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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Director, Mars Exploration Program
Department:  National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Agency:  Headquarters, NASA
Job Announcement Number:  HQ14S0005

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$120,749.00 to $172,150.00 / Per Year
Friday, January 17, 2014 to Friday, February 21, 2014
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC, DC View Map
This announcement is open to All Qualified Individuals.


NASA is looking for exceptional leaders for the 21st century! If you are interested in leading dynamic organizations responsible for fulfilling or supporting exciting scientific and aeronautic missions, there may be a place for you on the team. Seize this opportunity to use your current skills, build new ones, and make significant contributions to our nation's future. As an added benefit, you would be joining an agency ranked as one of the best places in the Federal government to work.

The incumbent serves as the Director of the Mars Exploration Program and is responsible for successful implementation of NASA's Mars Program and all Mars exploration robotic flight program activities in the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), beginning with mission formulation and continuing through design, development, launch, and mission operations and data analysis.


  • Position subject to pre-employment background investigation.
  • First time SES appointees are subject to a one-year probationary period.
  • A financial disclosure statement is required upon appointment into the SES.
  • This is a drug-testing designated position.
  • Successful adjudication of a TS/SCI clearance will be required.


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The Director, Mars Exploration Program, oversees NASA's Mars Program and is responsible for leading, planning, organizing, budgeting, controlling, and directing formulation activities; approving program and project plans; directing implementation of the program; and for assessing and evaluating the total flight program design, development, and operational activities. Programs within the incumbent's purview include all Mars missions in operation and development and missions in early planning, including technologies and capabilities to enable these missions. The incumbent coordinates the establishment of Mars Exploration program-level mission and science requirements with the Director, Planetary Science Division (PSD).

Main responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

--Develops long-term technology needs, and mission science data acquisition and data analysis activities.

--Establishes programmatic requirements and mission plans; organizes, controls, directs, approves program and project plans; leads formulation activities for candidate new missions.

--Provides guidelines and policy direction for Mars exploration mission formulation, design and development, and launch and mission operations and data analysis.

--Manages review, evaluation, and assessment of all Mars exploration mission implementation activities being conducted by supporting Centers (e.g., design, development, test, launch, and mission operations and data analysis).

--Establishes detailed budgets for Mars exploration mission formulation, advanced technology development, flight system mission developments, and mission operations and data analysis; assesses Mars exploration financial status and makes changes, including mission descopes, as appropriate.

--Serves as the primary point of contact with other Headquarters offices, other government agencies, international space organizations, and center management in all programmatic matters relating to the planning, formulation, implementation, and operations of Mars Program activities.

The Director is also responsible for furthering the goals of equal employment opportunity and diversity by taking positive steps to support the accomplishment of equal employment objectives and by adhering to nondiscriminatory employment practices in all areas under his/her supervision.


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To qualify, candidates must have the skill and ability to perform the duties described above as demonstrated by progressively responsible supervisory/managerial experience, normally with several years at the GS-15 level or equivalent, which demonstrates clearly the ability to manage people and resources. Candidates must also demonstrate qualifications in the managerial and technical areas noted below. See the SES Handbook and NASA's Guide to Effectively Preparing Executive Core Qualifications for more information. IMPORTANT: CANDIDATES MUST FULLY ADDRESS ALL ITEMS UNDER EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS AS WELL AS ALL ITEMS UNDER TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU COMPLETE YOUR ANSWERS OFF-LINE IN ADVANCE OF BEGINNING THE APPLICATION PROCESS, SO THAT YOU CAN INSERT THEM INTO THE ELECTRONIC FORM. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS ARE NOT SAVED.

1. Leading Change - Involves the ability to bring about strategic change, within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.
2. Leading People - Involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organizations vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.
3. Results Driven - Involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.
4. Business Acumen - Involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.
5. Building Coalitions - Involves the 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.

Basic requirements for this position allow eligibility through meeting either the education or experience requirements specified below:

Education: All academic degrees and coursework must be from accredited or pre-accredited institutions.

Undergraduate or Graduate Education: Degree in Professional Engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must: (1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics


Combination of education and experience -- college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering.

