Vice President, Scientific and Technical Affairs

An exciting leadership role is opening at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). We are seeking a Vice President to lead our Scientific and Technical Affairs (STA) program. NTI is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to transform global security by driving systemic solutions to nuclear and biological threats imperiling humanity.

Recognizing the potential benefits as well as the pitfalls of new technologies for addressing our mission, NTI’s STA program seeks to harness opportunities that new and emerging technologies can contribute to nuclear and biological threat reduction, while simultaneously working to reduce the impact of their malevolent use.

In recent years, the STA program has spearheaded NTI’s efforts to reduce cyber risks to nuclear weapons and related systems; understand the implications of AI for nuclear risk; and demonstrated the potential of publicly available data and machine learning to detect and deter illicit nuclear activities. The program also developed the Cyber Nuclear Forum, to strengthen protection of civilian nuclear facilities worldwide from cyberattacks.

This position is based in Washington, DC.  Teleworking up to 2 days per week may be permitted.

Note:  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NTI employees currently remain on a full-time telework status.  We anticipate a return to the DC office later this fall.  When health conditions improve and a date has been determined, we will give employees at least one month’s advance notice.

The Vice President, Scientific and Technical Affairs reports to the President of NTI.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The Vice President will lead our Scientific and Technical Affairs Program. The VP will lead NTI efforts to:

  • Enhance awareness of the benefits and risks of key emerging technologies and capabilities, including advanced computing, artificial intelligence, “big data,” and biotechnology.  Collaborate with nuclear and bio team experts at NTI on the development of policy implications of new technologies.
  • Develop ambitious strategies to address cyber threats to nuclear weapons and related systems as well as to nuclear facilities around the world.
  • Identify and demonstrate how to take advantage of new technologies and approaches for the detection, monitoring, and verification of nuclear activities and agreements.
  • Identify and develop strategies and opportunities to harness biotech innovation for human health and security benefits.
  • Convene and coordinate the NTI S&T Advisory Group.
  • Provide thought leadership for NTI’s scientific and technically focused efforts and represent NTI as a subject matter expert on nuclear threat reduction, nuclear materials security, nonproliferation, cyber security, AI/Machine Learning, biotechnology and related topics.
  • Develop and manage partnerships with other organizations.
  • Identify, develop, and supervise staff to accomplish program goals. Establish performance objectives and evaluation criteria for STA staff and monitor their performance.
  • Oversee the development, negotiation, and execution of all NTI grants and contracts within the STA Program.
  • Support NTI’s strategic and financial planning processes, including fundraising for the program.
  • Develop, in cooperation with the NTI CFO, the yearly budget for the STA Program and oversee its execution.
  • Lead the development of materials for the Board of Directors on STA program activities. Present program strategies and projects to the Board.
  • Provide scientific and technical support to NTI and activities in other program areas.  As appropriate, provide substantive input and review of other NTI activities, including written material, website content, speeches, and official correspondence.
  • Perform other duties and support projects as assigned.

An ideal candidate will have:

  • 15-20 years of relevant professional, managerial and leadership experience in scientific and technical national security issues.  Government experience is highly desirable.
  • Ph.D. degree in the physical sciences (e.g., physics, chemistry, computer science, biology), or M.S. degree and equivalent experience.
  • Recognized subject matter expertise in such areas as nuclear, cyber, AI, and biological issues, along with international security policies and programs.
  • Demonstrated expertise in leading programs and managing projects, staff, and budgets.
  • Proven ability to interact effectively with senior officials from the U.S. and international public and private sectors.
  • Strong written, oral, and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to travel internationally.  (Note:  NTI is currently operating under a limited essential travel only policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The above is intended to describe the general content of and requirements for the performance of this job. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of essential functions, responsibilities or requirements.

COVID-19 vaccination policy:

In accordance with NTI’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards, we have adopted a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.

All employees, including interns working in our D.C. office, will be required to be fully vaccinated, unless a reasonable accommodation for medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs is requested and approved.

To apply

Send a resume or CV and cover letter to [email protected] Subject line must read: “NTI STA VP”. Position will remain open until filled. Early application encouraged.


NTI is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and encourages people of all background and identities to apply. All applicants will be considered without attention to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, political affiliation, genetic information, disability, or any other quality or circumstance protected by Federal or D.C. law.


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