Senior Program Officer - TRB Technical Activities Division

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Keck Center

National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine

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Full time

Overview: <strong>Req. No.: R0001706</strong><br /><br />As part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) provides leadership in transportation improvements and innovation through trusted, timely, impartial, and evidence-based information exchange, research, and advice regarding all modes of transportation. For example, committees, researchers, and staff are currently focused on advancing resilient infrastructure, exploring transformational technology, and caring for the public&rsquo;s health and safety. For more, please see the TRB 2021 Annual Report, the TRB Strategic Plan for 2022-2027, the TRB Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan, and the TRB International Activities Strategic Plan for 2022-2027. TRB&rsquo;s mission is divided into three primary roles: Research, Convene, Advise. <br /><br />The Technical Activities Division provides a forum for transportation professionals to identify, facilitate, and share research and information related to transportation. The Division carries out activities on behalf of TRB sponsors and the transportation community through a network of nearly 200 standing committees comprising more than 5,000 volunteers. <br /><br />Responsible for developing and managing highly complex programs or projects in the TRB Technical Activities Division (TAD). Develops program or project strategy and budget, staffing requirements and ensures the program/project meets its stated objectives. Serves as liaison between committee members, the National Academies, and other applicable parties. May supervise staff. Develops prospectuses and projects and may negotiate funding with sponsors.<br /><br />Requiring advanced knowledge, incumbent performs work primarily intellectual and/or analytical in character. The job&rsquo;s primary focus is on managing a portfolio of technical activities carried out through standing technical committees and other TAD volunteer groups. Portfolio of activities typically addresses a transportation mode, a broad disciplinary scope, or a strategic objective involving multiple modes and/or disciplines. Establishes processes and procedures consistent with TAD policies and standard procedures to ensure the effective and efficient operation of a complex function. Has authority to take whatever action deemed advisable or necessary, subject to organizational and departmental policies and rules. Provides technical direction and performance reviews for supervised staff. Provides innovative solutions to complex problems that impact program's or project&rsquo;s success.<br /><br />The incumbent is responsible for: keeping abreast of issues, research, and technological developments related to their portfolio; providing staff oversight and support for standing technical committees and other volunteer groups related to their portfolio and/or assigned by the TAD Director or Deputy Director for Program Content; overseeing and assisting volunteers in planning technical content of conferences, meetings, and workshops; and coordinating logistical and other aspects of conferences, meetings, and workshops with appropriate TAD Operations Group staff; reviewing or overseeing review of papers and other publications according to NASEM and TAD Publishing Group policies and procedures; carrying out TAD&rsquo;s Field Visit Program; developing new sponsors and affiliates to support the Core Program financially and maintaining ongoing technical relations with current sponsors; establish and maintain liaison with relevant organizations related to incumbent&rsquo;s portfolio; and possibly supervising other staff.<br /><br />The portfolio of this Senior Program Officer position will consist primarily of standing committees in the Safety and Operations Group, specifically related to the standing committees in the operations section. This includes committees with a focus on highway and freeway operations, access management, highway capacity, traffic, Intelligent Transportation Systems, highway-vehicle automation, and managed lanes. On average, an SPO handles: 12 standing technical committees with as many as 36 members each; 40 subcommittees of unlimited size; 1,500 committee &ldquo;Friends&rdquo;; up to 4 conferences of 100-800 paying attendees per year; 40 TRB Annual Meeting sessions; and 600+ papers to be peer-reviewed and scheduled in the Annual Meeting. The SPO is also responsible for managing the maintenance and updating of TRB&rsquo;s Highway Capacity Manual and Access Management Manual in both print and e-Book formats. The SPO reports directly to a Team Leader and to the Technical Activities Division Director and Deputy Director for Program Content.
Responsibilities: <p><strong>ESSENTIAL JOB DUTIES:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Independently manages a portfolio of standing technical committees and other volunteer groups in one or more modal, disciplinary, or broad objective areas. Is responsible for overseeing all activities of these committees and volunteers, ensuring that they conform to TAD policies and procedures and contribute to the mission of TRB, with particular focus on critical issues or other top priorities and emerging issues as they relate to research and innovation. Designs and manages multiple and/or highly complex programs or projects. Works with volunteer leaders to develop committee and activity strategies and plans.&nbsp;</li> <li>Manages the formation, rotation, and dissolution of standing technical committees and other volunteer groups according to TAD policies and procedures. Works with committee chairs to ensure that committee membership is balanced with respect to relevant perspectives and potential biases and reflects appropriate demographic diversity. Supports chair in encouraging equitable engagement of committee members and other volunteers. Leads convening activities such as meetings, forums or workshops. Communicates and coordinates with the chair and other volunteers. Identifies and gathers research materials.