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The Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) is seeking a Manager of Program Operations (MPO). The MPO will coordinate the work of 7-10 creative conservation biologists implementing multiple science-driven projects across the U.S. and international borders.
The MPO will work closely with the CCB Director to design and implement business strategies. The MPO will manage the day-to-day administrative and business operations of the center, including planning and managing the Center’s budgets, managing personnel and assignments, and managing procurement and purchasing authorizations. A strong understanding of business management will help the MPO collaborate effectively with partners and staff.
The Manager of Program Operations will be responsible for overseeing operations of the Center’s genetic and hormone labs, the Center’s detection dog program, Conservation Canines (CK9), as well as multiple forensic project aimed at combating wildlife crime. The MPO will ensure milestones and objectives are accomplished within the prescribed budgets and time frame of projects. The MPO is also responsible for coordination and communication efforts between the team of researchers, project sponsors, Biology department administration, and national and international government and non-government collaborators. The MPO will develop detailed knowledge of the various projects and on occasion will represent the projects in public forums and external meetings.
This is an exciting opportunity to be an integral part of a dynamic and innovative team in wildlife conservation, research and analysis, and to have an impact in shaping the strategic management of the research group.
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
The Center uses innovative field and laboratory techniques to promote wildlife forensic science and non-invasively monitor a wide variety of wildlife populations around the world. Our primary forensic project uses DNA to combat major transnational criminal organizations involved in the illegal wildlife trade. We genetically analyze large ivory shipments, seized across Africa and Asia, to identify the locations of Africa’s major elephant poaching hotspots. We also use these tools to link transnational criminal organizations to multiple large ivory shipments by genetically matching tusks from the same individual, shipped in separate consignments. We collaborate very closely in this work with US Homeland Security Investigations who use our data to pursue financial crime investigations into these major cartels.
Our main wildlife monitoring programs focuses on quantifying human impact on wildlife. Our methods rely on detection dogs to locate wildlife scat over large remote landscapes, which we then analyze for DNA, stress, reproductive and nutrition hormones and toxins. Our two primary projects use these tools to examine how wolf recovery is impacting sympatric predators and prey in Washington state and to determine the impacts of loss of prey, toxin and vessel exposure on the reproductive health of Southern Resident Killer Whales in the Salish Sea. The Center works closely with state, federal and international governments, and non-government organizations in all these studies. More information about our program can be found at: http://conservationbiology.uw.edu/.
Program Management and Leadership: 40%
Work with program leadership to establish a long-term and short-term financial and business operations management plan.
Develop systems to manage research group activities across many projects.
Develop, manage, track, and adapt metrics to quantify success.
Design and implement standard operating procedures for project-wide activities, operations, and personnel.
Help manage CCB historical data archives and records management.
Maintain routine communication, track overall action items and deliverables, and coordinate the flow of information between program team members to support effective communication and efficiency.
Facilitate and run program update meetings, including scheduling calls/meetings, agenda development, action items tracking.
Provide logistical and administrative management and support for CCB activities to facilitate smooth and efficient program implementation.
Prepare and manage annual progress reports and award milestone reports to University, Department, and funders.
Track progress on all projects, including maintaining systems for tracking project documents and deliverables, timelines for coordinating multiple ongoing research projects, and ensuring on-time deliverables.
Fiscal Management: Budgets, Grants, and Contracts: 30%
Oversee all budget and grant activities for CCB, including team members who support various parts of the grant and budget activities across the research group’s projects.
Develop detailed annual budgets for the Center as well as individual projects and awards. Requires extensive communication with funding agencies and project leadership, as well as highly complex fiscal tracking using excel and UW systems.
Serve as the liaison with Grant and Contract Accounting and the Office of Sponsored Programs to troubleshoot any award issues and to obtain budget numbers based on funding guidelines.
Review and approve monthly budget activity reports to ensure costs follow institutional and award funding guidelines; update internal excel budgets to track expenditures; ensure UW encumbrances are correct and take corrective action for any misplaced charges.
Annually close out budgets and request carry-forward approval. Monitor UW final action dates and ensure encumbrances are removed.
Work closely with program and department leadership and UW offices to troubleshoot problems and issue clear guidance for resolution.
Maintain budget spreadsheets to track and monitor budgets; ensure compliance with funding source, Federal, State, and University regulations and policies.
Communicate details of financials status with project leadership on a regular cadence—at least monthly.
Provide guidance on decision-making around budgets, staffing, equipment, and overall operations to leadership.
Meet at least monthly meet with the Biology administrator to review CCB’s status towards meeting financial goals as well as to report on overall CCB operations.
Establish benchmarks for invoicing and payments, track payments, and negotiate changes
Maintain all permits for our program, including the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) import permits, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) take permits.
Personnel Management: 30%
In consultation with the Department's Human Resources Manager, manage recruitment, hiring, and onboarding processes for staff, student assistants, and volunteers.
Hire, supervise, counsel, layoff, and terminate Center staff including research and support staff or volunteers.
In collaboration with Director create written job descriptions and provide job performance evaluations.
Ensure staff have the appropriate training and tools necessary to carry out the functions of their positions. Evaluate distribution of duties and make necessary adjustments to maximize staff efficiency and productivity for the Lab and CK9.
Supervise administrative staff in all aspects of the performance of their duties.
Develop operations protocols and ensure support staff follow University, Department, and College policies.
Administer regular (at least quarterly) check-ins with all staff to obtain information on progress and challenges associated with their project(s). Assist with resolving problems and providing additional resources as necessary.
Bachelor’s degree in Business, Economics, Finance or related field, and at least 3-4 years of work experience in business administration.
Ability to work independently to direct staff, manage budgets and financial matters, and to support the Director in program initiatives.
Strong and effective project management and leadership skills.
Strategic budgeting skills to manage risk across multiple projects and funding sources.
Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and time management.
High degree of professionalism and diplomacy; excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work with a wide-ranging constituency (e.g., community partners, faculty, staff, students, and institutional officers).
Ability to remain professional and organized under potentially stressful situations.
Advanced word processing skills with an emphasis on Microsoft Office products to include: MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as well as G Suite.
This position will have meetings outside traditional hours to accommodate international collaborators.
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.
A familiarity with conservation and biological research.
Experience with UW administrative and purchasing systems and personnel procedures (PurchasePath, MyFinancialDesktop, eProcurement).
Research Administration experience.
Experience working in an international, low resource, environment.
Application Process: The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
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