top of page

Expert Profile


Diane Masters





Full or Part-time

Position Type:


North Carolina

United States of America

Years in the field:

20 – 25 Years

Areas of Expertise

Administrative Support, Education, Explainer/guide, Finance, Grants/Foundational Giving, Other



Durham, NC 27712


Experience and aptitude for interpreting and aligning strategic initiatives with resources in support of educational and research missions with primary roles in areas of budgeting, business functions, risk management, data systems, and mission fulfillment.




· nurture interdisciplinary and interdepartmental partnerships to communicate challenges, identify opportunities, broaden perspectives, focus resources, meet goals

· liaise with boards of directors/advisors, federal and foundation sponsors, institutional staff, partners, public, vendors, IT support, auditors, and press

· serve on executive leadership and continuous improvement teams

· strategic leadership, advise and facilitate improvement in multiple settings: small business, not-for-profit, and institutions of higher education

· identify and mitigate risk

· value long-term planning, mission statement development, listening, and critical thinking to keep goals relevant and team members engaged, creative, and positive

· strong interpersonal and communication skills

· joyful, dedicated work ethic



· assess and prioritize resources and programming

· oversight of accounting, budget, risk management, health insurance plan

· develop and implement accounting policies, procedures, reporting

· develop, analyze, and communicate budgets clearly

· analyze and present annual report of programming, outreach, and finances

· 501(c)(3) financial management and complex cost accounting standards

· identify funding opportunities, strategize portfolio development; manage active grants

· respond to internal and external auditor inquiries

· prepare and negotiate contracts, including associated bidding and invoicing



· assess, advise, acquire, and/or design software solutions to bridge applications

· research and support IT solutions to analyze finances, manage data, facilitate business functions, and track milestones, activities and timelines

· advise and contract software, network, and IT services for small business and 501(c)(3)

· digital literacy – enjoy discovering and mastering any tools that help me interpret, process, plan, and communicate. Including, but not limited to: Microsoft Office Suite, various commercial and proprietary accounting platforms, spreadsheets and relational databases, communication functions, design software, web maintenance



· supervise staff (up to 24), to identify opportunities, meet timelines, coordinate expertise, support staff development, and enjoy the work of fulfilling valuable missions

· nurture growth opportunities and respect for values and relationships through research, education, dedication to healthy work culture

· nurture environment welcoming diverse viewpoints, partnerships, healthy communication, and development of expertise




Research Development Lead 2008 – 2021

Duke University, Durham, NC - Duke Institute for Brain Sciences


Program Coordinator / Research Administration 2007 – 2008

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - Duke Institute for Brain Sciences


Executive Administrator 2003 – 2007

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY - Center for the Study of Economy and Society


Office Administrator 2002

Hartgen Archeological Associates, Inc., Putney, Vermont

Limited role: interpret client resp., contracting, budgeting, research, writing reports


Consultant, as requested [after I moved to VT in1999 and JRIA later reopened] 2000 – 2001

Projects Manager / Office Manager 1994 – 1999

Fieldwork / Draftsperson / Lab analyses 1993

James River Institute for Archaeology, Inc. & Virginia Company Foundation 501(c)(3)

Williamsburg, VA

JRIA and the VCF shared staff and infrastructure, the latter conducting investigator-led research of contact-period archaeological sites vs. contracting compliance assessments. I helped close JRIA when I moved to Vermont in 1999; they later reopened.


Education Writer 1988 – 1992

Milwaukee Art Museum; Milwaukee, Wisconsin.




Master of Science, Anthropology coursework only 1992

Graduate Certification, Museum Studies coursework only 1992

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

After completing all dual-degree coursework for Masters of Science in Anthropology and Museum Studies Certification (3.6 GPA), I moved to Tidewater Virginia to pursue career in archaeology before completing thesis, so graduate degrees not awarded

Teaching Assistant, Taught lab sections of Intro to Anthropology and Intro to Archaeology undergraduate courses

University of Wisconsin, Department of Anthropology


Bachelor of Art, Fine Arts 1987

University of Texas, Austin, Texas


Professional Training & Credentialing, selected financial, legal certifications and courses:


Certified Research Administrator [CRA], Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC), internationally recognized accreditation 2012


Research Law Certification, Society of Research Administrators Intl. (SRAI) 2012


Grantsmanship Certification, Society of Research Administrators Intl. (SRAI) 2014


Legal Risks of Conducting Clinical Trials at Academic Medical Sites, SRAI 2017


Numerous advanced certifications and coursework at Duke (RAA, RAI, AGM), Cornell, and UNC-Chapel Hill

universities and national organizations in financial management, grant management, legal, regulatory,

and integrity aspects of research administration. List available 2003 - 2021




National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP), member

Society of Research Administrators International (SRAI), member


Duke’s Institute for Brain Sciences was established to facilitate complex and unusual relationships and therefore straddled traditional boundaries. We innovated and adapted systems to achieve our goals and as a result, I was invited to serve on many institutional committees to lend expertise and in a sense envision how we’d “break” systems before we invested in building them. (Thinking outside the box and looking forward creatively was valuable, fulfilling, and fun!):

· Research Development Working Group, Duke Univ.

· Research Administration Continuous Improvement Business Process Team, Duke

· Extensive service on process improvement committees and working groups, Duke Univ.

bottom of page