- Communication Skills
- Public Speaking
- Senior Leadership
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
CEO and Executive Director
Director, Human Resources
Confidential: This document has been prepared for the exclusive use by U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Because it contains confidential information, its use should be controlled and limited to the executives concerned. This information is given in good faith and is believed to be correct but may require verification.
About the Institution
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is located in Huntsville, Ala., a vibrant, educated community on track to become Alabama’s largest city. Huntsville is the birthplace of America’s space program, as the home of Dr. Werner von Braun and his original rocket team who sent man to the moon. Both the Rocket Center and its Space Camp program were inspired by Dr. von Braun and his brilliant imagination 50 years ago. We are keeping his mission alive each day with our tenacious pursuit of excellence in our world-renowned STEM education programs.
Located at the gateway of the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center has inspired countless astronauts, pilots, engineers, teachers and students to reach higher into the cosmos and lead the next generation of explorers. The Rocket Center is the Official Visitor Center for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The Center is also a Smithsonian Affiliate museum that tells the story of five decades of space exploration and looks to the future with exhibits highlighting the next generation of space vehicles, from NASA’s Space Launch System to commercial space vehicles.
Home to Space Camp®, Aviation Challenge® Camp, Space Camp Robotics and U.S. Cyber Camp®, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is the largest space museum in the world, with an invaluable space hardware collection. The National Historic Landmark Saturn V moon rocket, the largest object in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution, is the centerpiece of a collection spanning more than half a century. It includes the Apollo 16 command module, the launch console for Explorer I, the world’s only full-stack space shuttle display, as well as next-generation space vehicles, allowing guests to learn the past and future of mankind’s greatest journey.
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Space Camp program has graduated more than one million trainees since its inception in 1982, with twelve of those graduates going on to become astronauts. Additionally, the Center is currently responsible for an active payload aboard the International Space Station – Sally Ride EarthKAM at Space Camp. This program allows students and teachers around the world to request photos of locations on Earth to be taken from the ISS and shared with other educators and students around the world. NASA runs the missions with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and its partners multiple times per year.
Last year, the Center had record-breaking attendance of 1.1 million visitors as the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing.
Reporting to the Chairman of the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission and its board of Commissioners and working in close collaboration with the staff of the US Space & Rocket Center, the CEO and Executive Director is the leader and top ambassador for the Center, which is NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center’s official visitor information center, an official TVA Visitor Center, the world’s largest collection of space artifacts, and the home of the family of Space Camp educational programs.
Reports to: Chairman and Commissioners of the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission
Direct reports: Chief Financial Officer
VP of Museum
VP of Enterprises
VP of Space Camp
Director of Facilities
Director of Human Resources
Other key relationships:
Chairman and board members of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation
CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation
Director of the Marshall Space Flight Center
Leadership of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian Affiliates
Commanding Officer, Army Materiel Command
Commanding Officer, Garrison, U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal
Heads of federal agencies located on Redstone Arsenal (including Space and Missile Defense Command, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Missile Defense Agency, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, et al.)
Members of North Alabama delegation of Alabama Senate and House of Representatives
Members and staff of federal congressional representatives
Local government officials (city, state, and county)
Provide vision and overall leadership for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Space Camp, their staff and volunteers.
Develop operational plans to execute the overall mission of the Center;
Define program and museum goals, objectives and priorities about exhibitions, educational offerings and public outreach.
Engage with fundraising initiatives with the USSRC Education Foundation.
Plan and guide a current, engaging educational interface for museum guests, school field trips, and Space Camp/Aviation Challenge/ Robotics Camp/Cyber Camp programs.
Create strategic plans for facility, educational initiatives and campus and refresh them as required for appropriate growth and expenditures.
Oversee the development, justification, presentation, allocation execution and control of annual operating and capital budgets for the museum and educational programs. Review budget recommendations and capital allocations in alignment with the strategic and master plans and ensure their presentation and explanation to the Commission for approval.
Work closely with and under the guidance of the Commission, its Chairman, Vice Chairman and Business and Executive Committees, and all standing and ad-hoc committees to maintain a strategic plan, operating objectives and policies and overall goals and priorities.
Encourage, explore and develop joint programs and relationships with other NASA Visitor Centers, the Association of Science and Technology Centers, Smithsonian Affiliates, and other local and regional organizations to enhance the exhibition, information and the disbursement of knowledge in space and technology topics.
Stay abreast of the aerospace and defense industries, the government and commercial partners in those industries, and organizations devoted to their enhancement to bring current information, speakers, hardware and initiatives into the programming of the Center and Space Camp programs.
Establish and maintain strong relationships with educational institutions of interest internationally, nationally, statewide and locally to maintain relevant, timely provision of the disbursement of knowledge in the space and defense industries to students.
Present information, plans and perspectives to interested groups and meetings by speaking on behalf of the future of space exploration and the USSRC’s role in preparing its explorers.
Engage publicly and routinely with the employees of the USSRC to keep them apprised of the business and educational status, and future about of the Center’s mission.
The Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission is seeking a forward-looking and inspirational individual to lead the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and its Space Camp family of programs forward with a passion for the mission and execution of that mission. Through influence and high level of public engagement, this leader exerts a profound impact on existing and future public support for the national space programs. The ideal candidate for this position will have a strong reputation and a significant record of senior level professional leadership in an organization-whether in the business, military, scientific or educational sector. The optimal candidate must have the ability to understand the assets and distinctive global reputation of the Center and Space Camp, engaging one million visitors annually.
