The LSST Corporation (LSSTC), headquartered in Tucson, Arizona,
is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation formed to initiate the
Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Project, now the Rubin
Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), and advance the
science of astronomy and physics. Currently, the privately-funded
LSSTC is focusing on supporting science by preparing the community
to use Rubin LSST data when the facility becomes operational in
2024. LSSTC is committed to fostering and building new modes of
interdisciplinary collaboration at the interface of astronomy,
physics, computer science, mathematics, and information science.
LSSTC also strives to enable the full scientific exploitation of
the unique LSST data by a diverse and inclusive community of
LSSTC seeks an individual to serve as Executive
Officer and Director of Science. In these capacities, the
individual will act both as the chief executive for the Corporation
and provide scientific leadership and expertise to LSSTC’s
philanthropic funding development initiatives.
As Executive Officer: will serve as chief
executive of LSST Corporation (LSSTC) and, in partnership with the
Board, be responsible for implementing LSSTC programs. Together,
the Board and the EO assure LSSTC’s relevance to the scientific
community, the accomplishment of LSSTC’s mission and vision, and
the accountability of LSSTC to its diverse constituents. The ED
serves as the main point of contact for LSSTC with its
institutional members and sponsors.
As Director for Science: will be LSSTC’s
development liaison to Member Institutions and LSST Science
Collaborations, identifying science cases and research activities
of interest and importance, and developing fundraising materials
and proposals for private funding opportunities. The ED will also
be LSSTC’s primary representative to potential foundation,
corporate, and individual donors. The ED will work closely with
LSSTC’s other scientific staff and be supported in this effort by
LSSTC Program Managers for the larger LSSTC initiatives, such as
the LINCC programs, including the LSSTC Catalyst Fellowship and the
LINCC Frameworks project.
- Establishes strong and appropriate relationships with the
Board, committees, donors and the scientific community. Develops
smooth and constructive relationships with executive colleagues,
outside agencies, organizations, and individuals.
- Plans and meets deadlines. Maintains a flexible work schedule
to meet the demands of executive management. Hours may be
irregular; some travel required.
- Conveys a professional and positive image and attitude
regarding LSSTC and the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors.
Demonstrates commitment to continued professional growth and
Primary Responsibilities – Executive Officer role:
- Legal compliance
- Assures the filing of all legal and contractual documents are
in compliance with relevant laws and Board policies and
- Mission, policy and planning
- Helps the Board determine LSSTC’s mission, vision, and short-
and long-term goals.
- Helps the Board monitor and evaluate LSSTC’s relevance to the
scientific community, its effectiveness, and its results.
- Keeps the Board fully informed on the condition of LSSTC and on
all the important factors influencing it.
- Identifies problems and opportunities and addresses them;
brings those which are appropriate to the Board and/or its
committees; and facilitates discussion and deliberation.
- Keeps aware of opportunities in philanthropy and fund
- Management and administration
- Provides general oversight of LSSTC activities and assures a
smoothly functioning, efficient organization.
- Provides oversight and coordination of the Business Manager,
other scientific staff, any program managers, and the executive
- Coordinates resources and support services obtained through the
Rubin Observatory Project or AURA.
- Helps the Board articulate its own role and accountabilities
and that of its committees and individual members and helps
evaluate performance regularly.
- Works with the Board Chair to enable the Board to fulfill its
governance functions and facilitates the optimum performance by the
Board, its committees and individual Board members.
- With the Board Chair, focuses Board attention on long-range
- Manages the Board’s due diligence process to assure timely
attention to core issues.
- Works with the Board officers and committee chairs to maximize
the best thinking and involvement of each Board member and to
stimulate each Board member to give his or her best.
- Offers input on the planning of board meetings, agendas,
- Works with the Board and the Audit & Finance Committee to
ensure financing to support short- and long-term goals.
- Together with the Business Manager, creates the annual
- Assures an effective Fund Development Program:
- With Board approval, hires and supervises individuals
responsible for this activity.
- Provides direction and assistance to the LSSTC development team
(LSSTC’s scientific staff, program managers for LSSTC initiatives,
and Business Manager), as they carry out their position
- Helps the Board and its development committee, design,
implement, and monitor a viable fundraising plan, policies, and
- Community Relations - In support of the
- Acts as an advocate, within the public and private sectors, for
issues relevant to LSSTC, its services, and constituencies.
- Works with LSSTC’s member institutions to improve and generate
community involvement. Assures community awareness of LSSTC’s
response to community needs.
- Develops and maintains cooperative relationships with key
- Works with regulatory agencies, task forces, and
representatives of the scientific community to promote the planning
and preparation for science with the LSST and to address the issues
of LSSTC’s constituencies.
