Executive Summary: Search for the Chief Executive Officer

December 20, 2023 |  

The California Council on Science & Technology seeks a dynamic and visionary Chief Executive Officer to lead the organization into its next era of impact as it refines and broadens its core mission of informing and catalyzing science and technology policy that positively impacts one of the most innovative and vibrant economies in the world, the State of California.

The California Council on Science & Technology (CCST) is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization established via the California State Legislature in 1988. It engages leading experts in science and technology to advise state policymakers, strengthening and informing California policy with scientific knowledge, research, and innovation across disciplines, including technology, physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and management sciences. In doing so, CCST supports California policymakers in improving the lives of all Californians, ensuring California remains a leader in technology and innovation, and guiding the state, nation, and world towards a healthy economy, society, and environment. 

As a membership organization, CCST’s core funding is provided by the state’s institutions of higher education and research, including the three public higher education systems (the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges), several private research institutions (including California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and the University of Southern California), and several federal research institutions (including national laboratories and NASA facilities). In short, CCST connects the various government branches of the world’s fifth largest economy with an unmatched collection of the finest intellectual institutions in the world. 

Currently, CCST translates and communicates policy-relevant science through expert briefings, workshops, and peer-reviewed reports. In addition, CCST manages and operates the CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows program, which recruits and trains a cohort of 15 Ph.D. scientists and engineers to spend a year working in Sacramento, directly serving decision makers within the California State Legislature and Executive Branch. CCST recently secured a $30M investment from the State of California to endow the Fellows program, a sign of the program’s popularity and success. 

The next CEO will build upon this foundation of strength, maintaining the excellence and prominence of the Fellows program while seeking creative new ways to fulfill the organization’s mission. They will draw upon the enormous intellectual resources of the partner institutions and the Board of Directors to chart a visionary path forward, positioning CCST to support the State of California in leading the nation and the world in solving tomorrow’s most pressing problems. They will expand revenue streams, make savvy budgeting decisions, and actively engage in fundraising to increase CCST’s capacity. Using their acute political acumen, the next CEO will enhance relationships with CCST’s diverse stakeholders, including government officials, legislators, the partner institutions, and the Board of Directors, create partnerships with new organizations and sectors, and leverage the stakeholders’ collective knowledge to make bold investments to build expertise around the topic areas that will animate future policy decisions in California. Finally, as the chief steward of CCST’s culture, the CEO will ensure the organization maintains and grows its culture of collaboration, inclusivity, entrepreneurship, and flexibility. 

In achieving these ambitious goals, the next CEO will address the following key opportunities and challenges: 

  • Provide visionary leadership and strategic direction in service of CCST’s mission 
  • Cultivate and further develop relationships with CCST’s partner institutions to create a dynamic ecosystem of the best minds in the State that serve as the intellectual foundation of CCST’s work 
  • Develop deep networks with key stakeholders who depend on the services of CCST 
  • Maintain and enhance CCST’s suite of services 
  • Expand and diversify revenue streams and lead a talented and dedicated team to sustainably support CCST’s growth 

CCST has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. For more details, including the full position profile, and to submit inquiries, nominations, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: https://www.imsearch.com/open-searches/california-council-science-and-technology/chief-executive-officer.

David Bellshaw, Hayden Lizotte, and Nancy Pan
Isaacson, Miller
1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94111

The California Council on Science and Technology is an equal opportunity employer. We make hiring
decisions based on qualifications, merit, and our organization’s business needs. We do not discriminate
based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or
mental disability, veteran status, pregnancy, or any such status protected under federal, state, or local

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