Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Associate Director Science Education Programs, ORAU

Assoc Dir Science Education Programs

PURPOSE: The Associate Director for Science Education Programs (SEP) works closely with the Director of SEP to develop strategic growth and management objectives, and to align the unit with these objectives to ensure consistent quality of programs and annual growth. In addition to these Leadership Team duties, the Associate Director manages technical and administrative aspects of several SEP sections, including identifying priorities, strategic planning, allocating staff, managing budgets, and developing new business. The section under the Associate Director's purview is comprised of programs administered for NASA, DOD and NIH, and includes opportunities for future program expansion. Budgets are in excess of $70 million and numbers of participants exceed 2,000.

  • Program Development, Growth, and Strategic Planning:

1) As part of SEP Leadership Team, work closely with the Director of SEP to define strategic objectives and target markets for SEP; 2) establish relationships with potential customers, qualify specific business opportunities, and position SEP as the organization most likely to win targeted business; 3) use knowledge of program and organizational competencies in order to successfully match capabilities with needs of new and current customers; 4) create and submit winning proposals, white papers, and capability statements to capture new work with new and existing (legacy) clients; 5) expand work with current clients by assessing needs of program sponsors, working jointly with sponsors to strategize and plan, conceptualizing new programs, proposing new activities, negotiating final agreements, implementing new programs, evaluating activities, and building creative mechanisms to respond to sponsor needs; 6) develop an understanding of customer problems/needs and conceptualize potential solutions; 7) promote program and organization-wide teaming in the development of new programs and growth of current programs. 
  • Program Implementation and Management:

Bring innovative approaches to ORAU/ORISE-wide activities and lead major SEP initiatives. 1) Provide oversight for programmatic activities that involve more than 2,000 participants per year in all categories (pre-college, undergraduate students, graduate students, postgraduates, postdoctoral researchers, faculty, and visiting scientists) for at least 30 customers, using both employment and non-employment mechanisms; 2) organize and plan staff work activities and provide oversight to ensure that SEP programs meet customer requirements and agreed upon deliverables; 3) promote a customer-focused environment with assigned staff; 4) maintain frequent customer contact and conduct customer satisfaction visits with sponsors; 5) maintain quality control by identifying and solving problems in a timely fashion; 6) understand and monitor administrative issues and current practices that affect funding and customer service; understand and meet ORAU contract performance objectives.

  • Professional and Technical Expertise:

1) Understand current issues and trends in pre-college and higher education and use them to promote, manage, evaluate, and develop programs; 2) understand and monitor technical issues that affect funding and customer service; 3) understand issues in minority recruitment and placement in order to effectively meet diversity objectives;; 4) understand customers’ changing strategic directions; monitor trends in science and engineering workforce development, STEM pipeline issues, tracking participants, and assessing program impacts.
  • Fiscal Management:
1) Manage the allocation and expenditure of financial resources to meet program goals and objectives for programs with annual expenditures of $70 million; 2) coordinate with program sponsors to determine funding levels; 3) have oversight for assigned budgets; 4) oversee accurate and timely reporting to sponsors; 5) ensure that all costs are allowable and that expenditures follow proper procedures and policies.

  • Personnel Management:

1) Provide effective leadership to 20-30 staff members by clearly communicating program objectives, strategic directions, and other expectations; 2) ensure that staff are appropriately organized and utilized to maximize their ability to exceed customer expectations; 3) provide appropriate resources to meet customer deliverables; 4) ensure that staff have career development opportunities; 5) ensure that depth of capabilities is maintained for maximum benefit to the sponsor; 6) empower staff to exceed expectations; 7) provide clear feedback to direct reports.

  • Other:

1) Assist the SEP director on special assignments as needed; 2) lead committees or task forces as needed; 3) coordinate self-assessment activities; 4) assist the unit in strategic planning. 


Master's degree in scientific, educational, or technical discipline or equivalent experience and more than ten years of experience. The position requires a familiarity with various scientific fields and the nature of scientific research, as well as an understanding of the federal research and pre-college/higher education environments. It also involves interaction with university faculty and administrators, and scientists and top management at federal research centers. Must have more than ten years' experience with these environments and networks for credibility and leadership. This position requires 1) a working familiarity with various scientific disciplines and the nature of scientific research, as well as an understanding of a) the role of federal R&D, and b) the issues facing pre-college and higher education; 2) excellent written and oral communication skills in order to write proposals and to effectively interact with program sponsors, laboratory scientific and administrative staffs, university faculty and administrators, as well as applicants and participants from scientific fields; 3) an ability to promote and market the capabilities of ORAU, ORISE and SEP activities, and the section 4) budget experience; 5) ability to understand complex issues, solve problems and make policy decisions.