We're hiring: Director of Education

The SETI Institute is seeking a creative and visionary leader to serve as its Director of Education and to continue and expand its broad-based program in formal and informal education.  The role requires close collaboration with Institute scientists, outside organizations and with a range of funding agencies.  The Director will have the responsibility of building on the foundation of the Institute’s existing programs and coordinating partnership development in order to have an even bigger impact in science education.  A key element of this strategy will be making alliances with scientific and educational organizations that have goals in line with our objectives.  We are looking for a mid-career professional with solid knowledge of and connections within the space-science education community.  The Director of Education reports directly to the CEO and will be a member of the Institute’s leadership team.

The SETI Institute, founded in 1984, is a widely respected non-profit scientific research and educational organization, engaged in research and outreach focused on the understanding and explaining the origin and nature of life in the universe, and applying that knowledge to inspire and guide present and future generations. We have a passion for discovery, and for sharing knowledge as scientific ambassadors to the public, the press, and the government.  The Institute is located in Mountain View, California, in the midst of Silicon Valley and employs more than 70 scientists, and a team of support staff.  The work of the Institute includes planetary science, astrobiology, astrophysics, life sciences, and the technology that underlies those fields.


  • In collaboration with the CEO and senior management develop strategies and specific plans for programs in education that support the mission of the organization and provide independent funding;
  • Prepare budgets and proposals, and work with potential funders to obtain funding from external sources;
  • Hire, provide  training, supervision and mentorship to education staff;
  • Develop alliances with a wide range of educational organizations to fulfill the Institute’s educational  objectives; 
  • Disseminate information about the Institute’s educational programs through conferences, articles, presentations, and the media;
  • Stay abreast of new funding opportunities in education and outreach and respond in a timely  manner;
  • Participate in senior management meetings and collaborate closely with senior staff, scientists, Board of Trustees and donors in planning as well as  in resource and program development; 
  • Represent the Institute as a spokesperson in appropriate education and public settings;
  • Manage and report on corporate, foundation, and federal grants and external contracts; 


  • At least a master’s degree in astronomy or physical science, with course work in science education; or a master’s degree in science education with course work in astronomy or a relevant physical science.
  • A minimum of ten years of experience in overseeing and managing education programs. 
  • Experience in writing and managing federal, corporate, or private grant proposals; 
  • At least 3 years of  experience selecting and supervising staff;
  • Must have experience in forging strategic alliances with other organizations; 
  •  Excellent communication and presentation skills are required;
  • Computer literacy relevant to the job requirements is a must;
  • Direct experience in a classroom or informal education setting is desirable;
  • Must possess multi-tasking and time management skills;
  • Travel and flexible work schedule are required. 

Salary/Benefits: The SETI Institute provides competitive salary, excellent benefits including health/dental/vision insurance, a flexible spending account for medical and dependent care, vacation, and sick leave. The Institute sponsors a retirement plan option upon fulfillment of eligibility.

Apply now