Chief Executive Officer

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Chief Executive Officer

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) seeks a visionary, strategic, and engaging leader to serve as their Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO of the ASP will lead the organization into the future through inspiring leadership, innovative strategic vision, and sustainable and thriving financial management.

Celebrating its 135th year in 2024, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) is an international 501c3 nonprofit astronomy organization, headquartered in San Francisco, CA. The ASP is revered in the astronomy education community for providing diverse and impactful educational programs and is dedicated to being innovative, nimble, and flexible as scientific understanding evolves. The ASP’s astronomy education efforts target amateur astronomers, professional research astronomers, K-college classrooms, science museums, planetariums, national and state parks, nature centers, libraries, astronomy clubs, and the wider community.

The ASP partners with and receives financial support from a diverse portfolio of sources that includes government agencies (including NASA and NSF), private and corporate foundations, corporate sponsorship, earned revenue, and donations from ASP members and the public. The Society also publishes and receives revenue from two professional journals: The Proceedings of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (PASP) and the ASP Conference Series (ASPCS). The organization’s annual operating budget is approximately $2,700,000, and the institution employs a staff of 15 people working both in San Francisco, but increasingly remotely from their homes. The Society also holds a number of assets, including equity in the San Francisco headquarters, as well as a portfolio of restricted and unrestricted investment funds. These assets total about $7.5 million.

The ASP is seeking a dynamic and visionary Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who will lead the organization into the future through inspiring leadership, innovative organizational thinking, and excellent financial management. The CEO is responsible for the operation of the Society and its staff including administration, programs, financial management, fundraising, marketing, and outreach, and reports directly to the Board of Directors. As the ASP’s lead spokesperson, the CEO represents the Society to a wide range of stakeholders including its members, NASA, NSF, AAS, the amateur astronomy community, other astronomy and educational organizations, supporters, donors, and the public.

The CEO will ensure ASP’s financial stability for years to come by actively managing the organization’s financial resources and operations and seeking opportunities for new revenue generation and cost reduction. The CEO will advance ASP’s pursuit of grants and revitalize fundraising efforts. The CEO will guide ASP’s strategic direction by implementing the existing strategic plan and enhancing it through engagement with the Board of Directors. The CEO will also maintain and increase the ASP’s strategic partnerships to leverage synergies, increase resource efficiency, and increase the Society’s visibility and impact. In collaboration with ASP staff and the Board of Directors, the next CEO will assess the effectiveness of the current organizational structure and make improvements where needed. The CEO will hire integral members of staff and ensure the empowerment, professional development, and mentorship of existing staff.

Serving as the face of the premier organization in astronomy education, the CEO will extol the importance of astronomy education and advocate for the diverse array of astronomers who shape collective understandings of the world. In all they do, the CEO will bring a recognition that enhanced messaging over all aspects of ASP will benefit the Society and its constituents. The next ASP CEO will continue fostering an organizational culture and create strategic initiatives that encourage diversity and will also provide intellectual leadership and serve as a champion for equity and inclusion, directing future efforts toward a more diverse astronomy field and providing opportunities for underrepresented groups’ participation and contribution at ASP events and external engagements.

As a CEO-level position demanding excellent personal and personnel leadership, business, financial, and organizational skills, the successful candidate will ideally bring a deep passion for astronomy with a strong understanding of the field, including the impact of new technology on education and public engagement. They will be highly motivated to spread and stimulate science literacy worldwide. Knowledge of fundraising strategies, including securing government grants, and donor relations relevant to the nonprofit sector engaging with diverse volunteer and donor groups are ideal. The new CEO will bring a successful track record in driving innovation and managing organizational growth.

The successful candidate will preferably have an earned Masters or PhD in astronomy or related science. The ASP offers a hybrid work environment. For visibility, the CEO will at minimum be present onsite in the San Francisco office for an agreed upon percentage of time each month. This is a full time, exempt position with an annual salary range between $180,000- $210,000, based on qualification and commensurate with experience. The position includes medical, dental, vision, retirement, and other benefits.

The full position profile for the ASP CEO role is available here: ASP Chief Executive Officer

For best consideration, please send all nominations and expressions of interest in confidence to:

Jim Sirianni, Managing Director
Kate Phillips, Senior Associate

Storbeck Search

For more information, please visit home page at

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants are considered for all positions without regard to race, religion, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, national origin, ancestry, physical/mental disability, medical condition, military/veteran status, genetic information, marital status, ethnicity, alienage, or other protected classification, in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

 Equal access to programs, services, and employment is available to all qualified persons. Those applicants requiring accommodation should complete the application and/or interview process and contact a management representative.