The Director of the Conflict of Interest Program leads University initiatives and programs around conflict of interest disclosure, review, management, and compliance monitoring that ensures institutional compliance with regulatory and policy requirements and aligns with best practices in the field. The Director is accountable for ensuring that there are sufficient policies, practices and strategies developed and implemented to identify, monitor, and manage potential risks related to conflict of interest, both individual and institutional.
The Director works under general supervision but routinely collaborates with senior leaders, school and department administrators, the Office for Research, the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Financial Operations, the Office of General Counsel, the Office of the Provost, and others as required. The Director is the information source and subject matter expert for conflict of interest related matters and must maintain current knowledge of relevant regulations, policies, and standards, including proposed and final rules and effective practices so as to provide regulatory and policy guidance. The Director also oversees institutional conflict of interest committees, and establishes, leads, and participates in other committees and task forces as required.
Institutional Compliance, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting: Research COI Process
Oversees and administers individual and institutional research-related conflict of interest requirements, including training, disclosure, review, management, reporting, and compliance monitoring university-wide. Performs relatedness reviews based on information from a variety of systems and sources and refers cases to schools and committees as needed, with recommendations for handling. Partners with faculty, staff, administrators, schools, and committees to create management plans, corrective action plans, and to mitigate identified risks. Prepares and submits regulatory reports, correspondence, and certifications with sponsoring agencies or other external entities on behalf of the university, ensuring timeliness, accuracy, comprehensiveness, and compliance with regulatory standards. Prepares the materials for and supports activities of the university-wide conflict of interest committees. Investigates issues and complaints, and prepares appropriate internal documentation, reports, and submissions to appropriate internal offices, regulatory agencies, and other entities as necessary.
Consultant to University Community
Provides leadership and support to stakeholders university-wide, including faculty, staff, researchers, and collaborators on all matters relative to conflict of interest. Regularly provide guidance and assistance to faculty and staff relative to parameters and management around external interests and relationships. Participate in and partner relative to university entrepreneurial initiatives to ensure conflict of interest-related matters are appropriately considered. Counsel schools, central administrators, and others, including senior leadership, on the appropriate review, handling, and management of conflict of interest issues.
Institutional Compliance, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting: Annual COI Process
Oversees and administers the institution-wide annual conflict of interest review and disclosure processes for faculty and staff in close conjunction with schools and administrative leadership. Makes recommendations for policy, process, and system modifications as necessary. Monitors and ensures compliance with annual disclosure and review requirements and promotes and ensures consistency review and mitigation practices. Investigates issues and complaints, and prepares appropriate internal documentation, reports, and submissions to appropriate internal offices. Escalates matters to senior leadership as needed.
Conducts assessments and identifies areas of potential conflicts of interest within the University so as to establish programs, policies, practices, and risk-based strategies to advance the institution’s mission while ensuring compliance with applicable regulatory requirements. Partners with Schools and Units to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate institutional, school, unit, and individual conflict of interest plans and practices.
Policy and Procedure Review
Establishes a regular process of review for policies and procedures and the necessary corrective procedures for conflict of interest matters. Formulates and implements internal policies and procedures to ensure that regulatory compliance is maintained or enhanced. Communicates regulatory information to multiple departments, ensures that the information is interpreted correctly, and serves as a resource in helping Colleges/Schools and Departments to implement and adhere to applicable requirements. Oversees and conducts training of faculty and staff in conflict of interest policy and procedures.
Office, Staff and Fiscal Management
Oversees and directs the day-to-day activities of the Office. Plans, directs, supervises and coordinates the work activities of any subordinates and staff, makes recommendations for hiring, evaluation, corrective action and termination as applicable. Establishes goals and performance objectives. Coaches and counsels staff members, if any, relative to performance improvement, training and development, team effectives, cross-training, etc. Directs and oversees the financial activities of the Department’s budget.
System Development and Management
In collaboration with other stakeholders, serves as a functional lead and actively participates in the development and on-going evaluation, improvement, and management of the conflict of interest system.
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
Knowledge of laws, regulations, and current case history related to Conflict of Interest.
Skills in communication at a professional level, with interpersonal effectiveness expected at all levels of a large organization as well as in the community.
Demonstrated writing and public speaking skills and ability.
Law and Government: knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules and the political process.
Customer and personal service: knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes assessment of customer needs, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Personnel and Human Resources: knowledge of principles and procedures for personal recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation and personnel information systems.
Administration and Management: knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods and coordination of people and resources.
An advanced degree (MS, PhD, JD preferred).
Demonstrated experience in administering university wide programs, conflict of interest programs preferred
Familiarity with reporting requirements of government agencies, with statistical analysis skills is an advantage.
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highl...y collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.