A search is underway for a CEO to lead the Research Triangle Foundation with executive search firm Elinvar having been hired to help find a new executive. In spelling out the requirements for the job, the foundation board stresses the importance of hiring an exec to implement the “Master Plan” adopted in 2012.

The foundation is responsible for operation of RTP, which is home to some 200 companies that employ 50,000 people.

Liz Rooks, a longtime Research Triangle Foundation executive, remains interim CEO. She came out of retirement to take the job shortly after Bob Geolas left for still-unexplained reasons last September. He later joined an RTP-based consulting firm.

While no timetable for hiring a new CEO was spelled out, the announcement posted by Michael Pittman, vice president of marketing and communications, makes clear that the Master Plan for drastic changes and additions to the Park is in the process of being implemented with construction for the first phase known as Park Center East to begin this fall.

“Just as the original vision for RTP was realized through commitment of a broad partnership of stakeholders, the new RTP Master Plan will require joint effort and resolve,” Pittman wrote in a blog post. “Transformative change is needed to meet 21st century challenges.”

He noted that the new CEO “will be charged with implementing the vision that has been created to enable RTP to achieve its economic growth objectives now and in the future.” Work continues on making the Master Plan a reality, he added.

“Detailed planning of the first phase, called Park Center East, is complete. Zoning is in place, and the site plan for the horizontal infrastructure has been approved and permitted. Bids have been received, and construction is anticipated to begin in Fall 2017. Substantial public financial support for the infrastructure development has been obtained.”

The CEO job is not for someone who wants to avoid the spotlight, he added.

“The CEO operates in a high-profile role. The person holding it will be responsible for strengthening and expanding the strong alliances the organization has forged with key business, public, education and economic development leaders in the region, state, country and across the world,” he explained.

Pittman also pointed out that the board itself is changing due to Master Plan requirements and the new CEO needs experience in development to assist the board.

“Because the Foundation is transitioning from an entity that primarily sells land to largely a property development and management role, it is necessary that the person in [the CEO] have extensive knowledge and considerable experience in commercial land development, preferably on multiple fronts and over the full spectrum of planning, financing, construction and property management,” Pittman said.

For those interest in applying, contact margaret@elinvar.com.

The full job description can be found at the foundation’s web site.