Chief Science Officer

Washington D.C.
Aug 14, 2020
Institution Type
Other Organizations

The American Psychological Association (APA) is seeking a strategic thinker and dynamic leader for the position of Chief Science Officer (CSO). The CSO is responsible for developing and implementing a transformational science agenda to increase the visibility, perceived value, and use of psychological science in the public arena. The CSO will be a champion for basic, applied, and clinical research in psychological science, the pursuit of opportunities and careers in psychological science, and the active engagement of psychological scientists in APA. The CSO oversees the Science Directorate and works closely with other APA staff and members, as well as external entities, including academic institutions, scientific organizations, businesses, federal agencies, foundations, and policymakers. A primary responsibility of the CSO is to ensure that the work of the Association - including its policy positions - is grounded in psychological science.  This position reports to the Deputy CEO, serves on the Executive Leadership Team, and works with APA’s Board of Directors, Council of Representatives, Board of Scientific Affairs, Divisions, and other membership groups.

Job Summary:

The successful candidate for this high-profile position will possess significant credibility and standing in the scientific community to both represent psychological science and to assume overall responsibility for the leadership and management of APA’s science agenda. The CSO will be a creative and inspirational leader with a collaborative spirit who can foster an intellectually-stimulating work environment with a sense of excitement for the mission of APA and psychological science. The CSO will promote a vision for how APA can reach ever more people to spark and engage a sustained interest in psychological science, including among psychological scientists who do not currently consider APA their professional home. This includes the ability to identify and foster collaborative relationships across the sciences, to create more opportunities to advance psychological science in trans-disciplinary partnerships, and to engage and operate effectively at the highest scientific and political levels.

The CSO supervises the approximately 15-person staff of the Science Directorate, which works to advance the discipline of psychological science and to represent and meet the needs of psychological scientists at all training and career stages. The Directorate’s programs include: science policy; research ethics; psychological testing and assessment; scientific awards; and library/research/archives in psychology. The Directorate also provides support for the activities of the governance groups that serve as advisory bodies in these areas. The Science Directorate works collaboratively with APA’s other Directorates (Practice, Education, and Public Interest) and offices, including Advocacy and Communications, to coordinate efforts to advance APA’s strategic priorities. The CSO will oversee major APA initiatives related to psychological science, such as the Technology, Mind and Society conferences, the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, and association-wide efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Job Qualifications:

  • A doctoral degree in psychology with a minimum of 10 years of postdoctoral experience working in research, administration, and/or science policy in academia, industry, scientific organizations, federal agencies, or other relevant settings.
  • Minimum of three years of significant leadership and management experience with demonstrated ability to manage organizational change.
  • Track record of success as a researcher, broad knowledge of emerging issues in science, ability to promote and translate the contributions of psychological science in an ever-changing landscape, and clear commitment to issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated competence in administration, fiscal management, and strategic planning and implementation.
  • Ability to set ambitious, yet realistic, goals and performance metrics to achieve the association’s mission and strategic priorities.
  • Proven ability to supervise and mentor others, delegate effectively, and foster a high level of staff engagement.
  • Capacity to work collaboratively with teams of professionals within a large, complex, and diverse organization and build relationships with a wide-range of key external constituencies.
  • Refined analytical, decision-making, and project management skills, with demonstrated success in utilizing data to shape compelling messages for diverse audiences.
  • Sound professional judgment and demonstrated ability to work effectively under pressure, attend to details, meet deadlines, and be accountable for results.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and verbal/written communication skills, including the ability to translate psychological science for public consumption and to serve as an inspiring spokesperson for APA and psychological science.

About APA:

The American Psychological Association (APA) represents 121,00 psychologists, students, and affiliates, primarily in the U.S. and Canada but also in other countries around the world. APA is a scientific and professional organization categorized as a 501c(3) and has an annual operating budget of about $130 million. Along with its 501(c)(6) companion organization, APA Services, Inc., APA has about 500 employees. The American Psychological Association is located at 750 First Street, NE, Washington D.C., near Union Station. It is Metro accessible from the Red Line, VRE (Virginia), and MARC (Maryland/West Virginia) commuter trains. For more information related to APA, please visit our website at

Application Instructions:

Qualified candidates must apply online through APA’s applicant system and attach their CV and cover letter specifying salary expectations. Applications that are submitted without both documents are considered incomplete and will not be reviewed for consideration. Once your application is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email. Please make sure to check your Spam folder if you do not receive an email from us.

The American Psychological Association is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected Veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected categories covered under local law.

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