Senior Program Manager, Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property (MIIP)

Organization Overview 

Michelson 20MM Foundation, founded in 2010, is an affiliated organization of Michelson Philanthropies. We believe that equitable educational and economic opportunities are essential to activating humanity’s full potential. For more than a decade, our foundation has served 20 million minds—the approximate number of post-secondary students in the United States—by advancing open educational resources, smart justice, digital equity, and intellectual property education.

Since our founding, our work has grown to include investing in tech entrepreneurs, changemakers, and policy with the goal of catalyzing scalable innovations in the knowledge economy and accelerating progress toward a more just world.  The foundation continues to expand into other verticals, challenging social inequalities and injustices in fields beyond education. 

Position Summary

The Senior Program Manager for the Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property (MIIP) will report to the Chief Operating Officer and be responsible for the planning and coordination of all programmatic activities, with the goal of growing the initiative’s reach and impact, with a focus on reaching diverse and underrepresented communities. This position is best suited for an individual with prior experience managing and growing educational programs, a JD, legal background, or IP expertise is not required.  If you are academically inclined, innately curious, and motivated to drive an actionable impact-oriented agenda forward then you are exactly who we’re looking for. The role is best suited for a proactive, goal-driven professional that can cultivate and grow mission-aligned partnerships, elevate the Michelson IP initiative on a national scale, successfully oversee the expansion of our curriculum and product offerings, and ensure that annual goals and objectives are achieved.  

Overview of Role

The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property (MIIP), a non-profit initiative of the Michelson 20MM Foundation, aims to empower the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs and creators with the knowledge needed to protect and commercialize their innovations. MIIP was founded in 2016 by prolific medical inventor Dr. Gary K. Michelson. Dr. Michelson is the sole-named inventor of nearly 1000 patents worldwide and is an inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the National Academy of Inventors.

To date, over 400 colleges and universities nationwide have incorporated MIIP resources, designed to offer foundational education on patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, into their curricula and programs.

The ideal candidate will possess excellent communication, organizational and analytical skills, as well as strategic planning and project management experience. Candidates must have a strong interest in the education and technology sectors, as well as entrepreneurship and invention.

You will:

The MIIP Senior Program Manager will be responsible for overseeing the below. While these are core duties for the role, the Senior Program Manager is not limited to performing what is captured here; we think growth is good. You should too!

Lead the MIIP Initiative, which includes providing technical, programmatic, and administrative oversight for ongoing IP activities. This includes: 

  • Program oversight activities:
    • Effectively manages, assigns project-specific tasks, and communicates expectations to Michelson IP team members, including the Michelson IP Program Coordinator, Program Interns, and consultants;
    • Manage community and stakeholder outreach & engagement efforts, inclusive of undergraduate institutions and faculty, community college faculty, education associations, invention and entrepreneurship programs, government offices, IP attorneys, etc;
    • Identify, cultivate and maintain strategic partnerships with multiple stakeholder groups;
    • Conduct and aggregate research to inform strategy and program development; 
    • Oversee the establishment and implementation of data-driven programmatic marketing efforts, including but not limited to, email and web communications, social media, and partner channel marketing.  
    • Set annual goals and KPIs; Monitor and track milestone-based performance objectives; 
    • Manage grantmaking activities related to the MIIP initiative;
    • Track and maintain the program budget.
  • Regularly represent and advance the interests of MIIP and the Michelson 20MM Foundation by securing 
    • speaking engagements, conference/panel participation and other presentation opportunities.
    • participation in special national and government-led initiatives, such as participating as an Executive Board Member for the U.S. Intellectual Property Alliance. 
  • Cultivate thought leadership opportunities for Michelson IP and Dr. Gary Michelson, this includes earned media such as press coverage, and speaking opportunities, as relevant.
  • Track news, developments and trends in the intellectual property sector; reviewing and synthesizing key research findings and sharing with supervisors and external audiences as appropriate.
  • This position may require you to undertake additional projects and assignments as requested.

You’ve gotta have: 

Successful candidates for this role will have a mix of the below experience, education, and skills. We are flexible in considering your background but want to ensure that you have the tools to thrive! Please review and make sure that your skill set aligns with: 

  • A college degree in a related field (BA, BS) or equivalent combination of experience and education that provides the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of this position
  • A working knowledge of the fundamentals of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, and copyright, and the ability to be conversationally fluent in the basics of IP with leaders and practitioners in the field. Training or expertise in IP law is NOT necessary but interest and curiosity in IP will be key
  • 7+ years of work experience in project or program management, preferably in higher education, R&D/innovation, and/or entrepreneurship organizations 
  • Experience with entrepreneurial ecosystems preferred 
  • Ability to cultivate and maintain partnerships with multiple stakeholder groups
  • Ability to work within culturally diverse environments
  • Experience with educational equity and racial justice initiatives
  • Expert in implementing multiple simultaneous projects throughout complex organizations 
  • Comfortable managing multiple initiatives in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Willingness to work some nights and weekends
  • Action-oriented, strong track record as an implementer and self-starter
  • Strong project management/development skills and follow through
  • Strong organization and personal effectiveness 
  • Ability to take ownership of new projects and work well with ambiguity 
  • Enjoys ideating, creating, and collaboratively implementing new initiatives

You’ll receive: 

We know our people are our most important asset. So in addition to a competitive salary, exceptional colleagues, and the fulfillment of working with an organization literally making the world a better place; all full-time employees are eligible to participate in MP’s benefits program:

  • Health, Dental & Vision Insurance
  • Life & Long-term Disability
  • FSA
  • Pet Insurance Discount
  • 401(k) + match
  • Paid Holidays and more! Professional development opportunities, team building, and sabbatical to name a few.

Michelson Philanthropies is an equal-opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

To learn more about the Michelson 20MM Foundation visit us at To learn more about the Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property visit us at

Hungry for more? Visit us at to see the groundbreaking work our teams are doing.

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Salary Description
$85,000 to $95,000