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Vacancy Announcement

Executive Director
S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

We are no longer accepting applications for this position.

About the Position

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium invites applications for the executive director position.

The coast is one of South Carolina’s most important areas economically, culturally, and environmentally. The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium is seeking an executive director to provide leadership and to facilitate solutions for the long-term sustainability of South Carolina’s coastal resources.

South Carolina has a diverse collection of higher education institutions and natural resource agencies. The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, an agency of South Carolina government, was created by law in 1978 and is the only state entity mandated to provide coordination and communication across disciplinary, institutional, and agency boundaries. The Consortium does more than merely support science students, scientists, and state natural resource agencies needing assistance. It provides specialized workshops and conferences and produces a number of general information publications each year. The Executive Director is responsible for leading the efforts to support integrated research, education, and extension programs that align with the consortium’s mission of generating and applying science-based information on issues and opportunities that enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal and marine resources fostering a sustainable economy and environment. Further, this position actively coordinates with other research and management programs within the Southeast to maximize return on investments in research, policy, and outreach.

The successful candidate possesses a master’s degree and fifteen years of experience in science or natural resources or a terminal degree in science, policy or natural resources and at least five years’ experience in leadership of extramurally funded research programs. Extensive experience in marine and coastal sciences, policy, and resource management is essential. Familiarity with the NOAA National Sea Grant College Program is desirable. Other key abilities for the executive director include:

  • Strong leadership, management, and communication skills.
  • Demonstrated success in writing grant proposals.
  • Demonstrated success in creating collaborative partnerships, particularly with state and federal agencies.
  • Ability to work well with a highly diverse group of scientists, university and agency leaders, students, community organizations, and leaders.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with political leaders at all levels and across the political spectrum.
  • A personal commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Experience in managing people and budgets.

Position Description

Executive Director
S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

I. Description of Position

A. Primary Purpose of the Position

The Agency Head is responsible for overall planning, coordination, and implementation of the agency’s operations and programs, serves as the principal development and grantsmanship officer, principal legislative liaison and principal public spokesperson for the agency, and is responsible for the coordination and management of more than fifty grants, several major multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional programs, and the agency’s state budget and federal Sea Grant core program.

B. Involvement in Strategic Planning

The Agency Head is directly responsible for overseeing the agency’s strategic planning and implementation process. The Agency Head sets the strategic direction for agency programs, activities, and efforts based on input solicited from the agency’s diverse constituencies and stakeholders. The Agency Head established a Program Advisory Board (PAB) to provide strategic advice and guidance to the agency; members of the PAB represent state and federal government, academia, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. The Consortium Board of Directors reviews and approves the agency’s strategic plan, which is usually updated every four to five years.

C. Major Accountabilities

List in order of importance the major activities that you perform, then describe the end results that you are expected to achieve and the primary indicators of success. Indicate for each activity the approximate percentage of time required.

Job Activities:

Activity 1: Coordinate planning and development of Consortium research, education and outreach programs that meet the needs of the Consortium’s diverse constituencies while taking advantage of the expertise and capabilities of the faculty and staff of its member institutions.

End Results Expected and Indicators of Success: Strategic plan, based on constituent input and Sea Grant priorities, in place and continually updated; implementation plan with milestones; all milestones tracked and evaluated; successful delivery of information to target constituencies; number of businesses served, created, and/or saved; number of jobs created and/or saved; number of students trained (workforce development); rated “excellent” by the National Sea Grant College program office as result of four-year external Site Visit team evaluation.

Percent of Time: 20%

Activity 2: Prepare and present annual state budget requests to the Governor’s Office, the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee for agency recurring funds.

End Results Expected and Indicators of Success: Funds requested vs. funds secured from state of South Carolina on annual basis.

Percent of Time: 10%

Activity 3: Coordinate the development and submission of competitive proposals to achieve agency objectives and seek non-state sources of funding.

End Results Expected and Indicators of Success: Amount of non-state funding secured year-to-year; continuous pursuit of funding opportunities; number and nature of partnerships developed to secure funding for priority research and outreach needs; return on investment (ROI) of non-state funding to state appropriations.

Percent of Time: 20%

Activity 4: Provide adequate and proper budgetary and program management oversight.

End Results Expected and Indicators of Success: Preparation and success rate of state budget requests and federal grant proposal submissions; successful state and federal audit results; evaluation of agency operations and management based on the agency’s performance measures and metrics targets as outlined in its strategic plan; quality of agency programs and activities based on external peer review and external panel review processes; results of external evaluations conducted by the NOAA National Sea Grant College Program office.

Percent of Time: 15%

Activity 5: Recruit, manage and train a highly technical, competent, and diverse staff that works well with representatives of federal, state and local governments, universities and research laboratories, educational institutions, scientific organizations, stakeholder groups, and the general public.

End Results Expected and Indicators of Success: Conduct regional and national searches for staff when necessary; EPMS process; encourage professional development opportunities for staff; retention rates for trained staff.

Percent of Time: 10%

Activity 6: Develop and manage long-range research and outreach programs that are targeted towards special state and regional needs (e.g., land use- ecosystem interactions, coastal natural hazards, community resiliency, climate change, ocean observations; offshore ocean uses).

