The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) seeks a new Director for the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI, or the Institute). STScI has a world-renowned professional staff of approximately 850 people, which includes scientists, engineers, technicians, outreach specialists, administrative personnel, and other support staff. The Institute uniquely brings together visionary astrophysics, innovative engineering, outstanding operations, and powerful public outreach to deliver world-class science results. The successful candidate will demonstrate experience leading a project-oriented organization of similar size and complexity. STScI is committed to developing and maintaining a dynamic, diverse, inclusive, and accessible workplace which enables innovation as well as scientific and technical excellence. The new Director should support these goals, and demonstrate the ability and commitment to create an organizational culture that brings together the various professions and different professional cultures of STScI to work collaboratively to produce successful project outcomes.
The Director should articulate a broad scientific vision and have established a strong record of achievement and leadership, preferably in astronomy or a closely-related field. The new Director should continue to work with the community to identify potential new missions, carry out studies for them, and to partner with the community to enable such missions. Currently, the Institute is working on concepts for the next generation space telescopes. The new Director of STScI must be poised to lead the organization, working with our partners, the scientific community and the public through the challenges of defining and enabling the next generation of great observatories.
STScI is operated by AURA under contracts with NASA to conduct the science program of the Hubble Space Telescope (Hubble), and the Science and Mission Operations Center for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). For Hubble and JWST, the Institute solicits and selects observing proposals, supports observers, plans and carries out the scientific observations, calibrates and archives the data, and distributes grant funding. The Institute also serves as the Science Operations Center for the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, and operates the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) for NASA. STScI is responsible for the Outreach activities for its active missions, and also leads NASA’s Universe of Learning activity. The Institute’s scientific staff conducts world-class research to enhance all of the above missions and activities. The Director is responsible for the production and implementation of STScI plans and programs to carry out assigned tasks for these contracts.
STScI is located in Baltimore, Maryland, at several sites on and around the campus of the Johns Hopkins University. The STScI Director is responsible for the overall operation of the Institute within AURA and NASA policies and guidelines. The Director leads all aspects of the Institute. The Director must be adept at interacting with multiple stakeholders, including representatives of NASA, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, leaders of industry, members of Congress, the leadership of the host institution Johns Hopkins University, the broad astronomical community, AURA oversight committees, Institute staff, and the public at large.
At the same time, the new STScI Director should have demonstrated the skills and experience critical for administration and management (including effective delegation, prioritization, and problem-solving abilities), and be adept in organizational and international relations. The successful candidate will possess excellent communication and negotiation abilities.
AURA/STScI offers an excellent compensation and benefits package. The Search Committee will begin evaluating applications on 3 March 2023, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Applications will be held in confidence. Interested candidates are requested to submit a letter providing a summary of the candidate’s interest in the position as well as an overview of the candidate’s relevant experience and accomplishments, a curriculum vitae/resume and a list of at least three references. The Search Committee also welcomes nominations.
Materials and nominations should ONLY be submitted to STScIdirectorsearch@aura-astronomy.org and addressed to:
James Bullock, Chair
STScI Director Search Committee, c/o AURA
1331 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Suite 1475
Washington, DC 20004
AURA/STScI sees the diversity of our staff as a strategic priority in our desire to create a first-rate scientific community. We reflect that deep commitment in strongly encouraging women, minorities, veterans and disabled individuals to apply for these opportunities.
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