Presidential Search

The Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology Graduate University (OIST) seeks an accomplished, dynamic academic leader to serve as the next President/Chief Executive Officer.

OIST ( is an international, doctoral-level graduate university of science and technology offering a 5-year PhD program in science. Founded in 2011 by the Government of Japan, OIST seeks to advance science and technology worldwide, attract leading researchers from Japan and abroad to conduct high-quality research, promote the development of a world-class research hub, and nucleate a knowledge cluster that will catalyze technology transfer and industrial innovation in Okinawa and Japan.

OIST is designed as a new type of graduate university, built from the beginning to be truly interdisciplinary. There are no departments, and the research units cover a broad range of sciences. English is the language of instruction. Faculty and students come from more than 50 countries. Over 60% of the faculty, 50% of the research staff, and 80% of the students are international. The first stage of growth of the university has been completed with 88 independent faculty research units, over 250 doctoral students in the Graduate School, more than 1,000 research and administrative staff, and extensive support facilities located in four well-equipped research buildings (see "Peer Review 2019 Report.")

In its first decade of operations, OIST has been ranked amongst the world's top research institutes in normalized rankings adjusted for its small size (Nature Index). Excellence in education, research, and innovation are the three pillars of OIST. The ultimate authority and responsibility for the operation of the OIST School Corporation lies with the Board of Governors (BOG). The BOG is made up of scientists, business leaders, and science administrators with international status. There are currently four Nobel Laureates on the Board.

Situated in the beautiful subtropical island of Okinawa at the southernmost extreme of Japan, OIST spans 85 hectares of protected forestland overlooking the shoreline and coral reefs. The campus is architecturally striking, and the facilities are outstanding.

The mission of OIST is to conduct basic research that bridges disciplines to explore new frontiers of knowledge in science and technology and educate new generations of scientific and technology leaders. OIST’s mission is also to contribute to the economic development of Okinawa and being a catalyst for an innovation hub.

Students are selected according to the highest standards from an international pool that is competitive with other world-leading universities. Independence and career development are emphasized in the graduate curriculum, and during their first years, students go through three-month rotations in several laboratories, including areas outside their discipline. Each faculty member, including assistant and associate professors, leads independent research units and are responsible for their own research agenda.

The next President of OIST will continue to lead its growth and recruitment of exceptional faculty members, foster exceptional research, with a particular focus on fostering economic development benefit to Okinawa, and continually increase resources for the University. This will include working closely with the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan to ensure that the growth to a critical mass in size of faculty continues. These include the multidisciplinary and highly international nature of its faculty, and high-trust funding, which plays an essential role in providing scientists with the freedom to create.

The next President will lead OIST in realizing its guiding principles: to be globally recognized for world-leading cross-disciplinary research that benefits humanity; to be a destination of choice for faculty and students to work, learn, and collaborate, supported by an efficient administration; and to be a partner of choice for corporate and government partners. OIST aims to be a force for innovation and a catalyst in Okinawa, promoting economic growth and sustainable benefits and addressing problems important to Japanese and global society.


All confidential inquiries, nominations/referrals, and resumes with cover letters, should be sent in electronically to:

Isaacson Miller, Inc.
Sean Farrell, Partner
Kahn Lee, Managing Associate
Sofia Vargas, Associate

As an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, OIST encourages all qualified applicants to apply, including women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and members of traditionally underrepresented populations. OIST’s Equal Opportunity Statement can be viewed at: .