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Executive Director, JHU Institute for Assured Autonomy & Bloomberg Distinguished Professor

Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland
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  • Job Type
  • Job Status
    Full Time

The Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) at Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) invite nominations and applications for the newly created role of Bloomberg Distinguished Professor (BDP) and Executive Director of the Institute for Assured Autonomy (IAA).  Building upon our current strengths in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, cybersecurity, and data science, Hopkins is making significant investments in order to take a clear leadership role in assurance, security, and privacy practices for a world that is increasingly shaped by autonomous machines and systems. The University’s distinctive resources and these broad commitments are converging in a new enterprise, jointly established by the University, WSE and APL: The Institute for Assured Autonomy, or “IAA.” IAA activities span the breadth of the research spectrum from fundamental research and advanced technology development, all the way through to fielding and validating real-world systems. The Bloomberg Distinguished Professor will serve as the leader of this new initiative, providing vision and direction for the effort, creating new ways for WSE and APL to collaborate together with the rest of the University, ensuring the quality and impact of the theory and the application that occurs under the auspices of the Institute.

The creation of IAA provides an outstanding opportunity for an accomplished scholar with vision, capacity for sustained excellence in research, application, and program leadership, to provide leadership and vision for how WSE and APL invest their considerable resources within assured autonomy. The BDP and Executive Director of IAA will be an employee of WSE, but will have appointments with both WSE and APL.

IAA Research Initiatives

The Executive Director will be responsible for driving research, education and workforce development, translation and entrepreneurship opportunities, as well as partnerships across government, industry and academia for the safety, trust and security of convergence of the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics within real-world environments.

Recent planning initiatives galvanized by the executive leadership of the University and APL have identified three “pillars” that will structure the development and deployment of resources and will focus energies that may position IAA for distinction and impact:

•    Technology – pursuing new research and engineering methodologies to ensure that autonomous systems behave in safe, reasonable, and acceptable ways in our autonomous future
•    Ecosystem – ensuring that connections and interactions between autonomous systems, over networks, with the physical environment, and with humans are assured, resilient, productive, and fair in the autonomous future
•    Policy and Governance – leading the development of policy and governance discussion and structure so that they evolve along the range of technologies that are driving rapid change

The inaugural Executive Director will shape and programmatize these pillars going forward and of course may introduce additional areas of investment and emphasis as the success of the Institute and as opportunities in theory and application occasion.

A comprehensive memorandum of understanding between the University and the APL guides and governs the growth and operation of the Institute. There is a University and APL commitment in excess of $50M to support its first 10 years, which includes the hiring of 6 to 10 new faculty members.  It is expected that $100M+ in additional funding will be secured from external sources during this first decade. For more information about IAA in its current formative state, visit https://www.jhuapl.edu/iaa/.

Position Qualifications

Candidates for the Executive Director position will have extensive research and applied experience with autonomous systems and assurance. They will possess an earned doctorate in computer science, engineering, applied mathematics, statistics, or a closely related field and a record deserving appointment as tenured full professor at The Johns Hopkins University. They will be able to develop and articulate a compelling vision for how Hopkins can harness its current strengths and develop new strengths to make a valuable and sustainable impact on the science and application of assurance in an autonomous world. They will bring a balanced commitment to both research/scholarship and application in the form of programs whose success is measured in stable funding, translation, and real-world impact on policy and practice. And, as a BDP, they will continue some level of teaching, including of undergraduates. A mix of senior-level experience in academia, industry, and government is particularly welcome.

Required educational background and qualifications:

•    Eminence in the field of assured autonomy with a distinguished national and international reputation for research, and application;
•    Excellent communication skills in both internal and external interactions;
•    Sufficient budget & financial acumen to oversee efficient & compliance management of the Institute’s resources;
•    A strong commitment to diversity at all levels among faculty, students, and staff; and
•    A participatory leadership style that models the values of service, initiative, and collaboration.
•    Applicant selected will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.

Johns Hopkins University has retained Opus Partners (www.opuspartners.net) to support this recruitment. Craig Smith, Partner, is leading the search.

Applicants should submit a single PDF containing a letter of interest outlining their research and leadership experience, their CV, and a two or three-page statement of research interests to craig.smith@opuspartners.net.

Nominations, recommendations, expressions of interest, and inquiries should go to the same address. Review of credentials will begin promptly and will continue until the appointment is finalized. An appointment start date no later than January 1, 2021 is preferred.

The Whiting School of Engineering and the Applied Physics Laboratory are committed to building a diverse educational environment, and women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Across its divisions, Johns Hopkins University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, other legally protected characteristics or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria. The University promotes Affirmative Action for minorities, women, individuals who are disabled, and veterans. Johns Hopkins University is a drug-free, smoke-free workplace.

APL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.


Posted: 2020-03-19 Expires: 2020-04-18

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Executive Director, JHU Institute for Assured Autonomy & Bloomberg Distinguished Professor

Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland

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