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25 May 2021

Full-Time Executive Officer

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center – Posted by Dennis Whigham Edgewater, Maryland, United States

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Job Description

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) invites applications for an Executive Officer. SERC is a research institute of the Smithsonian Institution dedicated to ecological and environmental research and education. Located on a 2,650-acre campus of forests, farmlands and wetlands and 15 miles of shoreline of Chesapeake Bay. SERC is based in Edgewater, Maryland, 25 miles from the central Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and 5 miles from Annapolis.

The SERC campus consists of an array of historic and modern buildings, including a large modern laboratory building, wet lab, dock and other facilities for environmental research and education. Staff include approximately 110 employees, 40 interns, and 500 volunteers. A 40-person, centrally managed maintenance and security staff are on site. SERC receives 15,000 visitors annually, including 6,000 school children on field trips. See

We seek to fill this key position with a person of integrity, empathy, and energy with a management style that is analytical and especially collaborative.

Key Responsibilities:

This position is responsible for the management and oversight of SERC operations, including administrative services and support systems. The position reports to the Director and is responsible for all support activities, including budget and financial planning and management; procurement and contracting oversight; human resources management; facilities, security, safety and occupational health support; travel policy implementation and compliance, and oversight of information management technology systems. SERC’s programs are funded by a mixture of federal appropriations and Smithsonian Trust funds, but a major source of funding is from extramural grants and contracts. Major activities of the Executive Officer include:

  • Is the key member of the SERC Directorate to oversee finance, administration and operational compliance with Smithsonian guidelines and central services.
  • Is a member of the Director’s cabinet that also includes the Associate Director for Research, Assistant Director for Public Engagement, Development Officer, and Communications Officer.
  • Advises the Director on organizational management and administration.
  • Serves as liaison between SERC and the Smithsonian’s central offices (e.g. finances, human resources, facilities, security, IT/computer services, purchasing, grants and contracts).
  • Serves as SERC’s EEO advisor responsible for advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and access policies at the Center.
  • Ensures compliance with all applicable laws, policies, and procedures in the day-to-day management of SERC.

Education/Experience Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree in science or business administration PLUS either 5 years of specialized and progressive experience OR an MBA and 3 years of  specialized and progressive experience in administration of operations of a science-related research or education organization.

Specialized experience is defined as: administration and management of a scientific research and education organization to review, analyze and supervise staff for unit operations; and/or direct financial management; and/or human resources analysis and oversight; and/or liaison and advising senior management.

Progressive experience is defined as significantly increasing levels of management oversight and responsibility.

The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital/parental/caregiver status, and disability. The SERC community recognizes the value of diversity in promoting innovative science and creative solutions, and we strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply. We recognize that each applicant for this role will bring unique skills, knowledge, experiences, and background to this position. Competitive candidates will have many, but not necessarily all, of the listed qualifications and experiences.

How to Apply

To apply: Submit applications by email to: [email protected]. Applications must consist of:
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter with brief description of experience in supervision, administration and management of a scientific research and education organization such as a governmental agency, university facility, or non-governmental organization (or similar), including:
  • Operations and administration oversight, compliance, and staff supervision.
  • Budget and Finance
  • Human Resource Management
  • Teamwork and Advising Management
  • Science Programs
  • Public Engagement Programs

Job Categories: Finance / Investing. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

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