Director of Government Relations, APS Office of Public Affairs

Washington, D.C.
Salary commensurate with experience and generous benefits package
August 14 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Director of Government Relations, APS Office of Public Affairs

Society Profile

The American Physical Society (APS),, a nonprofit membership organization with over 54,000 members working in academia, national laboratories, and industry, is the leading society for physicists in the U.S. and throughout the world. APS is headquartered in College Park, Maryland, with journal editorial operations based in Ridge (Long Island), New York, and an Office of Public Affairs in Washington, DC. Overall, APS is a $55 million/year operation.

Position Summary

APS seeks a Director of Government Relations for its Office of Public Affairs (OPA). The purpose of the OPA is to  facilitate communication between physicists, the public, and government on scientific issues of concern to APS members and to the nation as a whole. The Director of Government Relations for the OPA is expected to guide the Society in its advocacy and lobbying efforts within the constraints appropriate for a nonprofit 501(c)(3) professional membership organization.  The Director will manage and provide leadership for the OPA and together with the APS Board, Council and CEO will establish a strategic vision for the OPA.  The Director will work to facilitate and support the work of two high profile APS Committees:  the Panel on Public Affairs (POPA)[i] and the Physics Policy Committee (PPC)[ii].

The Director will serve as a member of the APS senior management team, reporting to the CEO.

Roles and Responsibilities include:

•  Establish with the Board, Council and CEO a strategic vision for the OPA consistent with the APS strategic plan.

•  Manage and provide leadership for the OPA staff on a day-to-day basis.

•  Develop a strong network in Washington and key state capitals to stay abreast of emerging policy issues and evolving thinking among policymakers and agencies.

•  Communicate on behalf of APS in matters of science policy with the legislative and executive branches of government.

•  Facilitate access and provide political advice for the APS President (or designee) in his/her role as the principal spokesperson and advocate for the value, needs and health of the physics enterprise.

•  Liaise with the public affairs offices (or their equivalent) of other relevant scientific, engineering and educational societies.

•  Work with the CEO to create appropriate linkages between the OPA and the other principal APS offices.

•   Facilitate, guide and support the work of POPA and PPC.

•  Develop APS member advocacy engagement strategies to represent the physics enterprise with policymakers and provide support to local grassroots efforts.

•  Oversight of the OPA operating budget. 


•  Deep familiarity with science policy as well as the physics enterprise and culture.  PhD in Physics or related field desirable, but not required.

•  Extensive Washington experience including knowledge of the operations of the legislative and executive branches of government, and the Federal Agencies that support the physics enterprise; a pre-existing network of contacts in all of these areas is desirable.


•  Excellent verbal and written communication skills for a variety of audiences including the Federal government, APS Board and Council, APS members and the general public.

•  Collaborative style consistent with that of the APS management and governing bodies.

•  Demonstrated ability working with volunteer governance units in complex organizations to achieve measurable outcomes.

•  Ability to establish solid working relationships.

•  Ability to effectively manage highly capable and creative people.

•  Ability to listen and influence, both inside and outside of APS.

•  Ability to work under time pressure.

•  Ability to deal effectively with people in a wide range of internal and external social and professional activities.


[i]  POPA undertakes studies of timely issues in the realm of public policy in which physics has particular knowledge or expertise, such as nuclear security and energy technology.  POPA is also responsible for drafting and guiding formal APS Statements through the approval process.  

[ii]  The PPC advises the Society on advocacy positions, including federal budgets for science research, science education, visa and immigration issues among other things.  


To apply, send cover letter including salary requirement, resume, and a list of professional references to the attention of Human Resources via e-mail:

APS is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. EOE M/F/D/V

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