Director of the Critical Materials Institute

Position Details

Classification Information

University Title Director III - 1031
Pay Grade 40
Salary Commensurate with qualifications
Base of Employment P - P&S
Job Category Professional and Scientific
Pay Frequency Monthly

Posting Details

Posting Number 70543P
Working Title Director of the Critical Materials Institute
Advertised Employing Department Ames Laboratory
Appointment Type Professional & Scientific - Continuous
Proposed Start Date As soon as possible
Proposed End Date or Length of Term
Number of Months Employed Per Year 12
Full or Part Time Full-Time
Summary of Duties and Responsibilities

The Director of the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) is responsible for managing, developing, guiding, and advancing the mission of CMI, a Department of Energy Innovation Hub headquartered at Ames Laboratory. The Ames Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated research facility of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and situated on the campus of Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames, Iowa. CMI is a national, multi-institutional partnership that brings together multi-disciplinary, world-class researchers, and industry partners. This team is dedicated to finding innovative scientific and technical solutions and carving creative, transformational paths to eliminate materials criticality through diversification of supplies; development of substitutes; improvement of usage efficiency, reuse, and recycling; and cross-cutting research. CMI has organized sustained, coordinated, cross-disciplinary efforts to identify urgent problems and is developing short-, intermediate- and long-term solutions across the entire lifecycle of critical materials driving our nation’s energy future.

CMI is a uniquely motivated and talented team of over 300 scientists, engineers, and support staff embodying a collective skill set, experience, and strengths that cover every aspect of the Institute’s mission and operations. Partnering institutes of CMI include 7 universities, 12 industrial team members, and 4 DOE national laboratories.

The Director is responsible for all aspects of the management of the Critical Materials Institute. S/he defines and guides the scientific initiatives of the CMI, develops a compelling and viable vision for the continuation and advancement of the scientific future of the CMI, develops a strategic plan that will help realize that vision, and leads the effective and optimal execution of that strategy. The Director is the voice of CMI in relations with the federal government, most notably DOE, and is expected to be a strong proponent of the CMI in pursuing its successes and securing funding opportunities. The Director provides leadership for the development, prioritization, and approval of the CMI budget and scientific strategic plan that will build on current strengths, help strategically align the CMI to take advantage of emerging opportunities, and diversify its research support. The Director uses the resources within the CMI and partnering facilities to recruit and retain top scientists and managers. S/he actively participates in the technology transfer initiatives and public affairs/education activities of the CMI. The Director provides overall leadership in safety and security, human resources, and budget submissions and requests. S/he must effectively communicate with the DOE, stakeholders, national and international scientific institutions, and other national laboratories.

The Director is responsible for the effective, responsible, and safe operation of the CMI, including its government-owned facilities and property at Ames Laboratory. S/he is the champion for Integrated Safety Management (ISM) and is responsible for overseeing the safety and security of the CMI’s employees and assets. This includes being the leader in developing and maintaining a system of cyber security that protects the CMI, Ames Laboratory, the DOE National Laboratory system, and where applicable CMI affiliated organizations (universities, companies, and not-for-profit laboratories).

The Director is responsible for the financial stability and sustainability of the CMI. S/he provides leadership for the development, prioritization, and approval of the CMI budget.

The successful candidate will be a visionary and strategic thought leader that will take CMI to the next level. The individual will need to possess an entrepreneurial spirit and be able to manage a large, complex research organization. An understanding of both fundamental and applied science along with how to bridge technology between the two will be necessary for success in this position. The Director will be an effective communicator with internal and external stakeholders and able to establish productive working relationships. Balancing competing priorities will be another skill necessary for success.

About Iowa State University and the Ames Community

Iowa State University is classified as a Carnegie Foundation Doctoral/Research University-Extensive, a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), and ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top public universities in the nation. More than 36,000 students are enrolled and are served by over 6,200 faculty and staff.

Iowa State University is a global and culturally diverse university committed to providing an inclusive, equitable, and diverse environment for both learning and employment. We know that diversity in experience and perspective is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and building an inclusive academic community. At Iowa State, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituents. The university has an expectation that all employees will demonstrate a contribution to diversity and inclusion as embodied in Iowa State University’s Principles of Community.

Ames, Iowa is a progressive community of 60,000, located approximately 30 minutes north of Des Moines, and recently voted one of the best college towns in the nation.

Iowa State University is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity and strongly encourages applications from all qualified applicants, including women, underrepresented populations, and veterans. ISU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples, is dedicated to work-life balance through an array of policies, and is an NSF ADVANCE institution.

All employees are expected to exhibit and convey good citizenship within the program, the department, college, university activities, collegial interactions, and maintain the highest standards of integrity and ethical behavior.

Required Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree and 10 years of related experience; OR a Master’s degree and 8 years of related experience; OR a Ph.D. or other professional degree and 5 years of related experience.

Supplemental Required Education and Experience

Degree in Chemistry, Materials Sciences, Physics, or related field.

Preferred Education and Experience

- Outstanding scientific credentials with an international stature and a reputation for having made groundbreaking contributions to her/his field.
- A proven record of visionary leadership and effective management of multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional teams.
- Research and managerial experience with critical materials.
- Experience which demonstrates an understanding of federal funding agencies, preferably prior experience with the DOE and other government agencies.
- Experience developing programs with offices of the DOE and/or with other public and/or private customers.
- Demonstrated success working with industry and developing sponsored funding.
- Experience commercializing science and technology.

Location (if other than Ames)
Additional Information

This position serves at the pleasure of university administration and is exempt from certain P&S policies.

Position involves considerable travel.

The Guaranteed Consideration Date has been extended.

Department Contact Name Chelsey Aisenbrey
Department Contact Phone 515-294-2680
Department Contact Email
Department/Unit Website
Application Instructions

To apply for this position, please click on “Apply for this Job” and complete the Employment Application. Please be prepared to enter or attach the following:

1) Resume/Curriculum Vitae
2) Letter of Application/Cover Letter
3) Contact Information for Three References

If you have questions regarding this application process, please email or call 515-294-4800 or Toll Free: 1-877-477-7485.

Special Instructions Summary

To guarantee consideration, please apply by December 10, 2017; however, applications may be submitted until the position is filled.

Guaranteed Consideration Date 12/31/2017
Pre-Employment Screening

All offers of employment, oral and written, are contingent upon the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by federal and state law, ISU policies/procedures, and may include the completion of a background check and/or a consumer credit check.

Quick Link
EO Statement

Iowa State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against. Inquiries can be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity, 3410 Beardshear Hall, 515 Morrill Road, 515 294-7612, email

Required Licensure(s)/Certification(s)

Preferred Licensure(s)/Certification(s)

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Where did you first learn about this vacancy?
    • ISU Employment Opportunities Website
    • ISU Employee
    • Website
    • Placement Office
    • Trade Journal
    • Newspaper
    • HERC Website
    • LinkedIN
    • Facebook
    • CareerBuilder
  2. Please indicate which specific website, placement office, trade journal, newspaper, or other resource influenced you to apply for this position.

    (Open Ended Question)

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  2. Letter of Application/Cover Letter
  3. Reference Contact Information
Optional Documents