In order to be a compelling ambassador for the Center, as well as an effective business leader, he or she must be a superb communicator, able to effectively engage diverse audiences in conversations about institutional goals, priorities and accomplishments, as well as aerospace science and educational needs, in both private and public settings. The Center CEO must demonstrate total commitment to diversity and inclusion, possess creative leadership, vision, and collaboration skills to work effectively in a large complex organization. The Center CEO is expected to be an excellent leader of people.
Subject Matter Expertise and Experience
Current and knowledgeable about space and aircraft, the history and development of space exploration and the technological, industrial, military, scientific and consumer innovations, achievements, impacts and consequences. Aware and engaged in next-generation aerospace initiatives and the individuals, companies, organizations and institutions who are executing them.
10+ years of senior leadership experience, showing acumen and integrity in a business environment.
Responsibility for financial goals and outcomes for a multi-million dollar enterprise desirable.
10+ years of senior leadership in an organization (industrial, government, technical or educational).
Experience in a museum and/or aerospace organization/scientific institution is desirable.
Experience leading a multi-disciplinary, complex organization with significant personnel.
Prior exposure to working within a public/private or quasi-government entity is a plus.
Experience in managing a complex, multi-source budget.
Experience with federal, state and local allocations and grants is a plus.
Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree(s) preferred.
CRITICAL LEADERSHIP CAPABILITIES
Leading Change and Delivering Results
The CEO and Executive Director will be a disciplined, visionary strategic thinker who acts purposefully, collaboratively and pragmatically to identify and take advantage of resources and opportunities to realize the Center’s fullest potential. He/she will be a confident, coachable learner, both credible and compassionate with abilities to:
Define a compelling vision for the future of the Center that will attract revenue, other funding, talent and institutional partners.
Grown an organization, not just act as a shepherd.
Implement a strategic plan, evaluate its impact and refine it over time.
Take calculated risks and experiment while also evaluating impact and results.
Identify and analytically assess elements of the Center’s programs, contribute to the development of an organizational strategy with a view to better serving USSRC’s many audiences, achieving optimal impact, while protecting and enhancing the Center’s reputation.
Be forward-thinking, anticipating what may be needed in a rapidly changing world to continue to enhance the Center’s reputation and standing as well as garner support and critical acclaim-not only near term, but as a foundation for well into the future to maintain competitiveness.
Understand the legal dimensions of the enterprise and factor them in as appropriate.
Effectively manage human, financial and information resources strategically.
Deal effectively with pressure, even under adversity.
Be open to change and new information, adapting to changing conditions.
Produce high quality results while exercising sound financial stewardship, making effective decisions, solving problems and addressing the needs of the Center’s customers.
The CEO and Executive Director will harness the talent within the Center as well as among coordinating partners in other museums, industries and educational organizations. He or she will have demonstrated the ability to develop and maintain a strong and cohesive staff as well as an institutional culture that fosters an inclusive workplace, where diversity and individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the mission. Exhibiting strong listening, negotiation, inventive, and communication skills, he or she will foster creativity and innovation.
Abilities must include:
Communicate a viable, resonating long-term vision that can attract widespread support, and collaborate with the Center and Foundation teams and other constituents on how to realize it.
Delegate strategic objectives to the Center team with clear and explicit intent, understanding the precise level of challenge and the capacity of individual team members; assisting in resolving impasses and remove roadblocks as they arise to create conditions that will allow team members to be successful and operate mission objectives efficiently.
Set up systems and structures to reinforce independent and open communication among the teams and team members internally, as well as with key institutional partners.
Host All Hands employee meetings, providing updates in presentations to all employee routinely.
Ensure personal performance evaluations are conducted with all full time and pivotal part-time staff, reviewing results, planning future goals and discussing training. Hold Center staff accountable for their commitments, providing clarity and outlining ramifications of failure in advance. Provide ongoing feedback.
Commit to engage in ethical and accepted human resources practices; hire, coach, and when necessary, terminate employees with the support of the HR team.
Engage in public speaking, with the confidence and joy of sharing the Center’s missions.
Develop the ability of subordinates to perform at high levels and inspire team commitment, spirit, pride and trust. Motivate team members to accomplish goals and resolve conflicts constructively.
Collaborating, Influencing and Securing Support
The CEO and Executive Director will possess both the entrepreneurial instincts and the pragmatic skills to define, coordinate and lead collaboration outreach efforts internally and with other museums, organization and collaborators in order to leverage support and impact. He or she will serve as an interface between the Center and all other entities to achieve goals and objectives. This leader will engage NASA, U.S. government agencies, industry and business leaders, and organization in the aerospace and education fields around the world to secure engagement, partnerships of mutual interest, in-kind and financial support.
Successful efforts will include:
Use of complex, coordinated influencing or negotiation strategies adapted to people, organizations and situations of interest to the Center.
Leverage talents of direct reports to facilitate collaboration across the organization, tapping their strengths, values, and their reports to energize them.
Grant discovery, evaluation for appropriateness and execution with complete understanding of the ramifications of winning and executing grants, public and private.
Understand the interests of others and be able to move beyond individual or organizational difference to identify a common goal or shared beneficial interest.
Systematically build support at multiple levels and across groups of Center acquaintances.
Cultivate ongoing partnerships with key stakeholders.
Willingness to invest adequate personal time when required to achieve missions of the Center.
Willingness to travel as necessary.
Willingness to earn and raise substantial funds annually, enthusiastically engaging with donors nationally and internationally, including developing the next generation of donors and our Space Camp alumni worldwide.
Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities
The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)