ALMA Director - JRID42219

Submission Dates
Archive Date: 
June 30, 2012
Deadline to Apply for Job: 
July 1, 2012
Job Details
Job Category: 
Institution/Company Name: 
Joint ALMA Observatory
Institution Classification/Type: 
Submission Address for Resumes/CVs
Attention To: 
ALMA Directors Search
Job Announcement Text: 

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a (sub)millimeter wave interferometer consisting of 66 antennas located on the Llano de Chajnantor at 5000 meters in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, and equipped with receivers covering atmospheric windows between 30 and 950 GHz. The ALMA Board is seeking an outstanding Director for the international ALMA Observatory in Chile. The ALMA Director should have acknowledged leadership, scientific abilities and skills to work in a multinational environment. ALMA is a partnership of the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO representing its member states), National Science Foundation (NSF USA) and National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS Japan), together with National Research Council (NRC Canada) and National Science Council (NSC) and Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA Taiwan), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, Associated Universities Inc/National Radio Astronomy Observatory (AUI/NRAO) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).

The ALMA Board, responsible for governance and oversight and consisting of members representing the partners, has created the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) in Chile. The JAO is responsible for the overall leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA, in partnership with the regional Executives, which are legally responsible to their respective funding bodies. The Executives have each created an ALMA Regional Center (ARC) to interface between ALMA and the astronomy community.

The ALMA Director has the overall responsibility of leading the observatory and for reporting to the ALMA Board on all aspects of the facility. Specifically the Director is responsible for completing within budget the construction phase of ALMA, ensuring the successful transition to full operations, and subsequently operating the observatory to realize its full scientific potential. More detailed responsibilities of the ALMA Director are listed in the job description available on the ESO, NRAO and NAOJ web sites.

Basic requirements for the position include a PhD in astronomy, physics or related field, a proven record of scientific leadership, experience of observatory (ground or space) or large facility management, and demonstrated skills in dealing with a complex and multinational distribution of stakeholders. The ALMA Director must also have the ability to communicate the scientific vision of the ALMA project to the various funding agencies and the scientific community. Excellent command of the English language is required, and knowledge of Spanish is an asset.


The ALMA Director reports directly to the ALMA Board, and will be employed by either AUI/NRAO, ESO, or NAOJ. Each of these entities offer attractive remuneration packages including a competitive salary, comprehensive benefits, and provides financial support in relocating families. The duty station is Santiago, Chile, and frequent international travel is required.

A search committee has been constituted by the ALMA Board to evaluate applications for the ALMA Director position, and to recommend a short list of candidates for Board consideration. Interested candidates should submit their curriculum vitae and a statement of the leadership role they envision for the ALMA Director to one of the Executives listed below. Applicants should also include their bibliography and the names of three references, who may be contacted about the qualifications of the candidate.

ALMA International Staff will be recruited as employees of either AUI/NRAO, ESO or NAOJ. Each of these employers offer competitive remuneration packages including a competitive salary as well as comprehensive social benefits, and provide financial support in relocating families. Furthermore, if applicable, an expatriation allowance as well as some other allowances will be added.


Applications must be completed in English and should include a cover letter and CV.

Applicants submitting their application to AUI/NRAO are invited to apply via email to Please include three letters of reference.

Applicants submitting their application to ESO are invited to apply online at The position requires three letters of reference which shall be sent to

Applicants submitting their application to NAOJ are invited to apply via e-mail to Also, three reference letters are required.


All materials submitted electronically by June 15, 2012, will receive full consideration.

 For further information please consult (, as well as the NRAO, ESO and/or NAOJ Home Pages (, ( or (

NRAO, ESO and NAOJ are Equal Opportunity Employers. The post is equally open to suitably qualified female and male applicants.


Included Benefits: 

Medical and dental insurance, retirement benefits, vacation and sick leave accrual are just some of the benefits provided with this position.