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Science & Research Director

International Association of Fire Fighters
Washington D.C.
Closing date
May 1, 2024

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Life Sciences, Biomedical Sciences
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Organization Type

Job Details

If you are ready to change the world and protect the protectors, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) currently has an IMMEDIATE opportunity for a Director - Science and Research - to work in the IAFF and head the Science & Research Department.

This is an exempt, full-time position (37.5-hour work week) with office assignment at the Headquarters of the International Association of Fire Fighters in Washington D.C. Starting salary is $166,062.49 - SUPERB benefits including free comprehensive health insurance for employee and dependents, extensive vacation and sick leave, flexible schedule, tuition reimbursement, 401k match, pension, and more!!

With headquarters in Washington, DC, and Ottawa, Ontario, the International Association of Fire Fighters represents more than 340,000 full-time professional fire fighters and single-role EMS practitioners in more than 3,500 local affiliates.

Please note: The IAFF is unable to provide immigration sponsorship.  Hybrid work is available. 

Position Summary:

Responsible for overseeing the personnel and day-to-day operations of the Science and Research Department, within the Health, Safety & Medicine Division. Oversees and ensures the successful execution and delivery of programs and services within and across said department.


  • Carries out health, safety, medicine, science, and research related tasks as directed.

  • Identifies the need for programs and services based on the department’s strategic priorities.

  • Develops manuals, fact sheets and audiovisual presentations related to health, safety, medicine, science, and research.

  • Develops and manages the budget line items for the department.

  • Seeks, develops and implements governmental and privately sourced grants.

  • Provides expert witness testimony or presentations that address the implementation of the collective bargaining agreement, laws, and regulations with regard to health, safety, medicine, science, and research.

  • Provides extensive related technical assistance to Local, State and/or Provincial affiliates

  • Supports the Chief Medical Officer’s duties and initiatives.

  • Manages and collaborates with departmental staff and contractors.

  • Coordinates with governmental and private agencies to develop and deploy health, safety, medicine, science, and research programs and initiatives.

  • Creates and presents internal and external reports specific to departmental duties and initiatives.

  • Assists with lobbying efforts relevant to occupational illnesses or injuries.

  • Evaluates third party products and services specific to fire fighter health and safety.

  • Works closely with academia, research institutions and entities developing products, standards, and conducting research specific to fire fighter health and safety.

  • Represents the overall health, safety and well being of fire fighters across the IAFF’s membership

  • Manages recurrent departmental programs, e.g. Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month, etc.

  • Manages Medical Residency Program and other alternate medical program.

  • Performs other duties as required to support the department, division and the IAFF’s mission.

  • Position will require travel for presentation, training, IAFF events, and other needs.


  • Significant knowledge and/or experience in fire service’s occupational health and safety is strongly preferred. Otherwise highly qualified applicants without this particular experience are encouraged to apply.

  • Significant knowledge and/or experience in the fields of academia, medicine, or science and research related to fire fighters is strongly preferred. Otherwise highly qualified applicants without this particular experience are encouraged to apply.

  • Working knowledge of human physiology, pathophysiology and medicine preferred.

  • Knowledge of occupational and workplace risks to fire fighters preferred.

  • Knowledge of occupational health and safety topics preferred.

  • Knowledge of labor unions or other advocacy organizations preferred.

  • Familiarity with health and safety-related standards for fire fighters (NFPA, OSHA, legislation, etc.).

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

  • Excellent organizational skills.

  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously including planning, organizing, development, and deployment.

  • Ability to compose and critically evaluate scientific manuscripts/publications and other highly scientific reports.

  • Ability to analyze and interpret technical information in order to develop studies and standards relating to the health and safety of fire fighters and emergency medical personnel.

  • Ability to critically analyze information and make sound logical conclusions.

  • Strong foundation with designing, interpreting and critically reviewing research.

  • Sound understanding of the medico-legal nuances regarding workers compensation disability benefit schemes and related legislation.

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of medical records and compliance with HIPAA and PHIPA (Canadian equivalent to HIPAA) mandates.

  • Ability to assess and develop relationships and partnerships with external organizations .

  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite.

  • Comfortable with public speaking in various settings.

  • Ability to travel, at times on short notice (rare but possible).

  • Perform other duties as required.


  • Master’s or doctoral degree in a science field preferred.

  • 5 years of relevant work experience preferred.

  • Some requirements may be waived if equivalent qualifications/experience are demonstrated.


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