Publications Director, Cooperative Research Program

Washington, DC

Job Description Summary:

Develops and publishes the organization’s books, journals, magazines, or electronic publishing products. Duties are significant in scope, of high volume, and highly complex and technical in nature. Manages in-house staff and oversees services provided by vendors. Determines content, composition, design and graphics requirements and directs writers, editors, graphic artists, and production activities. Responsible for manuscript preparation and production in accordance with style specification and quality standards.
The incumbent directs the planning, execution, and staffing of major publication activities of significant breadth and complexity. Has complete authority to take whatever action deemed advisable or necessary and is typically responsible for managing (directly or indirectly) all of a major unit’s publishing efforts. Incumbents bring industry-level expertise to function and provide innovative solutions to complex functional problems to impact success. The incumbent has full supervisory responsibility for staff, establishes policies and procedures to ensure the effective and efficient operation of assigned functions, and is accountable for the performance and results of the team.

As part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) provides leadership in transportation improvements and innovation through trusted, timely, impartial, and evidence-based information exchange, research, and advice regarding all modes of transportation. For example, committees, researchers, and staff are currently focused on advancing resilient infrastructure, exploring transformational technology, and caring for the public’s health and safety. For more, please see the TRB 2020 Annual Report. TRB’s mission is divided into three primary roles: Research, Convene, and Advise.

The Cooperative Research Programs Division (CRP) of TRB convenes more than 3,000 practitioners and research specialists on highways, transit, airports, and many other topics to produce impactful research. The mission of CRP is to promote innovation and progress in transportation through research. CRP seeks and shares knowledge that helps us tackle our nation’s toughest transportation challenges – those we face today, and those we will likely face tomorrow. Our partnerships provide a link between the federal government and the research users, including state departments of transportation, airport and transit operators, and state highway safety offices.

Currently we have active research programs in the areas of highways, transit, airports, and behavioral traffic safety. CRP also manages research for other organizations on request. This includes research and evaluation support activities on behalf of FHWA and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

Job Description:


  1. Directs, plans, and edits publications through all stages, from determining content through production of materials. Oversees the editing and production of reports, proceedings, and other book-length manuscripts. Oversees recruiting initiatives for authors and reviewers and manages peer review administration, where applicable. Oversees office workflow and production schedules.
  2. Recruits, trains and manages staff and arranges for supplemental services as needed. Provides leadership and guidance. Conducts workforce and staff development planning. Develops employees to successfully perform current responsibilities and encourages development of staff for future roles. Cultivates a work environment that fosters teamwork. Interprets and ensures consistent application of organizational policies. Initiates personnel actions, including performance and compensation reviews and disciplinary actions.
  3. Establishes and implements editorial and production policies, standards, and procedures. Determines appropriate level of edit and design for publications.
  4. Communicates with and provides guidance to staff, authors, reviewers, and National Academies’ members regarding manuscript and publication processing policies, procedures, and status. Ensures published materials conform to National Academies’ and unit’s standards and fulfill contractual funding and delivery requirements.
  5. Oversees purchasing of vendor services, ensuring quality of work and competitive pricing, fulfillment of contractual requirements, and management of related contracts.
  6. Performs a variety of complex editorial duties. May serve as chief editor or editor on a variety of publications.
  7. Prepares reports and statistics and provides analyses to senior management.
  8. Oversees granting of permissions.
  9. Identifies, recommends, and implements new technology and standards, as appropriate.
  10. May manage financial aspects of publications. Oversees financial operations and budgets and ensures budgetary parameters are adhered to.
  11. May oversee related areas such as electronic publishing and web activities and dissemination and marketing of publishing products.


Related duties and special projects as assigned.


Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: In-depth knowledge of all aspects of publication. Excellent project management skills. Excellent negotiation skills. Ability to solve problems of variety and complexity using originality and ingenuity. Ability to serve as a resource to others in the resolution of complex problems and issues. Ability to operate using substantial latitude for independent judgment and action. Experience working in complex environments with a high degree of organizational effectiveness. Ability to work successfully in a team environment and to form and maintain effective teams. Ability to develop relationships with co-workers and employees in other National Academies’ departments through effective communication. Excellent communication skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of employees.

  • Minimum Education/Training Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree in English, Journalism, Communications, or related field, or equivalent knowledge.
  • Minimum Experience: Eight years of related professional experience, four of which were in a supervisory/management capacity.
  • Physical Capabilities: Ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time.
  • Required Licenses, Certification or Registration: None.
  • Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls: Reports to Executive Editor or other Director. Independently establishes goals and objectives. Supervises staff and freelance personnel.
  • Work Environment: Office environment, with occasional travel between National Academies’ facilities and to off-site meeting/sponsor locations.
  • Any qualification to be considered equivalent, in lieu of stated minimum, requires the prior approval of the Office of Human Resources.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by employees assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. Some functions in this description may be specific to a particular unit of the National Academies and not applicable to other units.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

It is the policy of the National Academies to recruit, hire, transfer, compensate, and promote people in all job categories and to administer all other personnel actions, terms and conditions of employment in a manner that is consistent with equal employment, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, disability, medical condition for which a person has been rehabilitated or cured, marital status, family responsibilities, genetic information, political affiliation, personal appearance, matriculation, unemployment status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws. It is also the institution’s policy to recruit, hire, promote, and provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities and covered veterans who are otherwise qualified.

Employee Type: Employee
Scheduled Weekly Hours: 37.5
Washington, District of Columbia