Stanford University invites nominations, applications, and inquiries as it seeks an experienced faculty leader with a deep commitment to access and academic excellence to serve as the next director of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC). Please address inquiries to SLACDirector@russellreynolds.com.
About SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC)
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) is a vibrant multi-program laboratory whose mission is to explore how the universe works at the biggest, smallest, and fastest scales and invent powerful tools used by scientists around the globe. As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory, SLAC research helps solve real-world problems and advances the interests of the nation. To date, four Nobel Prizes have been awarded for research done at the lab.
SLAC is the world-leading laboratory in X-ray and ultrafast science due in large part to our X-ray user facilities: the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) and the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). LCLS is the world’s first hard X-ray free electron laser (XFEL), a revolutionary tool for chemistry, materials sciences, biology, atomic physics, plasma physics, and matter in extreme conditions.
Since the laboratory’s founding in 1962, SLAC has made breakthrough discoveries that have established our leadership in high energy physics. SLAC continues to lead major scientific advances toward understanding the universe at the largest and smallest scales, from contributing to the search for new particles and forces at the Large Hadron Collider where the Higgs was recently discovered, to building the LSST, the world’s largest digital camera for the widest, deepest survey of the night sky ever taken.
With five decades of excellence in accelerator physics, SLAC is the leader in advanced accelerator concepts and drives the development of critical accelerator technologies with a broad range of applications including medicine and industry.
Many threads of SLAC research also come together in the quest for clean, sustainable energy sources. Researchers use the advanced suite of tools at the lab to understand how plants make energy from sunlight, customize chemical reactions to generate cleaner fuels and design more efficient and effective materials for batteries.
As stewards of renowned user facilities, SLAC hosts, supports, and collaborates with more than 4,000 U.S. and international researchers – including many students – at SSRL, LCLS, advanced accelerator-based facilities such as Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests (FACET), and world-class cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) facilities, revolutionary tools for exploring tiny biological machines, from viral particles to the interior of the cell.
The next decade represents an inflection point to dramatically increase SLAC’s impact as a national laboratory located adjacent to a world-class university and at the heart of the leading innovation ecosystem. At the heart of this ecosystem is a world-renowned brain trust of engineers, scientists, researchers, and staff that are poised to join in the advancement of a compelling scientific vision that builds upon SLACs core mission while strategically leveraging growth that is important. Through continued diversification of its research programs, SLAC aims to harness the lab’s incredible talent and facilities to support the broader DOE mission, the mission of other federal agencies, and expand its collaboration with industry.
For additional information, please visit SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | Bold People. Visionary Science. Real Impact. (stanford.edu)
SLAC owes its identity, and in fact its very existence, to its essential and longstanding connections with the DOE and Stanford University.
SLAC is one of 17 DOE National Laboratories - the most comprehensive research system of its kind in the world, providing strategic scientific and technological capabilities and expertise that cannot be found elsewhere. Stanford was intimately involved in the founding of the lab in 1962, and it operates SLAC for the DOE Office of Science - the nation’s biggest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences, overseeing 10 of the 17 labs. A major part of the Office of Science mission is supporting the development, construction, and operation of unique, open-access scientific user facilities. The laboratory is home to three Office of Science user facilities: LCLS, SSRL and FACET.
SLAC’s ties with Stanford have grown over the years to include a number of joint institutes and facilities and many joint research efforts. Stanford has made numerous investments in the laboratory and provides key services that make its operations more efficient. SLAC also plays a key role for Stanford, which benefits from the lab’s deep expertise in key areas and its ability to develop and run large-scale research facilities. Together with Stanford, SLAC educates and develops the U.S. scientific workforce in key technological areas.
SLAC leverages its location in Silicon Valley, strong relationship with Stanford University, and continuing support from the DOE to enable SLAC researchers and engineers to conduct groundbreaking research in the interest of the nation.
The SLAC Director has responsibility, accountability, and authority for scientific leadership and management of SLAC’s strategic vision and mission. The Director serves as a member of the SLAC faculty and Stanford’s faculty leadership. The Director translates strategic objectives into integrated strategies and tactics, including directing the policies, procedures, and practices to optimize resource alignment and maximize performance in accomplishing SLAC’s mission to accelerate scientific discovery to serve national interests. The Director serves as an ambassador and spokesperson for SLAC, communicating priorities, positions, and initiatives, and incorporating the views and needs of key stakeholders. The Director advises on scientific and technical quality across the organization to ensure alignment and integration with strategic priorities, core capabilities and major initiatives. The Director encourages and facilitates the identification and development of future scientists serving as a role model while managing people and financial resources with integrity and fairness to position SLAC for future success.
- Design and articulate a compelling shared strategy and vision for a complex research and development organization.
- Communicate to engage and inspire the nation’s best minds through a shared vision and strategy with inclusion and diversity as a guiding principle, and adept at conveying complex problems and opportunities to multiple audiences.
- Promote SLAC values (Excellence, Integrity, Creativity, Collaboration, and Respect) while delivering science goals.
- Develop mutual commitment, trust, and ownership for success across the diversity of internal and external stakeholders.
- Provide national science and technology leadership to ensure SLAC is a key provider of world-class science and engineering to address large, complex challenges in fundamental science, energy, environment, and security.
- Demonstrate approachable and empowering leadership, collaboration, and commitment to organizational priorities related to people, culture, safety and health, inclusion and workforce diversity, and a respectful and supportive work environment, including development and implementation of an effective diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.
- Create cohesive leadership through effective delegation of responsibility and authority and setting goals for and evaluation of the performance of the senior leadership team.
- Lead a stronger partnership between SLAC and Stanford, especially in the development of more joint projects and securing investments that support the expansion of the breadth of the scientific ideas explored through this academic partnership.
