Software Development Deputy Assistant Director (4705)

Executive Management Charlottesville, Virginia Socorro, New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico


Position Description:


Position Summary

Lead the teams building and maintaining the software for the world’s foremost Radio Telescopes! The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is seeking to recruit an experienced software leader to serve as head of our software development division.


The Software Division (SD) is part of the Data Management and Software (DMS) Department and includes the groups developing software at various NRAO sites (Charlottesville, Albuquerque, and Socorro). The Software Division is responsible for development and maintenance of software to support all NRAO facilities, including the JVLA, ALMA, and proposed ngVLA telescope.  This position is responsible for managing the Software Division of the NRAO including programmatic, technical, and all personnel aspects. Directs all line management software group managers at the NRAO, some of whom are also functionally/matrix managed to telescope operations or projects (matrix management). Organization includes approximately 8 direct reports (group leaders) and a total software division staff of about 55.


The preferred location for the position will be based at one of NRAO Sites (Charlottesville VA, Socorro or Albuquerque NM). A remote work arrangement within the continental United States might also be possible.


In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Job Duties Summary

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Manages all programmatic, technical, and personnel aspects of the Software Division.
  • Provides programmatic management involving oversight of; development planning and budgets of the various groups within the Software Division including regular reporting on development status, compliance with deadlines, with periodic presentations to NRAO senior management or advisory bodies in formal or informal reviews.
  • Responsible for providing coherent and dependable planning across the division, following also the Observatory project management procedures. Particularly, focusing on projects that have an observatory wide perspective, while keeping orderly but pro-active interactions with the other departments that act as stakeholders and users.
  • Provides technical management, particularly on projects that concern different Software Division groups and/or are particularly visible, promotes discussion and collaboration among groups while maintaining a consistent view and quality of implementation across all of the software. As part of the technical management, this position must lead a process that maintains and extends cross-observatory technical standards and development best practices.
  • Personnel management concerns building and maintaining a culture of trust, mutual collaboration, accountability, and excellence within the Software Division and with the division Stakeholders. The incumbent will seek to increase the diversity and inclusion of the Software Division workforce through robust recruiting and hiring practices. The administrative part of this work involves review of timesheets and periodic performance reviews, including interacting with the Human Resources and Business departments of the Observatory when necessary.
  • Works closely with DMS Systems Architect and DMS Software Architect to ensure detailed design and implementation are in agreement with Enterprise and System Architecture.
  • Effectively communicates technical and strategic information to (and among) group leads, stakeholders and scientists. Facilitates and participates in top-level technical discussions and decision-making process.
  • Interfaces with ALMA-ICT and ngVLA-CIPT to manage production and delivery of software and documentation to these stakeholders.
  • Provides consultancy and support on request of the Assistant Director for Data Management and Software and other senior management on any matters that are relevant for NRAO.

Work Environment

Work is typically performed in an office setting within a research or development environment. Ability to travel by air carrier both domestic and international is required.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Bachelor's degree in computer science, physics, or astronomy is required.


Minimum Experience

  • At least 7 years of successful, relevant, and documented experience acquired in the management of a large software program (preferably multiple projects) over the entire software development lifecycle is required, preferably within the domain of astronomy.
  • Demonstrated experience with software project planning (definition, documentation, tracking) from project inception through the maintenance phase.
  • Demonstrated experience with software development practices/methodology: requirements gathering, analysis/design, development, configuration control, integration and test. Experience with multiple methodologies, including agile, is desirable.
  • Ability and domain competence to interact effectively with a team of expert /highly experienced software managers at the Observatory and the capacity to take initiatives to improve on present practices when appropriate.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop, maintain, and communicate a software development plan. Capacity to assess impact and react to change requests based on desirable deliverables internal to NRAO, NRAO Projects, and from the external community.
  • Experience working with a geographically distributed team.

Preferred Education

Advanced degree in a related field is desirable.


Preferred Experience

Relevant experience or familiarity with Astronomy and Observatories.


Competency Summary

  • Strong interpersonal skills and clear English communication, both verbal and written.
  • Disciplined highly organized leadership and management.


Additional Requirement

The Observatory requires staff to be up-to-date regarding vaccinated against covid-19 to access our facilities. An offer of employment will be considered contingent until the selected applicant provides proof of vaccination. A selected applicant may request consideration for an accommodation for a disability or for a sincerely held religious belief.


Application Instructions:

Select the Apply button. Please be prepared to upload your current CV/Resume and a cover letter describing interest and suitability for the position.

Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:


AUI is an equal opportunity employer. Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. To view our complete statement, please visit If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to [email protected].



The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.