&nbsp;</li> <li>Conducts workshops and/or meetings. Develops agendas, invites presenters and participants, oversees multimedia presentations, coordinates with staff in TAD&rsquo;s Program Operations Group on meeting logistics, and prepares written summaries.</li> <li>Prepares background papers and technical summaries and syntheses. Develops written products (e.g., reports, proceedings, white papers, e-circulars). Reviews committee-produced products in coordination with TRB Report Review Officer. Drafts and edits materials for publication; cooperates with TAD Publishing Group to identify expert peer reviewers and to ensure that TAD publishing standards and procedures are adhered to.</li> <li>In collaboration with committee chairs and members and under general guidance of the Deputy Director for Program Content, guides the subject-matter content of activities such as the TRB Annual Meeting, specialty conferences, workshops, and meetings. Oversees the overall technical program of these activities to ensure relevance to TAD priorities, avoidance of unnecessary duplication with other committees&rsquo; work, appropriate balance of perspectives, and avoidance of conflicts of interest.</li> <li>Cooperates with other staff in the TAD Program Content Group, the TAD Program Operations Group, and the TAD Publishing Group in the planning and logistics of activities such as the TRB Annual Meeting, specialty conferences, and journal publication to ensure smooth functioning and consistent application of policies across all committees and activities.&nbsp;</li> <li>Responsible for communications among committees in incumbent&rsquo;s portfolio and between TAD and the committees and committee leadership. Responsible for communications activities related to assigned programs or projects.&nbsp;In coordination with TAD and TRB communications staff, publicizes programs and other priorities.&nbsp;</li> <li>Where applicable, manages dissemination of reports and other types of publications. Identifies and engages external organizations in dissemination. Works with TAD Publishing Group to prepare dissemination materials. Conducts dissemination meetings.</li> <li>May supervise technical or procedural work of other staff under the overall guidance of relevant TAD policies and authorities. Identifies staff training needs and facilitates acquisition of appropriate training. Mentors staff. Initiates personnel actions. Conducts performance reviews. Ensures consistent application of organizational policies.</li> <li>Responsible for financial management of assigned programs or projects, including overseeing budget and schedule. Collaborates with financial staff to ensure compliance.</li> <li>Conducts field visits to state departments of transportation and other transportation agencies, universities, and organizations to gather information about research and innovation, exchange knowledge, and provide information about TRB activities and services and how to get involved as a sponsor, affiliate, or TAD volunteer.&nbsp;</li> <li>Collaborates with experts and sponsors from federal, state, and local government agencies, foundations, schools, and other organizations. Represents the unit and committee within and outside the National Academies.</li> <li>Maintains ongoing relationships with major sponsors and develops new sponsors for TRB&rsquo;s Core Program. Seeks patrons and exhibitors for the TRB Annual Meeting and specialty conferences in collaboration with staff responsible for patrons and exhibitors and, as appropriate, with volunteers.</li> <li>Oversees planning for conferences, supporting committees in developing program content, ensuring that TAD policies and procedures are followed, and coordinating with staff in TAD&rsquo;s Program Operations and Publishing Groups.</li> </ul> <p><strong>NONESSENTIAL JOB DUTIES</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Related duties and special projects as assigned.</p> </li> </ul>
Requirements: <p><strong>Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:</strong>&nbsp;Advanced knowledge of the scientific, technical, or policy issues in a related discipline. Strong program/project management and facilitation skills. Ability to understand and share technical/scientific issues with diverse audiences. Ability to solve problems using originality and ingenuity. Ability to serve as a resource to others in the resolution of complex problems and issues. Ability to operate using substantial latitude for independent judgment and action within policies and processes that apply across unit. Ability to independently develop and manage multiple and complex projects. Ability to work successfully in a team environment and to form and maintain effective teams. Ability to train and develop staff. Experience working in complex environments with a high degree of organizational effectiveness. Ability to develop relationships with co-workers, employees in other National Academies&rsquo; departments, and external constituents through effective communication. Excellent communication skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of staff and constituents. Ability to exercise leadership with volunteers to achieve institutional goals and adhere to institutional policies, while respecting volunteer expertise and independence.</p> <p><strong>Minimum Education/Training Requirements:</strong>&nbsp;Master&rsquo;s degree in a related field, or equivalent knowledge.</p> <p><strong>Minimum Experience:</strong>&nbsp;Six years of related professional experience, two of which were in a supervisory capacity. Demonstrated impact on the advancement of science or policy through the successful completion of National Academies&rsquo; activities or equivalent outside activities. Demonstrated high level of proficiency in conveying scientific, technical, and/or policy information in verbal and written form.</p> <p><strong>Preferred Education:</strong>&nbsp;Ph.D. in related field preferred.</p> <p><strong>Physical Capabilities:</strong>&nbsp;Ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time. Ability to travel.</p> <p><strong>Required Licenses, Certification or Registration:</strong>&nbsp;None.</p> <p><strong>Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls:</strong>&nbsp;Reports to a Team Leader and to the Technical Activities Division Director and Deputy Director. General direction is provided. Supervises project/program staff.</p>