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Job ID: 107104

Executive Director of the National Space Grant Foundation
National Space Grant Foundation

Date Posted May 24, 2018
Title Executive Director of the National Space Grant Foundation
University National Space Grant Foundation
Department National Space Grant Foundation
Application Deadline Jul. 7, 2018
Position Start Date August 2018
  • Urbana, IL
    United States
  • Online / Remote Position
  • Senior Executive Officer
  • Development/Institutional Advancement
    Business & Administration

The National Space Grant Foundation is seeking an Executive Director with proven experience in program development and management, proposal writing, and fiduciary responsibilities. The National Space Grant Foundation is a tax-exempt organization whose purpose is to support and enhance the Space Grant Consortia in every state and NASA education nationally by initiating and coordinating education, research, and public outreach activities in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology and additional fields, related to space, aeronautics, aviation, and Earth system science. The Foundation works to increase financial and governmental support to Space Grant Consortia, develops mutually beneficial partnerships, and assists in publicizing the activities of the Foundation, Space Grant Consortia, and NASA. The Foundation presently is responsible for $2 million in funds.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have operational responsibility for fiscal management, service/contract proposals and execution, and for strategic expansion of programs that support the Foundation’s mission and thereby enhance the Foundation’s visibility and service to the National Space Grant and Fellowship Program community and NASA. This is a part-time position. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Leadership & Management:

  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of execution, finance, administration, communications and systems; Monitor the day-to-day services of the organization to maintain or improve quality.
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors: serve as ex-officio of committees, seek and build board involvement with strategic direction for both Foundation operations as well as for the national rollout of new programs.
  • Actively engage staff, board members, event committees, alumni, Space Grant Consortia, and funders in an open environment.
  • Ensure effective systems to track scaling progress, and regularly evaluate program components to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, and other constituents.
  • Recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve strategic goals.

Planning & New Business:

  • Complete the strategic business planning process for expansion into new programs to support the mission of the National Space Grant and Fellowship Program in support of a diverse STEM workforce consistent with the strategic goals of NASA.
  • Develop and implement an operational plan, which incorporates goals and objectives that work towards the strategic direction of the Foundation.
  • Build partnerships for new markets and programs, establishing relationships with funders, and political and community leaders.
  • Be a national presence that communicates program results with an emphasis on the successes that enhance the capabilities of the Foundation and the Space Grant network.
  • Identify and evaluate risks to the organization and implement measures to control identified risks.

Partnership Development & Communications:

  • Expand revenue generating activities to support existing program operations and regional/national expansion.
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications-from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating enhanced opportunities for Space Grant participants.
  • Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities.

All candidates should have proven experience with program development and management, proposal writing, and fiduciary responsibilities.

Required Qualifications
Concrete demonstrable experience and other qualifications include:

  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to manage staff and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget,
  • Demonstrated ability to write grant proposals and manage programs,
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills,
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning,
  • Focused and highly motivated self-starter; able to work independently and as part of a team,
  • Ability to travel to Space Grant meetings,
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.

Desired Qualifications

  • Familiarity with the National Space Grant and Fellowship Program,
  • Experience in fiscal management of a large budget, and track record in effectively leading a performance- and outcomes-based organization and staff,
  • At least 5 years of management experience; advanced STEM degree a plus,
  • Past success in working with a Board of Directors.

Interested candidates should send a letter of application, resume, and the names of three professional references, to the President of the Space Grant Foundation Board, Dr. Philippe H. Geubelle (, to whom inquiries about the position should be directed. Full consideration will be given to applications received by July 7, 2018. Applications received after that date will be considered until the position is filled.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Philippe Geubelle
    Aerospace Engineering
    University of Illinois
    104 S. Wright Street
    306 Talbot Lab
    Urbana, IL 61801
  • 2172447648


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