Atmosphere Section Head, Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences

Division: Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (GEO/AGS)
Directorate: Geosciences (GEO)
Job Type:
Senior Executive/Leadership
Appointment Type:
Temporary / Rotator
This job is open to the public

Application timeline

Date Posted:
Closing date:

Position Summary

The Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) announces a nationwide search to fill the position of Section Head, Atmosphere Section in the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) through an assignment under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA). The deadline for the submission of applications is February 15, 2021.

Position Description

The Section Head serves as a member of the Division leadership team and as the Directorate's principal spokesperson in the area of lower atmosphere research. The incumbent is responsible to the AGS Division Director for the overall planning, management and commitment of budgeted funds for the Section, which includes programs in Atmospheric Chemistry, Climate and Large-scale Dynamics, Physical and Dynamic Meteorology, and Paleoclimate. The incumbent also serves as the Division's primary source of guidance concerning research priorities and program development in atmospheric sciences.


The incumbent is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Section, including developing and executing management plans for assigned projects and evaluating and ensuring the effective us of Section staff and resources in achieving organizational goals. S/he also develops and maintains effective liaison with officials in the scientific community, other Federal, state, and local governments, and the private sector to represent Foundation and Division activities and interests and represents the Division on committees, boards, and panels in areas of expertise.

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.

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 the Ph.D. level, or equivalent professional experience, or a combination of education and equivalent experience in atmospheric sciences or a closely related field.


  1. Substantial research contributions and strong evidence of scholarship in atmospheric sciences and/or related disciplines, as evidenced by publications, innovative leadership in research administration, and professional leadership and awards.


  1. Skill in balancing complex and diverse program demands and available resources in response to major advances and/or changing needs of atmospheric sciences research and technology, and demonstrated ability to exercise sound professional judgment in the initiation of research in the field of atmospheric sciences.


  1. Broad understanding of universities and other academic institutions and/or large facilities where research and education in atmospheric sciences is conducted, including knowledge of grant and contract administration and fiscal management with experience in scientific research support.

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 The subject line of your email should note that the application is for the AGS Atmosphere Section Head recruitment.


Applications will be accepted from U.S. Citizens only. Appointment to this position is contingent upon successful completion of the appropriate background investigation.


General professional inquiries should be directed to:

Dr. Alexandra Isern

Deputy Assistant Director, GEO


Phone: 703-292-7581

Apply by Email