Website Argonne National Labratory

Location: DuPage County, Illinois


As the Director, the incumbent will provide vision and leadership for Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), supporting a community of innovators developing emerging energy innovations into technologies and products that address climate change, sustainability, and inclusive innovation. As the director, this individual connects the program with the regional innovation ecosystem, including investors, industrial partners, universities, state, and city officials, and startup accelerators and incubators that support the movement of science-based innovations into the market. The Director also manages the interactions with the Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and with other key stakeholders at the Department of Energy, the University of Chicago, and the leadership team at Argonne National Laboratory. The Director also works directly with scientists at Argonne, establishing collaborations between the innovators and lab scientists that are critical to accelerating the maturation of deep tech innovations. The Director also serves to support entrepreneurship more generally at Argonne and facilitates the engagement of the lab with key local and regional stakeholders to build strategic collaborations, amplify the Laboratory’s presence in the US entrepreneurial ecosystem, and be responsible for creating impactful outcomes from Lab S&T appropriately partnered with start-ups.

The Director works in close collaboration with other LEEP (Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs) nodes Innovation Crossroads (ORNL) and Cyclotron Road (CR), and, starting in 2022, a new LEEP node based at NREL.


  • Serves as the primary mentor and advisor to a diverse, cross-disciplinary community of entrepreneurial fellows (10-12 active startups).
  • Supervises and provides leadership to the CRI team (admin, operations, communications, mentors) to support CRI innovators, including programming, connectivity with the Chicagoland innovation ecosystem, with industry leaders, university-based entrepreneurship programs, and other resources.
  • Provides leadership to support CRI’s annual recruitment, including the selection of fellows that join each cohort of innovators in the program, following Argonne’s core values and the program’s goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Manages CRI’s Advisory Council and Scientific Advisory Board, leveraging these entities to help drive CRI’s mission, through their participation in the evaluation and selection of CRI’s cohorts of innovators.
  • Manage relations with key mentoring resources in the region.
  • Represent CRI and Argonne at the executive level to key local, regional, and national stakeholders.
  • Builds connections to lab scientists that act as technical mentors to the selected innovators.
  • Represents CRI, Argonne, and the LEEP to outside entities like industrial partners, investors, government-funding agencies, and other scientific partners.
  • Responsible for managing communications and expectations between Argonne and DOE sponsors, including DOE-AMO, DOE Office of Science (SC), and with the University of Chicago.
  • Will be expected to drive CRI’s continued growth and sustainability through the development of new programs and through the expanded presence of CRI in the city, including Argonne in Chicago.
  • Serves as one of Argonne’s primary points of contact with the local and regional innovation ecosystem, in particular with startup accelerators, incubators, university entrepreneurship programs, economic development organizations, community leaders, and with state and city economic development organizations.
  • Is Argonne’s lead representative to the Duality Accelerator, which supports startups developing quantum-related innovations.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Passionate about the need to support the next generation of deep tech entrepreneurs to address climate change, sustainability, and community impact.
  • Deeply understands and has experience with the fundamental tenants of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • A thought leader in climate change, sustainability, and the critical need for scientists and engineers to help move their innovations into applications with high social and economic impact.
  • Has an advanced degree in either the physical, biological, or environmental sciences, with a minimum of ten years of experience.
  • Experienced in early-stage research & development, technology maturation, new product development, manufacturing scale-up, and commercialization of science-based innovations.
  • Entrepreneurial experience, either in a startup or through new product development and deployment within a larger organization.
  • Has experience communicating to a broad range of audiences including scientists, Lab and DOE leadership, civic and community leaders, and the general public.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to develop productive collaborations with lab scientists and CRI innovators, and with senior management within Argonne, other academic/scientific organizations, as well as with the private sector and investors.
  • Familiarity with the National Labs and the Department of Energy.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Argonne’s extensive research portfolio and major initiatives.
  • Ability to model Argonne’s Core Values: Impact, Safety, Respect, Integrity, and Teamwork.

To apply for this job please visit