WBI hires purpose-driven employees that align to our culture and have or develop deep AFRL knowledge and experience. Employees are reliable ambassadors. Through their commitment we will demonstrate our national defense knowledge and innovation leadership to our customers, partners and community to differentiate from the competition. 

Collaborative Innovation Program Director, Midwest

Job Description
Physical Requirements
Job Description
Wright Brothers Institute (WBI) is an Ohio-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate collaborative innovation solutions for Air and Space Forces and other stakeholders by leveraging subject matter experts, collaborative environments, disruptive innovation processes, and partner networks. WBI serves as a catalyst to accelerate the discovery, development, and integration of commercial and defense technologies and operational methods in support of the mission and capability needs of the United States Air Force, Space Force, Navy, and other U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) mission partners.

WBI is expanding its reach in support of its mission and DoD partner needs by establishing a new Midwest Hub based in St. Louis, Missouri. WBI seeks an experienced impact-oriented leader to coordinate innovation programming and cultivate relationships with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the United States Air Mobility Command (AMC) and Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), and other relevant government, industry, and academic audiences to accelerate awareness of national defense needs and technology and workforce development opportunities within the regional ecosystem.

The Collaborative Innovation Program Director (hereafter, the “Program Director”) is responsible and accountable for the overall success of WBI’s Midwest Hub; sourcing and coordinating requirements and program activities between Midwest customers and partners and WBI headquarter-based resources; and tracking all activities stemming from the Midwest Hub, including reporting the performance, cost, schedule, and impact of each project/program activity.

The Program Director’s core teammates internally will be members of the WBI Innovation Services team. They will consistently communicate and collaborate with academic, industry, and government collaborators in the Midwest region, providing compelling and clear guidance to support and motivate the coordination of inter-organizational government and non-government teams and projects. They will be a strengths finder and coalition builder and will represent WBI and its Midwest Hub with the highest standards of ethics and professionalism, at all times. 

The core responsibilities of the Program Director are: 
  • Serving as the delegate and in-market leader of WBI’s Collaborative Innovation activities for the St. Louis, Missouri-based Midwest Hub; 
  • Immersing themselves in the culture and defense-relevant translational research and innovation activities of the Midwest region and the Hub’s affiliated DoD mission partners; 
  • Reaching key goals and performance indicators which are established by WBI and its customers and partners; 
  • Expanding awareness of WBI capabilities and DoD mission partner needs within the regional ecosystem; and 
  • Growing relationships with academic, industry, and government partners and community members. 
  1. An advanced professional science or engineering (S&E) degree (MS, PhD) from an accredited academic institution, business, or related field, is preferred but not required.
  2. Driver's License (Required).
  3. Mid-career with 7-12 years of relevant experience.
  4. Understanding and experiences in both government and non-government environments.
  5. Business Leadership, such as: 
    • Practical and educational background in business operations. 
    • Project and financial management experience.
    • Ability to mentor and motivate diverse inter-organizational teams.
    • Experience with successfully leveraging a chaotic environment to yield great results.
    • Understanding of and experience in working with a collaborative, diverse and innovative team environment.
  6. Strong interpersonal, communication, and problem-solving skills.
  7. Must be able to obtain and maintain a DoD security clearance.
  8. Must be a U.S. Citizen.
Physical Requirements
  1. Onsite work; where office space will be regularly made available at the Technology Entrepreneur Center (“T-REX”) in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.
  2. Periods of sitting/standing at a desk and working on a computer.
  3. Travel to additional locations to meet the requirements of the employment.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please send your resume, cover letter, and citizenship to: with the subject line “Collaborative Innovation Project Director".

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Wright Brothers Institute provides equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state, federal, or local law.​