Work at APS >> Head of Public Engagement
Head of Public Engagement
Title:Head of Public Engagement
Department:APS Programs
Location:College Park, MD

Head of Public Engagement
College Park, MD

Who We Are
The American Physical Society (APS) is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C.

Position Summary
The Head of Public Engagement sets the direction for APS public engagement programs in consultation with the Director of APS Programs and key APS leaders. This position leads public engagement programs, engages key stakeholders, and works synergistically with other program areas. This position reports to the Director of APS Programs.

A Typical Week May Look Like This…
Lead public engagement programs
  • Develop and advance high impact public engagement programs that embody APS priorities, in consultation with the department director and key APS leaders.
  • Maintain deep knowledge of peer-reviewed literature, reports and other publications to inform program development.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of public engagement programs using best practices and make changes informed by evaluation results.
  • Write proposals to fund public engagement programs and help identify potential funding sources.
  • Lead the public engagement team to implement programs and assume primary responsibility for the success of public engagement initiatives.

Engage key stakeholders to help define and advance outreach priorities

  • Serve as a liaison to the Committee on Informing the Public (CIP) and engage members in actively shaping and implementing the APS public engagement agenda.
  • Serve as a liaison to the Forum on Outreach and Engaging the Public (FOEP) and other APS units interested in outreach and seek to engage executive committees in working collaboratively toward common goals.
  • Build and maintain relationships with public engagement leaders in the science community and other organizations to understand trends, challenges, best practices, and opportunities.

Work synergistically with other APS program areas and relevant departments

  • Collaborate with Education, Diversity, Careers, International Affairs and the Office of Governmental Affairs in areas of common interest, leveraging the expertise of other program areas to enhance public engagement initiatives and vice versa.
  • Work closely with Communications to effectively reach target audiences.
Is This You?
  • PhD (preferred) or MS (required) in physics or closely related field. Additionally, a background in science education and/or science communication is desired.
  • Five years minimum of experience leading outreach programs.
  • Experience with proposal writing and project management.
  • Supervisory experience is highly desirable.
  • Possess a deep knowledge of public engagement, including effective practices and peer-reviewed literature.
  • Strong, polished interpersonal, written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to handle several complex projects simultaneously, possess excellent organizational skills, and meet deadlines.
  • Proactively identify and respond to needs, and exercise sound judgment.
  • Customer service orientation desired, including ability to resolve conflicts constructively, and to empathize and understand perspectives and widely varying backgrounds of others.
  • Demonstrate willingness and ability to work as a team player.
  • Able to manage up, manage down, and manage across effectively.
  • Demonstrate a collaborative style to engage committee members and membership units in advancing outreach objectives, and partner effectively with APS staff in synergistic areas.
  • Build and maintain good relationships with key stakeholders in the public engagement community.
  • Able to gather strategic input and use results of strategic analyses to identify new directions and refine existing programs, in consultation with the department director and key APS leaders. 
  • Competence in managing grants, proposal writing and budgetary management practices is required.
  • Understand and employ principles of project management and program evaluation.
  • Ability to allocate resources, delegate work, motivate people and resolve conflicts.
  • Sensitive to the reactions of others and offer appropriate responses, so they feel their perspectives are heard and taken into account.
  • Work closely with the Director of Education and Diversity and other department staff to develop and implement programs.
  • Partner with Communications, the Office of Governmental Affairs, the APS Editorial Office, and other synergistic areas on outreach initiatives.
  • Work with other APS departments as needed to support implementation of activities.
  • Collaborate with relevant departments of AIP (American Institute of Physics) , AAPT (American Association of Physics Teachers) and other scientific societies to advance outreach priorities.
  • Engage with and support physicists in academia, national labs and industry who conduct outreach.
  • Engage with K-12 teachers and the public through direct outreach.

This is Us!
Our Mission: 

To advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics for the benefit of humanity, promote physics, and serve the broader physics community, we:

  • Provide a welcoming and supportive professional home for an active, engaged, and diverse membership
  • Advance scientific discovery and research dissemination
  • Advocate for physics and physicists, and amplify the voice for science
  • Share the excitement of physics and communicate the essential role physics plays in the modern world
  • Promote effective physics education for all

The core values that drive our mission are:

  • The Scientific Method
  • Truth and Integrity
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect
  • Partnering, Cooperation, and Open Collaboration
  • Speaking Out
  • Education and Learning


The American Physical Society is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic or national origin, ancestry, pregnancy (including childbirth or related condition), citizenship, familial status, mental or physical disability, veteran status, generic information, other non-disqualifying disability, or any other characteristic protect by law. 

We welcome you to apply today! 

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