The Director of Operations and Outreach (DOO) leads the strategic business management and operation of the Northwestern/Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering (NAISE). The DOO fosters the collaborative spirit of the Institute with alliances both external to the University, particularly Northwestern’s partnership with Argonne National Lab (ANL). The DOO innovates, implements and continually enhances the Institute’s programs and plans to ensure excellence at all levels. Proactively interfacing with NAISE’s senior faculty management and faculty directors, the DOO manages current initiatives and long-term planning in support of the Institute’s research and outreach missions. The DOO manages administrative services and provides oversight for the research centers within the NAISE umbrella: Northwestern Center for Water Research (NCWR) and the Center for Hierarchical Materials Design (CHiMaD); CHiMaD houses one of the largest externally sponsored programs at Northwestern. As a growing area of strategic institutional focus, new Centers and/or Initiatives will be added over time.
Please Note: Must be available for regular travel to Argonne National Lab (Lemont, IL). Must pass Federal security clearance for access to ANL. Availability to participate in (limited) programs and events outside of normal business hours with adequate advanced notice.
Strategic Planning and Implementation
- Collaborate with the faculty Directors to develop the vision and strategic plan for the Center while ensuring that the budget, staff and priorities are aligned with the Center’s multi-dimensional mission and the University’s strategy. Work directly with co-directors and senior administrators from Argonne National Lab (ANL) to build new, and enhance existing, partnerships between Northwestern and ANL. Act as the managing and strategic “umbrella” for joint initiatives with ANL. Establish and maintain strong links with other centers/institutes, particularly the Materials Research Center (MRC), the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN), the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) and others as may arise.
- Oversee the financial condition of the organization including developing long and short range financial plans; develop budgets (sponsored, core facility and institutional funding) with faculty director and staff that sets financial priorities to ensure the organization is operating in a manner that supports the strategy and mission of the Institute.
- Provide leadership and direction to all staff, and ensure the continued development and management of a professional and efficient organization; establish effective processes that will enable the Institute to achieve its long- and short-term goals and objectives. Ensure that administrative operations are in full compliance with all applicable policies and regulations.
- Cultivate a strong and transparent working relationship with the Office for Research and ensure open communication about financial, programmatic, and impact against stated goals.
- Build positive relationships and coordinate with faculty and administrators from relevant schools, disciplines and administrative offices across the University to advance interdisciplinary research and programming at the Institute.
Management – Staff
- Oversee the attraction, retention, and development of high-performance staff.
- Support and motivate the organization's staff, faculty affiliates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to contribute to the success of Institute programs, research and activities.
- Manage, train, develop and assesses staff throughout the Institute. Develop and model a culture of ethical conduct in operations and personal interactions.
- Facilitate collaboration and strong internal communications with faculty and staff leaders throughout the Institute and Northwestern’s schools.
- Create and promote a positive work environment that supports consistency throughout the organization's strategy, operational methods, and evaluation.
Management – Space Resources
- Manage the Institute’s laboratory, core facility, administrative and collaborative space through strategic allocation.
- Work collaboratively with Facilities Management and the Office for Research to plan for growth and the associated need for renovated and/or additional space; develop designs and project plans for renovation and associated construction, reassignment of space, movement of faculty/staff/ visiting scientists, et al.
Management – Research and Programs
- Support the planning, development, and allocation of resources for Institute activities to ensure the delivery of high quality, interdisciplinary research and programming while managing for current and future growth. Oversee the administrative support for these programs, some of which include:
- Visiting Scientists Programs. Support faculty in the strategic recruitment of visiting researchers, especially from ANL, to fulfill the goals and purposes of relevant programs.
- Core Facilities. Support the faculty directors of existing and proposed core facilities in efficient business operations; develop compliant cost studies to determine user fees, ensure prompt and accurate billing.
- Establish and implement processes as they relate to new or ongoing programs and initiatives.
Externally Funded Research
- Collaborate with faculty, senior staff and central resources in the Office for Research to develop strategies and implement processes that result in research proposals to obtain external funding.
- Work with the principal investigators and relevant university units to develop and prepare grant or contract proposals for external funding.
- Oversee administrative support for proposal development and post-award administration.
Communication – Outreach – Development – Events
- Oversee the development and implementation of an integrated communication plan including public relations/public outreach, cutting-edge website, noteworthy publications and presentations. Audiences include external collaborators, faculty, senior leadership, government and non-governmental agencies, and the general public.
- As opportunities arise, provide robust support for Development and Alumni Relations, the Office for Research, senior university leaders and faculty directors as they formulate and execute development strategies to increase revenue from major donors, foundations, government agencies, and corporations.
- Oversee the management and support of numerous events which may be organized by the Institute, the centers, faculty working and research groups, and/or student organizations.
Other duties as assigned
Minimum Qualifications: (Education, experience, and any other certifications or clearances)
- Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in business; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
- 7+ years work experience with progressively larger responsibilities, or equivalent of education and experience, e.g. MBA and 5 years of experience. Work experience should include 3+ years of management experience.
- Experience or strong interest in the business of higher education and/or research.
- Must be available for regular travel to Argonne National Lab (Lemont, IL). Must pass Federal security clearance for access to ANL.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
- Demonstrated leadership ability and excellence in organizational management with the proven ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams.
- Demonstrated competency in organization management and financial stewardship.
- Demonstrated ability to set and achieve strategic objectives.
- Ability to work independently and yet is an accomplished team player.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal skills.
- Excellent analytical and abstract reasoning skills.
- Ability to interact with a wide variety of stakeholders including, faculty, university administrators, staff, students, and research partners.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality, act diplomatically and handle difficult situations.
- Adept at project management. Ability to work under pressure, prioritize and meet deadlines.
- Proactive, energetic, innovative.
Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)
- Successful completion of a full course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a master's or higher degree in business, or other relevant discipline; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
- Previous management experience in a university environment.
- Strong interest in research and development.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
- Experience managing federally-funded sponsored programs.
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.