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National Science Foundation

NSF AD/ENG Search Committee Review Criteria


Screening Committee Review Criteria for
Assistant Director for Engineering (AD/ENG), NSF

We are seeking demonstrated evidence of:

Strategic Vision

  • Working knowledge of the major current intellectual challenges and opportunities in engineering.
  • Ability to think strategically and formulate integrated plans for research and education activities in engineering, especially at the interfaces of, and boundaries with, other disciplines.
  • Ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals.  Includes the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

Leadership, Direction, Representation

  • Ability to lead people toward meeting the organization’s vision, mission, and goals.  Includes the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.  Ability to provide innovative and transformative leadership of people, reflective of NSF’s organizational values.
  • Ability to serve effectively as a member of NSF's senior management team, helping to develop consensus both within the ENG directorate and across the agency on policy and plans.
  • Ability to plan, prioritize, and coordinate interagency and international research and education programs and to forge government-industry-university partnerships.
  • Ability to manage an organization consisting of approximately 150 scientific and administrative professionals; ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.
  • Ability to communicate NSF policy and strategic plans to the external community, including the public, Congress, industry, and colleagues in other disciplines.
  • Ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations.  Includes the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.


  • Commitment to transforming the frontiers, innovating for society, and performing as a model organization goals of the NSF Strategic Plan and to the strategies for achieving these goals through developing intellectual capital, integrating research and education, and promoting partnerships and an ability to conceptualize the role of engineering in achieving those goals.
  • Commitment to the appointment and development of a highly qualified staff that reflect the diversity of our nation and to the equitable representation of underrepresented groups and institutions on advisory committees, in workshops, and proposal review panels.
  • Commitment to equitable representation of underrepresented groups in the national enterprise.

Credibility within Research and Education Community

  • Substantial research contributions and experience in academic, government and/or private national research and education endeavors as evidenced in publications, innovative leadership in research administration and/or professional leadership awards. 
  • Ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.
  • Demonstrated commitment to scholarship and significant scientific contributions to engineering.
  • Broad understanding of universities and other institutions where research and education in engineering is conducted.
  • Familiarity with the existing U.S. and international infrastructure that supports research and education.

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