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Sep 16, 2013

25 Top-Paid Research Institute Leaders

Who in academia is raking it in this year?

25 Top-Paid Research Institute Leaders

This year’s list goes beyond CEOs to include other senior-level executives, such as executive vice presidents, board chairs, and C-suite officers. [© Thomas R. - Fotolia.com]

  • Following is a list of 25 current or former senior executives of independent nonprofit research institutes, ranked by total compensation for the most recent two years such information was available as furnished by Form 990s filed annually by each institution with the Internal Revenue Service and made public through Guidestar.org and Foundation Center. In most cases, the most recent years available were fiscal years ending in 2011 and 2010. In isolated cases, no new Form 990s had been made public since last year.

    Unlike the first edition of this list last year, the percent change in annual pay for each executive was listed. Perhaps reflecting continued pressure on the institutions and other nonprofits to account for executive pay, 10 of the top 25 compensated executives listed either received below-inflation-rate raises, or were paid less than the previous year.

    However, another 10 executives listed saw double- or triple-digit pay raises, some of which included severance or payments from organizations related to the research institutions. In four cases, double- and triple-digit raises followed a promotion or extra responsibilities added on an interim basis.

    Also unlike last year, the list was expanded beyond CEOs to include other senior-level executives, such as executive vice presidents, board chairs, and C-suite officers. The expansion explains why the top 11 highest-paid executives in this year’s list received total pay exceeding $1 million, compared with the top four CEOs in the 2012 list.

    Executives on the list come from 13 research institutions. HHMI alone accounted for eight people, followed by Sanford-Burnham, Stowers, and the J. William Gladstone Institutes (two each), and one each for the other institutions. In some cases the listed chief executives have been succeeded by others; such leadership changes are detailed in footnotes. FY denotes fiscal year; CY denotes calendar year.

  • #9. David M. Chao, Ph.D.

    Title: President and CEO

    Institution: Stowers Institute for Medical Research

    2011 calendar year: $1,180,91613

    2010 calendar year: $1,006,40813

    % Change: 17.3%

  • #8. Robert Tjian, Ph.D.

    Title: President

    Institution: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    FY ending August 31, 2012: $1,199,437

    FY ending August 31, 2011: $1,143,070

    % Change: 4.9%

  • #7. Roderick L. Sturgeon

    Title: EVP and CFO

    Institution: Stowers Institute for Medical Research

    2011 calendar year: $1,209,82113

    2010 calendar year: $1,149,15413

    % Change: 5.3%

  • #6. Stephen M. Prescott, M.D.

    Title: President

    Institution: Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

    FY ending June 30, 2012: $1,249,438

    FY ending June 30, 2011: $1,059,638

    % Change: 17.9%

  • #5. Jeffrey M. Trent, Ph.D.

    Title: President and Scientific Director

    Institution: Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)

    FY ending November 30, 2011: $1,346,435

    FY ending November 30, 2010: $1,063,599

    % Change: 26.6%

  • #4. Landis Zimmerman

    Title: VP and Chief Investment Officer

    Institution: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    FY ending August 31, 2012: $1,357,181

    FY ending August 31, 2011: $1,134,467

    % Change: 19.6%

  • #3. Richard A. Lerner, M.D.14

    Title: President and CEO, 1991–201214; Researcher, Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, 2012–present Also served as director of predecessor organization, 1987–1991

    Institution: The Scripps Research Institute

    FY ending September 30, 2011: $1,370,494

    FY ending September 30, 2010: $1,370,328

    % Change: 0.01%

  • #2. John C. Reed, M.D., Ph.D.

    Title: CEO, 2010-2013; President and CEO, 2002–201015

    Institution: Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

    FY ending June 30, 2011: $1,476,406

    FY ending June 30, 2010: $1,561,725

    % Change: -5.5%

  • #1. Richard W. Brown

    Title: Chairman, Board of Directors

    Institution: Stowers Institute for Medical Research

    2011 calendar year: $1,780,90213

    2010 calendar year: $1,693,29713

    % Change: 5.2%



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