Director, Business Development

American Society for Cell Biology, Bethesda, MD

World-class corporations innovate consistently to compete in today’s fluctuating marketplace. Likewise, nonprofit associations that create value-based revenue models are better positioned to thrive in the changing membership landscape. The American Society of Cell Biology, a $7M professional society, is conducting a search for an innovative Director, Business Development to catapult the organization toward exponential revenue growth.


ASCB is a network of more than 9,000 cell biologists, in more than 65 countries.  With Nobel laureates and highly distinguished scientists among its members and serving on their board of directors, this prestigious organization is composed of scientists spanning all areas of cell biology dedicated to advancing scientific discovery, advocating sound research policies, improving education, promoting professional development, and increasing diversity in the scientific workforce. Life science corporations such as GE and Genentech financially support the organization through exhibit and advertising sales.


Simultaneously a strategic and tactical role, the Director both will drive and execute the vision of aggressive revenue generation.  Developing an outcomes-based value proposition for industry partners, the Director must first gain a deep understanding of why corporations should partner with ASCB, then design marketable products and programs to acquire and retain high-dollar corporate relationships.  Among the duties, the Director will:

  • Market annual meeting exhibit space to pharmaceutical companies, lab suppliers, and biotech companies. Current revenues from exhibit sales are in the 7-figure range.
  • Sell advertising in ASCB’s three publications: Molecular Biology of the Cell (MBoC), CBE—Life Sciences Education (LSE) and The ASCB Newsletter.
  • Spearhead high-visibility programs to generate large value-based fees from corporate partners. An aggressive sales target is set at $10-15M in the first three years.
  • Explore other revenue generating sources such as meeting sponsorships and support, corporate banner ads, conference program guide advertising, etc.
  • Develop strategic relationships with industry partners, foundations and other professional societies to offer innovative products and services and manage specific corporate programs.
  • Partner with marketing department to develop robust marketing, advertising and promotional materials through print and digital media.
  • Forecast and manage budgetary resources in accordance with ASCB policy and ethical corporate governance guidelines.



  1. You are a successful business development professional and can demonstrate profitable sales engagements with C-level executives.
  2. You have the ability to speak the language of corporate and science.
  3. You can demonstrate a visible interest in the mission of the ASCB and the ability to communicate the value proposition of ASCB’s members, namely scientific knowledge.
  4. You are able to penetrate new markets through scanning of internal and external environments.
  5. You have solid experience utilizing a CRM database for tracking and managing sales leads.
  6. You are polished, intellectually curious and able to articulate and implement a plan for revenue growth with gravitas.
  7. You have a strategic key account mindset and know how to go deep and wide within a company.
  8. You are a volcano of ideas and a roll-up-your sleeves doer.



This is a retained search conducted by Purposeful Hire. Serious candidates should contact Shira Harrington, Founder & President at Submission should include a compelling cover letter demonstrating key account C-level wins and an interest in selling ASCB’s mission. Resume should highlight sales revenue metrics. Please indicate desired base salary + incentive comp target.