Director of the Critical Materials Institute

3 days left

Ames, IA
Commensurate with qualifications
Nov 15, 2017
Dec 15, 2017
Field of specialization
Energy, Materials
Job Type
Full time

The Critical Materials Institute (CMI), a Department of Energy Innovation Hub, is seeking nominations and applications for the position of Director.  The CMI is headquartered at Ames Laboratory, which is a government-owned, contractor-operated research facility of the Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and situated on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, IA.

The Director of the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) is responsible for managing, developing, guiding, and advancing the mission of CMI, a Department of Energy Innovation Hub headquartered at Ames Laboratory. The Ames Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated research facility of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and situated on the campus of Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames, Iowa. CMI is a national, multi-institutional partnership that brings together multi-disciplinary, world-class researchers, and industry partners. This team is dedicated to finding innovative scientific and technical solutions and carving creative, transformational paths to eliminate materials criticality through diversification of supplies; development of substitutes; improvement of usage efficiency, reuse, and recycling; and cross-cutting research. CMI has organized sustained, coordinated, cross-disciplinary efforts to identify urgent problems and is developing short-, intermediate- and long-term solutions across the entire lifecycle of critical materials driving our nation’s energy future.

CMI is a uniquely motivated and talented team of over 300 scientists, engineers, and support staff embodying a collective skill set, experience, and strengths that cover every aspect of the Institute’s mission and operations. Partnering institutes of CMI include 7 universities, 12 industrial team members, and 4 DOE national laboratories.

The Director is responsible for all aspects of the management of the Critical Materials Institute. S/he defines and guides the scientific initiatives of the CMI, develops a compelling and viable vision for the continuation and advancement of the scientific future of the CMI, develops a strategic plan that will help realize that vision, and leads the effective and optimal execution of that strategy. The Director is the voice of CMI in relations with the federal government, most notably DOE, and is expected to be a strong proponent of the CMI in pursuing its successes and securing funding opportunities. The Director provides leadership for the development, prioritization, and approval of the CMI budget and scientific strategic plan that will build on current strengths, help strategically align the CMI to take advantage of emerging opportunities, and diversify its research support. The Director uses the resources within the CMI and partnering facilities to recruit and retain top scientists and managers. S/he actively participates in the technology transfer initiatives and public affairs/education activities of the CMI. The Director provides overall leadership in safety and security, human resources, and budget submissions and requests. S/he must effectively communicate with the DOE, stakeholders, national and international scientific institutions, and other national laboratories.

The Director is responsible for the effective, responsible, and safe operation of the CMI, including its government-owned facilities and property at Ames Laboratory. S/he is the champion for Integrated Safety Management (ISM) and is responsible for overseeing the safety and security of the CMI’s employees and assets. This includes being the leader in developing and maintaining a system of cyber security that protects the CMI, Ames Laboratory, the DOE National Laboratory system, and where applicable CMI affiliated organizations (universities, companies, and not-for-profit laboratories).

The Director is responsible for the financial stability and sustainability of the CMI. S/he provides leadership for the development, prioritization, and approval of the CMI budget.

The successful candidate will be a visionary and strategic thought leader that will take CMI to the next level. The individual will need to possess an entrepreneurial spirit and be able to manage a large, complex research organization. An understanding of both fundamental and applied science along with how to bridge technology between the two will be necessary for success in this position. The Director will be an effective communicator with internal and external stakeholders and able to establish productive working relationships. Balancing competing priorities will be another skill necessary for success.

Required Qualifications:

  • 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.
  • Degree in Chemistry, Materials Sciences, Physics, or related field.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Outstanding scientific credentials with an international stature and a reputation for having made groundbreaking contributions to her/his field.
  • A proven record of visionary leadership and effective management of multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional teams.
  • Research and managerial experience with critical materials.
  • An understanding of federal funding agencies and preferably prior experience with the DOE and other government agencies: knowledge of culture, how funding decisions are made, and the rapidly changing environment of federal funding agencies.
  • Experience developing programs with offices of the DOE and/or with other public and/or private customers.
  • Demonstrated success working with industry and developing sponsored funding.
  • Experience commercializing science and technology.

Applications must be submitted online at

Nominations and inquiries should be sent to  Position description available at:

To guarantee consideration, applications must be submitted by December 31, 2017.

Ames Laboratory/Iowa State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Ames Laboratory/Iowa State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against. Inquiries can be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity, 3410 Beardshear Hall, 515 Morrill Road, 515 294-7612, email