Director, Gemini Observatory

Tucson, Arizona
February 13 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Director, Gemini Observatory

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) seeks a new Director for the Gemini Observatory, with the aim of filling this position as early as July 2018, and preferably by the end of 2018. Gemini Observatory operates twin 8.1-meter telescopes: one on Maunakea in Hawaii, the other on Cerro Pachón in Chile. AURA manages Gemini under the auspices of the International Gemini Board, with the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) as Executive Agency for the international participants; these currently include the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. The Gemini Director’s roles and responsibilities can be found on page 5 of

In collaboration with NSF, AURA has developed a plan for an NSF-sponsored Center known provisionally as NSF’s National Center for Optical-Infrared Astronomy (NCOA). Within NCOA, AURA will operate Gemini, NOAO, and LSST operations as a matrix-managed organization. Under that arrangement, the Gemini Director will guide the Gemini Observatory and collaborate in the overall strategic management and development of NCOA under the supervision of the NCOA Director. The Gemini Board of Directors will retain all authority and responsibility for the Gemini Observatory as defined within the Gemini International Agreement, and the Gemini Director will interact directly with the Gemini Board as well as representatives of NSF and AURA/NCOA. Pending final NSF approval, NCOA will commence during U.S. fiscal year 2019. NCOA headquarters in Tucson, Arizona, will be the home office for this position, with frequent travel to Gemini’s facilities in Chile and Hawaii.

As a candidate, you may possess:

  • Strong scientific leadership and an established record of research achievement, preferably in astronomy or a closely related field;
  • Validated talent for administration and management, combined with skill in institutional and international relations;
  • Familiarity with matrix-managed organizations;
  • Experience running the technical and scientific enterprise of an observatory;
  • Collaboration skills to effectively communicate with the Gemini Board, Gemini partner communities, Gemini staff, other observatories, and funding agencies, as well as AURA and NCOA governance and oversight elements;
  • Commitment to the Gemini Board’s vision for the scientific role and future of the observatory (; and
  • Dedication to developing a culture of excellence in providing service to the Gemini user communities.

Please apply by March 31, 2018 to be given full consideration. Applications ought to include: a curriculum vitae; information on meaningful experience and accomplishments; personal statement on diversity and inclusion; and the names of three professional references. The Search Committee will hold all applications in confidence. Please send applications to:

Dr. Mario Mateo, Chair

Gemini Director Search Committee

c/o AURA, Suite 1475

1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC  20004

Questions related to this search should be directed to Dr. Mario Mateo, Chair of the Gemini Director Search Committee ( 

An Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate because of race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual preference, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, or disability.

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