Executive Director, JHU Institute for Assured Autonomy Bloomberg Distinguished Professor

Johns Hopkins University
Maryland, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Oct 30, 2020

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Position Type
Executive, Executive Directors
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) invite nominations and applications for the newly created role of Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of the Institute for Assured Autonomy.

Building upon our current strengths in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, cybersecurity, and data science, Hopkins is making significant investments in order to take a clear leadership role in assurance, security, and privacy practices for a world that is increasingly shaped by autonomous machines and systems. The University’s distinctive resources and these broad commitments are converging in a new enterprise, jointly established by the University, WSE and APL: the Institute for Assured Autonomy, or “IAA.” IAA activities span the breadth of the research spectrum from fundamental research and advanced technology development, all the way through to fielding and validating real-world systems. The Bloomberg Distinguished Professor (BDP) will serve as the leader of this new initiative, providing vision and direction for the effort, creating new ways for WSE and APL to collaborate together with the rest of the University, ensuring the quality and impact of the theory and the application that occurs under the auspices of the Institute.

The creation of IAA provides an outstanding opportunity for an accomplished scholar with vision, capacity for sustained excellence in research, application, and program leadership, and a breadth of view and experience across a rapidly expanding field, to provide leadership and vision for how WSE and APL invest their considerable resources within assured autonomy. The BDP and Executive Director of IAA will be an employee of WSE, but will have appointments with both WSE and APL.

Johns Hopkins is one of the world’s premier research universities: with annual research expenditures of $2.5 billion, it has more grant and research funding than any other American university. The University has operated the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), the largest federally funded university-affiliated research center, since 1942. APL’s operating budget is over $1.9 billion. The Bloomberg Distinguished Professor (BDP) program underwrites the recruitment of distinguished faculty who are appointed in at least two departments, divisions, or centers of the University and who work transformatively across disciplines.

The Executive Director will be responsible for driving research, education and workforce development, translation and entrepreneurship opportunities, as well as partnerships across government, industry and academia for the safety, trust and security of convergence of the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics within real-world environments.

Recent planning initiatives galvanized by the executive leadership of the University and APL have identified three “pillars” that will structure the development and deployment of resources and will focus energies that may position IAA for distinction and impact:
  • Technology – pursuing new research and engineering methodologies to ensure that autonomous systems behave in safe, reasonable, and acceptable ways in our autonomous future
  • Ecosystem – ensuring that connections and interactions between autonomous systems, over networks, with the physical environment, and with humans are assured, resilient, productive, and fair in the autonomous future
  • Policy and Governance – leading the development of policy and governance discussion and structure so that they evolve along the range of technologies that are driving rapid change
IAA’s inaugural Executive Director will shape these pillars going forward and of course may introduce additional areas of investment and emphasis as the success of the Institute and as opportunities in theory and application occasion.

For more information about IAA in its current formative state, visit https://www.jhuapl.edu/iaa/

Candidates for the Executive Director position will have extensive research and applied experience with autonomous systems and assurance. They will possess an earned doctorate in computer science, engineering, applied mathematics, statistics, or a closely related field and a record deserving appointment as tenured full professor at The Johns Hopkins University. They will be able to develop and articulate a compelling vision for how Hopkins can harness its current strengths and develop new strengths to make a valuable and sustainable impact on the science and application of assurance in an autonomous world. They will bring a balanced commitment to both research/scholarship and application in the form of programs whose success is measured in stable funding, translation, and real-world impact on policy and practice. And, as a BDP, they will continue some level of teaching, including of undergraduates.

Required educational background and qualifications:
  • Eminence in the field of assured autonomy with a distinguished national and international reputation for research, and application;
  • Excellent communication skills in both internal and external interactions;
  • Sufficient budget and financial acumen to oversee efficient and compliance management of the Institute’s resources;
  • A strong commitment to diversity at all levels among faculty, students, and staff; and
  • A participatory leadership style that models the values of service, initiative, and collaboration.
  • Applicant selected will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.
The Whiting School of Engineering has engaged Opus Partners ( www.opuspartners.net ) to support the recruitment of the IAA Director. Craig Smith, Partner, and Jeff Stafford, Senior Associate, are leading the search. Applicants should submit a single PDF containing a letter of interest outlining their research and leadership experience, their CV, and a two or three-page statement of research interests online via Interfolio, by clicking the "Apply Now" button.

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.

The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check.

If you are interested in applying for employment with The Johns Hopkins University and require special assistance or accommodation during any part of the pre-employment process, please contact the HR Business Services Office at jhurecruitment@jhu.edu. For TTY users, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.

The following additional provisions may apply depending on which campus you will work. Your recruiter will advise accordingly.

During the Influenza ("the flu") season, as a condition of employment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employees who provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care or clinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination or possess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meet this requirement may result in termination of employment.

The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas, laboratories, working with research subjects, or involving community contact requires documentation of immune status against Rubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may include documentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicella vaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratory testing. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases are ordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except for those employees who provide results of blood tests or immunization documentation from their own health care providers. Any vaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no cost in our Occupational Health office.

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