Universities Research Association, Inc. — Executive Director / Chief Operating Officer

The Board of Trustees of the Universities Research Association, Inc. (URA) seek a visionary, collaborative and strategic leader to serve as the next executive director and chief operating officer. 

Headquartered in Washington, DC, URA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation whose membership includes more than 90 premier research universities within the United States and around the world. Since 1967, URA has also been the management and operation contractor for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a responsibility shared with the University of Chicago since 2007 through the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC (FRA). URA is a member of the Honeywell-led team National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia (NTESS) for management and operation of Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). URA also receives funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for U.S. participation in the 17-country Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory in Argentina.

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the executive director/chief operating officer (ED/COO) is the management executive and scientific leader of URA. The ED/COO is responsible for the scientific vision, direction, productivity, innovation and overall excellence of URA programs and partnerships, including the formulation and implementation of strategic plans, budgets and priorities of the association. They will lead a talented team of professionals dedicated and committed to the mission of URA. The ED/COO fosters interaction and collaboration between URA, FRA, SNL, its member universities and government agencies, with strong ties to the Department of Energy (DOE). In addition, the ED/COO represents URA in a number of forums, including with government agencies, URA member and non-member institutions and the scientific community at large. 

Candidates should have a record of accomplishment and recognized stature in science, technology or engineering, a demonstrated ability and experience in a senior-level management position within academia, a national lab or a corporate or government environment and a familiarity with organizations that fund research nationally and internationally. The URA Trustees seek an innovative leader who possesses a record of advancing scientific and technological initiatives, research and education. They should have a track record of successful leadership of a sophisticated and complex organization and possess both the interpersonal and managerial skills necessary to operate an effective enterprise. A Ph.D. or equivalent degree is preferred. The executive director/chief operating officer will have a strong commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion and will have demonstrated the highest level of integrity and ethical standards.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the profile, available at www.wittkieffer.com. 

WittKieffer is assisting the Universities Research Association, Inc. in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by March 31, 2021. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to: Suzanne Teer, Robert Luke and Jessica Herrington: URAExecutiveDirector@wittkieffer.com.  

URA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under applicable State or federal law.

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