Chief Program Manager

5 days left

Alexandria, Virginia
Apr 07, 2021
Apr 15, 2021
Executive, Chief
Full Time


The National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidates for a Chief Program Manager position for the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) in the Office of Polar Program (OPP) within the Office of Geosciences (GEO), Alexandria, VA.

For more information on GEO please click here .

For more information on OPP please click here .

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This position is located in the Directorate for Geosciences, Office of Polar Programs (OPP). Consisting of three sections and Front Office group with a staff of 50, OPP is one of the most diversified organizations in the National Science Foundation. OPP supports research in all areas of fundamental science and engineering in the polar regions through research grants and awards to universities and other research organizations. Its responsibilities also include management of the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) which provides for infrastructure, operations, and logistics needed for the conduct of its research programs. OPP supports research programs in the Antarctic focused on glaciology, astrophysics and geospace sciences, ocean and climate science, earth sciences, organisms and ecosystems, integrated system science as well as providing for multidisciplinary research support and instrumentation. In addition, OPP interfaces with other federal agencies to meet their mission needs in Antarctica, and interfaces with foreign national Antarctic programs for cooperation in logistical support for science or for US interests under the Antarctic Treaty.

The Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics (AIL) Section is responsible for planning, budgeting, and overseeing the science support, infrastructure, operations, and logistics support for the USAP. This includes: direct field and laboratory support for 150-180 Antarctic field research projects; operation, engineering and construction needed to maintain three permanent Antarctic stations and the supporting infrastructure; oversight for the operation of two icebreaking research vessels; development of specialized information technology and communication infrastructure; and coordinating the airlift, and sealift that comprise the Antarctic logistics infrastructure.

The Chief Program Manager will provide management and oversight for all operations and logistics associated with the supporting infrastructure and facilities at USAP operating locations, including permanent stations, field sites, gateway operations, and port facilities. The Chief Program Officer also manages overall planning and execution of the approximately $300 million annual AIL budget.

The Chief Program Manager will work with the USAP Business Manager, AIL project managers, and science program officers to help ensure that the USAP logistics and operations are responsive to the other Program functions that include science support; safety and health; information security; and facility construction. The Chief Program Manager will work within a diverse section that is composed of full time program managers, part-time Antarctic station managers (generally not on-site at NSF/HQ), DoD liaison officers (normally 2), contract personnel, a polar coordination specialist, and support staff.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Manages overall planning and execution of the approximately $300 million annual AIL budget. This includes the preparation, review and management of annual program plans for each USAP support agency.

Serves as Vice Chair of the Executive Management Board, which includes representatives from the Antarctic Support Contract, Joint Task Force - Support Forces Antarctica, and the 109th Air National Guard Unit. Provides technical direction to the contractor and military support organizations, and provides technical advice concerning the contractor's performance to the USAP Business Manager and NSF contracting officer.

Provides oversight to all AIL activities related to interface with other National Antarctic Programs, including participating in the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs.

Coordinates development of the annual and long-range program plans for all operations and logistics, including planning for improving the logistics and operations necessary to support the USAP.

Interacts with other program managers to ensure that operating requirements are reflected in infrastructure development, and to integrate operational support requirements associated with science, logistics, construction, information technology, DoD and government agencies.

On behalf of the Section Head, AIL, ensures that adequate review, reporting, and inspection procedures are conducted in order to monitor the progress of operations, logistics and customer services in Antarctica. Manages the development and execution of the AIL Annual Oversight Plan.

Serves as the Acting Section Head, AIL in the Section Head's absence.

Provides day-to-day supervision of the following AIL staff - the Operations, Technology Development, Logistics and Transportation Managers and the Aviation Program Manager, and Facilities Construction and Maintenance Manager.

In addition to the above responsibilities, the incumbent will deploy to the Antarctic to perform oversight responsibilities, but may also on occasion, depending on staffing requirements, serve as the National Science Foundation Representative in Antarctica.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Background investigation.
  • Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt.

It is NSF policy that NSF personnel employed at or IPAs detailed to NSF are not permitted to participate in foreign government talent recruitment programs. Failure to comply with this NSF policy could result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from Federal Service or termination of an IPA assignment and referral to the Office of Inspector General. Foreign Talent Definitions

You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position.

All online applicants must provide a valid email address. If your email address is inaccurate or your mailbox is full or blocked, you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.

This position is excluded from the bargaining unit.

Please preview "Evaluations" section and "Qualifications" for additional requirements and Quality Ranking Factors.


Candidates must have a Ph.D. in civil, mechanical, structural, electrical, or electronics engineering, or facilities operations and management, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position; OR a Master's degree in civil, mechanical, structural, electrical, or electronics engineering, or facilities operations and management, plus after award of the degree, eight or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position; OR a Bachelor's degree in civil, mechanical, structural, electrical, or electronics engineering, or facilities operations and management, plus after the award of the degree, ten or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

This position is outside the competitive civil service.

You must meet eligibility and qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.


Additional information

Relocation expenses will NOT be paid.

This announcement is open to All US Citizens who meet citizenship and eligibility requirements. Please note: NSF IPA's are not considered agency employees and are not eligible to apply.

This announcement may be used to fill like positions in other organizations within the National Science Foundation.

NSF has determined that all of its positions are eligible for telework. Work suitable for telework depends on job duties; therefore, employees must receive approval from their supervisor for telework and have a telework agreement in place. Entering into a telework agreement is voluntary.

The Selected Candidate(s) may be subject to a background investigation.

Appointment is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a physical examination according to the standards used for USAP medical screening for travel to Antarctica.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

You will be evaluated on the extent and quality of your experience, expertise, education, and research activities relevant to the duties of the position. In some cases, additional assessment processes may also be used.

We strongly encourage you to specifically address the Quality Ranking Factors below. This will ensure that you receive full consideration in the evaluation process.

Quality Ranking Factors
  • Skill in managing, overseeing, and critically evaluating general planning and operations activities for an organization that runs complex, geographically distributed activities.
  • Skill in working with peers and stakeholders to identify, develop, and implement plans for future operational and infrastructure investments, including skill in identifying problem issues and developing options for corrective action in a team environment.
  • Ability to develop and implement annual and long-range plans including budget estimation, budget development, and processes for cost accounting.
  • Skill in implementing, and overseeing implementation of, contracts, MOAs, and cooperative agreements, including negotiating statements of work, cost, and performance evaluation.
  • Ability to lead/manage others.

  • To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Special-Sensitive (SS)/High Risk

    Trust determination process

    Required Documents

    All applicants must submit a resume in any format, and may also submit a cover letter.

    You are strongly encouraged to submit a current performance appraisal and/or letter(s) of recommendation and a supplemental statement that describes how your background relates to the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) listed in the Qualifications and Evaluation Requirements section of this announcement. This information will be used in the evaluation process.

    We also ask that you complete and submit the Applicant Survey . This will help NSF to ensure that our recruiting efforts are attracting a diverse candidate pool; it will be used for statistical purposes only.

    You should upload your letter of recommendation(s) or the individual(s) can email the letter of recommendation(s) to ; please ask him/her to put your name and the job announcement number in the subject line.

    Transcripts are not required; however, please indicate the year that each degree was obtained on your application materials.

    All uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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