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Job Title:
Program Manager, IS -0340-13; $110,798 - $144,034 per year
Type of Position:
Trust Fund (non-federal) Indefinite
Job Location:
Cambridge, MA
Posting Opening Date:
Posting Closing Date:

AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all qualified candidates. This is NOT a federal position.

Note:  First consideration may be made 14 days after the opening of this vacancy

INTRODUCTIONSAO is at the forefront, internationally, of the scientific exploration of the universe. Its programs range from ground-based astronomy and astrophysics research to space-based research, the engineering and development of major scientific instrumentation for space launch and use in extensive ground-based facilities, and research designed to improve science education. The research objectives of SAO are carried out primarily with the support of Government and Smithsonian Institution funds, with additional philanthropic support.  Government funds are in the form of Federal appropriations or the form of contracts and grants from other agencies. In contrast, Institution funds are available to SAO through grants from the Institution's Restricted Funds, Special Purpose Funds, Bureau Activities, Business Activities, and non-Federal contracts and grants.

PURPOSE OF THE POSITION: This is the position of Program Manager in the Central Engineering Division. The Program Manager will lead and oversee various projects, ranging from network infrastructure to upgrades to computer and storage implementations. The employee is skilled in planning, executing, and monitoring projects across short and longer-term timelines.


  • Program planning and initiation includes collaboration with stakeholders to define project scope, goals, and deliverables.

  • Develop comprehensive project plans, including timelines, resources, and budgets; identify project risks and develop mitigation strategies.

  • Develops multi-year budgets, including expenditures and labor cost projections, and provides budget projections and other data for reviews as required.

  • Program execution and monitoring, coordinate, and lead project teams, ensuring tasks are assigned and progress is tracked.  Monitor milestones, ensuring adherence to timelines and quality standards. Address any issues or roadblocks that arise during execution. Provide regular status updates to stakeholders.

  • Allocate and manage resources effectively to ensure project and program success. Coordinate with internal and external teams, vendors, and partners to ensure smooth project execution.

  • Identify potential risks and develop strategies to minimize their impact on project outcomes. Proactively address issues to prevent project delays or scope creep. Ensure compliance with security and regulatory standards throughout the project’s lifecycle.

  • Maintain comprehensive documentation, including requirements, design documents, and program plans. Generate regular project status reports for various levels of stakeholders. Gives presentations or briefings on all aspects of projects and programs.

  • Participates in regular information sessions to plan and maintain productive interaction with staff and senior PM to ensure that technical progress is aligned with the program’s budget and schedules.

  • Performs other related duties as assigned.


Candidates must possess a minimum of one year of specialized experience, as listed in the major duties.

How You Will be Evaluated: Your application will be evaluated first for the above basic qualifications. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:

  • Knowledge and skill to successfully create and submit project plans, including researching costs, planning expense and labor profiles, and coordinating proposal production and submission.

  • Ability to develop, justify, and control budgets for projects to support ongoing project execution, calculate estimates to complete, and for inclusion in proposals and basis of estimates.

  • Mastery of advanced management and organizational principles and practices along with a comprehensive knowledge of planning, programming, and budgeting regulations, guidelines and processes, and thorough knowledge of the strategies, techniques, and processes used to plan, develop, and control project schedule and track project milestones, activities, and deliverables, including timeframes and assigned resources.

  • Expert knowledge of the principles, methods, and tools for managing project resources, including monitoring and inspecting costs, work, and contractor performance (utilizing, but not limited to, Smartsheet and/or MS Project).

  • Knowledge of the principles and methods for evaluating program or organizational performance using financial and nonfinancial measures, including identification of evaluation factors (for example, workload, personnel requirements), metrics, and outcomes.

  • Ability to lead and manage a team for maximum effectiveness, give direction to support staff, mentor and advise staff, and resolve conflicts.

Required Documents: To receive consideration, applicants must submit all of the following:

  • CV

Application Procedures:  We are only accepting applications online for this position. To apply, please visit                                                       

Conditions of Employment: 

  • Successful completion of a pre-employment background investigation.                                                                   
  • A one-year probationary period is required.         

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal-opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.

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