Head of Strategic Planning

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, October 30, 2020
Archive Date: 
Friday, November 27, 2020
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Management
Institution Classification/Type: 
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

NSF’s NOIRLab has an immediate opening for a Head of Strategic Planning for the International Gemini Observatory. We seek a scientist with established scientific leadership, excellent communication skills, and strong organization skills to work with a diverse set of internal and external stakeholders to further the strategic priorities of the Gemini Observatory. We are committed to diversity and inclusion at Gemini Observatory. Our managing organization, AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, 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 http://www.aura-astronomy.org/diversity.asp.

This position reports directly to the Gemini Observatory Director,  part of Gemini Program within NOIRLab. The position may be based in Tucson, AZ; Hilo, HI or La Serena, Chile.   COVID-19 permitting, will be expected to travel regularly between the Gemini sites in Hawaiʻi, Chile, and Tucson.

 Activities and Functions of the Job:

  •  Acts as the head of the Gemini Portfolio Management Office, supervises Gemini PMO staff (~4 staff total in 2-3 locations). Provides high-level oversight of the progress of Gemini’s portfolio of activities, including conflict resolution, appropriate resource allocation to highest priority projects, and direct communication with Gemini leadership and Gemini Board.
  •  Leads the development of annual and long-range strategic plans for Gemini Observatory including the annual Program Operations Plan, in coordination with Deputy Director and Director. Works closely with the Gemini Directorate (Deputy Director, Chief Scientist; AD of Chilean Ops; AD of Hawaiʻi Site; AD of Development; CFO) to set and execute Gemini priorities.
  •  Works with the Gemini/NOIRLab astronomy community and partnership to update and develop Gemini strategic science and development priorities, in coordination with Gemini and NOIRLab leadership. In particular, the Head of Strategic Planning will lead the development of Gemini’s response to the Astro2020 decadal survey and Canadian Astronomy Long Range Plan 2020-2030 recommendations (including both science and state of the profession objectives).
  •  Coordinates with NOIRLab leadership and NOIRLab Portfolio Management Office to prioritize and allocate resources for Gemini activities, develop and support cross-NOIRLab initiatives, and support reporting to stakeholders and funding agencies. The Head of Strategic Planning serves as the main Gemini point of contact for the NOIRLab PMO. The Head of Strategic Planning will develop a long-range labor resource plan to execute Gemini’s portfolio, and work with AURA HR and NOIRLab to leverage hiring opportunities and promotion/retention strategies to further Gemini/NOIRLab’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals for a diverse, vibrant workforce.

 Required Education/ Experience/ Skills/ Abilities:

  •  PhD in astronomy, astrophysics or closely related field
  •  Management experience within an Observatory Operations or similar environment

Preferred Education/Experience/Skills/Abilities:

  •  Previous experience in portfolio management in a scientific environment
  •  Certifications in portfolio management and project management
  •  Experience with strategic planning and astronomy community engagement

Physical Demands:

The work of a Head of Strategic Planning is mostly carried out in an office environment near sea level. Long periods of sitting may be required. Given the international nature of the observatory, travel will be required.

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. 

All applicants must submit a Cover Letter with their CV that describes their interest in this position and their relevant experience. Please include a list of 3 professional references with contact informationPDF files preferred. Please name any attachments with the following format:  LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to employment@aura-astronomy.org   Application Deadline:  November 27, 2020

AURA provides a generous compensation package including health coverage, paid vacation leave, parental leave and retirement benefits.

Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process should request assistance at employment@aura-astronomy.org

The Gemini Observatory is part of the NSF’s NOIRLab and is managed by The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), 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 and all of the centers, do 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. 

Included Benefits: 

AURA provides a generous compensation package including health coverage, paid time off and retirement benefits

Application Deadline: 
Friday, November 27, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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