End Results Expected and Indicators of Success: Conduct workshops to develop initiatives; success rate for multi-investigator and multi- institutional proposals; nature of partnerships developed to implement long-range programs; nature and success of state and regional partnership efforts initiated by Consortium.

Percent of Time: 15%

Activity 7: Provide consultation to state and local officials, the General Assembly, and the S.C. Congressional Delegation on coastal and ocean resource use, management, and conservation issues.

End Results Expected and Indicators of Success: Responsive to information requests; knowledge of executive and legislative processes.

Percent of Time: 5%

Activity 8: Facilitate and foster dialogues between and among representatives of similar and diverse organizations and sectors on issues of mutual interest and/or conflict in search of resolution and win-win situations.

End Results Expected and Indicators of Success: Successful conclusion of discussions with action items identified and acted upon to the mutual benefit of all.

Percent of Time: 5%

D. Who are the primary customer groups or stakeholders within or outside the agency with whom the Agency Head has primary working relationships? What is the nature of the work with each?

Office; state university faculty and staff; the state Congressional Delegation; the S.C. General Assembly; the National Sea Grant College Program (NOAA): the Sea Grant Association; international, national, regional, state and local officials; various professional organizations; public interest groups, and representatives of the private sector (development, retail, agriculture, fishing, maritime commerce).

The Agency Head engages in collaborations with these organizations on a number of stakeholder/constituent-driven topics, including coastal, ocean, and ecosystem processes; fisheries and aquaculture; climate and coastal hazards; community resiliency; sustainable economic development, scientific literacy and workforce development; and legal and policy issues regarding coastal and marine resources utilization and conservation. To address these wide-ranging issues, the Agency Head must develop and submit for consideration competitive proposals to support multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary cooperative efforts, and procure grant funds to undertake these efforts. The Governor’s Office and the General Assembly frequently request specific information or services; Federal, state and local officials require and seek scientifically-derived information and technical assistance concerning coastal and marine resource issues and problems within their mandates. The general public, school teachers, students, and other S.C. citizens regularly request information from the Consortium on the state’s coastal and marine resources. The Agency Head must also maintain close working relationships with a diversity of user groups, primarily through the establishment of advisory committees and working groups. These groups, such as its Program Advisory Board, provide input into the agency’s planning process, and also represent constituencies that receive agency services and products. The Agency Head also makes numerous presentations to public, private, and professional organizations and associations.

E. Decision-making: Describe typical decisions that the Agency Head is required to make, and what decisions are referred to others.

Decisions made: The Agency Head:

(1) sets the programmatic direction for the agency, and establishes the standards and criteria upon which the agency operates;
(2) initiates and oversees the development of new programs and activities for the agency;
(3) determines the agency’s annual budget request and presents it to the Consortium Board, the Governor’s Office, the State Budget Office, and the S.C. General Assembly;
(4) reviews and approves all extramural funding proposals for new program activities from Sea Grant, federal, and other sources;
(5) conducts budget negotiations on all externally funded programs and activities (approximately 88% of the agency’s funding is non-state, consisting of mostly competitive grants);
(6) serves as Principal Investigator on all extramural research and outreach grants that are awarded to the Consortium;
(7) interviews and hires those positions directly reporting to him/her, is involved in planning for all Consortium staff positions, and makes all final staffing decisions. Ultimately, the Agency Head oversees and is responsible for all activities of the agency.

Decisions referred to others: The Agency Head delegates the following day-to-day decision-making responsibilities:

(1) HR management;
(2) office administration;
(3) administrative oversight (day-to-day);
(4) standard accounting and purchasing;
(5) project management and reporting;
(6) communications and Sea Grant Extension Program planning and implementation; and
(7) maintenance and updating of the Consortium’s IT system.

II. Organization

Give a brief description of the function(s) of each position reporting directly to the Agency Head.

Executive Assistant/Office Manager: Supports the Agency Head by keeping schedules, making arrangements, setting up meetings, serving as note-taker for board meetings, handling correspondence and communications; Serves as agency office manager.

Assistant Director for Development and Extension: Assists the Agency Head with development and leadership of the agency’s major program initiatives and in the conceptualization of new program initiatives; Provides the Agency Head with management and planning support for the
S.C. Sea Grant Extension Program and other agency technology transfer and training activities.

Assistant to the Director for Administration: Provides the Agency Head with policy and administrative recommendations regarding personnel, fiscal, and all information regarding business management of the agency; Manages the day-to-day administrative activities of the agency; Currently manages the agency’s IT systems with assistance of the state’s CIO.

Program Manager/Fellowship Coordinator: Provides coordination of the agency’s strategic planning process; assists the Agency Head with program management and administrative assistance regarding research, development, and other agency activities once awards are made; manages the agency’s proposal solicitation and review process; manages the agency’s program and project management information and reporting system; manages the agency’s undergraduate and graduate fellowship programs.

Public Information Director: Manages the agency’s communication and education services program, involving preparation and production of information materials, brochures, and reports based on agency research and outreach programs; maintenance of the agency’s Web site; liaison with the media.