Associate Director and Laboratory Director of Earth Observing Laboratory

University Corporation of Atmospheric Research
Boulder, Colorado
Closing date
Feb 9, 2023

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Atmospheric Sciences
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National Center for Atmospheric Research
Associate Director and Laboratory Director of the Earth and Observing Laboratory

The Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research invites inquiries, nominations, and expressions of interest for the position of NCAR Associate Director/Lab Director of the Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL). Since NCAR's founding in 1960, UCAR, a nonprofit consortium of 120+ North American academic institutions, has managed NCAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation.

Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, NCAR is devoted to research, education, and service in the atmospheric and related Earth system sciences. NCAR's mission is to understand the behavior of the atmosphere and related Earth and geospace systems; to support, enhance, and extend the capabilities of the university community and the broader scientific community, nationally and internationally; and to foster the transfer of knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth.

The Earth Observing Laboratory provides state-of-the-art atmospheric observing systems, leadership, and scientific expertise to enable the university-based research community to advance climate, weather, and related Earth system science. EOL manages the majority of the NSF Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities and deploys them in support of observational field campaigns for researchers from universities, government agencies, and NCAR and in support of education. EOL’s vision and mission are as follows:

To serve as an end-to-end observational science enterprise in support of the atmospheric and related science community.

To provide leadership in ground-based and airborne observing facilities, field project support, and research and data services needed to advance the scientific understanding of the Earth system.

Reporting to the NCAR Director this position carries a dual title and role of Director of the Laboratory and NCAR Associate Director. The Lab Director role is responsible for the scientific vision, direction, productivity, innovation capacity, and overall excellence of EOL’s research and development programs, including the formulation and implementation of strategic plans, budgets, and priorities of the lab. These responsibilities are carried out in coordination with the NCAR Director and in close alignment with the NCAR strategic plan and other programmatic priorities. The Lab Director fosters interaction and collaboration between NCAR and UCAR staff and programs and the external scientific community. The role of NCAR Associate Director affords responsibility in the overall leadership and management of NCAR. NCAR Associate Directors support the NCAR Director on NCAR-wide matters and act in the best interest of NCAR and not a particular lab. They serve on the NCAR Executive Committee, foster cross NCAR collaboration, may serve as Acting NCAR Director in the absence of the NCAR Director, and can lead initiatives that are NCAR-wide. They also foster interaction and collaboration between NCAR and UCAR staff and programs.

While a Ph.D. in a science discipline relevant to the NCAR mission and at least 10 years of experience leading and managing complex science programs are highly desired, we will also consider candidates with a comparable outstanding record of accomplishment in a research and development setting. National and or international recognition as a scientific leader in advancing our understanding of Earth’s atmosphere as demonstrated by a current research record of considerable depth and breadth on topics relevant to the NCAR strategic mission, research, and goals is highly desired. The new Lab Director will have demonstrated successful leadership and administration of complex research, development, operations, instrumentation/observational platforms, and personnel activities; success working with a broad range of constituencies; breadth of interest, vision, and judgment; advanced communication, organizational, and change management skills; and a strong commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion. Demonstrated success and achievement in management is highly desirable.

WittKieffer is assisting NCAR in this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. For fullest consideration, applicant materials should be received by February 24, 2023, and be submitted using WittKieffer’s

Candidates should provide a curriculum vitae, a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in this Leadership Profile, and a Personal Diversity Statement (include how you build a psychologically safe environment, how you know psychological safety is achieved with examples of how you've built diverse, equitable and inclusive environments on project and programs you've led).

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to the WittKieffer consultants supporting this search, Suzanne Teer, Jessica Herrington, and Sarah Seavey, at

This position offers a hiring salary range of $196,726 to $245,907. The final salary will be based on education, experience, skills relevant to the role, and internal equity. Information about UCAR's benefits can be found here:

UCAR/NCAR is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy. Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at UCAR/NCAR. To learn more about our diversity, equity, and inclusion practices, click here.

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