Research Department Director, Engineering and Applied Sciences

RAND   •  

Arlington, VA

8 - 10 years

Posted 271 days ago

This job is no longer available.

Position Description

Lead and manage research department of approximately 200 research scientists and analysts and 100-150 adjunct staff in a matrixed organization across four major sites.  Develop and execute long-run strategic vision for the department and oversee all day-to-day operations.  Collaborate with all business units to hire, retain, and develop top research talent to support their workforce needs.  Develop annual business plan and manage department budgets (e.g., management labor, acculturation and onboarding, staff development, strategic gap coverage). Position is resourced at 65% time and is a 5-year renewable term. Position includes matching AA support.  Position reports to VP Global Research Talent. 35% of the position time will be spend on research projects.

Major responsibilities include:

  • Provide strategic leadership to department-level outreach and recruiting.
    • Represent department to externally facing audiences and organizations.
    • Provide leadership and direction to the Campus and Conference Recruiting Program to support department-hiring needs.
    • Provide leadership and direction to the Summer Associates program to develop a pipeline of talent from top departments.
  • Manage department-level applicant evaluation and hiring process and provide approval on offers.
    • Approximately 1000 applications are received annually for each department.
    • Hire approximately 25-35 new staff each year.
  • Represent research department in performance review and succession-planning processes.
    • Provide formal and informal evaluation and substantive recommendations for performance review packages each year.
    • Provide substantive inputs and recommendations for select staff in succession planning process.
  • Oversee personnel management for all department cases including coverage gaps, performance problems, policy non-compliance, and changes in status including separations and layoffs.
  • Manage and allocate resources to provide transitional support (e.g., onboarding and acculturation, strategic gap coverage) and support for developmental opportunities (e.g., staff development, leadership training).
  • Promote efficiency and effectiveness of internal labor market by leveraging information, technology, and networks to broker matches between individuals and projects.

  • Develop and manage department-wide staff development programs which may include speaker series, leveraging GRT programs, and development of specialized training to support department members and/or leverage department members expertise to cross-train other staff.
  • Facilitate the selection and training of rotating 3-year term associate directors across three major offices.

  • Participate in and work closely with VP GRT to set agenda of bimonthly council meetings.

  • Participate in Senior VP R&A bimonthly matrix management meetings.
  • Engage in annual unit business planning process to provide key support and inputs to GRT, units, and CFO’s office to develop annual unit-level workforce plans and to set hiring targets.

  • Collaborate with all other RAND units and departments including R&A, International, RSO, OEA, CFO, HR, Research Admin Ops, CTO, Pardee RAND, and RAND Europe to support their departmental agendas and to receive critical support to accomplish department and GRT agenda.
  • Provide input and support to key corporate strategic initiatives especially those that relate to the key objectives of increasing agility, innovation, profile, and impact.


Senior researcher, minimum 8 years’ experience with demonstrated record of broad institutional contributions and proven ability to leverage RAND’s research matrix particularly in the areas of people management and leadership of strategic initiatives; developing and managing cross-disciplinary teams; business development, managing client relationships, and project leadership across a range of business units and funding vehicles (e.g., contracts, grants, private sector); strong people management and interpersonal skills; and strong working relationships with top leadership.

Education Requirements

Master's or PhD in Engineering, Management Sciences, Operations Research, Physical Sciences, Information Science, Applied Mathematics or other related fields.


Minimum of 8 years’ experience.


Santa Monica, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Arlington, VA