- Enhance collaboration, teamwork, and partnerships across SLAC, Stanford, nearby institutions, industry partners, local, regional, national stakeholders, and global collaborators.
- Excellent communicator with diverse internal and external stakeholders–DOE, Stanford leadership, laboratory personnel, faculty and staff.
- A commitment to physical and psychological safety, diversity, respectful workplace and well-being and professional development of staff
- Manage a large, complex research and development institution and possess an understanding of the importance of integrating fundamental research and applied research and development to deliver impactful outcomes.
- Set expectations for institutional priorities, performance, and outcomes. Ensure simultaneous excellence in scientific mission, operations, and community engagement with integrity and a strong commitment to and engagement with staff, and local and extended communities.
- Deliver on the game-changing capabilities of LCLS-II and LCLS-II-HE to meet ‘world-leading’ expectations.
- Attract, develop, and retain the highest quality diverse scientific, managerial, and professional leadership to ensure a future talent pipeline.
- Determine priority of SSRL upgrades, improvements, and expansion.
- Achieve excellence in operations to include safety, security, facility management, financial operations, human resources, environmental management, and information systems management and understand the role facilities and operations plays in maintaining SLAC’s world leadership in ultrafast relativistic electron sources.
- Exceptional command of management skills to evolve to a business-process driven organization.
- Stanford University President and Stanford University Provost
- Deputy Director for Science & Technology
- Deputy Director for Operations
- Deputy Director for Projects & Infrastructure
- Associate Laboratory Directors
Other key relationships:
- Department of Energy Leadership
- Stanford University Vice President for SLAC
- Stanford University Executive Cabinet
Requirements of the position include:
- 15+ years of successful leadership experience gained within the US Department of Energy’s National Laboratories System, the US Department of Energy, or a relevant academic setting.
- An advanced degree, preferred Ph.D., in a relevant field with a proven track record of scientific and academic achievement and strong credentials.
- Demonstrated ability to develop, evaluate, and articulate scientific strategy at the highest levels.
- Proven ability to work effectively in a large, complex and matrixed organization.
- Technical acumen with credibility and knowledge of the scientific and operational issues associated with managing a major research enterprise.
- Demonstrated ability to think strategically, including creating a compelling vision and associated strategy for a complex research organization and achieving support of the strategy from internal and external stakeholders.
- Demonstrated commitment to the development of staff and leadership within the framework of diversity, equity, and inclusion as the path to excellence.
- Record of success in achieving scientific, operational, and strategic objectives.
- Demonstrated ability to achieve excellence in operations, including safety, security, facility management, financial operations, environmental management, and information systems management.
- Successful record of exceptional leadership and management development and accomplishment, particularly in a DOE national laboratory or other complex research settings.
- Strong leadership presence, including exceptional communication skills.
- Demonstrated ability to motivate and inspire others to action.
- Outstanding working knowledge of DOE missions, organizations, structures, and programs.
- Ability to develop relationships in industry for advanced technology development and deployment; with a working knowledge of industry and commercial practices in advanced research and partnering.
- Genuine passion and excitement about the SLAC mission and the role of SLAC Director.
- Ability to obtain a security clearance.
Competencies for Success
In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following:
- The ability to create and articulate an inspiring vision for the enterprise as a whole.
- The inclination to seek and analyze data from a variety of sources to support decisions and to align others with the SLAC overall strategy.
- The ability to effectively balance the desire/need for broad change with an understanding of how much change the organization is capable of handling, to create realistic goals and implementation plans that are achievable and successful.
Executing for Results
- The ability to set clear and challenging goals while committing SLAC to improved performance, tenacious and accountable in driving results.
- Comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty; the ability to adapt nimbly and lead others through complex situations.
- A leader who is viewed by others as having a high degree of integrity and forethought in his/her approach to making decisions; the ability to act in a transparent and consistent manner while always considering what is best for the organization.
Relationships and Influence
- Naturally connects and builds strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to manage through influence, communicating clearly and persuasively.
- Brings credibility and an ability to inspire trust and followership in others through compelling influence and demonstrated track record.
- Creates a sense of purpose/meaning for the team that generates followership beyond his/her own personality and engages others to the greater purpose for the organization as a whole.
- Brings established relationships at the highest levels of the DoE and National Laboratory Community.
- Builds trust and credibility with key stakeholders by demonstrating an ability to “speak the language” to both technical and non-technical audiences with the requisite technical acumen to influence stakeholders in the scientific and academic community.
- Is knowledgeable and conversant in the “hallways” of universities, national labs, and DOE.
Stanford University has provided a pay range representing its good faith estimate of what the university reasonably expects to pay for the position. The pay offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors including (but not limited to) the experience and qualifications of the selected candidate including years since terminal degree, training, and field or discipline; departmental budget availability; internal equity; and external market pay for comparable jobs. Anticipated compensation of the role expected to be in the range of $650,000 - $700,000 annually.
Procedure for Candidacy
To be considered as a candidate, all applicants must apply by clicking on the red button "apply now" at the top of this page.
Applications should include a Curriculum Vitae; a personal statement describing their vision and plans for research, teaching, and societal engagement [no more than three (3) pages]; and the name and contact information for three references. Candidates should identify their most significant leadership and scholarly accomplishments, giving context to discipline-based awards, publication venues, or other achievements; and characterizing the impact achieved or intended with research.
Nominations and inquiries are welcome and can be directed to Russell Reynolds consultants supporting this search: Christine Anthony, Jacqueline Arends and Julia McGeorge at SLACDirector@russellreynolds.com.
Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Stanford welcomes applications from all who would bring additional dimensions to the University’s research, teaching, and clinical missions. SLAC and Stanford University value faculty who are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
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