For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured afterschool programs. Boosted by a global support system of volunteers, educators, and sponsors that include over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, teams operate under a signature set of FIRST Core Values to conduct research, fundraise, design, build, and showcase their achievements during annual challenges.
The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
An international not-for-profit organization (501(c)(3)) founded by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school. Alumni of FIRST programs gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships, and other opportunities that create connections and open pathways to a wide variety of careers.
FIRST Core Values
The FIRST Core Values emphasize friendly sportsmanship, respect for the contributions of others, teamwork, learning, and community involvement and are part of our commitment to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. The FIRST Community expresses the FIRST philosophies of Gracious Professionalism® and Coopertition® through our Core Values:
- Discovery: We explore new skills and ideas.
- Innovation: We use creativity and persistence to solve problems.
- Impact: We apply what we learn to improve our world.
- Inclusion: We respect each other and embrace our differences.
- Teamwork: We are stronger when we work together.
- Fun: We enjoy and celebrate what we do!
For more information on FIRST, please visit its website.
The Senior Director of FIRST Robotics Competition is responsible for planning, scheduling, developing, and implementing all essential elements associated with the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) program. This includes identifying resource requirements, developing and implementing approved plans, developing and implementing program components to include all program logistics, developing and working within approved budgets, and managing relationships with other FIRST departments, programs, and key volunteer groups supporting FIRST.
- Supervises a team of 20-22 staff, including 6 direct reports, representing the FRC engineering group and FRC program management.
- Oversees the annual update of the FRC program specifications and standards.
- Oversees the development of program specifications, quality standards, guidelines, procedures and documentation to support volunteers and key stakeholders.
- Responsible for program specific activities such as FRC awards, trophies, program books, training materials and cost reduction projects in each of these areas. Works with key volunteers and FIRST staff to maintain the FRC judging process. Ensures program and process consistency and quality throughout the entire competition season.
- Communicates program changes, FAQs, program announcements and other engagement information via the FRC blog.
- Supports the District competition model by working to create common standards, ensuring appropriate resource allocation and responsiveness to District needs.
- Supports the implementation of strong safety standards and Youth Protection requirements.
- Works collaboratively with Sourcing to ensure the FRC Kit of Parts (KOP) is procured, packed, and shipped to meet all deadlines for a successful annual FRC Kickoff and the FRC season.
- Responsible for ensuring the FRC game is developed and executed successfully. This includes season kickoff as well as the full competition season. Supports engineering activities as necessary to coordinate and integrate game design and event support activities into event planning and execution.
- Responsible for ensuring that all FRC competition game fields and game elements are ready to support the FRC season. This includes ensuring the appropriate number of competition fields, game elements, and logistics to support the number and timing of FRC events in a timely and cost-effective manner. Moderate to extensive seasonal travel and occasional off-season travel is required.
- Audits and monitors quality of FRC program at FIRST Championship, FRC competition season, and overall effectiveness of the program. Ensures continuous process improvement by documenting and implementing best practices and lessons learned for the benefit of the following season.
- Collaborates closely with the VP of Global Field Operations and key FIRST
- Prepares annual operating plans and budgets for FRC in collaboration with the VP of Field Operations. Manages the FRC program by reviewing/approving purchase orders and monitors spending to ensure operation within budgeted amount. Develops budgets for major vendor supplied cost items for Regional Events within the HQ budget.
- Collaborates with other program leaders to identify areas for alignment, consistency, quality and efficiencies across programs.
The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:
- Ability to work in a dynamic environment.
- Experience managing diverse groups (employees, volunteers, other stakeholders) both in day-to-day operations and to reach consensus on informed decisions.
- A strong financial background with the ability to manage a budget and make projections.
- Excellent computer skills including Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Excel, and Word.
- Strong engineering or technical background; Technical Master’s degree preferred. Consideration will be given for an MBA degree, or seven to ten years of related experience and/or training, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Experience managing events.
- Experience managing vendors and working with contracts and in contract negotiations.
- Experience with grants preferred.
Compensation & Benefits
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.
Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Erin Reedy and Kristina Dorne here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, disability, age, religion/creed, and military/veteran status in its programs and activities.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.