Ames Laboratory is seeking a dynamic organizational leader to serve as the Chief Operations Officer (COO). The successful candidate will demonstrate a proven track record of strategic leadership, operational excellence, and financial stewardship. The candidate will be responsible for motivating and managing high-performing teams to support the Laboratory's scientific mission and will effectively shepherd Lab resources to achieve institutional goals and objectives.
Ames Laboratory is a Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratory managed by Iowa State University (ISU) and designated a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). Roughly 95% of Laboratory funding comes from federal and state taxpayers, creating a special relationship of stewardship and trust with the public. Therefore, the COO is expected to exercise, model, and ensure the highest standards of business and operations accountability and transparency, demonstrating our responsibility to the citizens who support our research.
Reporting to the Laboratory Director, the COO has the primary responsibility of leading the day-to-day business operations of the Laboratory in accordance with the strategic plan and operating and capital budgets. The annual budget of the Laboratory is approximately $60M which supports 450 employees executing its scientific mission. The COO provides vision, leadership, and direction to Ames Laboratory's operations and business functions, and is primarily responsible for the administration and compliance of the contract between Iowa State University and the Department of Energy for the operation of Ames Laboratory. The COO leads and manages most operations of the Laboratory, overseeing a staff of 90 employees and managers with an annual budget of $17M.
The primary responsibilities of the COO are to:
Empower the operations team with the leadership and resources they need to successfully complete operations initiatives;
Assist the Director in developing and overseeing the long-term business strategies of the Laboratory;
Manage contract administration and compliance of the Iowa State University and the Department of Energy contract and negotiate changes where necessary;
Assist the Director in developing the annual Ames Laboratory Performance Evaluation Measurement Plan for evaluation by the Department of Energy;
Assess and manage the principal risks of the Laboratory;
Oversee the day-to-day operations of and improvement initiatives relating to the business of Ames Laboratory including: Business Services consisting of Accounting; Budget; Materials, Transportation, & Property; Purchasing and Travel Services; Enterprise Information Services; Facilities and Engineering Services; General Counsel; and Occupational Medicine;
Maintain a positive and ethical work environment that is conducive to attracting, retaining, and motivating a diverse group of top-quality employees at all levels;
Use analytical ability and inductive/deductive thinking to devise new approaches for highly complex challenges;
Develop, amend, or improve policies, procedures, or precedent for Laboratory operations;
Develop, in coordination with the Laboratory Director, an annual operating plan that supports the Laboratory's long-term operations strategy;
Be an active contributing member of the Laboratory's Executive Council;
Serve as an ex officio member of the Ames Laboratory Operations Review Committee and collaborate with chair, as needed, to set meeting priorities and topics;
Attend meetings, as requested by the Ames Laboratory Board and/or the Ames Laboratory Operations Review Committee, and present relevant information necessary to the Board or such Committee for discharging its duties;
Foster an inclusive corporate culture that promotes ethical practices, customer service, and encourages individual integrity;
Ensure there is an effective succession plan in place for the COO position and operations departments;
Develop and update a campus plan that provides for and supports the Laboratory's scientific mission;
Represent the Laboratory as a member of the National Laboratory Chief Operations Officer (NLCOO) committee as well as other national committees and working groups for operational issues;
Meet with University, city, state, and national leaders as needed;
Keep the Director fully informed of the conduct of the day-to-day operations of the Laboratory toward the achievement of its established goals and of all material deviations from the goals or objectives and policies established by the Board;
Ensure communications, resolution of issues, and project development with respect to operational matters;
Encourage the continued improvement of health, safety, and security practices for the Laboratory;
Perform other functions related to the office of the COO or as requested by the Director, Ames Laboratory Board, and the Ames Site Office;
Build strong relationships with colleagues at every level of the organization through effective listening, building trust, and empowering others to succeed.
Required Education and Experience:
Bachelor’s degree and 10 years of related experience; OR a Master’s degree and 8 years of related experience; OR a Ph.D. or other professional degree and 5 years of related experience.
Preferred Education and Experience:
Additional years of demonstrated high-level performance in leading and managing complex organizations.
An advanced degree in physical sciences, business administration, or related fields.
Experience working with the Department of Energy including experience administering a major federal government management and operations contract, understanding managing a scientific facility, overseeing compliance management, general operational processes, and federal reporting.
Demonstrated experience leading and managing a complex organization, providing effective oversight and guidance of operational, people management, and administrative matters. Experience hiring, developing, mentoring, and coaching staff for high performance.
Experience assessing and implementing new concepts for continuous improvement and process redesign.
Experience influencing both internal and external key stakeholders and decision-makers with supporting data and metrics.
Experience facilitating complex decisions requiring integrated input from a broad set of stakeholders.
Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with diverse populations and at all levels.
Demonstrated proficiency with computer systems including Microsoft Office Suite and Google applications.
Experience with a Financial Management System or Workday HCM and Financials.
This position serves at the pleasure of university administration and is exempt from certain P&S policies.
Iowa State University is classified as a Carnegie Foundation Doctoral/Research University-Extensive, a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), and ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top public universities in the nation. Over 36,000 students are enrolled and served by over 6,200 faculty and staff (see www.iastate.edu). Ames, Iowa is a progressive community of 60,000, located approximately 30 minutes north of Des Moines, and recently voted the best college town in the nation (see www.visitames.com).
Iowa State University is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity and strongly encourages applications from all qualified applicants, including women, underrepresented minorities, and veterans. ISU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples, is dedicated to work-life balance through an array of policies, and is an NSF ADVANCE institution.
Iowa State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status and will not be discriminated against.