Director/Senior Director

Posted Aug 18

Director/Senior Director, Contracts - Government

Ginkgo Bioworks is a well-funded, high-growth biotech company that is redesigning the living world to solve some of the globe’s growing challenges in health, energy, sustainment, food, materials, and more. Our mission to “make biology easier to engineer” is poised to disrupt multiple industries by leveraging our innovative data, automation, and scale capabilities in biological engineering. 

We’re seeking an experienced, passionate, and collaborative Director/Senior Director, Contracts - Government to join our team. As Ginkgo continues to grow, we are building out our team to work collaboratively with the U.S. Government to support the development of materials, biosecurity, energy & sustainability, and pharma solutions in support of national security, the bio-economy and supply chains. As Director/Senior Director, Contracts - Government, you will serve as the lead negotiator for all of Ginkgo’s U.S. Government contracts and guide our team as we deliver capabilities and products to our Government partners. Your role sits at the nexus of Ginkgo’s mission and strategy, and you will be uniquely positioned to create impact both for our U.S. Government partners and for Ginkgo at large. Success in this role comes with the ability to effectively leverage the full breadth of the Ginkgo platform by coordinating with all of our constituent teams, including business development, government affairs, alliance management, finance, creative, legal, and technical.  

Ginkgo recognizes that creativity and innovation are critical elements to all aspects of our operations. We’re seeking a creative strategic thinker who leverages their vast knowledge of the U.S. Government regulations and acquisition process to help us achieve our mission of making biology easier to engineer.


  • Serves as the lead contracts manager and negotiator for Ginkgo’s U.S. Government awards; including but not limited to contracts, assistance instruments, other transactions, subcontractor proposals and agreements, NDAs, TAs, and price proposals
  • Drive creative, critical thinking and action throughout the full acquisition lifecycle, from opportunity assessment and diligence to partner negotiation and deal implementation
  • Provides subject matter expertise in, but not limited to, the application of FAR/DFARS flowdown clauses, regulations, data rights, intellectual property rights, Buy American Act, Trade Agreement Act, and other regulations
  • Oversees conformance to the U.S. Government award, and maintains continual reviews to ensure that all terms and conditions are met and that the contract is in accordance with legal requirements, customer specifications, and government regulations; prepares and disseminates information throughout the company regarding contract status, compliance, modification, deviation, negotiation, and termination
  • Provides expertise in identifying creative solutions to potential contractual problems or conflicts, analyzing impact/ramifications; recommends and implements mitigation strategies
  • Assists Ginkgo leadership in building and shaping the Bids and Proposals and Project Management teams for U.S. Government projects
  • Assists in the development of proposal pricing strategies and establishes sound contractual policy to facilitate successful contract implementation
  • Supports the Legal team through the development and implementation of approaches to protect intellectual property
  • Reviews contractual documents and negotiation of terms and conditions
  • Analyzes contractual requirements, special provisions, terms and conditions to ensure compliance with appropriate laws, regulations, and company policies and procedures

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a business, science, or technical field
  • DAWIA Level III certification
  • Current or prior warranted Contracting Officer
  • In-depth knowledge of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS), 10 U.S.C § 2358, Department of Defense (DoD) Grants and Agreements Regulations (DoDGARs), 10 U.S.C. § 2371, and other federal acquisition policies, processes, procedures, and contracting laws
  • Excellent communication, presentation, interpersonal, and negotiation skills
  • Experience negotiating and awarding complex deal structures and numerous award mechanisms such as contracts (CPFF, FFP, T&M, etc.), cooperative agreements, grants, and other transactions (OTs; 10 U.S.C. § 2371b)
  • Enthusiasm about advancing Ginkgo’s mission to make biology easier to engineer
  • Willingness to work in a fast-paced startup environment
  • Organized and robust project management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to learn and adapt quickly

Desired Experience and Capabilities

  • Master’s degree in business, science, policy, or technical field
  • Experience supporting the solicitation, acquisition, and award negotiations process for U.S. Government R&D funding agencies such as the “ARPA” agencies, DOE, and DoD Service laboratories
  • Experience in supporting acquisition for biology or chemistry projects
  • Demonstrated analytical skills in business and disruptive technology subjects
  • Proven ability to hold Secret or Top Secret/SCI clearance

To learn more about Ginkgo, check out some recent press:

Ginkgo Bioworks resizes the definition of going big in biotech, raising $2.5B in a record SPAC deal that weighs in with a whopping $15B-plus valuation (Endpoints News)

Ginkgo Bioworks Redirects Its Biotech Platform to Coronavirus (Wall Street Journal)

Ginkgo Raises $70 Million to Tackle Covid-19 Testing (Bloomberg)

Ginkgo Bioworks to Build Infrastructure for Rapid Epidemic Response (PR Newswire)

How to Test Every American for COVID-19, Every Day (The Atlantic)

The Life Factory: Synthetic Organisms From This $1.4 Billion Startup Will Revolutionize Manufacturing (Forbes)

The engineering of living organisms could soon start changing everything (The Economist)

Synthetic Bio Pioneer Ginkgo Raises $290 Million in New Funding (Bloomberg)

Ginkgo Bioworks raises $350 million fund for biotech spinouts (Reuters)

Ginkgo Bioworks Is Turning Human Cells into On-Demand Factories (WIRED)

Can This Company Convince You to Love GMOs? (The Atlantic)

We also feel that it’s important to point out the obvious here – there’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry, and that needs to change. Our goal is to help drive that change. Ginkgo is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its practices, especially when it comes to growing our team. Our culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with people from all walks of life.  

We’re developing a powerful biological engineering platform, so we must remain mindful of the many ways our technology can – and will – impact people around the world. We care about how our platform is used, and having a diverse team to build it gives us the best chance that it’s something we’ll be proud of as it continues to grow. Therefore, it’s critical that we incorporate the diverse voices and visions of all those who play a role in the future of biology.

It is the policy of Ginkgo Bioworks to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and employment applicants.