Senior Advisor to Chief of Staff & VP Operations

Baltimore, Maryland
Aug 04, 2022
Sep 08, 2022
Full Time

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is a non-profit organization whose role is to establish, build, nurture, and promote outstanding astronomical observatories and facilities that advance science and innovative research. AURA carries out the work through astronomical Centers, located in five states and two countries (USA and Chile), and staffed by 1,500 employees.   Primary funding for AURA’s activities comes from the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  AURA engages with the broader astronomical community through its Member Institutions: 46 US universities and research institutes, as well as 4 international affiliates.

We are looking for a Senior Advisor to Chief of Staff & VP Operations/CFO to be responsible for daily operations and overseeing tracking deliverables within interagency & international landscape. You will be most happy in this position if you love to create and execute processes to streamline operations, manage workflows, engage and serve as a sounding board to team members, and advise and keep on task a busy leadership team.  Each day will be fast-paced, fulfilling and require the juggling and learning of many things.  Your work is achieved best by building relationships. 

Key Responsibilities:

  • Meet regularly with leadership to discuss priorities for the week, meeting coverage, action items and status updates
  • Monitor communications for actions and situational awareness information, and initiate response when possible
  • Develop draft communications and presentations on behalf of the CoS and VP Ops/CFO to include: email communications, presentations, one-pagers, and strategy documents
  • Conduct the “first cut” at actions or documents by leveraging knowledge of Corporate needs and priorities, and AURA policies and procedures
  • Act as “eyes and ears” on the ground of AURA HQ to identify pain points and areas for improvement
  • Develop and foster relationships with AURA/Center points of contact, Board and Committee members, and the scientific community to further AURA’a research and program goals
  • Monitor developments in and around science, space, and technology policy relative to Sponsor goals and directives
  • Properly equip and empower others to do their own jobs, serving as a sounding board as needed and keeping in mind enterprise-wide goals
  • Build bridges, even in times of strife and discord, and work to focus people on their common goals

Experience and Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or related field.  A minimum of five years demonstrated experience advising executives and managing personnel while thinking strategically and providing problem analysis.

Special Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Experience working closely with senior level executives in science, research, education or government setting. International experience a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage large and complex initiatives to successful completion with the ability to manage multiple and competing priorities simultaneously.
  • Ability to think and plan strategically and possess a leadership style that works in collaboration with a wide variety of constituencies, building good working relationships.
  • Excellent oral, written, problem solving and interpersonal skills. Perceptive and politically savvy with a high degree of diplomacy, tact and discretion.
  • Proven ability to handle highly confidential information in a professional manner required.
  • Outstanding management skills particularly in strategic and operational planning, facilitation, team building, change management and process improvement.
  • Must have the ability to exercise good judgment, make independent decisions, establish and maintain cooperative relationships with senior leadership, international stakeholders, and diverse teams.
  • General knowledge of Microsoft Office, presentation, database and/or project management tools.

The position offers competitive compensation, comprehensive benefits package and outstanding retirement. Position requires 10% travel. AURA sponsors hybrid work in Baltimore, MD.

To apply, use the link below to complete on-line application. Please upload a resume and a cover letter highlighting your interest in this role.

Direct Link to Apply:

Applications received by August 19, 2022 will receive priority consideration.  The starting position and salary are commensurate with education and experience. We offer an excellent and generous benefits package (Click here to explore our benefits).  Position reports to Baltimore office and offers hybrid work schedule. 

COVID-19 Policy Update: AURA has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy that requires all employees to be vaccinated, unless qualified for an exemption based on medical or religious reasons. 

Veterans, disabled individuals, or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process should request assistance at

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