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Job Details

Argonne National Laboratory

Director – Office of Community Engagement



Full Time

On Site


Lemont, Illinois, United States

Argonne National Laboratory is inviting applications for the position of Director of the Office of Community Engagement. Located about 25 miles southwest of Chicago, Argonne is one of the preeminent multidisciplinary research facilities in the country and is operated by UChicago Argonne, LLC, an affiliate of the University of Chicago, for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

This position, based out of Argonne’s office in the Hyde Park neighborhood of South Side Chicago, will oversee a newly established Office of Community Engagement (OCE). The OCE will be the hub and backbone of Argonne‘s external-facing community activities to enable the laboratory to align its external engagement and partnerships to the laboratory’s science and technology (S&T) strategy; be strategic and responsive to DOE/administration’s emerging priorities; build intentional, collaborative relationships within communities and institutions at the local, state and regional levels; facilitate and invest in long-term, community-connected science, and workforce development opportunities; and track laboratory-wide efforts and activities in this space. The OCE will also engage with and support the Laboratory’s technology commercialization, education, procurement, talent acquisition, and volunteer programs and assist the Laboratory by identifying community, educational, business, and civic stakeholders from communities whose work aligns with or who can benefit from Argonne’s S&T innovations, science-based solutions, and scientific expertise of the Laboratory.

Reporting to the Associate Lab Director, Science & Technology Partnership and Outreach, the OCE Director will direct a small team of associates to establish ongoing communication with community and civic stakeholders in local and regional areas to inform Argonne strategic science initiatives and address community needs, (i.e., environmental and energy justice, STEM educational programming, workforce development, S&T entrepreneurial technical assistance). Additional responsibilities and priorities include:

  • Develop and implement a lab-wide strategy for community engagement.

  • Establish strategies to expand and deepen relationships with key organizations and institutions within local and regional networks.

  • In partnership with directorates and program offices launch intentional programming that drives impact in S&T areas, promotes a diverse STEM pipeline and nurtures a diverse workforce at Argonne.

  • Play a leadership role in the Laboratory’s Argonne in Chicago strategy and implementation activities for community impact.

  • Review community engagement requests made as part of S&T funding opportunities and help develop a strategic approach to such requests.

  • Lead and manage activities and relationships associated with the new Community Leadership Roundtable (CLRT) in Chicago to be established.

  • Establish the infrastructure and methodology to liaise, track, and provide support to Argonne’s community volunteer leaders (e.g., Acts of Kindness, employee resource groups, educational programs, Speakers Bureau).

  • Collaborate with Argonne’s digital team to consistently utilize communication channels that increase awareness of Argonne’s contribution to the region’s S&T and STEM ecosystem.

  • Serve as Argonne’s relationship manager to DOE’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity.

  • Collaborate with the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement on community-based initiatives.

  • Broaden communication efforts with local communities through outreach to ethnic and community media in collaboration with Argonne’s media team.

  • Identify metrics of success to measure, manage, and communicate outcomes and impact.

Position Requirements

The successful applicant will value diversity of thought and perspectives and be able to work collaboratively with people from various backgrounds, career stages, and levels of training across a broad community spectrum; bring self-awareness, empathy, and humility to individual and group interactions, while at the same time encourage, inspire and mobilize others toward collective and strategic actions. They will exhibit a strong executive presence with communication skills to include written, public speaking and interpersonal, enabling to effectively communicate with all levels within and outside the organization, as well as present findings and recommendations to senior and executive leaders. They will have the ability to play the “conductor” role and work cross-functionally, organizing and coordinating the work of multiple entities and departments.

Additional experiences and attributes required or preferred for the role:

  • 10 years minimum community relations experience including creating strategy, managing community engagement and outreach programs, and the ability to interact with internal/external senior-level stakeholders are required.

  • Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, business, or science-related field required. Master’s degree a plus.

  • Demonstrated and established relationships in the Chicago area. Ability to continually build and maintain strong relationships and to engage with the community and local organizations to strengthen collaborations, awareness, visibility, and support.

  • Demonstrated experience and success in leading, managing, developing, and retaining high-performing professional talent including evaluating employee performance; setting team and individual expectations and goals; creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment; and focusing on development and teamwork.

  • Organizational, communications, public relations, and public speaking experience.

  • Knowledge of and ability to apply strategic planning concepts, frameworks, and processes to develop innovative, tailored solutions. Proven track record of effectively directing and supervising internal teams, outside agencies, and consultants.

  • Strong organizational and project management skills to effectively direct and manage multiple comprehensive strategic plans simultaneously.

  • Knowledge of the Chicagoland community engagement ecosystem, networks, political environment, and key influencers is required.

  • Ability to attend events outside of normal business hours including nights and weekends periodically.

  • Ability to maintain records and develop reports to disseminate on a regular basis disclosing program results.

  • Passion for the outreach role as well as the mission of the Lab.

  • Passion for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

  • Ability to model Argonne’s Core Values: Impact, Safety, Respect, Integrity, and Teamwork.

Job Family

Professional Administrative (PA)

Job Profile

Community Engagement Leader 3

Worker Type


Time Type

Full time

As an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer, and in accordance with our core values of impact, safety, respect, integrity and teamwork, Argonne National Laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that fosters collaborative scientific discovery and innovation. In support of this commitment, Argonne encourages minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment. Argonne considers all qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Argonne employees, and certain guest researchers and contractors, are subject to particular restrictions related to participation in Foreign Government Sponsored or Affiliated Activities, as defined and detailed in United States Department of Energy Order 486.1A. You will be asked to disclose any such participation in the application phase for review by Argonne's Legal Department.

All Argonne offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes an assessment of criminal conviction history conducted on an individualized and case-by-case basis. Please be advised that Argonne positions require upon hire (or may require in the future) for the individual be to obtain a government access authorization that involves additional background check requirements. Failure to obtain or maintain such government access authorization could result in the withdrawal of a job offer or future termination of employment.

Please note that all Argonne employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. All successful applicants will be required to provide their COVID-19 vaccination verification as a condition of employment, subject to limited legally recognized exemptions to COVID-19 vaccination.