Chief Operating Officer

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST; see is a dynamic new graduate university of science and technology in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The university is located on 85 hectares of protected forestland overlooking beautiful shoreline and coral reefs. The campus is striking architecturally, and the facilities are outstanding   (OIST campus video tour). There are no academic departments, which facilitates multidisciplinary research. Outstanding resources and equipment are provided and managed to encourage easy access and collaboration. English is the official language of the University, and the university research community is fully international, with more than 50 countries represented. OIST is rapidly gaining recognition in the worldwide academic community as a model for excellence in education and research.

Under the leadership of the newly appointed President, Dr. Peter Gruss, OIST is now embarking on an exciting new stage of growth to double the size of the University by 2023.  The Chief Operating Officer will play a key role in this major expansion and will have a unique opportunity to contribute to the growth of a dynamic new university.

Position Summary

Supporting the work of the President, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) oversees and coordinates most university non-academic operations, including facilities, information technology, finance, investments, human resources, government/ public relations, and legal affairs. This task will be accomplished by working in effective partnership with the other executives. The COO reports directly to the President.

OIST’s goal of becoming a world-class university includes excellence in management.  The COO is expected to contribute to making OIST a model of effective management that provides high performance administrative services while promoting the universities core values.

OIST is seeking to appoint a committed and enthusiastic individual who will translate the OIST long-term vision for growth into an operational plan. The COO will be thoughtful and innovative in the development and implementation of strategic business plan. The COO will command the respect of internal and external stakeholders including Faculty, the Board of Governors, and the Board of Councilors.


Chief Operating Officer Office of the President


1919‐1 Tancha, Onna‐son, Okinawa, Japan 904-0495


Main Job Responsibilities

  • Support and advise the President, and manage his executive leadership team on non-academic operation activities
  • Coordinate and oversee all non-academic functions and operations of the university, including finance, human resources, gender equality and diversity, facilities, information resources, administration, compliance, and campus health and safety
  • Oversee the development and maintenance of effective information and management systems throughout the university, and promote efficient communications among OIST community members
  • Oversee growth and development of university facilities
  • Be responsible for the management of risk
  •  Be responsible for cross-division/office projects or issues which are not included in responsibilities of other executives
  • Coordinate effective relations with the Japanese Government


Professional Experience/Qualifications

  • At least 3 years of experience in a senior leadership position at an academic or research organization, or public or private organization of relevant complexity
  • Outstanding leadership skills
  • Outstanding business planning and analytical skills, including demonstrated ability to identify and utilize best practices and performance benchmarks
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively interface with people at all levels
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills in English  
  • Demonstrated commitment to a diverse university
  • International working experience


  • Ability to communicate in Japanese

Starting Date 

On or after January 1, 2018

Working Hours 

09:00-17:30 (Discretionary)


Internationally competitive salary in accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulations


  • Relocation, housing and commuting allowances
  • Annual paid leave and summer holidays
  • Health insurance (Private School Mutual Aid  http://www.shigaku kyo .html/ ),
  • Welfare pension insurance (Kosei Nenkin),
  • Worker’s accident compensation insurance (Rodo Saigai Hosho Hoken)

Submission Documents 

  1. Cover letter in English (and Japanese if available) that details experience and fit relative to the responsibilities and qualifications for the position.
  2. Curriculum vitae in English (and Japanese if available) with educational and employment background, including names and contact information for five references.

Application Due 

Applications deadline will continue until the position is filled.

Postal Address 

HR Recruiting Support Section
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University
1919-1, Onna, Onna-son, Okinawa 904-0495, Japan

Email Address 

Please submit all required application materials in PDF format by email to: (Please replace # with @ before using this email address)


  • OIST Graduate University is an equal opportunity educator and employer committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty, students and staff through proactive policies.  We provide a family-friendly working environment, including a bilingual child development center on campus. The University strongly encourages women and other underrepresented groups to apply.
  • Information provided by applicants or references will be kept confidential, documents will not be returned. All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications.
  • Further details about the University are available on our website (

Job Description PDF