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MSEE URA Job Opportunity: Executive Program Director

Oct 1, 2020 | No Comments | By Vivian Sun

Executive Program Director for the Materials Science in Extreme Environments University Research Alliance

Baltimore, MD, 21218

Position Type

Click here to apply.

Position Description

The newly established Materials Science in Extreme Environments University Research Alliance (MSEE URA) at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) invites applications for an Executive Program Director.

The MSEE URA is an alliance of 18 research institutions led by JHU working in close collaboration with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). The research is focused on understanding, predicting, and controlling the behavior of materials in extreme conditions caused by weapons of mass destruction.

The URA is expected to advance the types of materials that are capable of eliminating stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons while understanding and limiting the damage associated with nuclear blasts.

The MSEE URA resides within the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) located on the Homewood campus of JHU.


  •  Program Management. Responsible for the overall program management of the MSEE URA which includes program planning, budgeting, contracting, subawarding, and reporting. Ensures the MSEE URA is compliant with federal and university policies. Works closely with the DTRA funding agency in the execution of the MSEE cooperative agreement.
  • Government and Corporate Affiliates Program (GCAP). Establishes and leads the GCAP and serves as the point of entry for the MSEE URA. Responsible for building partnerships with federal agencies, research organizations, and industry to build collaborations and assist in the transition of MSEE research.
  • Major Event Planning. Responsible for the overall planning and execution of the MSEE URA technical reviews and other major events. Works closely with the HEMI staff in the execution of these major events.
  • Strategic Planning and Communications. Works closely with the MSEE Director to establish a science advisory board to help guide the MSEE URA. Supports the MSEE

    URA Director and JHU Federal Affairs in engagements with the Federal and State legislative activities for the MSEE URA. Assists in the coordination of URA member institutions for legislative activities. Works closely with the HEMI communications office to promote the MSEE URA, its accomplishments, and to provide greater external visibility.

  • Business Development. Responsible for building and managing partnerships with DoD labs, DOE Labs, other government agencies, and corporations; engaging the broader Johns Hopkins community in its research programs, collaborative programs, and education; and enhancing affiliations with DTRA leadership. Pursues additional research, educational, and workforce development opportunities for the MSEE URA through writing proposals to federal agencies, industry, and other organizations.
  • Leadership. Assists the MSEE Director and Associate Director in leading the URA. Provides detailed guidance to the core and matrixed staff members to assist in the execution of their responsibilities. Coordinates MSEE activities with the HEMI leadership.


The objectives of this position are primarily noted in the responsibilities section of this announcement. Additional objectives include:

  • Expand the impact of the MSEE URA within DTRA and with the greater scientific community.
  • Increase the funding level of the MSEE URA through superior execution of the core funding and the addition of enhanced task funding from DTRA and other federal agencies.
  • Ensure the efficient and timely execution of all requirements within the MSEE URA cooperative agreement.
  • Develop a well-respected reputation for efficiency and responsiveness with DTRA and all partners within the MSEE URA.
  • Develop a vibrant Government and Corporate Affiliates Program.



  • Master’s Degree is required with a preference towards a degree in engineering or science disciplines. A doctorate in a discipline related to mechanical engineering, civil engineering, materials science, or physics, is preferred. Significant government laboratory, military, or corporate experience, at a high level, will also be considered in lieu of advanced degrees.


  • The candidate is expected to have significant, progressive leadership experience (10+ years) in project management, particularly in a matrix management setting. Experience working in a Department of Defense (DoD) or Department of Energy (DOE) program management office or research organization is desired.
  • Consulting, portfolio, and business development experience is desirable; experience with a research university is also desirable.
  • The successful candidate is also likely to be very comfortable operating in a high technology environment, taking maximum advantage of the available computing and networking tools.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen and eligible for a DoD security clearance.

Licensure, Certification & Registration:

  • DoD certification in program management or Project Management Professional certification is desired.

Special Knowledge, Skills or Abilities / Competencies:

  • Professional-level knowledge and experience in business development, proposal development, engineering research, and knowledge of federal procurements and acquisitions strongly preferred; Demonstrated interpersonal skills for developing and maintaining strong internal and external relationships, and engaging with senior ranking officials in DoD, DOE, and Johns Hopkins University. Understanding and experience in relationship management, strategic planning, and building teams to service a rapidly expanding business/research portfolio.
  • Recognized and proven leadership skills, with the demonstrated ability to facilitate collaboration and team building to accomplish strategic organizational goals and objectives; Demonstrated competency for identifying and evaluating new and developing business opportunities; Ability to operate within a matrixed organization and to represent a professional management team; High level of organizational, critical thinking, analytic and interpersonal communication skills; Proven ability to manage a budget and analyze financial and performance data, perform budget forecasts, and render sound management/operational recommendations to the MSEE URA Director; Intellectual curiosity, executive presence, dynamic professional style, appreciation and understanding of the military culture, and the ability to inspire.
  • Strong communication skills are essential with experience briefing senior executives. Ability to write technical and non-technical articles.
  • A strong team player who works well with others who have less, more, and similar levels of experience or responsibility.

Application Instructions
For best consideration, applicants must apply at the following link: Applicants must upload an updated curriculum vitae, the names and contact information for 3 professional references, and a recent salary history. Review of the applications will begin on December 1, 2020 but we will continue to accept applications until the position is filled. The Johns Hopkins University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to recruiting, supporting, and fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff, and students. All applicants who share this goal are encouraged to apply.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
The Johns Hopkins University is committed to equal opportunity for its faculty, staff, and students. To that end, the university does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status or other legally protected characteristic. The university is committed to providing qualified individuals access to all academic and employment programs, benefits and activities on the basis of demonstrated ability, performance and merit without regard to personal factors that are irrelevant to the program involved.

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