Program Manager, National Security Space (El Segundo, CA)

Job Summary: JHU/APL is seeking a Program Manager with space system development or weapon system development expertise to lead a world class team to deliver battle management and command and control effects to ensure U.S. and Allied freedom of action in space. For decades, APL has created concepts, prototyped, developed, tested and delivered to the government the battle management and command and control (BMC2) capabilities for our Nation’s most advanced naval and missile defense weapons. This Program Manager will lead a diverse team of engineers and scientists to define requirements, concepts of operations, architecture options, prototype development, testing, analysis and the like in the area of space as a warfighting domain. As part of this effort, the Program Manager will help APL and our government sponsors to coordinate BMC2 activities at very senior levels across many important institutions, including SMC, AFSPC, SSDP, AFRL, the Air Staff, and possibly others. The Program Manager will manage a geographically diverse team located in Los Angeles, CA, Laurel, MD, and possibly other locations to deliver these effects as one integrated team. As part of the National Security Space Mission Area, this Program Manager will be accountable for program execution, proposal development, and programmatic oversight of technical staff, as well as cost, schedule, and performance of the contracts, budgets, and technical deliverables to our sponsors.


  • Interact with the sponsor/s on all program-related matters both programmatic and technical; develop program plans, Task Assignment letters, contract progress reports and define work tasks necessary to support the sponsor; conduct periodic Program Reviews with the sponsor; provide strategic planning and goals for the programs; interact with APL line managers to coordinate technical support to achieve program goals and ensure all program deliverables meet the quality standards of the Laboratory. Support the management of the end-to-end proposal process required to satisfy sponsor requirements. Manage/oversee proposal teams from inception to delivery of the final product to the customer within cost and schedule constraints. Direct the on-going effort of process improvement and incorporation of lessons-learned.
  • Provide thought leadership in the design, implementation, and sustainment of space battle management command and control capabilities; identify future directions and roles for APL to make in the field and make technical contributions, as appropriate, to specific tasks within the Program. Coordinate strategy and execution of programs/projects with partner Program Managers in the Mission Area to provide most effective value to the government.
  • Build and lead a highly competent team to execute the work of the Program. Recommend candidates for, manage and mentor Project Managers, Task and Technical Leads. Coordinate Program efforts through the Project Managers to ensure on time and within budget execution of Program tasking. Work across the organization, where appropriate, on battle management command and control initiatives. Provide coaching, mentorship and leadership to ensure staff development.
  • Develop and maintain a vision and strategy for the Program, consistent with the Mission and Program Area strategies and objectives. Develop and maintain effective working relationships within the Space Sector and across the Laboratory. Understand the Mission Area strategy and how the Program contributes to it. Advise the Mission Area Executive and Program Area Manager in making portfolio management decisions. Contribute to the shaping, selection, and management of internal research and development (IRAD) activities in support of the Program, Program Area and Mission Area.

Note: This job summary and listing of duties is for the purpose of describing the position and its essential functions at time of hire and may change over time.

Required Qualifications:

  • MS degree in an Engineering or Scientific or Business Management discipline. Military satellite system experience, preferably in ground systems.
  • Minimum of 8 years technical experience in space systems and 5 years of experience and strong record of success in team supervision.
  • Experience in sponsor engagement and/or project management with the Air Force SMC or Space Command.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, oral and written communication skills.
  • Outstanding leadership qualities and skills in team building and managing multidisciplinary technical teams.
  • Experience leading programs at multiple levels, such as studies, analysis, or space instrumentation.
  • Experience with all program elements through the full life cycle of a project, including proposals, technical performance, schedule, cost, funding, scope of task, activity networking, critical system interfaces, requirements management, resource allocation, risk allocation and management, staffing considerations, and quality management system guidelines.
  • Current TS/SCI clearance.

Desired Qualifications:

  • 15 or more years of experience in space systems, technical management or systems engineering.
  • Graduate degree in technical field or management.
  • Experience as a line manager.
  • Special Access Program (SAP) experience.

Special Working Conditions: Will work in the JHU/APL El Segundo, CA, office of the APL National Security Space Mission Area and at government sponsor locations in the El Segundo area. Routine travel to APL Laurel, MD facilities required. Occasional travel to other sites required.

Security: 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. TS/SCI clearance required. Badging at LA AFB for easy access to base is highly likely and desired.

Benefits: APL offers a comprehensive benefits package including a liberal vacation plan, a matching retirement program, significant educational assistance, a scholarship tuition program for staff with dependents, and competitive salaries commensurate with skills and experience. For more information about our organization, please visit our web site at

Equal Employment Opportunity: Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments Acts of 1972, as well as other applicable laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

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