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Head of Operational Excellence

American Physical Society
United States (Remote)
$107,200 - $147,400
Date posted
May 13, 2024

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Head of Operational Excellence

The American Physical Society (APS) is a nonprofit membership organization devoted to advancing and diffusing the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals and scientific meetings, as well as its education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world.

Position Summary:

We are looking for a dynamic individual to take on the pivotal role of Head of Operational Excellence for APS Publications. In this key position, you’ll be responsible for ensuring  efficiency and quality in journal workflows through continuous improvement and innovation, optimizing the end-to-end workflow for our prestigious portfolio of journals. If you're passionate about optimizing end-to-end processes, driving excellence, and collaborating with visionary leaders to achieve our mission and goals, this is the opportunity you've been waiting for. Join our team and make a meaningful impact on the world of scholarly communication.

APS has a “remote first” concept that promotes equal treatment and equal access within the United States, independent of physical work location, with a majority of staff working primarily from home. APS values diversity and welcomes candidates from a variety of backgrounds.  APS offers a dynamic work environment with an outstanding total compensation package, including salary, outstanding benefits, and excellent paid time off.

Key Responsibilities:

Workflow Analysis and Process Optimization:

  • Continually assess and analyze operational workflows within our publishing portfolio, identify areas for improvement, and implement solutions to optimize workflows, reduce publication time and enhance productivity to provide a superior service to researchers.
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to design and implement optimized workflows.

Project Management:

  • Lead and manage projects related to workflow improvements and system implementations.
  • Develop project plans, timelines, and budgets.
  • Utilize change management principles to ensure the successful adoption of new processes.

Technology Integration:

  • Collaborate with IS and the Editorial Management system Product Owner to identify and prioritize technology solutions and automation tools to streamline operations, improve scalability, and enhance user experience.

Quality Assurance and Compliance:

  • Implement quality assurance measures to ensure accuracy and consistency in content production.
  • Establish and enforce quality standards throughout the publishing lifecycle, ensuring accuracy, consistency, and adherence to industry best practices and regulatory requirements.

Collaboration and Communication:

  • Work closely with other departments, including Editorial, Publishing, Marketing and IS, to align operational goals, foster collaboration, and drive continuous improvement initiatives.

Change Management:

  • Contribute to change management initiatives to facilitate adopting new processes and technologies.
  • Develop training programs and documentation and provide ongoing support to staff members to ensure competency in new processes, tools, and technologies, fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Continuous Improvement and Innovation:

  • Establish a culture of continuous improvement within the organization.
  • Identify and monitor key performance indicators and implement adjustments as needed.
  • Seek feedback from customers and use it to drive ongoing enhancements.
  • Foster an environment of innovation to explore new tools, processes, and technologies that can enhance operational workflows.
  • Lead the exploration and opportunity assessment of relevant AI and machine learning tools to increase operational effectiveness and efficiency

Risk Management:

  • Identify potential risks and challenges in publishing operations, develop mitigation strategies, and implement robust contingency plans to minimize disruptions and ensure business continuity.

Scope & Relationships:


Internal relationships with editorial, publishing, IS, marketing and APS staff in other departments.  Relationships with external constituents (e.g. vendors, consultants, publishing industry organizations).



  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably with a focus relevant to the defined responsibilities of the role. Directly applicable experience may be accepted in lieu of a degree.


  • Minimum of 5 years experience in a senior operational role within STM publishing or a related industry.
  • Minimum of 3 years’ experience in staff management. 


    A combination of experiences including some or all of the following is preferred:


    • Proven experience with scholarly publications and products, within the scholarly publishing industry and or similar industries.


      Project management and/or leadership.


      Business planning. 


      Change management leadership experience.


      Process/continuous improvement experience in Shingo, Lean, Six Sigma, Kaizen, Project Management Professional (PMP) or equivalent. Six Sigma Black Belt.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:


Proven experience in a senior operational role within STM publishing or a related industry. In-depth understanding of the publishing process, including editorial, production, distribution, and digital publishing trends. Strong analytical skills with the ability to evaluate complex workflows, identify inefficiencies, and implement effective solutions. Demonstrated experience in change management, process optimization, and project management. Proficiency in technology integration, with experience implementing publishing software, workflow automation tools, and digital platforms. Excellent leadership and interpersonal skills with the ability to influence and collaborate across departments and organizational levels. Ability to clearly articulate complex processes and strategies to audiences at all levels. Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a culturally diverse environment and promote inclusivity. Strong organizational skills with the ability to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and manage multiple projects simultaneously. Proficiency in office suites (MS Office, Google Suite).


  • This position requires up to 10% travel to attend events and meetings, including travel to APS offices in Long Island, NY; Washington DC; and College Park, MD, as well as other off-site locations for periodic meetings and training sessions. Additional travel may be required as assigned by the supervisor.


  • The salary range for this position takes into account various factors influencing compensation decisions, such as skill sets, experience, training, and other business and organizational requirements. The salary listed within the specified ranges considers relevant experience. Our compensation philosophy at APS aims to maintain salaries at the midpoint of the market. As a result, we typically hire within the target starting range. Exceptional, rare cases may merit reviews above target starting range for specialized or niche skills aligned with strategic operational goals.


  • Hiring Range: $107,200/year - $147,400/year (USD)
  • Target Starting Range: $107,200/year - $120,600/year (USD)

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