Division Director, Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems

Division: Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ENG/ECCS)
Directorate: Engineering (ENG)
Job Type:
Senior Executive/Leadership
Appointment Type:
Temporary / Rotator
This job is open to the public

Application timeline

Date Posted:
Closing date: Open until filled

Position Summary

The Directorate for Engineering (ENG) announces a nationwide search to fill the position of Director, Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) through an assignment under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA).  The search will be opened until filled.

Position Description

The Division Director provides leadership and direction to the Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS), is a member of the Directorate for Engineering Leadership and Management Team and serves as NSF’s principal spokesperson in the engineering research areas supported by the ECCS Division. ECCS supports enabling and transformative engineering research at the nano, micro, and macro scales that fuels progress in engineering system applications with high societal impact. This includes fundamental engineering research underlying device and component technologies, power, controls, computation, networking, communications and cyber technologies, for a variety of application domains in healthcare, homeland security, disaster mitigation, telecommunications, energy, environment, transportation, manufacturing, and other systems-related areas. ECCS also supports new and emerging research areas encompassing 5G and Beyond Spectrum and Wireless Technologies, Quantum Information Science, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Big Data.

The Division Director has managerial and oversight responsibilities for the effective use of division staff and resources in meeting organizational goals and objectives.  This includes directing the activities of the ECCS Division, assessing the needs and trends in research and education related to the Division’s programs, implementing overall strategic planning, and policy setting.  Supervises and provides leadership and guidance to senior level ECCS staff (Deputy Division Director), program officers, administrative and support personnel.  Determines funding requirements, prepares and justifies the budget, balances program needs, allocates resources, oversees the evaluation of proposals and recommendations for awards and declinations, and represents NSF to relevant external groups.  Fosters partnerships with other Divisions, Directorates, Federal agencies, and the academic community to advance the mission and vision of ENG.

The successful candidate will possess an established record of significant achievement in research, administration, and increasing leadership responsibility in academe, industry or government.  Additionally, the Division Director must be experienced and competent in technical, financial and administrative management.  The incumbent must work well with people, be an effective communicator, and be committed to continuously develop the diversity of talents and skills of the team.

The position recruited under this announcement will be filled under the following appointment option(s):

Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Assignment: Individuals eligible for an IPA assignment with a Federal agency include employees of State and local government agencies or institutions of higher education, Indian tribal governments, and other eligible organizations in instances where such assignments would be of mutual benefit to the organizations involved. Initial assignments under IPA provisions may be made for a period up to two years, with a possible extension for up to an additional two-year period. The individual remains an employee of the home institution and NSF provides the negotiated funding toward the assignee's salary and benefits. Initial IPA assignments are made for a one-year period and may be extended by mutual agreement. 

It is NSF policy that NSF personnel employed at or IPAs detailed to NSF are not permitted to participate in foreign government talent recruitment programs.  Failure to comply with this NSF policy could result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from Federal Service or termination of an IPA assignment and referral to the Office of Inspector General. https://www.nsf.gov/careers/Definition-of-Foreign-Talent-HRM.pdf.

Applications will be accepted from U.S. Citizens. Recent changes in Federal Appropriations Law require Non-Citizens to meet certain eligibility criteria to be considered. Therefore, Non-Citizens must certify eligibility by signing and attaching this Citizenship Affidavit to their application. Non-Citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered eligible. Non-Citizens are not eligible for positions requiring a security clearance.

To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

Executive/Managerial Requirements

  1. Leading Change. Demonstrated ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals.  Includes the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.


  1. Leading People. Demonstrated ability to lead people toward meeting the organization’s vision, mission, and goals.  Includes the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.


  1. Results-Driven Leadership. Demonstrated ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations.  Includes the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.


  1. Business Acumen. Demonstrated ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.   


  1. Building Coalitions. Demonstrated ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

Professional/Technical Requirements

  1. Education, strongly preferred at Ph.D. level, or equivalent professional experience or a combination of education and equivalent experience in electrical and computer engineering or a closely related field in engineering or the physical sciences.
  1. Substantial research contributions and strong evidence of scholarship in areas related to research of electrical, communications and cyber systems as evidenced in publications, innovative leadership in research administration, and/or professional leadership and awards in these technical areas.
  1. Skill in balancing complex and diverse program demands and available resources in response to major advances or changing needs of science and engineering research and technology and demonstrated ability to exercise sound professional judgment in recommending the initiation of research in the field of engineering.

  2. Broad understanding of universities and other institutions where research and education in science and engineering is conducted.  Knowledge of grant administration and fiscal management and budget preparation with experience in engineering research support.

Conditions of Employment:  Applications will be accepted from U.S. Citizens only. Appointment to this position is contingent upon successful completion of the appropriate background investigation and selectee must have or be able to obtain a (Secret) Government security clearance.


Application Instructions:  Please submit a current CV accompanied by a cover letter or supplemental statement that addresses the qualification requirements of the position.  Applications should be transmitted electronically to execsrch@nsf.gov 

General professional inquiries should be directed to:

Dr. Jose Zayas-Castro, Division Director, ENG/EEC

Search Committee Chair



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