Public Program Operations Manager

Job Summary

Outreach / Education Staff
Lowell Observatory
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement
In-Person Location(s)

Flagstaff, AZ
United States

Job Description

*For a complete job description please visit*

Lowell Observatory is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1894 with a mission to perform basic research in astronomy and to share that research with the public.  Lowell has a vibrant public outreach program, with 100,000 visitors annually to our campus.  We are finishing the 40,000 sq ft Marley Foundation Astronomy Discovery Center, opening November 2024, which will increase our visitor capacity significantly, and includes two galleries, a stunning wrap-around Lowell Universe Theater, and a breathtaking roof-top Dark Sky Planetarium.  The Discovery Center will serve as a destination for locals and visitors from across the country and the world.

Lowell Observatory seeks applications for the position of Public Programs Operations Manager (PPOM). The PPOM is a member of Lowell’s public outreach team and reports to the Director of Education. The PPOM works collaboratively with and manages the Program Management Team (PMT), composed of the Presentations Manager, the Telescopes Manager, the Content Manager, and the Volunteer/Docent Manager; these managers oversee a combined group of 20-30 individuals.  The PPOM reports to the Director of Education.


The Public Program Operations Manager is responsible for ensuring the alignment of the Program Management Team’s work with strategic priorities set by the Observatory and by the Director of Education.  This will include staff and volunteer management priorities, and content creation and delivery priorities.  The PPOM is also responsible for communication within the Public Program team as well as with other stakeholders.  The PPOM will have the experience and ability to handle complex situations and multiple responsibilities simultaneously, including a mix of long term projects and urgent immediate demands.  They must have excellent judgment, communication skills, and an ability to build strong relationships and a positive team culture.

Key responsibilities of the Public Program Operations Manager include:

  • Support and supervise the Telescopes Manager, Content Manager, Presentations Manager, and Volunteer Manager (collectively, the Program Management Team or PMT)
  • Implement strategic direction set by Director of Education (DoE) across the PMT:  direct, plan, manage, and integrate the activities of the PMT
  • Provide support and advice to PMT in personnel and program management
  • Manage large scale cooperative efforts of personnel across groups to support strategic priorities
  • Assist the Director of Education in coordinating public program activities with personnel in other departments
  • Assist the Director of Education in developing and updating the department’s annual budget and staffing needs; assist with budgetary analysis and monitoring
  • Communicate within Public Program on policies, performance, news
  • Communicate with Visitor Experience Manager on programs and visitor concerns
  • Develop and/or document internal processes and policies for communications, operations, and other organizational needs
  • Act as the point of contact within the Public Program for other department inputs and needs
  • Communicate and coordinate with the ADC Facility Manager, the Mars Hill Facility Manager, and the Technical Facilities Manager regarding the status of the facilities used by Public Program staff


It is not necessary to meet 100% of these qualifications to be considered for this position.

  • Minimum of 5 years of significant staff management experience.  Must have served as direct manager of individuals or a team of employees with experience in training, performance management, providing development opportunities, providing feedback, applying progressive discipline, and situational leadership
  • Project management experience
  • Strong interest in educational sector as evidenced through education, previous work experience, and/or volunteer experience
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to build strong relationships; experience in working successfully across teams
  • Demonstrated critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Ability to occasionally work evenings and/or on weekends
  • A bachelor’s degree in a STEM field or demonstrated equivalent experience.  Advanced degree in a STEM field is preferred

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation Range
$80,000USD to $90,000USD
Included Benefits

Benefits Overview:  In addition to 11 scheduled paid holidays, Lowell Observatory offers a Flexible Paid Time Off policy for all full-time, benefit eligible employees which allows you to determine how much time you need to rest and enjoy yourself outside of work.  The cost of premiums for medical, life & long term disability insurances for benefit eligible employees is 100% paid by the company. Up to a 5% match on retirement contributions after 6 months of employment.

Application Details

Application Instructions
Please send the following documents to [email protected]
• Lowell Application (
• Resume
• Letter of interest addressing your qualifications
• Phone numbers and e-mail addresses of three professional references
Publication Start Date
2024 Apr 11
Application Deadline
2024 Apr 21


Catie Blazek