Director General

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Vienna, Austria
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


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The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), a world renowned membership organization advancing systems science, is seeking a highly qualified scientific leader for the position of Director General, beginning September 1, 2018.

The Position

The Director General (DG) is responsible for the overall management and direction of the Institute, including its scientific leadership and impact, its day-to-day operations, its fiscal soundness, and the international recognition of IIASA’s work.  Reporting to the IIASA Council, made up of representatives of the national scientific institutions that fund the Institute, the DG will oversee and guide a diverse research program that produces insights into complex global problems through interdisciplinary models and analyses and promotes the development of systems analysis as an independent scientific discipline. The DG also exercises administrative responsibility for an international staff of over 300 scientists and support personnel.

Together, the DG and the Council develop the Institute’s long-term research strategy and goals. The DG must be an inspiring leader who can work effectively with a team of research program directors to set a research plan that achieves the Institute’s strategic goals, builds on IIASA’s distinctive expertise, and promotes internal collaboration. The DG must be an effective advocate for international cooperation who can work with the National Member Organizations (NMOs) and other scientific and policy making bodies to ensure effective scientific collaboration, to develop global research networks, and to advance a long term strategy for real-world impact. The DG also engages in fund raising to support the Institute’s research efforts. To assist in carrying out the responsibilities of the office, the DG has a Deputy DG as well as a Directorate Office of five staff. Specifically, the DG will:

• Work with the Institute’s scientists to generate a focused research agenda that produces (1) impactful insights into complex global problems through systems analyses and (2) fosters a clear institutional identity within the international science and policy community. In particular, the new Director General will lead the development of IIASA’s new strategy for the coming decade (2021-2030) and its next five-year research plan (2021-25).

• Ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are in place in order to establish the most effective and efficient environment for research to flourish.

• Deliver value to the 23 IIASA National Member Organizations that provide the core funding of the Institute, engaging in extensive interaction with relevant bodies in current member countries and attracting new members.

Candidate Qualifications and Experience

Candidates should demonstrate a compelling vision for IIASA and combine excellent organizational leadership and research management skills with scientific credentials and achievement commensurate with IIASA’s stature. The ideal candidate will also bring exceptional diplomatic ability and broad experience in interdisciplinary research and policy applications in the international arena. Specifically, a candidate should demonstrate the following qualifications:

Demonstrated ability to lead and inspire scientists and staff addressing a wide variety of interdisciplinary and multi-national scientific endeavors in the areas of global, environmental, economic, technological, and social change; and to manage an annual budget of more than 20 million euro. Experience directing a research institute is preferred, including developing an institute strategy, aligning its activities and resources, managing a budget and staff, and evaluating the impact and results of a strategy;

Scientific credentials and recognition by the international scientific community, coupled with broad-based scientific knowledge in a wide range of natural and social sciences, including an appreciation and understanding of the application of systems analysis to global problems;

Experience in change management in a competitive scientific environment;

Communication  and interpersonal skills necessary to foster international collaborations and expand participation and interaction among IIASA’s member countries; host world leaders; address international scientific and policy-making bodies and international media; and create and reinforce multilateral collaborations between IIASA and institutions within the NMOs.

Applicants should demonstrate excellent written and spoken English, the working language of the Institute.

The Institute

IIASA is an interdisciplinary, international research institution that conducts applied and theoretical systems analysis studies addressing a range of critical issues. The Institute is sponsored by the governments of member nation and augmented by grants from foundations, international institutions, and other research agencies.

IIASA’s programs undertake research across, and at the intersection of natural, human, social, and technological systems, to support the development of integrated solutions to global sustainability challenges. To advance this agenda, the Institute draws on decades of experience in advancing systems analysis methodology and tools and applying them to transboundary air pollution, energy utilization, risk management, integrated land management, technological evolution, population dynamics, and social and economic transition, among others. With recent expansion in IIASA’s membership beyond the industrialized nations of its origins, the Institute increasingly includes capacity building as an important component of collaborative research, educational programs, and outreach activities.

IIASA is located near Vienna, Austria. Salary and benefits are competitive with comparable international organizations. Relocation allowance and on-site housing are included.

Application and Selection

The Institute’s management and staff alike are committed to a working environment that promotes equality, diversity, and tolerance. The Institute encourages applications from all qualified candidates.
To apply, please submit 1) a letter of application describing how your skills and experience meet the qualifications above as well as a brief statement about your interest in the DG position, (2) a CV including a description of scientific and professional achievements and bibliography, and (3) contact information for three references. Nominations and applications, including the individual attachments listed above, should be submitted online using the link below.

Review of applications will begin on 15 March 2018, but applications may be accepted until a Director General is selected.  In the case that candidates are equally qualified, preference will be given to applicants who are nationals of IIASA member countries.

For more information about IIASA and this position, visit If you have further questions, you may contact the Search Committee Chair, Michael Clegg or representatives of the IIASA National Member Organizations (NMOs). Information for the NMOs is available at:

IIASA has retained the executive search firm, Isaacson, Miller in partnership with Perrett Laver to assist in the recruitment of the Director General. John Muckle and Josephine Scholten are leading this search with Vijay Saraswat and Jack Bircher. 

IIASA Search Committee Chair: Michael Clegg -   - 1(949) 824-4490

Perrett Laver: Josephine Scholten, Partner - - 0031(0)202404389