Gemini Deputy Director

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, April 8, 2022
Archive Date: 
Friday, May 6, 2022
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Management
Institution Classification/Type: 
AURA/Gemini Observatory
Tucson/La Serena
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

The Gemini Observatory Deputy Director assists the Director in her/his duties and in dealing with internal and external affairs of the Observatory. The position may either be located (based) in La Serena Chile or Tucson, Arizona at the National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab).

Essential Functions:

Management Oversight: 

  • Support and assist the Gemini Director in the discharge of his/her duties and assist with internal and external affairs of the Observatory, including:
    • Attending to personnel-staff matters, retention and recruitment and developing a diverse and inclusive workplace.
    • Representing the program at National meetings and on AURA and Gemini governance bodies, liaising with the Gemini Participants on their requirements for the Observatory.
  • Coordinate with Gemini Directorate to advance Gemini Observatory mission.
  • Continue to support the Gemini Director in the Observatory’s ongoing and successful transition into NOIRLab and facilitate efficient cross NOIRLab coordination.
  • Coordinates with AURA-O and the other NOIRLab Programs and Services in Chile to advance Gemini Observatory's mission, including in areas of government relations, light pollution, union relations, other staffing issues, and all other areas of Gemini Observatory's operations in Chile

Planning and Budget Management:

  • Support the Director in the strategic planning of observatory affairs, preparation of the annual program plan and the reporting on the Cooperative Agreement with the NSF.
  • Prepare and report on the Director and Deputy Director budgets, as well as the Human Resources budget.
  • Provide oversight of Gemini Portfolio Management and Software Groups.

Communications and Governance:

  • In partnership with Director and NOIRLab’s Communications, Education & Engagement (CEE) team support the Observatory’s strategic communications, internal and external communications.
  • Lead and coordinate preparations for oversight committees, assisting the Director in Gemini Board, NOIRLab Management Oversight Council, and NSF Reviews.
  • Must be willing to travel internationally extensively and work in a culturally diverse environment.
  • Must be willing to spend significant time at all Gemini sites (Hawaii, Chile, and Tucson).

Other Functions: 

  • Up to 20% time for scientific research
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • PhD in astronomy or closely related field
  • Knowledge of Spanish is an asset.

Skills Required:

  • Internationally recognized scientist with broad interests beyond the field of research
  • Familiarity with ground-based and/or space-based observatory operations
  • Demonstrated strategic and analytical thinking skills
  • Motivation and ability to identify and implement new strategic directions for the Observatory in a team environment
  • Strong personnel-staff management skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Effective technical writing and public speaking communication skills

Experience Required:

  • At least 7+ years of post-master’s and/or PhD experience as a research scientist, engineer, or other related scientific field-discipline.
  • With a minimum of 3+ years’ experience working in a leadership position (in a university, an observatory, and/or an equivalent science or research organization).
  • Extensive experience in people, personnel-staff management, and leadership skills.
  • Must have a valid Driver’s License; clean driving record; ability to drive a 4-wheel drive vehicle

Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  • Enthusiasm for scientific discoveries and for observational astronomy;
  • Creativity, innovation, and a dedication to serving the community.
  • Excellent people management skills and building high performance teams.
  • Aptitude for dealing with strategic and tactical problems and issues.
  • Ability to communicate with a wide variety of Gemini staff, Board members, oversight and advisory committee members, and users throughout the Gemini partnership

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

This work is mostly carried out in an office environment. Long periods of sitting may be required.

Given the international nature of AURA’s work, you may need to travel to the various observatory sites (Arizona, Chile, and Hawai’i) and other locations for business purposes.

 AURA offers a mix-model workspace (office & virtual) and stimulating environments for all.

We also offer an excellent benefits package and competitive salary. Highlights:

  • Health Benefits – Start first on the month following hire
  • Retirement Options:
    • 401(a) Money Purchase Pension Plan / 10% Employer Contribution
    • 403(b) / Your own retirement contribution
  • Paid Time Off:
    • Vacation / Accrual of up to 24 days per/yr.
    • Paid Sick Leave / 8 hour per/mo.
    • Holiday Time / 10 days per/yr.

And much more so please explore:

 AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

TO APPLY: Share your experience by uploading a resume and completing an online application. Please list 3 professional references in your application (references will only be contacted later in the recruitment process) and attach a cover letter and CV or resume (PDF files preferred) to your application. Please name any attachments with the following format: LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to [email protected]

 COVID-19 Policy Update: AURA has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy that requires all employees to be vaccinated, unless qualified for an exemption based on medical or religious reasons.  All new employees will be required to comply with this policy and will be required to present proof of full vaccination or submit a completed request (including supporting documents, if applicable) for an exemption at least five (5) business days prior to their start of employment.  Individuals who fail to meet this deadline may have their employment start date delayed. 

 This is a requirement for all employees working onsite or from home (telework or hybrid remote work schedule).  Currently the vaccination requirement does not apply to any future AURA employees working in Chile, regardless of their nationality or type of contract.

AURA currently offers a mix-model workspace (office & virtual) and stimulating environments for all, with most staff working virtually from home during the COVID-19 crisis through Spring 2022. The safety of our staff and community is our top priority. We will continue to interview and screen candidates in this new virtual landscape and offers of employment can be extended and new hires will onboard virtually. Employees are required to be residents in their base job location within a limited time from their start date.

 Veterans, disabled individuals, or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process should request assistance at [email protected].

 The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is a consortium of over 40 US institutions and three international affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories. AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical research. AURA is responsible for managing the operations of the NSF’s NOIRLab, the National Solar Observatory, and the construction of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation and operations of the Space Telescope Science Institute under contracts with NASA.

 As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. 

Application Deadline: 
Friday, May 6, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
AURA Human Resources
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: