Chief External Affairs/Director, Spectrum Programs

Executive Management Washington, D.C., District Of Columbia



Chief Government Affairs Officer/Director, Spectrum

September 2020


 Chief External Affairs/Director, Spectrum Programs


Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI)


Date: September 2020

Job Title:  Chief External Affairs Officer and Director, Spectrum Programs

Reports to:  Chief Executive Officer

Department: AUI

Job Status: Regular full-time 


FLSA Status:  Exempt

Work Schedule: 

Amount of Travel Required:

Positions Supervised:

Communications Specialist

Organization Breakdown Structure (OBS):



Position Description


Position Summary

Reporting to the AUI President/Chief Executive Officer, this position contains two key areas by serving as the Chief External Affairs Officer and the Director, Spectrum Programs. As the Chief External Affairs Officer, this position will lead AUI’s external affairs activities, including having oversight of AUI’s governmental, legislature, and regulatory affairs responsibilities and communications. This position will produce work aimed at supporting and strengthening AUI’s mission and managing relationships with key constituents to influence policy and drive AUI’s external relations strategy across multiple regulatory and legislative bodies. As the Director, Spectrum Programs, this position will lead AUI’s spectrum innovation and policy activities through partnering with the VP for Radio Astronomy Operations. This position serves as part of the senior management team and collaboratively works to develop and execute organizational strategic goals and objectives. The job will be at AUI Headquarters in downtown Washington, DC.




Key responsibilities and duties will include, but are not limited to:

Chief External Affairs Officer

Lead AUI’s external affairs activities, including:

  • Leading the development and implementation of the corporate communications and government relations strategy;
  • Management, coordination, and oversight of its contracted government relations firm(s) for federal, state, and local affairs;
  • Engaging federal policy makers to directly represent AUI’s interests on select high priority matters, in particular ngVLA (The Next Generation Very Large Array) and other major radio astronomy initiatives;
  • Maintaining positive, trusted working relationships with policy makers and other stakeholders in the astronomy and spectrum policy arenas; and,
  • Communicating important issues and developments to the AUI President, the leadership team, and the Board of Trustees (as necessary).


Director, Spectrum Programs

Lead AUI’s spectrum innovation and policy activities in close coordination with the VP for Radio Astronomy Operations, including:

  • Oversees preparation and serves as co-PI of full proposal to NSF’s Spectrum Innovation Initiative for the SII-Center award;
  • Organizes broad national collaboration from academia, NRAO, national labs, and industry, with AUI as the central honest broker and convener;
  • Secures role in collaboration for AUI to build and operate unique, best-in-class research infrastructure, and sufficient pass-through funding to help drive technology choices and R&D priorities;
  • Serves as primary face of and spokesperson for the Center in Washington, engaging all relevant stakeholders, with primary responsibility to represent the scientific use of the spectrum;
  • Lead development of the NRDZ concept, including stakeholder identification and consultation, concept definition and communication, culminating in a NRDZ conceptual design deliverable for the NSF;
  • Oversees the development of facilities and corporate expertise to position AUI as a leading organization in spectrum-efficient technologies and regulatory evaluations;
  • Identify other potential new revenue streams to further the AUI mission in this arena;
  • Oversee the preparation of internal and external project reviews and reports; and,
  • Effectively communicates project and program status with funder(s), keeping all interested parties in the project informed of progress and any issues which may arise.






















Position Requirements

Minimum Education

Advanced degree in a scientific or engineering field, preferably in physics, astronomy, or electrical/electronic engineering. Doctorate degree preferred.


Minimum Experience

Minimum 15 years of progressive experience in working with government relations, policy and communications at the federal, state, and local levels. Minimum of 5 years of supervisory/management experience.

Successful completion of a background check is a condition of employment and is required by all selected candidates.


Preferred Qualifications and Competencies

                      Demonstrated track record of developing strategic plans and successfully executing and influencing outcomes, particularly related to science policy.

                      Experience working with Congress and the Executive Branch, particularly on federal regulatory policy.

                      Experience and extensive knowledge with the National Science Foundation a significant plus.

                      Ability to communicate effectively to all levels of the organization, as well as to outside stakeholders both verbally, and in writing.

                      Excellent interpersonal skills to include working with clients, employees, management, and peer security professionals at external agencies a must.

                      Excellent analytical, communication, presentation, time management and problem-solving skills.

                      Entrepreneurial spirit with a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and influence others.