patent offices and cooperating industry associations, and with the World Intellectual Property Organization

Public IP Education

  • Serve as Executive Director of the IPO Education Foundation to increase public awareness of the importance of IP to innovation and economic growth
  • Responsible for fundraising and developing other resources necessary to support the IPO Education Foundation
  • In partnership with the Foundation’s Board of Directors and the Deputy Executive Director, review for legal and factual accuracy of Foundation statements and publications on the fundamentals of IP rights and the benefits of IP rights to the national and global economies

Professional Qualifications

The Executive Director must be thoroughly committed to IPO’s mission. All candidates must have proven leadership, coaching and relationship management experience.

Specific Requirements:

  • Strong command of intellectual property law and practice and a commitment to improving intellectual property rights in the U.S. and worldwide
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget
  • Strong writing and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and project skills
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Demonstrated ability to obtain engagement of a broad spectrum of association members in organized activities
  • Proven understanding of functioning of government bodies and the techniques for persuading government officials to adopt policies
  • Established ability to organize and motivate employees and volunteers to operate the core programs that attract and retain members and funding
  • Ability to understand and represent the association’s position on policy issues
  • International travel

Preferred Skills:

These preferred skills enhance the candidacy of the applicants. The absence of certain preferred skills can be offset by strengths in others.

  • Proven ability to drive strategic responsibilities for staff, programs, expansion, and execution of overall organizational mission
  • Successful senior management experience with 10 years or more in corporations, firms, or advocacy organizations
  • Relevant government experience in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches
  • J.D. degree from a recognized law school and state bar membership
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships
  • Experience as a volunteer leader or employee in a trade or professional association
  • Experience in government or as a corporate, law firm, or association employee who dealt with government agencies
  • Patent bar membership
  • Proven ability to build coalitions on policy issues
  • International experience, including experience with foreign governments and/or international organizations

To apply, please send a cover letter and a copy of your CV to recruiting@exudeinc.com.

Additional Info
Employer Type: Non-Profit
Job Location: Washington, D.C.