Inaugural Director, Alliance for Integrative Approaches to Extreme Environmental Events

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Inaugural Director, Alliance for Integrative Approaches to Extreme Environmental Events
Job Type: 
University of Oklahoma - Norman
Norman, Oklahoma, USA


The Position. The Alliance for Integrative Approaches to Extreme Environmental Events invites nominations and applications for a dynamic, visionary leader to serve as its inaugural Director. Reporting to the Alliance Steering Committee, the full-time Director is the chief executive of the Alliance and thus has overall responsibility for its success. This includes but is not limited to strategic planning, program execution, budget formulation, fiduciary management, development and stewardship of partnerships with a broad array of stakeholders including academic institutions, federal agencies, private donors, for-profit corporations, and non-profit foundations. The Director will oversee an initially small leadership team comprising a Director of Community Support and Communications, a Director of Research Program Development, and administrative and technical support staff.

Candidate Qualifications. The successful candidate will have demonstrated some combination of visionary leadership and management competence at a senior level, with characteristics that include but are not limited to: demonstrated understanding of the value of, and an ability to build and steward, inter/multi-disciplinary teams for addressing complex problems in topic areas relevant to Alliance activities (see below); experience building relationships and partnerships, and acquiring and managing financial resources, from both the public and private sectors; experience mobilizing people toward accomplishing a shared vision and set of goals; ability to guide and develop the capabilities of individuals and manage a core leadership team; knowledge of working with and/or serving under governing boards; strong interpersonal skills and collegiality; and demonstrated evidence of effective communication skills across a diverse array of stakeholders. Additional qualifications include a doctoral degree or equivalent experience beyond the highest degree, a track record of accomplishments and national/international recognition as a scholar or practitioner, and/or outstanding record of professional achievement commensurate with the position. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications.

About the Alliance. The Alliance for Integrative Approaches to Extreme Environmental Events is an informal public-private partnership comprising researchers from social, behavioral and economic science (SBES) disciplines, engineers, mathematicians and technologists, research and operational meteorologists, emergency managers, the media, and other strategic partners including Federal agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and the private sector. Funded initially by a $3 million private gift, the goal of the Alliance is threefold: first, to help members of the aforementioned broad community overcome obstacles to meaningful interaction so that progress can be made on dealing with extreme environmental events holistically, and collaboratively, in their full complexity utilizing all resources available; second, to facilitate interdisciplinary research, and third to support the associated transition of research outcomes to practice – including rapid technology prototyping and insertion – in ways that advance the Nation's agenda to substantially reduce societal harm from extreme environmental events. Additional information about the Alliance, including the Concept, Organization and Start-Up Plan, can be found at

Director Position Structure. From inception, the Alliance has been structured as an informal framework for facilitating community success, nationally and internationally, in addressing extreme environmental event challenges rather than an organization having a physical location. Consequently, reflecting this geographic span, the Alliance leadership team likely will be physically distributed, with considerable flexibility regarding institutional affiliation. In cases where the successful Director wishes to maintain their current affiliation and thus associated fringe benefits and support resources, for example, funding for the position, and for support, will be transferred to that organization. If the Director is unaffiliated or wishes to change affiliations or even relocate, such will be accommodated by the University of Oklahoma, which serves as the Alliance fiscal agent. Additional scenarios are possible and will be negotiated as appropriate.

Application and Selection Process. Confidential review of nominations, indications of interest, and applications for Alliance Director will begin 15 September 2017 and continue until the position is filled. Candidates are invited to submit (1) a letter of application describing their capabilities and demonstrating how they fulfill each of the qualifications noted above, along with (2) a detailed curriculum vitae and (3) the names of five references who will be contacted only upon approval from the applicant. Applications from minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans are specifically encouraged. The Alliance Steering Committee ( will conduct the interviews and select the Director.

Electronic submission of all materials in PDF format is required via By Committee/Interfolio:

Inquiries. Inquiries regarding the search should be directed to the search committee co-chairs:
Dr. Dennis Wenger, Chair
Alliance Steering Committee
Dr. Joe Trainor, Vice-Chair
Alliance Steering Committee