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NIST to Open Vacancy Announcement for Associate Director for Laboratory Programs

NIST expects to open a vacancy announcement for its Associate Director for Laboratory Programs (ADLP) position in mid-June 2018. Details about the position and application process are below.

About the Programs

The mission of the NIST laboratory programs is to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance our economic security and improve our quality of life. The NIST laboratory programs accomplish the NIST mission through a broad interdisciplinary research effort, through a variety of standards and measurement services, and through development of advanced technologies enabled by leading edge measurement science. The NIST laboratories have capabilities in a broad range of scientific and engineering disciplines, and its expansive scope, technical depth, and range of expertise from science to applications is matched by few other laboratories in the world. NIST is directly responsible for developing and maintaining the national measurement system of the United States, disseminating data on physical constants and materials properties, assisting industry in new technology and advancing measurement methods, operating national user facilities, developing cybersecurity standards for federal IT systems and critical infrastructure, and for standards to promote fire safety, buildings and infrastructure integrity, and community resilience. NIST coordinates with other federal agencies to meet U.S. Government needs for voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment activities, including those used for federal regulations, federal assistance and private sector standards to meet national needs.  NIST has leadership roles for U.S. advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology transfer, and the laboratory programs contribute directly to collaborations, products and services that drive innovation and advance commercial applications. 

Key Duties, Responsibilities, Core Competencies 

The Associate Director for Laboratory Programs (ADLP) assists the Director in the direction of NIST and, as Principal Deputy for the Director, performs the functions of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director during the latter’s absence or disability.  The ADLP is primarily responsible for representing, coordinating and overseeing the NIST Laboratory Programs. NIST’s laboratories serve as the National Metrology Institute for the United States, providing traceability to the SI within the U.S. and coordinating internationally through the Treaty of the Meter, and the ADLP carries out this unique mission.  The individual serves as primary point of contact for NIST laboratory programs with the Director's office and is responsible for programmatic and operational direction of the labs which includes recommending and leading implementation of improvements to NIST organization frameworks, budgeting, strategic research and technology development, financial management programs and budget development for all of NIST's laboratories.  The ADLP also manages laboratory funding programs and laboratory-based legislative mandates, and carries out other assignments and manages special programs as assigned by the Director. 

The applicant must become qualified as a member of the Federal Government’s Senior Executive Service (SES), and demonstrate Executive Core Qualifications in Leading Change, Leading People, Results Driven, Business Acumen, and Building Coalitions.  Specific responsibilities include:

  • Assisting the Director in establishing the research and facilities priorities to attain the Institute's vision; 
  • Assisting the Director in ensuring the highest quality of research and services; 
  • Recommending improvements to NIST organization frameworks, budgeting, strategy, and financial management programs and budget development for all of NIST's laboratories; 
  • Leading the laboratories in the mission of developing and providing measurement science, measurement standards, documentary standards and practices, advanced technologies, and transferring these technologies through a broad array of mechanisms for positive impact to the U.S. economy;
  • Managing the full scope of laboratory programs, including research strategy, technology and intellectual property portfolio development, resource allocation, human capital, laboratory facilities, equipment, and budget;
  • Building and sustaining a culture of innovation, industry engagement, entrepreneurship, technology transfer and commercialization;
  • Managing laboratory-based legislative mandates; 
  • Continually enhancing laboratory safety management and security management programs; 
  • Coordinating interagency and outreach activities for the laboratories; and, 
  • Representing NIST and its laboratory programs to external audiences. 

Professional and Technical Qualifications

  1. Demonstrated experience to lead a diverse and complex organization focused on measurement science and standards, including development of priorities, alignment of resources to meet those priorities, and experience developing consensus in creating and implementing strategy. 
  2. Demonstrated experience to communicate effectively in person and in writing to an audience of both experts and lay people in the field; demonstrated experience working with industry, academia, and other government organizations; demonstrated credibility in measurement sciences and standards, and demonstrated effectiveness in development of intellectual property and technology transfer. 
  3. Demonstrated direct experience managing the full scope of operations for a broad portfolio of laboratory-based research and technology programs, including personnel recruitment and retention, performance management, strategic and tactical direction, resource allocation and budgeting, infrastructure, facilities, and equipment. 


Salary range $126,148 - $210,700* plus eligibility for pay adjustments and bonuses (Senior Executive Service position); relocation expenses may be paid.


NIST is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All candidates will be considered without regard to race, color, age, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation, or disability.

To Apply

Interested candidates must apply via USAJOBS once the vacancy announcement opens, which is anticipated to be mid-June 2018.  Applicants will have 30 days to apply; panel interviews and other consultations with finalists will be conducted between July and September, with an expected start date in October 2018.

Interested candidates are encouraged to consult the OPM website for further information about SES qualifications


U.S. citizenship required.

* This position has been approved for Critical Position Pay Authority.

Released June 5, 2018