Advanced Light Source Director

Website advlightsource Advanced Light Source (ALS)

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is seeking a dynamic leader to serve as Director of the Advanced Light Source.

The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national scientific user facility. The ALS is renowned for its expert staff and leading research capabilities in the soft X-ray, hard X-ray, infrared, and extreme ultraviolet regimes, which attract more than 2,000 academic and industrial users each year in disciplines spanning physics, chemistry, materials science, biology, energy, and earth science. It is one of five Berkeley Lab operated Office of Science user facilities that serve a combined 14,000 users annually. The co-location of these facilities – including the Molecular Foundry Nanoscale Science Research Center and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) – alongside Berkeley Lab’s flagship programs in materials and chemical sciences among others, offers a prime environment for collaborative science.

The ALS Director is a member of the executive team for the Energy Sciences Area, a group of four Berkeley Lab Divisions that are primarily funded by the Basic Energy Sciences program of the DOE Office of Science, as well as a member of the Laboratory’s management team responsible for guiding institutional priorities. In this role, the Director will build collaborative partnerships and programs within the Energy Sciences Area, with other Divisions across Berkeley Lab, and with external research institutions, in particular other light sources and DOE-funded user facilities. Other important responsibilities include collaborating with Divisions whose staff are matrixed to the ALS or who operate ALS beamlines, acting as a spokesperson for the ALS in interactions with the DOE, and articulating the ALS mission to visitors and the public at large. Equally important, the Director is responsible for advancing Berkeley Lab’s stewardship values of team science, innovation, trust, respect, and service, including championing and continually building upon a culture that is committed to the ideals of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accountability.

In this critical role, the ALS Director will provide scientific vision and leadership for the facility, and is responsible for delivering safe and reliable synchrotron operation and overseeing a current annual budget of nearly $70 million and a staff of over 200 employees. This includes all areas of management and communications within the ALS, including scientific research, operations, finance, human resources, and environmental health and safety, as well as overseeing a technical management team and the Deputies for Science, Business Operations, and Accelerator Operations, who are responsible for day-to-day operations of the ALS.

The Director will ensure a thriving and dynamic ALS user program is maintained that responds to the needs of the user community by developing and executing strategic plans for beamlines, accelerator projects, external partnerships and collaborations, and staffing, to maintain and advance ALS as a forefront X-ray synchrotron light source. Critically, the Director will uphold an unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accountability – which includes establishing a culture in which the entire community feels respected and valued, recruiting a diverse and talented workforce and enthusiastically supporting and promoting their careers.

The ALS is currently undergoing a $590-million multiyear accelerator upgrade that will position it as the world’s premier soft X-ray synchrotron light source. The ALS Director will also play an essential role as a strategic partner for the Advanced Light Source Upgrade (ALS-U) project to ensure the project’s success and the future of the ALS beyond the upgrade, working closely with the ALS-U Project Director to facilitate the timely completion of the project, to engage stakeholders throughout the process, and to guarantee that the ALS maximizes the scientific benefits of the upgrade.

