COMET Director | UCAR Director of Meteorological Training Programs

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR|NCAR)
Boulder, Colorado
Salary is competitive
Mar 31, 2017
Apr 26, 2017
Career Level
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost

Overview – “Where You Will Work”

Located in Boulder, Colorado, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is a nonprofit organization of 1,400 employees that supports and advances the atmospheric sciences. Established in 1989, The COMET Program provides science based training for the NWS’ Science and Operations Officers and operational forecasters in the NWS, Navy and Air Force, as well as other federal agencies, international weather services, and non-profit organizations.  COMET is a premier provider of distance learning materials and resources via its MetEd Website ( and currently provides over 800 hours of free content in multiple languages.  

Position Details – “What You Will Do”

The Director will provide leadership, strategy and direction for the program and ensuring that COMET educational and training products and services meet the needs of the program sponsors and the various communities it serves. The Director works closely with federal agencies, foundations and international organizations to provide stable and appropriate funding for the program. The Director creates a positive and constructive relationship with sponsors, educators, scientists, U.S. and international partners, advisory groups and collaborating organizations in the UCAR, sponsor, and program user communities.

Responsibilities of this position include:

Strategic Leadership

  • Sets strategic vision for the program and oversees the development of the execution plan as well as business development to meet strategic goals.
  • Leads and empowers a senior management team to meet customer needs and program requirements
  • Creates and nurtures an environment where COMET management and staff provide service to the community through the activities of professional societies, service on professional committees, and the contribution of scientific and educational leadership through those activities.
  • Represents and delivers papers at national and international conferences that highlight the work and value of the COMET Program.
  • Provides leadership to inspire a culture of excellence among staff, foster an engaged and inclusive workforce in which all employees feel recognized and valued, and make UCAR an employer of choice.


  • Hires, develops, coaches, appraises, rewards and retains a high-performing team. Maintains a culture of trust, integrity and the highest degree of professionalism within COMET.
  • Oversees day-to-day operations of the program to ensure an exceptionally high level of service delivery in a fast-paced and changing environment while establishing department accountabilities.
  • Defines and executes strategic and tactical plans that meet the needs of sponsors and user communities and provides effective management tools for defining and structuring day-to-day work priorities.  

Corporate Responsibility

  • Serves as a senior manager within UCAR
  • Responsible for fostering effective partnerships with other UCAR programs.

Minimum Job Requirements – “What You Need”

  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to motivate a team, and a track record of successful team leadership and change management.
  • Proven record of introducing change and fostering a positive organizational culture and ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to manage and operate at both a strategic and a hands-on level, as needed.
  • Ability to effectively gather, interpret and synthesize sponsor and user community input and guidance into implementation plans
  • Track record in business development, including  successful proposal writing and securing funding from government, foundations, international entities and private sources.
  • Ability to plan, manage and oversee budgets and staff resources and lead multidisciplinary teams in both supervisory and collaborative capacities.
  • Advanced knowledge, preferably with substantiated expertise, in geosciences with a strong background in the education and training of operational professionals within those fields and related areas of application.
  • Understanding of e-learning approaches and the application of educational and instructional technology to the training and education of adult learners at the post-secondary and graduate levels of education.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; strong facilitation skills; negotiation skills and ability to communicate effectively at all levels of the organization.
  • Ability to travel as needed

Education Requirement

The position requires a Ph.D. in geosciences and/or an Ed.D. in adult education with a strong emphasis on distant learning and e-learning plus ten or more years of experience leading and managing a group or team of interdisciplinary staff that work with scientific/technical content and its application in operational and applied settings; or an equivalent combination of education and experience 

Desired – “Preferred Skills”

  • Preference will be given to those with experience in academia, research organizations or nonprofits.
  • International experience and global mindset is highly preferred.