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Senior Director of Research Development and Government Affairs


Senior Director of Research Development and Government Affairs


New York, NY

ByalaSearch LLC is pleased to announce that our firm has been retained by the American Museum of Natural History to identify candidates for the position of Senior Director of Research Development and Government Affairs.

Position Description 

Reporting to the Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Strategic Planning, and Education, the Senior Director for Research Development and Government Affairs is responsible for developing and leading proposal development services and for managing liaison with government funding agencies so as to advance the agenda of the Museum’s scientific research, education programs, and its mission-related activity generally. The Senior Director of Research Development and Government Affairs will work in the Institutional Advancement Division of the AMNH in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Strategic Planning, and Education. The Institutional Advancement and Strategic Planning portfolios of the SVP encompass institutional fundraising from private sources and securing of external support from government sources; relationship building and policy work with local, city, state, and federal government agencies; and institution-wide strategic planning and implementation of strategic initiatives. 


Specific responsibilities include: 

  • Providing leadership, vision, and creativity in developing and implementing successful strategies for securing government support, and for cultivating and stewarding relationships with government funding agencies.
  • Leading the delivery of proposal development services, particularly for institutional, interdisciplinary, and large scale government submissions of strategic importance.
  • Identifying government opportunities appropriate to the Museum’s interests and aims, and disseminating information to pertinent Museum community members about funding opportunities, trendlines, news, and legislation.
  • Writing and editing proposals, or appropriate sections of proposals and other submissions; providing strategic guidance and technical assistance; and helping to assemble proposal components, in collaboration with the Grants Office.
  • Working collaboratively with the Grants Office and with other compliance units within the Museum, participating in oversight of non-financial post award administration and compliance.
  • Offering training and resources to PIs, senior management, and the broader Museum community.
  • Carrying out government related initiatives and special assignments tied to the Museum’s strategic priorities and interests.

Candidate Profile:

  • Minimum 7 years’ experience in academic, science, cultural, or other nonprofit setting, with demonstrated excellence in developing and writing proposals and securing awards from major government funding agencies.
  • Proven success in increasing external federal support and in cultivating, managing, and sustaining agency relationships.
  • Deep understanding of the federal funding enterprise, and of the role of sponsored programs in advancing mission and aims of a scientific cultural institution, particularly in targeted strategic areas.
  • Demonstrated ability to interpret and understand funding agency and program priorities, policies, politics, and deadlines.
  • Knowledge of award administration policies, requirements, regulations, and compliance.
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with Principal Investigators and staff, senior management, and institutional leaders as needed to develop proposal strategies and submit quality proposals.
  • Ability to effectively assemble and coordinate institutional teams, and to navigate formal and informal decision-making networks.
  • Graduate or professional degree strongly preferred.
  • Exceptional ability in writing and editing proposals and related materials.
  • Superior analytical, planning, problem solving, and supervisory skills, with reliably sound judgment, self-direction, attention to detail, and high energy.
  • Interpersonally savvy, with excellent communication, collaboration, and organizational skills, and ability to work effectively in a team environment, often under intense deadline pressure.

Critical Competencies for Success:

  • Track record in building relationships with federal funding agencies, and cultivating appropriate funders to identify research and programmatic opportunities.
  • Ability to engage at a high level in substantive discussion of research, education, and other institutional programs.
  • Demonstrated expertise in the creation and submission of successful large scale, interdisciplinary proposals, both in terms of number of proposals or contributions to proposals and level of funding.
  • Deft internal and external diplomatic skills on behalf of an institution.
  • Excellent management skills to successfully lead and support a team in service of the mission of the American Museum of Natural History. 

Other Characteristics:

The ideal candidate for the position of Senior Director for Research Development and Government Affairs should have a strong presence, a track record of intellectual leadership and managerial skill. He/she will have experience working with external constituencies. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in working with funders, collaborating with peers, and representing organizational interests.  

The successful candidate will have a faculty/client-service orientation and effective communication skills combined with the ability to work with individuals from different backgrounds.  He/she will have the gravitas to represent the American Museum of Natural History with outside sponsors and potential funding agencies.  The next Senior Director for Research Development and Government Affairs will have the ability to set priorities in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.  He/she will be able to recruit, retain and manage a diverse staff.  The successful candidate will have proven leadership, strategy-setting, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. The ideal candidate will be welcoming and engaging and work collaboratively at all levels within the institution. He/she will also have the experience and ability to serve the scientific staff.  The next Senior Director for Research Development and Government Affairs will demonstrate impeccable integrity and judgment and have the ability to gain trusted advisor status among the senior staff. 

Kindly send nominations or expressions of interest to: 

Lisa Byala
ByalaSearch LLC
T: (212) 547–9536




The American Museum of Natural History does not solicit or accept applications or résumés unless it is for a specific job listed on this website.

The American Museum of Natural History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. The Museum does not discriminate with respect to employment, or admission or access to Museum facilities, programs or activities on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, marital status, partnership status, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, pregnancy, alienage or citizenship status, current or former participation in the uniformed services, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin, or on account of any other basis prohibited by applicable City, State, or Federal law. Additional protections are afforded in employment based on arrest or conviction record, status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking and sex offenses, unemployment status, and credit history, in each case to the extent provided by law. If special accommodations are needed in applying for a position, please call the Office of Human Resources. Inquiries or complaints regarding any form of harassment, discrimination or retaliation may be directed to Dan Scheiner, vice president of human resources, Title IX Coordinator, and EEO Coordinator at or 212-769-5109, or Kala Harinarayanan, senior director of human resources, Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Deputy EEO Coordinator at or (212)769-5226. Individuals may also file complaints, as applicable, with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which has its regional enforcement office at Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 32 Old Slip, 26th floor, New York, NY 10005-2500, 646-428-3900, or and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, located at 33 Whitehall Street, 5th floor, New York, NY 10004, 800-669-4000.

Please be advised that due to the high volume of applicants, we are only able to contact those candidates whose skills and background best fit the needs of the open positions. 

Last updated: March 9, 2016