Director, ZIP, Innovation Lab (504457)

  • San Diego State University
  • San Diego, California
  • Sep 28, 2021
Full Time Administration and Management

Job Description


Position Summary

SDSU is the flagship research institution of the 23-campus California State University system and one of the top 70 public universities in the U.S., according to U.S. News and World Report. The university offers 23 doctoral programs. In 2019-20 SDSU researchers brought in $144.4 million in grants and contracts. The university received its first federal grant in the 1950s, began its first doctoral program in the 1960s, and has continued to chart a course of discovery and scholarship ever since. And research is integral to SDSU's future. The university's strategic plan calls on SDSU to become an R1, premier public research university. SDSU's Mission Valley campus will include a state-of-the-art Innovation District that facilitates meaningful collaboration between our scientists and public and private partners. To achieve this long-term institutional goal, SDSU is committed to developing infrastructure and resources that allow research activity to grow while continuing to support excellence in teaching and research.

The Director of the Zahn Innovation Platform (ZIP) Idea Lab will organizationally report to the Vice President of the Division of Research and Innovation, however, the day-to-day supervision and guidance will be under the direction of the Executive Director of the ZIP Launchpad. The primary responsibility of the Director is to offer Design Thinking related programming, events, train the trainer, and other activities to the SDSU community of students, faculty, and staff. The Director will oversee all activities, programs, and personnel of the ZIP Idea Lab. The Director will work in collaboration with university colleges, departments, centers, student club/organizations, ZIP Launchpad, Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, and other entities on the SDSU campus as appropriate to build relationships resulting in infusing Design Thinking into the SDSU community. The Director will work collaboratively with university development to raise funds synergistic with the ZIP Idea Lab's primary responsibilities. The Director will work to build community relationships that are synergistic with fundraising and/or ZIP Idea Labs' primary responsibilities.

For more information regarding the Division of Research and Innovation, click here.

This is a full-time (1.0 time-base) benefits-eligible, at-will position. This position is designated exempt under FLSA and is not eligible for overtime compensation. Standard SDSU work hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but may vary based on operational needs.

Education and Experience
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Three years in demonstrated success specific to design thinking or human-centered design.
  • Skilled in creating and conducting design thinking workshops
  • Deep knowledge of design thinking philosophy and innovation field

Preferred Qualifications
  • Advanced degree in a field related to design thinking or human-centered design
  • Experience working in a university environment
  • UI/UX experience
  • Entrepreneurial experience

Compensation and Benefits

San Diego State University will offer a competitive salary based on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. San Diego State University also offers a rich benefits package that includes:
  • Extensive Leave benefits: 14 paid holidays, 24 vacation days, and 12 sick days per year;
  • Retirement security through a CalPERS defined benefit pension (with CalPERS and UC Retirement Plan reciprocity) and retiree healthcare benefits;
  • An array of health, dental, and vision coverage at no-cost or low-cost to the employee; and
  • California State University system fee reduction program (fee waiver) for the employee or their qualified dependent.

SDSU COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

In accordance with the California State University systemwide policy, the COVID-19 vaccine will be required for all students, faculty, and staff in order to access campus. An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of a two-shot vaccine or two weeks after the first dose of a single-shot vaccine.

The individual hired into this role will be required to submit their completed vaccination documentation to the university's secure online health portal prior to beginning work. Individuals with an approved medical or religious exemption on file with the university will be required to complete regular COVID-19 testing.

Supplemental Information

Initial review of the required application materials, including cover letters and resumes, will begin on September 14, 2021. To receive full consideration, apply by September 13, 2021. The position will remain open until filled.

The person holding this position is considered a 'mandated reporter' under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

San Diego State University is not a sponsoring agency for staff or management positions (e.g., H-1B visa). Applicants must currently be authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis. Offers of employment are contingent upon the presentation of documents that demonstrate a person's identity and authorization to work in the United States, which are consistent with the provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act.

A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the CSU. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current CSU employees who apply for the position.

SDSU is a smoke-free campus. For more information, please click here.

SDSU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, medical condition, or covered veteran status.

Applicants with disabilities and applicants who require assistance completing an application may contact Casie Martinez at

Closing Date/Time: Open until filled

Job Address

San Diego, California 92182 United States View Map