The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (the Lab) is the world's leading resource for research, education, citizen science, and conservation focused on birds and biodiversity. The Lab is a vibrant unit within Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Organized into six programmatic "Centers" and supported by teams in Communications, Advancement, Operations, and Finance, the Lab creates and stewards one of the world's largest repositories for biodiversity data including nearly one billion bird observations, the leading library of natural sounds, images and video, and petabytes of recordings obtained through active sensor networks that monitor wildlife worldwide. The Lab's data-driven services, learning platforms, science communications, and expanding membership servicing engage millions of people annually with the goal of having long-term impacts on interpreting and conserving the earth's biological diversity.
The Lab seeks a Senior Director of Information Technology who is motivated by the mission of the organization and eager to work collaboratively as an architect and steward of the Lab's data, digital resources, and technical infrastructure. Data collection and access to the Lab's data through online platforms have grown 20% per year for the last 15 years. In addition, the Lab supports a large and rapidly growing online learning platform (Bird Academy) involving an expanding suite of interactive tools that serve global audiences. We seek a forward-thinking leader to collaborate with existing program leaders and developers to provide vision, integration, and support for the organization's growth in digital technology, ensure cybersecurity, enhance digital marketing capabilities, and maximize accessibility of all online content.
This position will oversee and work collaboratively to:
Understand and embrace the Lab's mission, internal culture, and strategic initiatives, so as to perform as a partner in strengthening all essential components of the Lab.
Provide vision, guidance, and collaborative leadership related to technical infrastructure and IT initiatives across the Lab, including digital marketing, data integration, cybersecurity, and IT operations, all within a milieu of strong, entrepreneurial, and technically savvy programs already in place.
Strengthen and manage cybersecurity across the entire organization.
Create and foster an environment of diversity, equity and inclusion in all endeavors.
Research and proactively implement cost-effective advances in available technology, including transitions to cloud-based service
Collaborate with engineers and developers across the organization to manage robust and reliable infrastructure that hosts both web and mobile applications, with uptime monitoring and well-defined incident-response processes.
Advise and advocate on behalf of the Lab in IT-related business negotiations involving third party vendors and Cornell University.
Ensure that the Lab adheres to all IT policies and regulations, both within Cornell and those set by external regulatory agencies.
Provide leadership and guidance in complex technical projects involving multiple stakeholders within the Lab, across Cornell, and with external partners.
Participate in seeking external funding for technical infrastructure by providing technical advice, review, and content for grant proposals and contracts.
Provide advice and counsel to the Executive Director, and participate as a member of the Lab's Management Roundtable.
Lead, supervise, and mentor a technical infrastructure operations team.
Build and foster key partnerships with Lab directors, other sectors of the university, and the Lab's Administrative Board with respect to IT matters, and effectively communicate and collaborate with appropriate units on campus to benefit the Lab.
Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or related field, with a minimum of five years of leadership experience successfully managing technical information systems.
Demonstrated leadership skills and track record of effectively supervising and managing technical teams through complex projects, including defining requirements, engaging stakeholders, communicating effectively, and implementing solutions on-time and within budget.
Expertise in industry-wide best practices for data security, cloud-computing, and information system management, and ability to adapt and integrate technologies into a non-profit/academic organization where resources are limited and training is needed.
Experience integrating security at every stage of the development cycle.
Experience working with third party vendors and specifying requirements for purchasing servers, storage, services, and software.
Experience with identifying trends in new technologies and acting upon them is essential.
Experience with integrated approach to infrastructure and software development/deployment using latest development methodologies such as Agile/Scrum. Experience transforming existing applications to use infrastructure as code, microservices, continuous delivery, continuous integration, and site reliability.
Prior experience developing and managing annual and external budgets.
Exemplary interpersonal skills as well as outstanding oral and written communication skills are required.
Must have a demonstrated ability to establish and maintain strong, collaborative working relationships with varied internal and external constituencies.
Must create and maintain an atmosphere of confidentiality, where the staff who will have access to and work with very personal and sensitive information, completely understand the University's and the Lab's confidentiality policies and procedures.
Must be exemplary in exercising sound judgment and the highest ethical standards.
Must be committed to respecting and enhancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice across the Lab.
Ability to travel occasionally and flexibility to occasionally work weekends and evenings to support team monitoring systems running 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Advanced degree(s) in Computer Science, Information Systems, or related fields. Familiarity or interest in birds, ecology, ornithology, nature, and/or conservation.
Experience within not-for-profit and/or academic institutions.
Familiarity with grant writing processes.
Ability to deliver compelling and informative presentations.
University Job Title:
Info Tech Asst Dir II
Pay Rate Type:
Number of Openings:
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