The American Association of Variable Star Observers has initiated a search process for its next Director, to start February 1, 2015. Application deadline is September 30, 2013.
The AAVSO Director acts as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of the Organization. The Director reports to the AAVSO Council, which is the governing board for the non-profit corporation. The CEO & CSO dual role is unique for most scientific organizations, and the duties are wide-ranging.
As a CEO, the Director manages a staff of approximately ten full-time and three part-time employees, as well as a multitude of volunteers. The Director is responsible for all staff concerns: the hiring and termination of employees, supervision of duties, and negotiating for benefits such as health insurance. The Director works together with the Council of the AAVSO to create an annual budget and out-year plans for the Organization. The Director ensures that the membership duties (such as dues renewal, website, meetings and awards) and publications (such as the Journal) of the Organization are handled properly and published in a timely manner. The Director is expected to ensure that, in addition to the endowments, outside funding is secured in order to continue and expand the core functions of the Society. The Director ensures the preservation of the Association's records and data archives, and is the conduit of official correspondence. The Director has custody of the Association's physical and intellectual assets, including the headquarters building and equipment, collections of books, photographs, and other archival materials, and all astronomical instruments owned by or loaned to the Association. The Director maintains an inventory of all such assets, and reports on their status as required by the Council. The Director also prepares an Annual Report for the Association, and is a voting member of the governing Council.
As the CSO, the Director is the official scientific representative of the association. The Director is encouraged to carry out and/or supervise an independent research program that is closely tied to the overall activities of the Organization. The Director may be expected to travel to conferences and meetings to publicize the AAVSO and to search for new collaborative activities. The Director is responsible for the AAVSO International Database of variable star observations and its quality assessment. The Director oversees the education and training of the Association members to maximize the scientific quality of their submitted data.
Other duties may be assigned by the Council during the tenure of the Director as may be required for the continued successful operation of the Organization.
The Director, as the sole employee of the AAVSO Council, must be an accomplished, dynamic and visionary leader, a team player, a competent project manager, an excellent communicator, a capable CEO and a competent scientist. They must be able to motivate and guide both the staff of the AAVSO, AAVSO members and unaffiliated observers worldwide as well as serve as the face for the organization in the professional realm and work cooperatively with the Council and Officers of the association.
Although a Ph.D. in astronomy is not required, it provides a significant advantage when representing the organization in the professional astronomy community and in overseeing the scientific activities of the organization.
The Director will have demonstrated management experience, with preference given to those who have managed more than just a few individuals. Demonstrated budgeting and financial oversight/management skills are a must.
A demonstrated track record of successful grant writing is a desirable trait of successful candidate. Although a substantial track record of scientific publication is not required, connecting the AAVSO to the professional community and being able to speak knowledgeably about the science supported by AAVSO efforts is highly important. These skills should be augmented with other accomplishments in the areas of professional service, committee work or non-profit governance experience and public outreach.
The successful candidate will be expected to implement and follow non-profit best practices and to engage in regular professional development in non-profit management.
Finalists for the position must also successfully complete a background check.
Applications should include a complete CV, names and contact information of three individuals willing to serve as professional references and a letter describing the candidate's interest in the position, relevant background experience and vision for the AAVSO for the period 2015-2025.
The AAVSO offers a comprehensive benefits package including health insurance, retirement and a Director's residence. Details will be provided to candidates during the interview process.
Submission Address for Resumes/CVs