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Chief Research Security Officer

University of Washington
Times Square, WA
Closing date
Jul 17, 2024

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Organization Type
As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem-solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

The values of diversity, equity and inclusion are integral to the success of our research enterprise and are embedded in the culture of who we are as an institution and employer. We create progressive change honoring the unique and diverse perspectives in the Office of Research and the UW research community. We strengthen our commitment to the core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion by fostering an environment of authenticity in support of our mission to provide an equitable and accessible community to all.

Position Purpose

The Chief Research Security Officer (CRSO) (Payroll Title: Assistant Vice President/Provost (E S 12)) will serve a critical role by ensuring UW research complies with legal and regulatory obligations related to research security, including compliance with National Security Presidential Memorandum-33 requirements, export control regulations, and all relevant University policies. Reporting to the Sr Associate Vice Provost for Research Administration and Integrity in the Office of Research (OR) with a direct communication and access line to the University Provost, the CRSO will lead designated compliance efforts across UW and serve as a university authorized representative with governmental agencies. In that oversight capacity, the CRSO will maintain and continuously improve a robust, integrated, and effective research security program; partner with UW and government stakeholders to identify and address potential problems; and provide strategic oversight to staff and faculty with related responsibilities within their departments.

The CRSO will apply a thorough understanding of related laws and regulations and skills in risk-based analysis, decision-making, communications, and team leadership. In addition, the CRSO will inform and enforce University-wide policy and will enable research involving activities, personnel, information, and technologies subject to export control and other research security and related regulations.

As a manager, the CRSO will model and support a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and well-being. The CRSO will by foster an environment where their team can thrive and navigate work and life challenges because they feel like they belong and have the tools and support they need.

Position Complexities:

The Chief Research Security Officer (CRSO) must identify and implement measures to ensure compliance with research security regulations within the relatively open environment of a large, complex, research-intensive university. Highly technical subject matter expertise as well as experience-informed opinions regarding research security must be provided by the CRSO at executive levels. The relevant regulatory framework is complex, at times internally inconsistent and/or less than fully defined, and frequently evolving. A risk-based approach to compliance will be required and must be well within the CRSO's skill set.

Position Dimensions and Impact to the University:

UW is a world leader in research, ranking among the world's top 25 universities. Each year since 1974, UW receives more federal research funding than any other U S Public university, with research funding for FY 2023 exceeding $1.8 billion. It is critical that UW have strong, effective leadership in the research security domain if UW is to maintain its position as a premier research university. The CRSO serves as the University's Empowered Official and Research Security Single Point of Contact as defined in applicable federal regulations.

Duties and Responsibilities

Executive Leadership 20%
  • Ultimate responsibility for developing, maintaining and implementing a service-oriented Research Security Program to ensure University-wide compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Directly supervises the RSO Director in their role of directing the staff and operations of the RSO.
  • Directly supervises the Export Controls Office (ECO) Director position in their role of directing the staff and operations of the ECO.
  • Represents the UW Office of Research on committees and other University-wide bodies charged with making or enforcing policy involving or affecting Research Security.
  • Leads institutional responses to matters centering on Research Security that threaten the University's reputation or status as an entity authorized to conduct research subject to export control and research security regulation.
  • Represents the UW's Research Security posture to other top-tier research universities, U S government agencies and industry.

Executive Administration 25%
  • Promote and oversee the delivery of excellent customer service by RSO and ECO within available resources.
  • Assure systems and procedures are in place to support the effective and efficient daily operations of RSO and ECO.
  • Serve as a university authorized representative with governmental agencies for all matters related to Research Security. Participate and represent UW in local, regional and national forums shaping Federal policy related to Research Security and in Research Security aspects of general research administration.
  • Represent RSO and ECO to UW senior management, academic units and other constituents, advocating for necessary resources for these units and communicating their positions and initiatives.
  • Develop and lead strategic planning and initiatives to anticipate and respond to the rapidly changing federal regulatory climate with its increased emphasis on compliance and documentation. Develop and implement new processes and policies required by changes in government regulatory environments or to facilitate enhanced customer service.
  • Identify service areas and processes that will enhance service with specifications and expectations, monitor with appropriate metrics and evaluation techniques, assess performance over time, improve and redesign processes based on the evaluation, and reassess continuously.