Primary Responsibilities – Director of Science role:
- Facilitates the integration of LSSTC into the fabric of the
scientific community by communicating effectively with
- Works with LSSTC Member Institutions and the LSST Science
Collaborations (SCs), in particular the SC Chairs, to identify
urgent and necessary research and development efforts and the
impactful science that could emerge
- Works with the Board and institutional members to identify
potential donors and coherent funding opportunities that will
advance preparations for LSST science and assure early delivery of
science results in key research directions of the LSST program
- Coordinates with the Rubin Observatory Construction Project
Director and Rubin Project staff, the Rubin LSST Operations
Director and staff, and the SC Chairs to build a strong
solicitation team and to ensure LSSTC programs are well positioned
to augment the Federal support for Rubin Observatory scientific
- Takes the lead role in preparing science documents, proposals,
and supporting materials to solicit funding from identified
- Works with the relevant SC Chairs and researchers at member
institutions to establish core teams and execution plans for
initiatives that are successful in obtaining funding
- Serves as LSSTC’s point of contact for science with potential
donors, foundations, and corporations on an ongoing basis
Experience in a senior management position in a major scientific
or technical enterprise is an asset. A Ph.D. in science, preferably
in astronomy, physics or a related field, and demonstrated
leadership in astronomy, astrophysics or physics research is
required. A broad understanding of and interest in Rubin
Observatory science goals is essential. Demonstrated organizational
and fund-raising experience, preferably in an interdisciplinary
environment. Ability to speak and write effectively, with
experience in the preparation of astronomy or astrophysics science
reports and proposals. Experience with international collaborative
projects would be an asset. The individual should demonstrate
critical competencies in four broad categories: commitment to
results, business savvy, leading change, and motivating.
Commitment to Results: The ED is a systems thinker
who is customer focused and goal driven. This individual identifies
relevant information and helps transform this information into
individual and organizational knowledge and learning. The ED is
action oriented and innovative. They translate broad goals into
achievable steps. They anticipate and solve problems and take
advantage of opportunities and are a self-starter and team
Business Savvy: The position of ED requires an
individual with knowledge of and experience in management and
administration. The position requires demonstrated experience in
integrating and coordinating diverse areas of management.
- Knowledge in the following areas is required: the astronomical
and/or physics community, oral and written communications, planning
and evaluation, and governance.
- Some experience in the field of philanthropy, not-for-profit
management, and community relations is preferred. Some general
knowledge of fund development is also preferred.
- A high level of personal skills is required to make formal,
persuasive presentations to groups and to deal effectively with
people from all segments of the community.
- The individual must be comfortable with diversity and
respectful of a wide range of beliefs and
Leading Change: The ED possesses the skills and
implements the functions of a leader. They share LSSTC's values,
mission and vision. They consistently display integrity, model
behavior, develop people, and build teams. This individual deals
effectively with demanding situations and designs and implements
Motivating: The ED manages continuity, change and
transition. This individual knows how to influence and enable
others. They address the impact of attitude and action on the LSSTC
and the scientific community.
The role of the LSST Corporation ED can be expected to represent
a significant commitment of time. Since LSSTC staff and a large
part of the Project staff are located in Tucson, it is preferred
that the ED also be located in Tucson. Depending on the
professional circumstances of the selected candidate, support for
this effort can be provided flexibly through direct employment by
LSSTC or a suitable compensation arrangement with the individual’s
current employer. Compensation and benefits would vary based upon
the employment status. LSSTC is also open to discussing the
allocation of a fraction of the individual’s time to scientific
research involving Rubin related science.
Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are
representative of those that must be met by an employee to
successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with
disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- The work is mostly carried out in an office environment. Long
periods of sitting and computer usage may be required.
- Some travel may be necessary both domestic and
*LSSTCorp has all staff working virtually during the
COVID-19 crisis. The safety of our staff and community is our top
priority. We will continue to interview and screen candidates in
this new virtual landscape. Offers of employment can be extended
and new hires will on-board virtually once they are resident in the
Tucson area. We will then ship resources to enable working
virtually until it is safe to report to our Tucson
COVID-19 Policy Update: AURA has
implemented a mandatory vaccination policy that requires all
employees to be vaccinated, unless qualified for an exemption based
on medical or religious reasons. All new employees will be
required to comply with this policy and will be required to present
proof of full vaccination or submit a completed request (including
supporting documents, if applicable) for an exemption at least five
(5) business days prior to their start of employment.
Individuals who fail to meet this deadline may have their
employment start date delayed. This is a requirement for all
employees working onsite or from home (telework or hybrid remote
Please list 3 professional references in your application
(references will only be contacted later in the recruitment
process) and attach a CV or resume as well as a cover letter or
other statement of interest (PDF files preferred) to your
application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to develop and
describe their own vision for the Executive Director role,
consistent with the responsibilities outlined above.
Please name any attachments with the following format:
LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as
part of the application may be sent to
The position will remain open until filled, applications
received by February 4, 2022, will be given priority in review.
Preference will be given to qualified internal candidates and
to qualified Native Americans living on or near the Tohono
Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors
needing assistance with the employment process should request
assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)
is a consortium of over 40 US institutions and three international
affiliates that operates world-class astronomical observatories.
AURA’s role is to establish, nurture, and promote public
observatories and facilities that advance innovative astronomical
research. AURA is responsible for managing the operations of the
NSF’s NOIRLab, the National Solar Observatory, and the construction
of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar
Telescope under cooperative agreements with the National Science
Foundation and operations of the Space Telescope Science Institute
under contracts with NASA.
AURA provides administrative support to the LSST
AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is
committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports
programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity,
broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity
throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at
As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is
considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal
Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an
Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA and all of
the centers, do not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age,
religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender
identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations,
veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected
status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity