Senior Program Officer - Cooperative Research Program

Washington D.C.
Apr 18, 2017
Jun 06, 2017
Analyst, Research
Engineering, Research
Full Time

The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.


The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is one of seven major divisions of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, a private, nonprofit institution providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Board's mission is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal.


The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) is an applied, contract research program that develops near-term, practical solutions to transportation issues. TRB manages this program; a description of the program may be found at

The Senior Program Officer will manage projects primarily in the NCHRP. The Senior Program Officer will work with expert panels established for the purpose of guiding research projects on a wide variety of transportation topics including roadway design, construction, safety, hydraulics, and geotechnical engineering. The Senior Program Officer will be responsible for preparing project statements and progress reports, making presentations before technical groups, evaluating research reports, initiating contracts, and monitoring research. The selected candidate will assist in program administration.



Administers and manages programs/projects for multiple TRB Groups and Sections consisting of 35 to 60 standing committees  Provides support in ensuring programs/projects meet their stated objectives.  Serves as liaison between TRB and related external customers and organizations, including committee members, TRB sponsors and affiliates.  Assists with the daily supervision of support staff.  Works on a team of four senior program officers and two other associate program officers. Assists the senior program officers in development of programs/projects. Coordinates program/project activities, handling inquiries, organizing sessions and meetings, and developing materials.  Tracks relevant issues and compiles reports.  Manages NRC and FACA required processes.




1. Administers and manages program/project activities.  Communicates with chairs of Groups, Sections, standing committees; other committee members and external program/project contacts.  Facilitates the flow of information among committee members, consultants, TRB sponsors and affiliates, and staff.  Prepares reports on activities.   Represents the program/project areas within and outside of TRB.


2. Identifies and gathers materials in support of programs/projects sponsored by Groups/Sections/committees.   Synthesizes and edits findings and data.  Prepares background papers and summaries of program/project activities. 


3. Organizes conferences, sessions, and meetings.  Creates agendas, invites presenters and participants, oversees meeting logistics, and prepares written summaries.  Manages the development and delivery of over 100 sessions for the TRB Annual Meeting, one to two meetings per year for each of the Groups/Sections/committees, and several conferences per year (100 to 600 attendees each). Accomplishes sophisticated and customized computer sorts, selections, formatting, report generation and other tasks in support of sessions, meetings, conferences, and other projects.


4. Coordinates publication of materials, including peer reviewed papers, proceedings of conferences, and circulars.  Manages the peer review of approximately 500 papers each year, leading to publication of approximately 150 papers annually.


5. Performs financial and administrative tasks related to programs/projects of the assigned Groups/Sections/committees.  Creates, maintains, and updates records, databases, and files.  Oversees the rotation of member appointments for 15-20 committees per year. Authorizes expenditures, tracks spending, monitors budget, and projects future spending plans.  Reviews contractual obligations and ensures that obligations are met. Serves as travel coordinator.


6. Ensures consistent application of organizational policies and procedures.  Manages compliance with National Academies’ procedures, format, and processes, including NRC and FACA, as they relate to assigned activities.


7. May update and maintain web pages and prepare newsletters and other promotional materials.


8. Assists with supervising staff.  Assigns tasks and provides guidance and feedback to staff.  Ensures required training is accomplished and participates in performance reviews.  Serves as a mentor and resource to support staff.





Knowledge of issues in applicable discipline. Ability to solve varied and complex problems using originality and ingenuity. Ability to operate using appreciable latitude for independent judgment and action. Ability to work successfully in a team environment. Ability to develop relationships with co-workers and employees in other National Academies’ departments through effective communication. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of employees.



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