Program Director, S&T Policy Fellowships Program

District of Columbia, United States
Competitive Salary
Mar 17, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of all people. Our mission is centered on the belief that STEM research and education can help solve many of the challenges the world faces today. We are the world’s largest general scientific society, serving members in over 91 different countries, and the proud publisher of the Science family of journals. For over a century, AAAS has been a force for science, promoting scientific research and communication across the globe through our publications, educational outreach, and advocacy work. 

AAAS supports a culture that adapts and responds to change, encourages new ideas, fosters innovation, and recognizes the hard work of its employees. Our colleagues represent a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise, from scholarly publishing to digital marketing, from educational research to government relations, all with a shared focus on our mission. At AAAS, you are part of a talented and dynamic staff, dedicated to advancing science and serving society. 

We have an exciting opening for a Program DirectorS&T Policy Fellowships Program (STPF). STPF is a flagship public service professional development program that annually places classes of over 275 doctoral level scientists and engineers in all branches of the U.S. federal government. The Program Director is responsible for overall leadership and vision of the STPF.  This is a highly respected program that dates back to 1973 with a budget between $15-$20 million annually from government and private funding sources.  

The ideal candidate will have a PhD or the equivalent in a relevant field, 10-15 or more years of experience in program development and management, and at least 7-10 years of supervisory experience. The successful candidate will have a direct and immediate impact on the continuing growth and development of the program. Strong leadership skills, entrepreneurial mindset, experience working with a wide range of stakeholders, and an appreciation and alignment with STPF goals and mission are essential to the role.  

Are you ready to be a Force for Science?


  • Serve as principal ambassador of the program to promote its vision and mission; serve as principal investigator on the federal grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements that support STPF
  • Cultivate and sustain key stakeholder relations, including current and potential federal host offices in legislative, executive and judicial branches; scientific and engineering society partners; federal, foundation and private sector sponsors; and STPF alumni
  • Maintain and advance the program’s reputation and the reputation and mission of AAAS
  • Lead and manage program staff of over 20 people ranging from entry- to senior-level
  • Oversee the diverse array of grants and contracts that support the program, including serving as principal investigator
  • Oversee an innovative professional development (PD) program that makes use of latest trends in PD
  • Lead, envision, define, and develop strategic plans to position program for future growth with an entrepreneurial attitude; execute and evaluate strategic plans to grow STPF; revise plans as needed
  • Oversee maintenance of STPF brand standards; review annual communication marketing and recruitment goals including robust social media program
  • Monitor and maintain financial health of the program through sound budget planning, grant capture, fundraising, and contract negotiations with scientific and engineering society partners and federal, foundation and private sector sponsors
  • Oversee recruitment, selection and placement of fellows
  • Drive program improvements to increase fellowship value to fellows, alumni and host agencies
  • Evaluate risk and risk mitigation activities
  • Provide guidance on development of benchmarks and evaluation systems to assess effectiveness of program operations and program impacts
  • Keep AAAS executive leadership apprised of key program activities and coordinate operations with other AAAS programmatic units as needed 
  • Works as member of AAAS Programmatic team

Minimum qualifications:

  • Ph.D highly preferable or equivalent in a relevant field. 
  • At least 10-15 years of experience in program development and management, including the management of U.S. Government federal grants, contracts or cooperative agreements. 
  • 7-10 years of supervisory experience; financial, and budgeting experience; experience leading (as principal investigator) grant proposal development; general fundraising experience and experience with marketing and communications programs. 
  • General experience working with U.S. federal agencies, U.S. Congressional staff, and science and engineering societies
  • Demonstrated effective and successful leadership abilities
  • General knowledge of federal contracting procedures and regulations  
  • Familiarity with current U.S. science and technology policy issues 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience with process improvement, program evaluation, business analytics, and workforce planning 
  • Experience developing strategic plans and successful execution of these plans 

Application Process  

Submit a resume, portfolio, and cover letter, and relevant writing sample by April 15, 2021. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. A Recruiter will contact you with next steps if you are selected for an interview.  

AAAS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or other protected category. AAAS uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees.

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