Leading Change 15%
  • Establish a reputation for competence and collaboration with UW researchers for the new Research Security Program, the RSO and the ECO.
  • Communicate and model how the University's research and research training can continue to flourish and have impact, within the restrictions and additional administration required to be compliant with federal regulations.
  • Identify and implement best practices to ensure UW's research community continues to embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging while addressing national security concerns.
  • Develop a comprehensive Research Security training program for all research personnel that meets applicable federal requirements. To the extent feasible, integrate Research Security content and/or concepts into other existing UW research training programs.

Lead organizational development of the Research Security Program 10%
  • Manage, mentor and develop RSO and ECO Directors and staff.
  • Hire and maintain a well-trained, motivated and diverse staff to provide effective service to the UW research community.
  • Ensure job requirements and goals for each RSO and ECO position are clear to employees, that there is sufficient training to achieve the desired level of competency, and that there is documentation of evidence of competency on a continuing basis.
  • Represent the RSO's and ECO's human resources needs to the Office of Research and UW Human Resources offices, as appropriate.

Building and Maintaining Strategic Relationships 10%
  • Promote effective teamwork/coordination among UW administration and compliance offices to improve service to researchers while ensuring regulatory compliance and changes in policies and procedures. The CRSO is expected to work closely with the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Office of Global Affairs, the Office for Information Security, CoMotion, and other Research Compliance offices and academic units at the Department and School or College levels.
  • Build and maintain a communication network with key sponsors including federal, state, private, and not-for-profit organizations.
  • Respond to queries from external organizations regarding UW Research Security resources and policies.

Ensuring Compliance with Regulations, Policies and Laws 20%
  • Work to minimize compliance risk related to Research Security by implementing sound business management practices related to all aspects of UW research and serve as the technical expert on Research Security matters.
  • Provide leadership and coordination of relationships with external research regulatory agencies and the compliance divisions of other federal, industry and not-for-profit research sponsors.
  • Act as a resource to the campus research community on interpretation and administration of regulatory matters.
  • Provide leadership on initiatives internal and external to the Office of Research supporting the development and implementation of institutional policies and establishment of educational programs and compliance relationships.
  • Advise the Sr Associate Vice Provost for Research Administration and Integrity on policy development and implementation.
  • Represent management in audits and ensure follow-up on audit findings.

Supervisory Responsibilities
  • Supervises Export Controls team (Director, Compliance Analyst), and Director of Research Security Office (to be hired).

Minimum Requirements
  • Professional Degree in Engineering, Management, or Administration, Law, or other relevant discipline.
  • At least six years of relevant research administration and export control experience, with proven administrative, organizational, analytical and problem-solving skills, in a university environment.
  • Minimum of six years of experience in a high-volume service setting.
  • Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

Additional Requirements
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated experience working effectively with customers and sponsors at multiple levels in the context of complex organizations.
  • Ability to manage, motivate and coach a team under tight deadlines and amidst multiple and sometimes conflicting priorities; supervisory and management experience to include demonstrated skill in problem solving, staff motivation, and establishing and managing to operational metrics.
  • Experience with electronic management and workflow tools.
  • Knowledge of major federal sponsor policies, including NSF, NIH and DoD, and an understanding of federal, state and other relevant regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and the Export Administration Regulations, as well as knowledge of contracting and subcontracting.
  • In addition, the CRSO should demonstrate the ability to lead and model with:
  • High standards for personal and professional excellence, achievement, and integrity.
  • An open and collaborative leadership style that promotes partnerships, team building and the ability to build strong relationships across constituents.
  • A proven capability to handle multiple priorities, with the ability to delegate responsibility and to ensure timely follow-through with implementation.
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to see the big picture, while remaining attentive to detail.
  • A commitment to enhancing diversity.

Desired Qualifications
  • Experience in dealing with various aspects of proposal development/preparation, grant management, contract negotiation, compliance, and related areas as applicable to Research Security.
  • Experience in a large research university with a health science unit is preferred.

Application Process:

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law

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