Director of the Global Water Security Center
Job Summary: Assistant Research Personnel conduct research with various faculty members on a variety of projects. Research is supported from contracts and grants awarded for specific time periods. Positions are non-tenure earning staff positions, and may vary in duration, depending on the conditions of the research contract, grant, or project.
Additional Department Summary: The University of Alabama (UA) seeks a visionary full-time founding Director of the Global Water Security Center within the Alabama Water Institute (AWI). The Director will report directly to the Executive Director of AWI, and will hold a non-tenure earning staff position at UA. The mission of the Global Water Security Center (GWSC) is to provide high-level decision makers the most reliable information, ground-breaking research, applied scientific techniques and best practices so that the hydrologic cycle and all of its potential impacts on geopolitical events can be put in a context for appropriate action and response by the United States. UA, having doubled in size since 2002, is the nation’s fastest-growing flagship university. UA currently enrolls more than 38,500 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and now attracts more than half of its students from out-of-state. Additionally, in recent years UA has invested $2.5 billion in campus buildings and infrastructure, including over $400 million in world-class research facilities. As part of the Peter Bryce Campus acquisition, the University also has significant land and facility holdings available for allocation to the research mission. External grants and contracts for research, instruction, service and fellowship reached record levels for UA in fiscal year 2018, and have grown by 85 percent over the last five years. In December 2018, the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education designated UA as a Very High Research Activity doctoral university or “R1,” this is the nation’s highest level of research activity for institutions that grant doctoral degrees and places UA among the most elite, public or private, research universities in the United States. Building on this momentum, with a forward-looking focus on growth in faculty and research prominence, UA plans to significantly increase the size of the tenured and tenure-track faculty in the coming years, with an eye toward research synergies and addressing our national and global challenges. These investments create exciting opportunities, perhaps unique in the nation, in terms of the potential for research advancements over the coming decade. Water is a signature research and academic focus at UA, and the AWI was formed to find new ways and innovative solutions for complex water management, security, and policies initiatives. It promotes applied research and knowledge gains in areas of remote sensing, biodiversity of aquatic systems, hydro-informatics and disaster management. AWI is a foundation of UA’s Strategic Plan to “Increase the University’s productivity and innovation in research, scholarship, and creative activities that impact economic and societal development.” AWI is one of four campus-wide signature research institutes under the Office for Research and Economic Development at UA. AWI is an umbrella organization, consisting of a set of core facilities and research centers and institutes. Current affiliated centers and laboratories include the Center for Complex Hydrosystems Research, Center for Water Quality Research, Center for Freshwater Studies, Center for Sedimentary Basin Studies, Surface Dynamics Modeling Lab, and Remote Sensing Center. In addition, AWI will also serve as an incubator for the development of new centers, such as the Global Water Security Center. Faculty from multiple UA departments are affiliated with AWI including Biological Sciences, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Geological Sciences, Geography, and Mathematics. AWI fosters collaboration across the University, as well as with other academic institutions, industry, state and federal governmental agencies, and private foundations. For example, UA is a member of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab/Alabama Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium as well as Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and AWI has an important leadership role in each. The University of Alabama’s campus is also home to the National Water Center (NWC). The NWC collaboratively develops and delivers state-of-the-science national hydrologic analyses, forecast information, data, decision-support services and guidance to support and inform essential emergency services and water management decisions. The NWC coordinates, integrates and supports consistent water prediction activities from global to local levels. The strong presence of NWC on UA’s campus provides unequaled opportunity for collaboration and partnership.
Required Department Minimum Qualifications: Required Qualifications of the Director will include: • Master's degree in physical sciences related to Earth System Science, management, international development, or related field. Position will regularly interface with atmospheric and environmental scientists, geophysics, engineers, and lawyers and must be able to converse on the appropriate level. • Minimum 15 years of professional experience implementing complex environmental security programs. • Demonstrated capabilities in high-level strategic visioning and leadership, and working effectively with society, local, regional, national and international authorities. • Demonstrated understanding of water security concepts and approaches. • Prior documented experience building partnerships and promoting innovative program initiatives. • Demonstrated leadership, management, organizational, and decision-making skills as well as professional maturity, versatility, discretion, service, and integrity. • Proven ability to diplomatically coordinate programs with partners from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. • Demonstrated ability to build coalitions and networks that can provide synergies and sustainable solutions for water security, resilience, and climate change adaptation. • Evidence of advanced skill to communicate orally and in writing with ability to articulate complex issues, and develop and maintain effective interpersonal relations.
Skills and Knowledge: The Director of the Global Water Security Center will have the following responsibilities: • Coordinate, develop, and recommend positions and approaches for interagency and international integration for the purpose of improving global water security science, and research and development employment. • Maintain full awareness of Department of State (DoS), Department of Defense (DoD), Intelligence Community (IC), federal and international government agencies, academic, and commercial's operational and research/development activities applicable to AWI's mission of providing global water security leadership, and recommends appropriate science for evaluation and integration to meet these agencies' water security requirements. • Devise strategies to efficiently incorporate global water science, engineering, and policy with representatives of other federal agencies to include DoS, DoD, USACE, USGS, NOAA, NASA, and other international agencies involving interagency agreements, and exchange of technical and/or scientific information. • Actively develop partnerships to strengthen capacity of institutions and augment the overall impact and sustainability of water security activities. • Routinely engage with White House, Congress, DoS, DoD, IC, other US federal agencies, and international water security community. • Maintain professional national and international liaison with military, industry, government agencies, and academic activities regarding global water security. • Prepare and deliver oral presentations such as briefings, science-based education sessions, consultations, and strategy sessions to secure cooperation and convey information relative to AWI. • Effectively assist the Executive Director in technical planning and employing resources to achieve mission objectives. • Monitor program indicators, evaluate program results, and make recommendations for improvement in program implementation to meet or exceed objectives.
Preferred Qualifications: The planned start date is October 1, 2020 but is negotiable. Only applicants currently legally eligible to work in the United States will be considered. This is an open, national and rolling search. Review of applications will begin immediately as they are received. Candidates meeting all of the required qualifications may be contacted immediately for inquiry and interview. It is possible that a preferred candidate may be selected as other applications are still being received. Therefore, the most serious and qualified candidates are encouraged to submit their application as soon as possible. Application materials should include: 1) a full and updated resume, 2) cover letter summarizing the interest in the position and how the required qualifications are met, and 3) a list of four references with full contact information. However, references will only be contacted after written consent of the candidate.
Background Investigation Statement: Prior to hiring, the final candidate(s) must successfully pass a pre-employment background investigation and information obtained from social media and other internet sources. A prior conviction reported as a result of the background investigation DOES NOT automatically disqualify a candidate from consideration for this position. A candidate with a prior conviction or negative behavioral red flags will receive an individualized review of the prior conviction or negative behavioral red flags before a hiring decision is made.
Equal Employment Opportunity: The University of Alabama is an Equal Employment/Equal Educational Opportunity Institution. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment or volunteer status without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, age, genetic or family medical history information, disability, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected basis, and will not be discriminated against because of their protected status. Applicants and employees of this institution are protected under Federal law from discrimination on several bases. Follow the link below to find out more. "EEO is the Law" Poster
Advertised: 07 May 2020 Central Daylight Time
Applications close: 21 May 2020 Central Daylight Time