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The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (the Lab) is an internationally renowned, globally focused institution for basic and applied research, technical innovation, citizen science, public engagement, science communication, and higher education, all relating to birds, other charismatic organisms, and biodiversity conservation. Located in a spectacular, modern science building at Sapsucker Woods, about 3 miles from the Cornell University campus, the Lab is a non-degree-granting administrative unit of Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). The Lab's mission is: To interpret and conserve the earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. The Lab is the primary home for a number of scientists who have Cornell faculty appointments, and more than 250 additional staff members including dozens of world-class professionals in ornithology, avian population studies, conservation science, data science and statistics, bioacoustics, animal communication, evolutionary biology, citizen science, online education, K-12 supplemental curricula, community engagement, multimedia productions, advanced technical hardware and software engineering, and app development. The Lab maintains close academic and collaborative relationships with numerous departments at Cornell University, both in Ithaca and in New York City, and partners with hundreds of other academic and nonprofit institutions around the U.S. and the world. The Lab's fiscal 2020 budget is $35M, funded by a combination of grants and contracts, program-generated revenue, annual gifts and bequests, and distributions from endowments or funds functioning as endowments currently totaling about $130M and growing. In addition to its close relationship with CALS, the Lab is overseen by a varied and highly engaged Administrative Board comprised of business, civic, and nonprofit leaders, philanthropists, scientists, and humanists, all who share passion for nature, science, and the inspirational roles birds can play in bird conservation.
FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
ExecutiveLeadership (30%): As chief executive officer of the Lab, provide science-grounded vision, inspiration, guidance, and direction for all Lab operations and programs. Provide visionary but responsible oversight of Lab finances, budgeting, and new initiatives. Serve as both chief listener and chief decision-maker for procedural and budget-related issues across the Lab, while promoting major authority and responsibilities to the center directors and senior directors. Provide mentorship and guidance to all Lab leaders and be the lead liaison with Cornell University administration. Act as chief spokesperson for the Lab to a variety of audiences both in Ithaca and worldwide. Through media, personal appearances, and collaborations with outside organizations, engage with a broad range of audiences on topics relating to ornithology, conservation, and biodiversity. Continually work to ensure the highest possible standards of scholarship in the Lab's science and communications, and to increase the public profile of the Lab as a global hub of excellence, authority, and innovation in the biodiversity sciences.
Board relations, development, and fund-raising (20%): The Executive Director is expected to work hand in hand with the Senior Director for Advancement to generate and steward major and principal gifts and commitments, cultivate and directly solicit major and principal gift prospects. Participate actively in securing commitments supporting capital campaign. Seek external funding from granting agencies, foundations, and private high level donors to support the Lab. Work with development staff and center directors to help fund projects that align with the Lab's strategic plan and expand the Lab's role and global impact in biodiversity conservation. Maintain close communication with the Chair of the Administrative Board. Cultivate new Administrative Board members and communicate regularly with the entire Administrative Board and donors about Lab news, research results, and conservation issues.
Strategic Leadership (10%):
Lead the Lab's senior leadership and management team (Management Roundtable), with responsibilities including setting direction for and leading implementation of the Lab's strategic plan. Collaborate with Lab center directors to identify program priorities, opportunities for external engagement, communications, and funding, and implement key actions for reaching strategic goals. Together with members of the senior leadership team, articulate the Lab's vision, strategic priorities, and action plans to the Administrative Board and to Cornell colleagues and administrators. Illustrate and support a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
Personnel Management (10%)
Supervise and mentor the Lab's academic and professional leaders. Ensure that the separate enterprise centers operate as an integrative and innovative community across the Lab. Explain expectations, clarify priorities, address employee needs, and establish successful performance and reward structures through clear and honest communications and feedback processes. Work in conjunction with Lab and CALS HR staff to manage performance issues when necessary. Ensure that all procedures and practices comply with federal, state, university and college policies and regulations.
University Relations (10%): The Executive Director will be a full faculty member in one of Cornell' s academic departments at the rank of full professor, and is expected to be fully engaged with the department's intellectual community, including participating in teaching, graduate training, faculty meetings, and departmental/university committees, and interacting with other colleagues and departments across the university.
Research (10%): The Executive Director is expected to maintain a strong, externally funded research program that aligns with the Lab's strategic initiatives. Candidates must have demonstrated excellence in peer-reviewed research. Deep knowledge of birds and significant standing in the field of ornithology is a requirement of the position.
Faculty service, teaching, and student advising (5-10%): The Executive Director must be able to obtain a tenure-track faculty appointment in an academic department. In keeping with the mission of that department and the Lab, the director should have charismatic teaching and mentoring skills and be able to engage undergraduate science majors, non-majors, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and the general public in the wonders of nature and the process and results of scientific inquiry. Exact teaching requirements, if any, will be negotiated with the respective department chairperson. Participation in a graduate student seminar or reading group is also likely.
Graduate student advising (5-10%): Involvement in graduate education is expected and encouraged, including direct supervision of graduate students, service on dissertation committees, and participation in graduate-level colloquia and seminar courses.The Lab of Ornithology does not sponsor a separate graduate training program. MS and PhD track students are admitted through the university's graduate field system.
Qualifications include a Ph.D. in a field related to avian biology and/or biodiversity conservation, and an active, independent research program in a field of natural science directly related to conserving biological diversity, with an established publication record in peer-reviewed journals. Prior management and supervisory experience. Experience with, and commitment to, on-the-ground application of conservation-related research is highly desirable. Expertise and a research focus in ornithology and/or bird conservation are desirable.Teaching qualifications include excellence in lecture and/or field courses, and strong commitment to graduate education. Candidates must have demonstrated leadership and interpersonal skills, and administrative experience is desirable. Extensive fund-raising experience is required.
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Internal Number: JOB_POSTING-3-38449
About Cornell University
In 1865, Ezra Cornell founded an institution "where any person can find instruction in any study." From the beginning, all students were welcome, regardless of race, gender, ideology, or socioeconomic status. Today, we invite you to join our talented and diverse students and accessible faculty who, together, form a living and learning community unmatched in its breadth of opportunities.Cornell University's college, schools, and other academic units offer more than 4,000 courses, 70 undergraduate majors, 93 graduate fields of study, undergraduate and advanced degrees, and continuing education and outreach programs.