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Board Director Board on Behavioral Cognitive & Sensory Sciences

Washington, Dist. of Columbia
Closing date
Dec 3, 2021

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Position Type
Dean / Department Head
Full Time
Science and Technology Studies
Organization Type
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The Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS) was established in 1997 as the locus of work for the behavioral sciences at the National Academies. Its mission is to support cross-disciplinary inquiry into complex scientific and policy questions, draw attention to the behavioral sciences for national policy initiatives, and provide a vision of where the behavioral sciences are headed. Recent and ongoing projects include a variety of topics such as national security, aging, stigmatization in health and in the workplace, replicability in science, and the utility of developing behavioral ontologies to further science.

The Board Director is responsible for the development, implementation, and ongoing management and evaluation of all board activities. Significantly impacts the advancement of science or policy through the successful conduct of National Academies ' programs and activities. Actively identifies new project ideas, identifies potential sponsors for those projects, and works to secure funding for same. Responds to requests for studies, negotiates scope of work and budget, independently develops programs/projects, and negotiates funding with sponsors. Develops and sustains relationships with current sponsors and possible future sponsors. Studies and decisions have long-term implications and affect continuing operations. Oversees the assembling of committees and provides guidance to those committees in the conduct of their work and/or consensus building process. 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. Maintains internal and external relations.

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:

**Please note a cover letter is required to be considered for this requisition**


1. Responsible for program/project development. Maintains current and develops new relationships with prospective sponsors and other external contacts. Independently develops high-impact programs/projects and identifies and negotiates with possible funders, prepares proposals, and secures funding from sponsors.

2. In consultation with board 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Maintains communication and productive working relationships with program volunteers. Sets agenda and oversees meeting arrangements. Oversees quality assurance efforts.

6. Oversees financial management of the unit, including compliance with contract requirements. Participates in business planning, conducts status meetings, coordinates logistical issues, and implements planning, scheduling, and procedural changes.

7. Oversees the report process during writing, reports review, and release, if applicable.

8. 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 develop effective relationships with funding agencies and foundations and to negotiate funding. 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 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 psychology discipline or closely related field or equivalent knowledge.

Minimum Experience: Ten years of related professional experience, five of which were in a supervisory capacity. Proven record of raising program funds. 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. Experience in working with federal funding agencies, especially those located in Washington, DC, and/or with foundations, highly desirable.

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.
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