Executive Director

Posting Number: #1781

Position Title: Executive Director

Closing Date: Until Filled

Location: Sacramento, CA (Remote)

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The Public Health Institute (PHI) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health, well-being, and quality of life for people throughout California, across the nation and around the world. As one of the largest and most comprehensive public health organizations in the nation, we are at the forefront of research and innovations to improve the efficacy of public health statewide, nationally, and internationally.


The Public Health Institute (PHI) is seeking an outstanding and visionary leader in the field of cancer surveillance and public health to serve as Executive Director for PHI’s Center for Cancer Surveillance and Research (the Center). The Center is a new multidisciplinary program division at PHI focused on developing best in class cancer research and data with a portfolio of population-based and cancer epidemiological research, especially those populations with an unequal burden of the disease. The Center generates rigorous and groundbreaking research, while also providing the data, tools, and resources to support research dissemination and community awareness and impact. Two long-established priority PHI programs within the Center include the Cancer Registry of Greater California (CRGC) and the Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS) program.

CRGC is the largest National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program registry in the United States; it covers 48 of the 58 California counties, has a population base of nearly 22 million residents, and processes over 110,000 incident cases each year. CRGC has collected data on cancers diagnosed among residents of its catchment area since 1988. The data of CRGC are intended to support population science, including investigator-initiated projects throughout the Center’s programs and other research initiatives at PHI.

Beginning in 1959, CHDS has enrolled over 15,000 families, collecting biospecimens, observational and survey data. With the inclusion of the 4th generation of these families, these intergenerational cohorts provide a unique opportunity for scientists to investigate the relationships between biologic, behavioral, social, genetic, and environmental factors in early family life to health outcomes in adults.

The Executive Director for PHI’s Center for Cancer Surveillance (the Center) provides day-to-day leadership and management for the Center programmatic activities and planning, all Cancer Registry of Greater California (CRGC) program and epidemiologic research activities. The Executive Director serves as Principal Investigator for PHI’s award from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program and the registry grant from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The Executive Director should have solid experience in registry and/or surveillance operations and must demonstrate scientific leadership as principal investigator or key personnel in research projects.

In addition, the Executive Director is responsible for the overall vision and strategic direction of the Center, supporting vibrant multidisciplinary and collaborative Center programs. The position works proactively to identify and attract additional resources to further and support epidemiological and public health research activities at the Center, including supporting and expanding a team of affiliated independent research investigators.

The Executive Director is expected to lead and facilitate broad range of collaborations with outside academic researchers and clinical researchers, as well as new public/private partnership with state and federal agencies, philanthropy, and other PHI programs. The position will provide a leadership role in engagement and collaboration with major funding agencies and partners including the National Institutes of Health, especially National Cancer Institute (NCI) programs and principally SEER, CDPH, NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foundations, nongovernmental organizations, and peer cancer registries.

Within the scope of their responsibilities building the Center, the Executive Director shall work to build and oversee a robust research portfolio, including developing and conducting research activities to understand cancer incidence and investigate the cancer causes, mortality, treatment, and survival.

PHI is committed to health equity as a core component of all its work, both internally with its staff and processes and externally with the research and projects it undertakes. This position will serve as a champion and steward of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion within the Center.

The Executive Director will be credentialed as a Principal Investigator at the Public Health Institute. This position reports to PHI’s Associate Vice President for Research. The selected candidate for this position is subject to funder approval.

This is a regular full-time position.

Strong preference will be given to California-based candidates with consideration provided to candidates located elsewhere in the United States dependent on exceptional qualifications and experience. This position works remotely, with required regular visits to the Sacramento office and other regular business travel required. Although largely a remote position, the Executive Director has the option to work in the Sacramento office.

Full salary range for this position: $190,150 to $299,786 per year. The typical hiring range for this position is from $190,1500 (minimum) to $244,968 (midpoint), based on 100% FTE (Full Time Equivalent). The starting salary is determined based on the candidate’s knowledge, skills, experience, as well as budget availability.


Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as Center Executive Director and PI (Principal Investigator) of PHI’s Cancer Registry of Greater California (CRGC) contract with the National Cancer Institute’s SEER program and of PHI’s grant from CDPH.
  • Provide overall management, leadership, and coordination for awards within the Center’s portfolio and ensure that scope of work is successfully completed.
  • Cultivate and advance scientific collaborations with strategic partners including directors of California’s other population-based cancer registries and investigators within NCI designated comprehensive cancer centers.
  • Support federal and state initiatives to improve registry operations and conduct epidemiologic research activities.
  • Lead and facilitate broad range of collaborations with outside academic researchers and clinical researchers, as well as new public/private partnership with state and federal agencies, philanthropy, and other PHI programs.
  • Serve as a champion and steward of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion within the Center.
  • Work with PHI’s grants and contracts department to ensure successful completion of all deliverables and budgets for awards to the Center’s programs.
  • Ensure close coordination and collaboration between Center researchers and key personnel to provide guidance, support, and direction to the portfolio of Center programs.
  • Supervise Center senior leadership and CRGC key personnel including but not limited to the CRGC Research Manager and Senior Director of Operations.
  • Provide leadership and mentorship to Center staff, including the CRGC research unit with its engagement in epidemiological research activities that support CRGC and/or California Cancer Registry (CCR) objectives.
  • Represent PHI, the Center, and CRGC at state, national and international conferences and meetings, and work to strengthen and expand recognition for PHI’s leadership in cancer research and registry operations.
  • Identify funding sources and develop grant applications to expand and strengthen a robust cancer surveillance and epidemiological research portfolio for CRGC and the Center’s other programs.
  • Ensure close coordination and collaboration within the NCI’s SEER Program, the statewide CCR, California’s other research institutions, and the American Cancer Society.
  • Lead and/or contribute to the development of manuscripts for publication and national and statewide dialogues about the causes and cures for cancer as appropriate.
  • Attend regular meetings in the Sacramento office and conduct other regular business travel as required.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

  • 15 years of relevant experience managing cancer surveillance and complex public health or epidemiological research studies, including at least 7 years as a manager.
  • Doctorate in public health, epidemiology, or other related field; or MD with Master’s degree in Public Health or other related field.

Other Qualifications

  • Knowledge of and extensive experience with cancer epidemiology, including surveillance issues, study design, and research methods. Knowledge of epigenetics and/or pregnancy and human development are a plus.
  • Excellent administrative and supervisory skills.
  • Experience with serving as a Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator as evidenced by a track record of successfully acquiring extramural funding including federal grants.
  • Experience in preparation of concept and proposal development.
  • Experience with preparation of publications for peer-reviewed journals.
  • Demonstrated ability to build partnerships, attract research talent, experience mentoring researchers, and attract funding including background working with outside researchers and clinicians.
  • Knowledge of biostatistics, data management and privacy, confidentiality, and data analyses.
  • Strong ability to solve complex problems.
  • Experience in creating and nurturing a matrixed staff with cross-functional management team.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage budget of $10+ million dollars.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills.
  • Ability to attend regular meetings in the Sacramento office and conduct other regular business travel as required.
  • Must be able to pass the background check required for this position.

Desired Qualifications

  • Knowledge of legal and ethical issues related to surveillance and registries.
  • Knowledge of cancer clinical care, including diagnoses, stage, and treatment.
  • Knowledge of California’s CCR system.

Important Information

  • Submission of a cover letter and CV/resume is required for all applications.


This position is classified as exempt based on the job duties. However, based on the FTE and salary level of the employee, or federal/state/local laws, the employee may be classified as nonexempt.


Per the PHI Workforce Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, it is a condition of employment for all domestic based employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless they are granted a reasonable accommodation under applicable law.

New hires need to provide proof of full vaccination prior to their start date or apply for an exemption/accommodation within three business days after their start date. Depending on the circumstances, new hires who do not comply with this Policy, or who cannot be reasonably accommodated, will either have their employment suspended or terminated. Candidates who are non-compliant will have their offers rescinded.


EEO Statement

The Public Health Institute is committed to a policy that provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, medical condition including genetic characteristics, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identification and expression, sexual orientation, and to make all employment decisions so as to further this principle of equal employment opportunity. To this end, the PHI will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, medical condition including genetic characteristics, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identification and expression, sexual orientation, and will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are offered employment and employees are treated during employment without regard to these characteristics.

For further information regarding Equal Employment Opportunity, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:

ADA Statement:

The Public Health Institute is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Recruitment Team at least 48 hours in advance at


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