Director, Global Affairs | Optica


Posted: 07-Mar-22

Location: Washington, D.C.

Type: Full Time

Required Education: 4 Year Degree



Job Function:


Years of Experience:


Optica seeks a Director of Global Affairs to develop and lead programs that advance public policy, laws, and budgets in support of optics and photonics science and technology. The Director focuses their efforts on building and executing these programs worldwide and collaborates with Optica leadership and Optica’s volunteer base to meet strategic goals. The Director’s work includes developing relationship building, researching policy positions and strategies, report and white paper composition, public presentations, program implementation/management, and results tracking. Critical to this role is the ability to operate autonomously, and to effectively manage across multiple stakeholder groups to ensure objectives and deliverables are achieved as scheduled. This position reports to the Senior Director of Global Affairs.


The Director must be a proactive, collaborative, and action-oriented individual who is passionate about fostering public policies that advance Optica’s global strategy. Critical success factors for this role include strong interpersonal skills and teamwork paired with the facility to work independently. The preferred candidate possesses substantive program development, public policy understanding, and analytical expertise, has excellent writing skills and is able to present content in a compelling manner,. This is a highly visible, fast-paced position that is both internally and externally facing. Accordingly, the candidate should be adaptable, able to reprioritize and shift gears quickly, comfortable in a high-pressure environment, and be politically savvy, diplomatic, responsive, and mature. The candidate should also a demonstrated ability to work with and in international and multicultural groups.


  1. Develop and execute OPTICA’s international public policy programs and strategies that forward the organization’s global priorities, working closely with the OPTICA global community.
  1. Work in collaboration with OPTICA staff and community leaders on the planning, launch, and management of an optics/photonics-focused global health initiative. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to i) ongoing identification and recruitment of qualified contacts for exploratory projects; ii) organization of meetings of all sizes with international experts to identify specific optics/photonics technology developments for improved global health; iii) development of strategic and tactical program proposal and implementation plans, iv) identification of opportunities that enrich and enhance program plans; v) outreach to organizations active in global health to build relationships and identify potential collaborators; vi) facilitation of interactions with governments, organizations, and private foundations to explore collaboration and funding opportunities; vii) support OPTICA members residing in targeted countries to help them engage with appropriate government, industrial, academic, and NGO contacts on global health technology development topics.
  1. Staff liaison responsible for the next phase of the Global Environmental Measurement and Monitoring (GEMM) initiative’s site expansion, deliverables, and promotion, which includes all responsibilities enumerated in  (2) above.
  1. Synthesize and convert concepts and technical information into clear written materials and implementation roadmaps.
  1. Represent OPTICA at meetings with government contacts, associations, academic organizations, consultants, and other stakeholders.
  1. Work with and report to the OPTICA Public Policy Council, Board of Directors, and other OPTICA committees as needed.
  1. Manage research projects and consultants to ensure high-quality, timely, and impactful work products.
  1. Explore opportunities for generalized global public affairs activities to benefit OPTICA’s global community.
  1. Work closely with OPTICA Senior Director of Global Affairs on strategy and execution of all global affairs activities.



  1. An undergraduate or higher degree in international relations, public policy, non-profit management, or a related field is preferred, or commensurate work experience in these areas.
  1. A minimum ten-year successful track record of senior-level work in government, development, government relations, public policy, and/or international relations, demonstrating progressively great responsibilities. Experience working in international settings is strongly preferred.
  1. Demonstrated ability to build strong working relationships with international advocacy organizations, key leaders in government agencies, private sector decision-makers, and members of nonprofit organizations.
  1. Senior-level experience with projects that required excellent writing, strategic, analytical, and political skills, as well as an ability to distill complex concepts into concise ideas and messages.
  1. Demonstrated success leading and organizing teams, including excellent interpersonal skills and an enthusiasm for inspiring and mentoring junior volunteers and staff.
  1. Proven history of identifying and cultivating opportunities.
  1. Proven communication, and negotiation capabilities in diverse international settings.
  1. Experience traveling and working in international settings.
  1. Successful history of working in high-energy, collaborative teams.



  1. Diplomacy and a skill for establishing and maintaining cooperative working relationships with volunteers, members, external contacts, and staff.
  2. Innovative and resourceful problem-solving capabilities.
  3. Strong analytical skills, with the capacity to synthesize large amounts of data and information and draw appropriate conclusions.
  4. Excellent planning and project management capabilities, with keen attention to detail and efficiency.
  5. Proven ability to analyze, prioritize, and execute complex tasks under deadline and a readiness to dedicate extra effort when necessary to complete assignments and achieve desired results.
  6. Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  7. Initiative and flexibility: the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing situation/fast-paced environment while achieving progress.
  8. Interest in promoting science as a key contributor to the improvement of global health and climate change issues.
  9. Sensitivity to confidentiality, integrity, and trustworthiness.
  10. Sound judgment, emotional intelligence, and maturity.
  11. Experience and proficiency with video conferencing and other tools for hosting virtual conference calls and committee meetings.
  12. Computer experience (PowerPoint, Excel, Microsoft Word, Outlook).
  13. Willingness to regularly travel domestically and internationally (approximately 25% time).

Located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC, OPTICA offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits. Please send cover letter and resume with salary requirements to [email protected].

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