Director of Green Bank Observatory

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Archive Date: 
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Management
Institution Classification/Type: 
Research Laboratory
Green Bank Observatory
Street Line 1: 
155 Observatory Rd
Green Bank
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Associated Universities Inc seeks a new Director of the Green Bank Observatory (GBO).


The Director oversees and manages all GBO activities in West Virginia (WV). Green Bank Observatory oversees the development and operation of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the world’s largest fully steerable telescope, as well as numerous other smaller telescopes which are used for a variety of scientific and educational purposes.   Working at wavelengths ranging from 100cm through 3mm, the GBT supports a diverse range of scientific research.  Additionally, the GBT has an ongoing program of research and development projects which keeps the telescope at the cutting edge of science and technology, including new investments in radar capabilities.


The Director will provide the vision and leadership to continue this tradition and to address the key technical challenges of the next generation of instruments while maintaining the performance of current GBO facilities at the state of the art.


Overall Responsibilities:

Manager, scientific, and strategic leader for the operations, telescope, and development programs at the Green Bank, West Virginia Site.

Site management for the Green Bank, West Virginia, site.

Line manager for all Green Bank division heads, scientific staff.

Oversee development work on the Green Bank site.

Oversee site budget, short and long-term plans as part of Observatory-wide development and operational initiatives.


Appointed as the National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ) Administrator, responsible to reply to all coordination requests in approximately 30 days or less.


In addition, the Director is responsible for providing local leadership in scientific program development, contributing to strong relations with telescope users and subscribers, proposing and supervising facility enhancements, and participating in Observatory-wide senior management activities. The GBO Director position reports to the AUI Vice President of Radio Astronomy.


Job duties:

Plan, execute and inspire the direction of scientific, technical and managerial direction for implementing the scientific goals of the Observatory, and of radio astronomy and related field.

Identify and where possible, pursue collaborative opportunities and partnerships with academic and government entities, in concert with the Observatory Director's Office.

Develop program proposals and manpower plans and engage in strategic planning and implementation of related goals.

Supervise a program of research and technical development following best project management practices to benefit AUI’s facilities and astronomy in general, in support of the nation's technical interests.

Select, train and develop staff capable of meeting current organizational needs and future requirements of GBO Ops; set goals for, evaluate and address staff performance.

Ensure that projects are planned and completed within established controls and according to Observatory priorities.

Assist in the preparation and review of the Observatory's annual program plan and the multi-year program plan as required.

Ensure proactive compliance with AUI and government safety policies and procedures.

Perform other duties as assigned.

Routine presence in Green Bank is required to be effective in this position, but occasional telework arrangements will be considered.


Competency Summary:

Minimum Education:PhD in astronomy, engineering, physics or a closely related field is required.

Minimum Experience:Demonstrated experience in budget planning, development and control, and financial management.

Preferred Experience:Must possess excellent analytical, communication, and organizational skills. Must be able to communicate effectively and persuasively both verbally and in writing.   Strong leadership acumen/ability/aptitude is required. Applicants with significant experience in radio astronomy instrumentation and/or radar science/technology are encouraged to apply.


Physical Demands:

Work Environment:Work is typically performed in a research or development environment, but may occasionally be required to work outdoors. Must be able to travel both domestically and internationally by air carrier.

Included Benefits: 

In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Selection Deadline: 
Friday, May 7, 2021
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Tony Beasly
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
United States of America
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Tracy Samples