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Deputy Director, Contracts & Grants in Columbia, MD at Universities Space Research Association

Date Posted: 12/3/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description

The Contracts & Grants (C&G) Department manages activities for contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, procurements, and other federal and commercial funding agreements or sponsored research.  This position is posted to hire a deputy that will oversee all activities and partner with the Procurement Department Manager.

Under the supervision of the Director, the Deputy Director, C&G, will oversee contract department operations and direct staff who manage contract activities, including proposal preparation, negotiations, administration, the development and approval of file documentation, and customer engagements.  The incumbent will protect the company and provide proper contract acquisition and fulfillment in accordance with legal, client, and company requirements.  The incumbent will foster an environment that develops and professionally advances team members, including providing or securing on-the-job, formal training, and development opportunities, while giving employees constructive, timely performance feedback.  The incumbent will also support to some extent business development efforts and manage contracts, grants, etc. under his or her own program portfolio; and will use his or her data analysis skills to deliver fresh insights and support optimal decision-making for subcontracts and procurement consistent with category management practices.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

Contracts and Grants

Establish and maintain a contracts and grants a workflow management system that ensures visibility of the contracts lifecycle process and further ensures that the C&G and procurement functions are accountable to one another, to customers, and to senior management.  This includes developing and establishing standards, processes, and policies that span the full range of contract operations.

  • The deputy is expected to carry out fiduciary duties related to managing the company’s business relationships and transactions, and provides senior-level guidance to others in the drafting and negotiation of corporate standard and non-standard non-disclosure agreements, teaming agreements, and joint ventures; memoranda of understanding; bailment agreements; and other agreements, with regard to equitable terms and conditions, and modification requests.
  • Review and audit contract performances to ensure compliance with terms, and to identify conflicts or changes requiring resolution, including extensions, renewals, and amendments.
  • Draft provisions, letters, etc. based on strategy discussions with senior management. Work with outside counsel, as appropriate, to ensure that the legal ramifications of any business undertaking are properly considered and risks are identified and addressed or mitigated in advance.
  • Provide information to auditors, and discuss audit findings with auditors and senior USRA officials.
  • Oversee various corporate programs and systems (e.g., Small Business/Small Disadvantaged Business, contract performance assessment ratings system,
  • Adjudicate personal conflicts of interests and draft organizational conflicts of interest plans and processes for programs, as well as implement internal compliance audits on a periodic basis.
  • Deliver reports and presentations to executives that reflect a high degree of professional care.
  • Advise and support USRA’s export empowered official, including international and export licensing and compliance requirements.
  • Other job-related duties, as assigned.

Intellectual Property

Oversee the administration of the intellectual property (IP) provisions of USRA’s contracts, cooperative agreement and grants. Support the development of research partnerships between USRA and other organizations using Joint Ownership Agreements, Licensing and Copyright Agreements, and Cooperative Research and Development Agreements.

Research Subcontracts and Sub-awards

Manage Principal Managers, C&G, who are functional leaders on programs for research contracts, cooperative agreements, grants, etc.


Collaborate and advise the Procurement Department Manager in category management (formerly “strategic sourcing”) strategies and cost effective acquisitions of materials and services. 


Provide guidance for contracts and purchasing related controls for critical business processes to mitigate compliance/operational risk.  Develop and draft policies and procedures.  Maintain accuracy of USRA records in government systems.  Assist in program risk assessment and implement a compliance regimen.


Required Qualifications:


Bachelor’s degree in business administration, management, accounting, or related field. JD or MBA a plus.



Minimum 10 years’ experience in a related, responsible position.


Licenses, Certifications:

NCMA Membership and a CPFM or CPCM is desirable.


Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:  

  • Must have a demonstrated understanding (interpretation and compliance at a senior level) of and experience with Federal Acquisition Regulations and the proposal/source selection process.
  • Experience with various contract types, cooperative agreements and grants strongly preferred; knowledge of NASA PRs and NASA grant supplement a plus.
  • Strong communications skills; must effectively and concisely communicate risk factors, legal considerations and other elements of negotiations to a broad audience in verbal and written form.
  • Effectively work with the management of other organizations (program management, subcontracts, business management, and supply chain management), as well as Government agencies.
  • Regularly exercise independent judgment and discretion in solving complex contract and business issues.


  • Behave Ethically: Understand ethical behavior and business practices and ensure own behavior is consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the company.
  • Lead: Positively influence others to achieve results that are in the best interest of the company.
  • Build Relationships: Establish and maintain positive working relationships with others, both internally and externally, to achieve the goals of the company.
  • Foster Teamwork: Work cooperatively and effectively with others to set goals, resolve problem, and make decisions that enhance team effectiveness.
  • Solve Problems: Assess problem situations to identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions, and make recommendations and/or resolve the problem.
  • Communicate Effectively: Speak, listen and write in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques.
  • Plan: Determine strategies to move the team forward, set goals, create and implement actions plans, and evaluate the process and results.
  • Organize: Set priorities, develop a work schedule, monitor progress towards goals, and track details, data, information and activities.



  • Strong skills in office productivity software, such as Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, is required.
  • Proficiency in Deltek’s Costpoint web service, or similar tool, is highly desired.
  • Proficiency (or ability to become proficient) in Cognos Business Intelligence is also highly desired.

Working Conditions:

This job operates in a fast-paced, professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, etc. Extensive online usage. This is largely a sedentary role.


Up to 5% travel.

All interested candidates must apply directly on our website at

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity