Associate Executive Director - DELS Executive Office

Washington D.C.
Jun 26, 2017
Oct 19, 2017
Executive, Director
Full Time
The Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS) consists of twelve units that facilitate communication among the research community, policy makers, industry, interest groups, and the public. DELS is responsible for a vast array of topics, ranging from the molecular level to the global level. The common thread linking the units is the broad topic of science and the environment, but the division also examines issues outside that area.




Opportunity to join the nation’s premier advisor on issues related to science, engineering, and medicine.  The Associate Executive Director is a strategic leadership and management position in the Earth & Life Studies division, which carries out a wide range of activities on topics that include climate change and weather; gene editing and other biotechnology; ocean, geological, chemical, and life sciences; natural resource management, and public and environmental health issues. Working as a strategic partner of the Executive Director, the person in this role will work with staff to ensure quality outcomes for a wide range of studies and activities requested by federal agencies, foundations, and other sponsors. Responsibilities include the management and tracking of the division’s $25 million per year portfolio, advising and mentoring program staff on effective practices, policies, and procedures, and oversight and evaluation of division programs and projects.  Change management skills a plus to implement an ongoing strategic plan to improve divisional performance and foster the use of new procedures and technologies. The job also requires working collaboratively with other leaders across the National Academies to achieve organizational success.  A scientific background is required.




1. Directs assigned programs/projects or activities. Develops framework, agenda and strategies for major special projects to achieve division’s objectives and to expand the division’s programs/projects and services. Has fiscal responsibility for related budgets.


2. Collaborates with other units on programs/projects in an effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the work.


3. Supports their Executive Office in management, policy-making, and planning activities. Participates in the development of division strategic plan and special initiatives consistent with that plan. Advises on tactical and strategic direction.


4. Provides leadership and guidance. Mentors employees. Trains and develops employees to successfully perform current responsibilities and encourages development of staff for future roles. Forms and maintains effective teams. Interprets and ensures consistent application of organizational policies. Supervises assigned staff, including initiating personnel actions, performance and compensation reviews, and disciplinary actions.


5. Serves as a resource for a range of program/project, research, administrative, and/or financial issues. Provides training opportunities for division staff as needed.


6. Maintains internal and external communications. Develops and maintains productive relationships with related professional organizations and their staff.


7. Secures sponsored research funds. Develops prospectuses for projects and negotiates the terms of the prospectuses with possible sponsors.


8. May write or review drafts of Governing Board Executive Committee (GBEC) submissions and represent the Division Executive Director by presenting items to the GBEC.


9. May serve in an acting capacity in the absence of the Division Executive Director.


Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Ability to solve intellectual problems that reflect substantial variety and complexity. Ability to serve as a resource to others in the resolution of complex issues. Ability to operate with substantial latitude for independent judgment and action. Ability to negotiate funding. Ability to work successfully in a team environment and to form and maintain effective teams. Experience working in complex environments with a high degree of organizational effectiveness. Ability to develop relationships with co-workers and employees in other National Academies’ departments through effective communication. Excellent communication skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of employees. Understanding of the National Academies’ mission and culture.

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