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Deadline: Application process closed

Director General

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Laxenburg, Austria

IIASA, a world-renowned research organization advancing systems science, is seeking a highly qualified scientific leader to serve as its Director General, beginning October 1, 2023.

the position

The Director General (DG) is responsible for the overall management and direction of the Institute, including its science and impact, its day-to-day operations, its fiscal soundness, and the international recognition of IIASA’s work. Reporting to the IIASA Council, made up of representatives of scientific and funding institutions that collectively support the Institute, the DG will oversee and guide a diverse research program that produces insights into complex global and shared problems through interdisciplinary models and analyses, promotes the development of systems analysis as an independent scientific discipline, strengthens science-policy impact and harnesses science diplomacy for the global good. The DG also exercises administrative and fiduciary responsibility for an international staff of over three hundred (300) scientists and support personnel.

The Council, together with the DG, develops the Institute’s long-term research strategy and goals. The DG must be an inspiring leader who can work effectively with a team of research program directors to set a research plan that achieves the Institute’s strategic goals, builds on IIASA’s distinctive expertise, responds effectively and visibly to emerging global challenges and promotes internal collaboration. The DG must be an impactful advocate for international science cooperation who can work with National/Regional Member Organizations and other scientific and policy making bodies to develop global research networks, and to advance a long-term strategy for real-world impact. The DG also engages in fund-raising to support the Institute’s research efforts. To assist in fulfilling the responsibilities of the office, the DG is supported by the Deputy Director General for Science, a Chief Operations Officer as well as a Directorate Office.

Specifically, the DG will:

  • Supervise the Institute’s scientific activities to generate a focused research agenda to produce (1) impactful insights into complex global and universal challenges through systems analyses; and (2) fosters a clear institutional identity within the international science and policy community. In particular, the Director General will ensure the implementation of IIASA’s new strategy for this decade (2021-2030) and its cycles of research plans (current four-year research plan stretches to December 2024);
  • Ensure that robust institutional policies and procedures are in place and followed, as also the requisite research infrastructure to ensure an effective and efficient environment for research to flourish; and
  • Deliver global impact and value to IIASA National/Regional Member Organizations (NMOs/RMOs) that provide the core funding of the Institute, engage in extensive interactions with relevant bodies in current member countries, and attract new members.

Candidate Qualifications and Experience

Candidates should demonstrate a compelling vision for IIASA and combine excellent organizational leadership and research management skills with scientific credentials and achievement commensurate with IIASA’s stature. The ideal candidate will also bring exceptional diplomatic abilities and broad experience in interdisciplinary research and policy applications in the international science arena. Specifically, a candidate should demonstrate the following qualifications:

  • Demonstrated ability to lead and inspire scientists and staff addressing a wide variety of interdisciplinary and multi-national scientific endeavors in the areas of global, environmental, economic, technological, and social change; and to manage an annual budget of more than twenty (20) million euro. Experience in directing a research institute is preferred, aligning its activities and resources, managing a budget and staff, and evaluating the impact and results of a strategy.
  • Scientific credentials and recognition by the international scientific community, coupled with broad-based scientific knowledge in a wide range of natural and social sciences, including an appreciation and understanding of the application of systems analysis to global problems.
  • Experience in change management in a competitive scientific environment.
  • A PhD and research profile commensurate with the stature of IIASA as a global research institution, coupled with an excellent track record of scholarship.
  • Communication and interpersonal skills necessary to foster international collaborations and expand participation and interaction among IIASA’s member organizations; host world leaders; address international scientific and policy-making bodies and international media; and create and reinforce multilateral collaborations between IIASA and institutions within the NMOs/RMOs.

Applicants should demonstrate excellent written and spoken English, the working language of the Institute.


IIASA, headquartered outside Vienna, Austria, is an interdisciplinary, international research institute that applies systems analysis to identify integrated solutions and policy insights to current, emerging, and novel global sustainability challenges, threats, and opportunities.

IIASA is the primary multidisciplinary science institute for solving world-wide problems in the areas of climate, environment and natural resources, energy, risk and resilience, population, and societal dynamics using applied systems approaches.

IIASA’s research program undertakes research across, and at the intersection of natural, human, social, knowledge and technology systems, to support development of integrated solutions to global sustainability challenges. To advance this agenda, the Institute draws on decades of experience in advancing systems analysis methodology and tools and applying them to, inter alia, transboundary air pollution, energy utilization, risk management, integrated land management, technological evolution, population dynamics, and social and economic transition. The research at IIASA is organized in broad multidisciplinary research programs that collaborate extensively to resolve complex global change matters. The research activities are highly solution-oriented, aiming to provide the scientific evidence-base to solve some of the most pertinent global problems. IIASA is therefore playing an important role in providing policy advice to international as well as national decision-making bodies. With the recent expansion in IIASA’s membership beyond the industrialized nations, the Institute increasingly includes capacity building in systems analysis and approaches as a vital component of collaborative research, educational programs, and outreach activities. This is available to members globally, PhD students, postdocs, and other researchers from around the world.

The Institute is a membership organization of 23 national and regional member organizations that represent their national research communities, coupled with competitive grants won from foundations, international institutions, and other research agencies.


We offer an initial five (5) year appointment, which may be followed by a second term of up to but no more than three (3) years at the discretion of the Council.

Salary and benefits are competitive with comparable international organizations. Relocation allowance and on-site housing are included.

IIASA salaries are:

  • Exempt from income tax in the host country of Austria.
  • Subject to deductions for health insurance and/or social security.
  • Subject to the principle of income aggregation (Progressionsvorbehalt in German).





IIASA is committed to a working environment that promotes equality, diversity, tolerance and inclusion within its workforce. This is reflected in our Core Values. The Institute encourages applications from all qualified candidates.

Further Information

If you have further questions, you may contact the Search Committee Chair, Professor Michael Clegg via the Council Secretary (