The ALS Director is advised by the ALS Scientific Advisory Committee, the Users’ Executive Committee, and the Proposal Study Panels.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Provide scientific and operational leadership for the Advanced Light Source.
  • Ensure the reliable and safe operation and management of the facility, including the accelerator, beamlines, and experiments, for both users and staff, and pursue strategies to proactively mitigate risk.
  • Establish and maintain a productive management partnership and serve as the ALS’s principal point of contact with the ALS’s primary sponsor, the Scientific User Facilities Division of Basic Energy Sciences within the DOE Office of Science.
  • Work closely with the ALS-U Project Director to facilitate the timely completion of the ALS Upgrade project, including soliciting stakeholder buy-in to maximize the scientific benefits of the upgrade and minimize disruptions during construction.
  • Communicate with staff, user communities, partner Divisions, and other key stakeholders about topics such as the plan and key decisions for the ALS-U project.
  • Guide the strategic development of a vibrant ALS user program and partnerships that respond to the needs of the user community.
  • Lead by example, establishing an inclusive and respectful working environment and culture for ALS staff and users.
  • Oversee the recruitment and career advancement of ALS employees, promoting a culture of inclusion, equity, and diversity.
  • Work collaboratively with other Divisions across the laboratory whose staff support the operation and maintenance of the accelerator and/or manage the operation and user programs of some beamlines.
  • Oversee the development of budgets and staffing plans, including proactively planning for ALS-U project impacts.
  • Direct R&D activities within the Division.
  • Work collaboratively with the Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Sciences and the other Division Directors (Chemical Sciences, Materials Sciences, Molecular Foundry) to develop new research initiatives and other activities to advance the mission of the Energy Sciences Area; to build institution-wide partnerships and programs across other Scientific Areas and Divisions; and to maintain and evolve productive partnerships with the Basic Energy Sciences program within the DOE Office of Science.
  • Serve as the ALS’s primary spokesperson to the DOE, scientific community, and public.
  • Build partnerships with other light sources, DOE user facilities, Berkeley Lab/UC Berkeley scientists, academic institutions, and industry.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in a related discipline (or equivalent experience) and a demonstrated leadership record of effective management of scientific facilities, projects, or programs with complex technical scope that require interfacing with multiple groups/units with a range of stakeholders.
  • Ability to provide effective people, project, and program management and administrative oversight and demonstrated creativity in decision making and problem solving.
  • Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with funding agencies, such as DOE, and demonstrated ability to initiate substantial new research efforts and collaborations.
  • Proven communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to interact and collaborate effectively with diverse groups of scientists, engineers, technical and operations staff, and with external stakeholders from both scientific and lay backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated track record of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, establishing a welcoming and inclusive working environment and culture, and supporting the career development of staff.
  • Ability to interact at the highest level of management, both internally and externally, in a constructive and collaborative manner.

Desired Qualifications:

  • At least 15 years of post-degree professional experience.
  • Internationally recognized expert in an area related to science underpinning or benefiting from synchrotrons.
  • Experience with scientific user facilities.
  • Extensive experience working collaboratively with staff and researchers from disparate backgrounds and expertise.
  • Demonstrated ability to create, communicate, and implement a scientific vision across multiple domain areas.
  • Considerable technical and programmatic understanding of multifaceted and complex accelerator facilities, including experimental user programs and facility upgrades.


  • For full consideration, please submit your CV and cover letter by June 15, 2022.
  • This is a full-time career appointment, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.
  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
  • The Advanced Light Source Director position is a career position that is appointed by and serves at the discretion of the Laboratory Director, and this appointment is at will and may be terminated at any time with or without cause.
  • This position is subject to the financial disclosure requirements of the California Political Reform Act of 1974. The successful candidate for this position will be required to file financial interest statements upon assuming this position, annually while holding this position, and when leaving this position.
  • Work will be primarily performed at: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

Based on University of California Policy – SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program and U.S Federal Government requirements, Berkeley Lab requires that all members of our community obtain the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible. As a condition of employment at Berkeley Lab, all Covered Individuals must Participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program by providing proof of Full Vaccination or submitting a request for Exception or Deferral. Visit for more information.

About Berkeley Lab:

When it was founded over 90 years ago in 1931, Berkeley Lab ushered in a new way of doing science based on building large teams of researchers from different fields, along with engineers, mathematicians, machinists, and accountants, to tackle significant scientific challenges together.  This approach has led to Berkeley Lab researchers winning 14 Nobel Prizes and a research portfolio that includes significant and often world-leading programs in physics, chemistry, materials sciences, advanced computing, scientific networking, biosciences, energy and energy technologies, and environmental sciences. “Team Science” remains an integral part of Berkeley Lab’s DNA, where research is carried out across multiple scientific disciplines.

Berkeley Lab has a dynamic workforce of over 4,000 employees and an annual operating budget of approximately $1.1 billion. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for DOE’s Office of Science.

Berkeley Lab is committed to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) and strives to continue building community with these shared values and commitments. Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We heartily welcome applications from women, minorities, veterans, and all who would contribute to the Lab’s mission of leading scientific discovery, inclusion, and professionalism. In support of our diverse global community, all qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status.

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