Vice President of Research & Education

About ISTA

International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) is an organization focused on the specific concerns of transport packaging.  ISTA is the leading industry developer of testing protocols and design standards that define how packages should perform to ensure protection of their contents during the ever-changing risks of the global distribution environment.  We set the standards for optimizing resources in packages that are designed to be survivable, sustainable and successful. Worldwide, ISTA is the most trusted, knowledgeable and respected authority in predictive package-performance testing helping its members develop more effective packaging.

About the Job

The Vice President of Research and Education is a key member of the ISTA staff and is expected to understand, support, and promote its values, mission and vision. You would report to the President and be responsible for establishing and executing the association’s long-range strategy and vision for research programs and education services. This includes the development, delivery, and maintenance of educational programs related to ISTA’s mission, management and execution of ISTA’s Field Data Collection program, and support for ISTA’s Advocate Research and Value Delivery Program.

Key responsibilities for the role include the following:

  • In collaboration with key stakeholders, establish and execute ISTA’s long-range strategy and vision for developing ISTA knowledge and information resources through research, and sharing of ISTA knowledge and information resources through educational programming.
  • Develop and implement annual research and education budgets.
  • Collaborate with internal staff, external partners, ISTA members and industry leaders to build strategic alliances, identify opportunities in the education and research arenas, and enhance/expand ISTA education and research programs.
  • Represent ISTA by presenting at relevant industry events, publishing white papers and writing technical articles for ISTA’s digital publications.


  • Develop and deliver quality education programs for ISTA audiences, anticipating the educational needs of packaging designers and appropriate delivery platforms, considering emerging trends and issues, and competing educational offerings.
  • Direct marketing initiatives to expand sales of ISTA education programs to member and non-member audiences, worldwide.
  • In collaboration with key stakeholders, initiate and direct the development of education opportunities with ISTA constituency groups.
  • Initiate and lead the agenda and content development for ISTA hosted events in close coordination with the VP of Events and external stakeholders.


  • Oversee the association’s research activities including management and review of existing research programs and development of proposed research projects and programs to ensure ISTA research initiatives meet identified goals and metrics articulated in the strategic plan and vision.
  • Conduct strategic “in-house” research projects (i.e. data collection, technical market analysis, etc.) to fuel development of test procedures, educational content, and other value offerings.
  • Work closely with the ISTA VP Technical and Technical Division to ensure research is meeting standards development needs and ensure smooth implementation of research into ISTA’s standards catalog.
  • Monitor, mine, and interpret past, current, and future industry research, to triangulate findings with current and future technology developments and theories for strategic implementation into ISTA’s long-range plan and vision.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for this position has an innate passion for both theoretical and critical thinking as well as an eagerness for continuous learning.  A strong knowledge base of prior and current work in the transport packaging field, and an understanding of appropriate research methodologies, will be needed to enable the positioning of the chosen candidate as a thought leader within the industry.  As such, strong technical writing and presenting skills are also essential for success in this role.  


  • A Master’s degree in Package Engineering or related field required, PhD preferred.
  • At least 5 years in testing and an understanding of all package testing methodologies.
  • Prior experience in field data collection and analysis projects.
  • Education in packaging technology with at least baseline knowledge across primary and secondary packaging levels.

Salary Range & Benefits

A competitive compensation package will be awarded to the qualified candidate.


The deadline to apply for this position is May 31st, 2018.

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