22 July 2019

Chief Operations Officer

Reporting to the Director General of IIASA, the incumbent will form part of a dynamic executive team that takes joint accountability for the operations and management of the organization.

The Position:

The Chief Operations Officer (COO) provides operational leadership at the Institute and ensures that IIASA researchers are supported by an enabling environment that facilitates the delivery of world-class research and science.  The incumbent is responsible for the overall coordination of the IIASA support services across the areas of facilities and estate management, finance, human resources, ICT, and legal and governance compliance. Collectively, these areas provide support services that enable IIASA to deliver on its strategic objectives. Reporting to the Director General (DG) of IIASA, the incumbent will form part of a dynamic executive team that takes joint accountability for the operations and management of the organization.

Responsibilities include the following:

The Chief Operations Officer is required to:

  • Provide operational leadership in support of the IIASA strategic objectives
  • Promote a team culture of excellence and a strong service-orientation throughout IIASA support services
  • Provide leadership in the business process review and redesign to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of IIASA operations relating to facilities and estate management, finance, human resources, ICT, and legal and governance compliance
  • Introduce and entrench a culture of continuous improvement through holistic quality management
  • Oversee the daily operations and coordination of the various departments in support of the research programs and within the resource envelope available
  • Oversee and effectively manage institutional risks through the development of a governance framework underpinned by an appropriate risk management approach
  • Provide a suite of legislatively compliant administrative policies and standard operating procedures
  • Provide leadership in actively promoting the IIASA values to facilitate and nurture a climate of respect, ethical adherence and staff well-being
  • Contribute to the attraction and retention of the appropriate skills required by IIASA, in order to ensure an intellectually stimulating, enabling and conducive environment for staff
  • Promote diversity at all levels of the organization with specific focus on senior positions
  • Steer IIASA relations with national, regional and local authorities relative to business matters, inclusive of legal and employee matters, as well as ensuring that facilities provided by the host country are managed in accordance with its regulations
  • Ensure that IIASA is Safety, Health and Environmentally (SHE) compliant and environmentally sensitive
  • Perform any other functions as allocated by the Director General.

Skills and Requirements:

The incumbent must have:

  • At least ten years of experience managing complex operations of a medium to large sized organization. Experience in managing research-related organizations or multinational organizations would be an advantage
  • Minimum of a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) or an alternative post-graduate qualification appropriate to managing a high-end research institution
  • Significant experience in change management with demonstrable positive outcomes
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and particularly proficient negotiation skills
  • Full fluency in English; the ability to communicate in German will be an advantage
  • Strong leadership and management skills, including but not limited to, the financial management of large and complex environments, contract management, and talent management including integrated performance management
  • Advanced analytical and conceptual skills, with proven ability to adapt to new situations and develop creative solutions to complex management problems.

Appointment Terms:

The position is full-time, and the successful candidate will be offered an initial fixed-term appointment of five years, with the possibility of reappointment thereafter by mutual consent between the IIASA Council, the IIASA Director General, and the incumbent. The place of work is Laxenburg, Austria and some travel may be required.

IIASA offers a competitive compensation and benefits package (moving and settlement allowances, educational grants for children of school age, five weeks’ annual vacation, and paid home leave). IIASA salaries are exempt from taxation in the host country of Austria but subject to the principle of income aggregation.

IIASA is committed to a working environment that promotes equality, diversity, tolerance and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified candidates from all religious, ethnic and social backgrounds to apply. In the case that candidates are equally qualified, preference will be given to applicants who are nationals of IIASA member countries.

Application Requirements:

To apply, please email a cover letter and curriculum vitae plus the names and full contact details (including email addresses) of three work-related references to: 

Deadline for receipt of applications: Friday, 20 September 2019. 

For further information about this opportunity, please contact:

About Laxenburg (near Vienna):

IIASA is located in a former 18th century imperial palace of the Habsburg Monarchy in Laxenburg, Austria about 15 km from Vienna. The facility has been gratefully provided by the host country Austria to the International Scientific Community. According to Mercer's 21st annual Quality of Living survey, Vienna ranked highest for quality of living for the 10th year in a row in 2019. The survey covers nearly 500 cities worldwide and is based on 39 criteria such as political, social, economic, educational, and environmental factors. Vienna has all the facilities of a modern, progressive city, in the heart of Europe and is considered one of the most liveable cities in the world.

While famous for its concert venues, opera houses, theaters, and museums, Vienna also provides opportunities for great outdoor activities on nearby Lake Neusiedl, the Vienna Woods, and the Alps. Vienna has a wealth of different research and international governmental institutions, permitting extensive dialogue at local and international level between scientists and policymakers.

For general information about our Institute and its research activities, please visit the IIASA website.

Internal reference # 190315

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Last edited: 22 July 2019


Alia Harrison

Recruitment Coordinator

Human Resources

T +43(0) 2236 807 286

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313