1. Technical Qualifications - TQ#1: B.S. or equivalent professional experience in aerospace engineering or a closely related field, including knowledge of spaceflight mission design, mission development, mission operations, program/project management, and program/project oversight.

2. TQ#2: Extensive knowledge of the scientific and engineering activities associated with spaceflight mission development, operations, and applications.

3. TQ#3: Demonstrated ability to develop and implement program/project objectives, establish associated schedules and resource requirements and execute within the allocated budget and schedule.

4. TQ#4: Demonstrated ability to articulate and defend program policy and objectives orally and in writing to both professional and non-professional audiences.

U.S. citizenship is required


Applicants will be evaluated by an Executive Resources Panel based on the managerial and technical qualification requirements stated in this announcement. Eligible candidates will be placed in qualified and highly-qualified categories. Interviews, and qualification and suitability inquiries may be requested. The highly-qualified will be referred to the appropriate official who will recommend selection.


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For information about employment as a Senior Executive, please refer to the OPM Handbook.


This announcement is for a career appointment to a position in the NASA Senior Executive Service (SES).

Selective Service - If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify at the time of
appointment that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so
under Selective Service law.

Equal Employment Opportunity - The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on
the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political
affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an
employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Relocation expenses may be paid consistent with NASA's policy.

Your USAJOBS account asks you to assign a name to each of your resumes. When you apply to a NASA position, we will show you the text of the resume you have submitted, but we do not maintain the name you have assigned to that resume. If you wish to keep track of that information, we recommend you make note of it at the time you apply.


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This vacancy is being filled through NASA STARS, an automated Staffing and Recruitment System. NASA partners with USAJOBS in providing a seamless application process. You may begin the process of submitting your resume by clicking on the "Apply Online" link. To be considered, you must submit a resume completed on the USAJOBS site. NASA limits resumes to the equivalent of approximately SIX typed pages, or approximately 22,000 characters (including spaces). You will not be allowed to complete the application process if your resume is too long. Once your resume is submitted, you will be asked to provide additional information, including narrative statements about your managerial and technical qualifications. Responses to the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) questions may not exceed 32,200 characters (approximately 10 pages). Responses to technical qualifications are also limited to 32,200 characters. Because your answers will not be saved until you complete the entire application, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS IN A SEPARATE TEXT DOCUMENT AND INSERT THEM INTO THE ON-LINE FORM. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS ARE NOT SAVED. Do NOT include your answers in the body of your USAJOBS resume, since the questions will be asked separately. Please take time to prepare these documents, especially your ECQs. Helpful information can be found here. If you are unable to apply electronically for this position, submit your resume and supplemental information to: NASA, Resume Operations Center, Mailstop: HS50, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812. DO NOT submit your resume directly to the Center advertising this vacancy. Mailed resumes must be received by the close of business on the closing date of the announcement. Hard copy resumes requirements are provided at: Hard Copy Resume Requirements. If you are a first time applicant, we recommend that you review NASA's Applicant Guide to ensure that you are providing a complete resume. Failure to submit the supplemental data and a resume that contains all of the required information may result in loss of consideration for positions in which you are interested. All applications must be received no later than midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.


NASA's application process has been specifically developed to ensure that we only ask you for the information we absolutely need to evaluate your qualifications and eligibility. In order to apply for this position, you need to submit your resume and answer the screening questions and supplemental information. You must also respond to both the Executive Core Qualifications (Managerial Qualifications) and the Technical Qualifications. No additional documentation is accepted at the time of application. In this way we allow you to focus on preparing a resume that best describes your background and abilities. For assistance in preparing your resume, consult the Applicant Guide. Nothing further is required unless we make you an employment offer. At that point, we may ask you to submit documentation to support statements made in your resume. For example, we may ask you to provide academic transcripts or proof of Federal employment status. If you fail to provide the required documents within the stated time period, we may use that as a basis for withdrawing our employment offer.


Kver Reed
Agency Information:
NASA's Resume Operations Center
Mailstop HS50
Marshall Space Flight Center, AL


Although you may or may not be contacted during the selection process, we will always advise you about the outcome of the announcement. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the individual identified in the Contact section.

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