NISS Seeking Next Director

The National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) seeks a talented statistical/data scientist to serve as its Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In 2020, NISS celebrated its 30th anniversary with a renewed focus on its mission to identify, catalyze and foster high-impact research and to offer exceptional opportunities for training to promote and advance the statistical and data sciences in the United States. The NISS legal corporate home is in North Carolina; its scientific and professional activities currently are centered at hubs at Penn State University, and Washington, DC, with future locations anticipated.

NISS delivers research on critical issues in science and in public policy by leveraging the rich expertise of its staff with that of its 48 affiliated organizations in academia, industry, and government. The hallmark of a NISS project is the high level of expertise that leads to relevant and implementable solutions. NISS achieves high-quality results by pairing experienced senior leadership with teams of talented (post-PhD) junior researchers and technical staff. Current activities include research contracts with the Departments of Agriculture and Education as described on the NISS website: www.niss.org.

NISS also serves as a national thought leader and catalyst, hosting conferences and workshops for the statistical science community. NISS annually convenes conferences on topics of high current interest, e.g., the COVID Data Science webinar series presented in 2020-21. In addition, small “think tank” working sessions are convened so problem-holders in a science or public policy community can bring their pressing issues and challenging problems to select experienced statistics researchers. The goal of these workshops is to articulate the needs of the community and to explore potential technical statistical solutions. NISS additionally sponsors series of workshops such as the International Total Survey Error Workshop (ITSEW), which it co-founded to meet the need for survey methodology.

NISS seeks a Director to expand its focus, retaining and growing its active hubs and increasing its engagement with the broader statistical community. The Director of NISS is responsible for every aspect of the Institute’s vision and operation, including:

  • Serve as NISS’ most articulate and persuasive advocate.
  • Envision, develop, and execute the scientific programs of NISS.
  • Ensure continued independence, unassailable quality, and the relevance and timeliness of the NISS research portfolio.
  • Recruit, nurture, and strengthen community engagement in support of NISS.
  • Develop new sources of funding with grants and contracts.
  • Safeguard the fiscal health of NISS while maintaining the strength of the NISS Affiliates Programs.

The Director also oversees the scientific and support staff of NISS, leads the selection, mentoring and career advancement of postdoctoral fellows, outreach activities, and sets the tone and style of NISS as an employer. The Director is accountable to the Board of Trustees per the bylaws.

Qualifications for the Director and CEO of NISS include a PhD in the statistical sciences or a related discipline, a strong record of scientific accomplishment, experience in securing resources and assembling and managing cross-disciplinary, multi-organization collaborations, superb communication skills, and an innovative vision for NISS.

Based on the candidate’s vision, the position could be full or part-time. Establishing a NISS research hub at the Director’s organization would also be welcome. Salary and benefits are negotiable.

The search committee’s goal is for the new Director to begin in January 2022 with a transition period to follow. The Director is expected to take over the full responsibilities of running NISS no later than Summer 2022.

The search committee encourages nominations of potential candidates with contact information and a brief statement of the qualities and experiences they would bring to the NISS leadership position. Nominations can be submitted here or by emailing directorsearch@niss.org

Applications should be sent to directorsearch@niss.org. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, CV/resume, and contact information for five references, which will be held in confidence. Review of applications will begin September 15, 2021 and will continue until the Director position is filled. We seek a diverse pool of candidates. Women and members of under-represented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Search Committee: Mimi Kim, Chair, Tim Hesterberg, Karen Bandeen-Roche, Xuming He, and Nancy Potok, may be contacted for questions and inquiries by emailing directorsearch@niss.org.

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