Merit Network President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Apply Now

How to Apply

A cover letter and resume are required; the cover letter must be PAGE 1 of your resume. The letter should:

  1. Specifically outline the reasons for your interest in the position;
  2. Outline your particular skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Starting salary may vary depending on qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.


Merit Network, Inc., seeks a President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to provide visionary and collaborative leadership for the nation's longest-running regional research and education network. The President and CEO of Merit will provide exemplary leadership to develop and execute strategy in partnership with stakeholders to optimize value to Merit members.  The President and CEO will represent Merit to its Members, to the State of Michigan and nationally, and will nurture its leadership position among regional and national networking and information technology peers.

As the senior executive in the company reporting to the Merit Board of Directors, the President and CEO is responsible for all financial, technical, operational, administrative and legal aspects of the management of the organization.  The CEO works with the Board, Merit’s community and Merit leaders to develop and execute the organization’s strategy and vision. 

Merit Network, Inc.

Merit Network Inc., an independent nonprofit corporation governed by Michigan’s public universities, owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained on the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking and information technology solutions to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations.  Merit currently has about 100 full time staff members and an annual operating budget of approximately $24 million. 


Vision and Strategy: 

  • Through interactions with Merit’s community, the national research and education network community, the Board of Directors, and Merit staff, the CEO collaboratively develops a strategy to deliver optimal value to its members. 
  • The CEO ensures that Merit staff members understand and are aligned with the strategy.

Innovation, Growth and Stability: 

  • Promote a culture of innovation and growth to enhance Merit's service portfolio, ensure organizational financial stability and continuously increase value to the membership. 

Operations and Execution: 

  • Develop goals, track progress and make adjustments to achieve Merit’s goals. 
  • Maintain a culture of operational excellence. 
  • Oversee Merit’s lines of businesses, back-office processes and funded research. 
  • Oversee engineering, technical, sales and marketing operations.

Staff and Leadership Climate: 

  • Promulgate a corporate culture that best serves the membership by attracting, retaining and developing Merit staff. 
  • Lead and inspire Merit's stakeholders, including staff, Board members, member constituencies, and partners.
  • Coach and develop Merit’s leaders. 
  • Champion diversity, equity and inclusion within the company culture.

Government Relations: 

  • Develop appropriate relationships and advocacy strategies with State and Federal governmental officials to further Merit’s mission.

Represent Merit: 

  • As the senior leader, represent Merit regionally and nationally through activities such as participating on committees and boards, giving presentations, and authoring articles.
  • Deliver presentations to state and local organizations to further Merit’s mission.

Participate and lead groups: 

  • Participate in national and regional associations that are consistent with the Merit mission. 
  • Take leadership roles in state and national organizations where appropriate. 
  • Contribute to national communities of practice.

Financial Operations: 

  • Develop budgets consistent with the strategy and execute sound financial operations, focusing on long-term growth and sustainability.
  • Make appropriate investments and manage Merit’s capital reserve for the long-term benefit of Merit’s community.

Board of Directors: 

  • Keep Merit’s Board of Directors informed, understand the Board’s needs and manage organizational risk.

Translate the Board’s intent to Merit and the membership:

  • Draft and make policy recommendations to the Board.

Legal and Regulatory: 

  • Keep abreast of and make appropriate decisions concerning legal and regulatory issues and constraints. 

Interact with members: 

  • Meet with Members in multiple forums. 
  • Articulate Merit’s value, build relationships, and understand Member needs. 


Business Operations: 

  • Ability to understand and oversee Merit’s business operations.  Oversee Merit’s processes, finances, projects, products and services to deliver value to the membership while supporting Merit’s ability to operate.

Leader and Staff Development: 

  • Ability to develop leaders and staff members to better serve Merit’s members and further Merit’s mission.

Economic Development: 

  • Ability to lead Merit staff, leaders, and community in expanding economic development in communities within Michigan and nationally as applicable.

Technical Competence: 

  • Understand technology well enough to decide between trade-offs, create a strategy, drive operational excellence and explain Merit’s solutions to others.

Member Service:

  • Develop service skills in others and exhibit those skills while engaging with the membership.

Oral and Written Communication: 

  • Able to clearly communicate ideas to others at all levels, including executive and academic communications.
  • Able to explain technology and value to a wide range of audiences on a wide range of topics pertinent to Merit’s mission.


  • Inspire Merit and its community to achieve goals.
  • Must be a collaborative leader, comfortable working with organizations and individuals with diverse and sometimes conflicting priorities.
  • Demonstrated ability to make good and timely decisions and communicate those decisions.
  • Must be passionate about Merit’s mission and the success of Merit’s community.

Financial Management: 

  • Ability to keep Merit financially strong for the short and long term as it executes its mission.


  • Must have the highest ethical standards and set the proper example for Merit.

Planning and Organizing: 

  • Must be able to oversee planning of large events and visibly participate in the same.

Risk Management: 

  • Must be able to identify and manage to an appropriate level of risk for the organization.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • 5+ years of progressive experience in leading technical and/or educational teams.
  • 5+ years of demonstrated success leading a complex organization to continuously improve capability and performance.
  • Previous experience with entrepreneurship and business development.
  • Solid understanding of technology to decide between trade-offs, creating a strategy, drive operational excellence and explaining solutions to others.
  • Demonstrated customer service skills and ability.
  • 5+ years of demonstrated experience providing strategic leadership.
  • 3+ years’ experience providing fiscal management for a complex large scale organization.
  • Experience in state level government relations.
  • Experience in working with educational organizations.
  • Excellent communication and influencing skills including public speaking and presentations.
  • Demonstrated values-based leadership building trust across internal and external people.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Advanced degree in a technical, business or related field.
  • Familiarity with Merit’s community, the national research and education network community or the higher education community.
  • Entrepreneurial or business development experience, within the State of Michigan, including government, education and non-profit arenas.
  • Success leading a technical operations team.
  • Government, education or non-profit experience.

Additional Information

This position may work with and/or support systems that maintain or process sensitive institutional data as defined by university and Merit policy.  Successful candidates must comply with federal, state, and local law, and/or university and Merit policies or agreements that require the university to implement specific privacy and security safeguards, including but not limited to ITAR, EAR, HIPAA, and FISMA.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations, including one booster when eligible, are required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working remotely and temporary workers.   More information on this new policy is available on the U-M Health Response website or the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint websites.