Technical Director, Wharton Interactive

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • Nov 08, 2023
Full time Other Administrative Positions

Job Description


Technical Director, Wharton Interactive

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Large Employers in 2023.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Technical Director, Wharton Interactive

Job Profile Title
Information Technology Technical Director

Job Description Summary
Wharton Interactive develops innovative platforms, simulations, and games to create new learning experiences. Grounded in research and extensive expertise in creating these new forms of interactive learning, Wharton Interactive's experiences create active learning opportunities that challenge students to apply theoretical concepts effectively and ultimately own their learning. This initiative was founded in 2018, launched its marketplace in 2021, and is experiencing explosive growth in interest and adoption globally. Wharton Interactive is seeking a seasoned commercial and educational technology leader.

Job Description


In partnership with the Academic/Faculty Director and other stakeholders, the Technical Director is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the priorities for Wharton Interactive. The Technical Director is adept at leading highly innovative, agile educational technology initiatives with a global customer base.

Team Leadership

Wharton Interactive's organization has evolved functionally, with the development and QA teams reporting to the Technical Director in each area. At the same time, the Director of Pedagogy is a peer position who works directly with the Faculty Director on Games Development. The Technical Director will continue to ensure that the teams are set up for continued success, especially as increased scale adds new challenges and demands. This means expertly negotiating, navigating, and communicating priorities, helping the team focus on goals and deliverables. In addition, ensuring the team functions optimally, information flows appropriately throughout the organization, and processes remain lean and efficient. Provide mentorship and coaching to staff members as appropriate and staff development opportunities to support a maturing initiative.

Technology Strategy

Since its founding, Wharton Interactive has relied heavily on outside vendors to deliver most technological innovation, especially for platform tech. While development by technology vendors will continue, investment is being made to bring more of this expertise in-house. Working with the Wharton Interactive tech team and vendor developers, translate strategy into priorities a technology roadmap, and agree on the deliverables. Ensure the roadmap is communicated appropriately across the organization and, where applicable, to external stakeholders (i.e. partners and customers).

Executive Functions & Oversight

Manage and oversee the appropriate execution of:
  • Legal agreements, such as faculty royalty agreements and external partnership agreements
  • Annual and 5-year budgets, financial projections, and budgeting in partnership with Wharton Finance & Administration
  • Team management functions, including managing direct reports
  • Vendor purchasing agreements and management


  • 10+ years of experience in a technology leadership role, preferably in educational technology startups and/or edtech initiatives in an organization
  • Budgeting and financial model experience
  • Master at communication, both written and oral
  • Prior experience as a software engineer, software architect, or in a role that required close collaboration with technology-focused teams
  • Understanding of software architecture principles and ability to leverage this knowledge to guide high-level strategic decision making for software platforms
  • Experience in overseeing the successful delivery of software projects using modern SDLC methodologies, such as Agile
  • Proven track record of working with CTOs, Software Architects, and other technology leaders in the development, execution, and maintenance of a technology strategy
  • Proven ability to diagnose faults in software applications and platforms, leveraging technical expertise and collaboration with technical teams
  • Able to stay abreast of the latest advances in technology and apply them strategically to software architecture and technology initiatives
  • Experience running technology projects using common software delivery tools such as project tracking and documentation software

  • Demonstrated success in leading a new technology initiative within a university or other similar setting
  • Adept at working with senior technology leaders on software delivery strategy
  • Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or a related field would be a plus
  • Experience in leading technological transformation or digitalization projects
  • Familiarity with emerging technologies, such as AI, machine learning, cloud computing, etc., and their potential applications in an educational context.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Wharton School

Pay Range
$90,860.00 - $160,000.00 Annual Rate
Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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