Chief Innovation and Economic Development Officer

Updated June 16 to add a position specification and an updated recruitment advisory committee roster.

UC Davis has launched a nationwide recruitment for Chief Innovation and Economic Development Officer.


Nominations and expressions of interest:

University of California, Davis, is being assisted in this recruitment by the international leadership advisory firm Spencer Stuart, and welcomes nominations or expressions of interest. To submit confidential comments, nominations, or expressions of interest, please send an email with any supporting materials by email: 


General comments or questions can be sent to:


UC Davis point of contact:

Patty Covington Fleming
Senior Executive Recruitment Partner

The Chief Innovation and Economic Development Officer position is responsible for advancing contributions from university research, teaching, health care, industry, and the community to realize the integrative momentum from across the UC Davis enterprise that will enable innovation, economic development, and community engagement opportunities across the region.

Further, the incumbent will lead, shape, and oversee the long- and short-term strategic plans for the Aggie Square Innovation District. The Chief Innovation and Economic Development Officer will have the unique opportunity to design, build, and lead an organization that interfaces with and becomes a bridge between the university and industry partners.

This inaugural, high-impact and high-profile position will strategically establish UC Davis and UC Davis Health as the clear and immediate partner of choice. In addition, the position will expand the scope and impact of UC Davis’ research, technology, and innovation in the Davis/Sacramento area, and attract investments to support the university’s innovation and economic development initiatives.

Department Specific Job Scope

The Chief Innovation and Economic Development Officer role is a newly established, high-profile position that reports directly to the Chancellor and will be a part of the Chancellor’s Leadership Council. The incumbent will have the opportunity to manage multiple large and complex activities impacting broad constituencies. This role will lead the Aggie Square Innovation District across all internal and external partners (including developing the scope of engagement with industry, community, communications, etc.). They will be the chief spokesperson for Aggie Square and UC Davis’ role in regional economic development.

The incumbent will be the lead facilitator of Davis- and Sacramento-based university contributors at Aggie Square and will promote cross-campus communication regarding innovation infrastructure and economic development. In partnership with Government Relations, the Chief Innovation and Economic Development Officer will also serve as the primary university liaison on economic development matters to local and regional government and nonprofit economic development entities.

The incumbent will be responsible for advancing innovation through programming of the innovation district and community-facing events, and will lead the fulfillment of community benefits partnership agreement initiatives.

The Chief Innovation and Economic Development Officer will be empowered with executive decision-making authority to recommend, create, and implement campuswide innovative solutions while navigating the complex operations and policies at UC Davis and UC Davis Health.

Success in this role will be measured by outside investment in university innovation, establishment of new companies to develop university technologies, creation of regional collaborations for economic development, recruitment of strategic industry partners to the region, and other quantifiable metrics that the incumbent develops in consultation with the Chancellor.

The recruitment advisory committee is led by chair Clare Shinnerl, Vice Chancellor, Finance, Operations and Administration. The committee also includes other campus and UC Davis Health administrators, as well as representation from faculty, students, staff, and externally. The complete roster is available as a PDF.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. The complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy is available online.

See below for the recruitment advisory committee roster.