Board Director - Board on Environmental Change and Society

The National Academies
Mitch, Louisiana
Jul 29, 2021
Aug 01, 2021
Position Type
Dean / Department Head
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Description Summary:

The Board on Environmental Change and Society (BECS) mobilizes social and behavioral sciences to identify equitable and effective solutions to the challenges at the intersection of environmental change and society. Such solutions must consider behavior and decision making at all scales, including individuals, communities, businesses and governments. Critical drivers include societal values, norms, socioeconomic factors, markets, and policies. The Board draws on interdisciplinary expertise to address the social, political, economic and equity dimensions of environmental change. BECS is responsible for National Academies' programs that build understanding of human interactions with the biophysical environment; contribute to the development of a coherent field of scientific endeavor in this area; integrate social and behavioral science research into environmental science and policy; advance the behavioral, social, and decision sciences; and provide benefits to society through the application of these sciences to human-environment interactions.

The Board Director is responsible for the development, implementation, and ongoing management and evaluation of all board activities. Develops the overall budget, including staffing requirements and ensures that each study or activity meets its stated objectives and supports the mission of the organization. Studies and decisions have long-term implications and affect continuing operations. Maintains internal and external relations. Oversees the assembling of committees and provides guidance to those committees in the conduct of their work and/or consensus building process. Responds to requests for studies, negotiating scope of work and budget, and independently develops programs/projects and negotiates funding with sponsors. Significantly impacts the advancement of science or policy through the successful conduct of National Academies' programs and activities.

The Board Director reports to the Executive Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE). DBASSE focuses the knowledge, analytical tools, and methods of the behavioral and social sciences on some of the nation's most pressing issues in efforts to understand them and to contribute to their solution. DBASSE areas of expertise include (but are not limited to) anthropology, child development, demography, economics, education, geography, political science, psychology, sociology, and statistics.

Job Description:

  • In consultation with chair and members, develops and maintains a balanced, high quality portfolio of projects/programs. Establishes a vision and working strategy for studies and activities conducted within the program/board.
  • Plans, conducts, and directs work on projects/programs. Oversees the management of projects, assembles or oversees the assembling of board, committees, and/or study panels and provides oversight and guidance to the conduct of their work.
  • Provides leadership and mentors employees. Trains and develops employees to successfully perform current responsibilities and encourages development of staff for future roles. Forms effective teams and cultivates a work environment that fosters teamwork. Interprets and ensures consistent application of organizational policies. Initiates personnel actions, including performance and compensation reviews and disciplinary actions.
  • Maintains communication and productive working relationships with program volunteers. Sets agenda and oversees meeting arrangements. Oversees quality assurance efforts.
  • Oversees financial management of the unit. Participates in business planning, conducts status meetings, coordinates logistical issues, and implements planning, scheduling, and procedural changes.
  • Responsible for program/project development. Maintains current and develops new relationships with prospective sponsors and other external contacts.
  • Responds to requests for studies/projects, negotiating scope of work and budget, and independently develops high-impact programs/projects and negotiates funding with sponsors. Performs fundraising activities. Prepares proposals. Oversees management of contracts.
  • Oversees the report process during writing, reports review, and release, if applicable.
  • Oversees outreach efforts, including dissemination. Conducts speaking engagements, handles press calls, participates in outside committees, and represents program/board at internal and external meetings.

  • Related duties and special projects as assigned.


Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Ability to solve intellectual problems that reflect substantial variety and complexity. Ability to serve as a resource to others in the resolution of complex problems and issues. Ability to operate with substantial latitude for independent judgment and action. Ability to negotiate funding. Ability to train and develop staff. Ability to work successfully in a team environment and to form and maintain effective teams. Experience working in complex environments with a high degree of organizational effectiveness. Ability to develop relationships with co-workers and employees in other National Academies' departments through effective communication. Excellent communication skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of employees. Understanding of the National Academies' mission and culture.

Minimum Education/Training Requirements: Ph.D. in a related field or equivalent knowledge.

Minimum Experience: Ten years of related professional experience, five of which were in a supervisory capacity. Demonstrated impact on the advancement of science or policy through the successful completion of National Academies' activities or equivalent outside activities and through effective dissemination of these activities. Proven record of raising program funds.

Physical Capabilities: Ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time. Ability to travel. Required Licenses, Certification or Registration: None.

Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls: Reports to Executive Director. Independently establishes goals and objectives. Supervises board/program staff.

Work Environment: Office environment, with travel between National Academies' facilities and to off-site meeting/sponsor locations.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

It is the policy of the National Academies to recruit, hire, transfer, compensate, and promote people in all job categories and to administer all other personnel actions, terms and conditions of employment in a manner that is consistent with equal employment, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, disability, medical condition for which a person has been rehabilitated or cured, marital status, family responsibilities, genetic information, political affiliation, personal appearance, matriculation, unemployment status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws. It is also the institution's policy to recruit, hire, promote, and provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities and covered veterans who are otherwise qualified.

Employee Type:


Scheduled Weekly Hours:



Washington, District of Columbia