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Director, Office of Animal Welfare

Hiring Organization:
University of Washington

Date Posted:

Position Description:
The Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) currently has an outstanding opportunity for a Director. The OAW Director will be responsible for ensuring that the appropriate framework, services and support are reflected in the OAW and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) policies, procedures, accountabilities, services and information systems.

This position is accountable for providing a fully compliant, efficient system and portfolio of services that meet the current and evolving needs of the research community; maintaining an effective communication and collaboration network with regulatory entities; and delivering these components in a responsive, best practices and cost-effective environment. The Director OAW helps promote awareness of regulatory issues in the conduct of ethical and responsible animal research and teaching within the UW research community through comprehensive training, education, exceptional support services, and quality assurance and compliance programs.

With primary oversight for UW animal research and teaching regulatory and compliance components, the OAW Director will ensure that efforts are effectively and efficiently coordinated between all UW departments and offices, external constituencies and regulatory officials, Principal Investigators, research staff and relevant personnel. As the primary interface with AAALAC, OLAW, USDA and other regulatory entities, and in consultation with the IACUC, the Director will directly support the humane treatment and stewardship of animals while maximizing benefits of animal research to human and animal health. The Director OAW reports directly to the UW Institutional Official (IO), the Executive Director of Health Sciences Administration, and has regular interaction with the UW Attending Veterinarian and IACUC Chair. This position serves as a key UW resource on matters related to animal research and teaching and the Director’s office provides all administrative functions and support
for the IACUC.

The OAW is based at the UW Seattle main campus, oversees over 560 animal use protocols involving approximately 842,000 live vertebrate animals representing over 45 species, across central and remote facilities in 22 locations with over 1000 approved animal care and use rooms and field sites. Nearly 400 Principal Investigators from over 50 academic departments and research institutes comprise the service demographic. This dynamic and evolving OAW program has an operating budget of over $1.5 million and an emphasis on these primary service areas: IACUC Administrative Support, IACUC Protocol approval, revision, and concurrence review, Post-Approval Monitoring, and Animal Use Training. The OAW Director must project and respond to the evolving needs of the animal research enterprise and apply best practices strategies and effective change management techniques to ensure efficient and effective operations. The University’s AAALAC accreditation is University-wide and is led and coordinated by the Director and OAW staff. Currently, 22 OAW professionals are tasked with providing these services and report to the Director through several managers and the Assistant Director of Program Operations. Key departmental partners include the Office of Research, Department of Comparative Medicine, the Washington National Primate Research Center, Environmental Health and Safety, and Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP).


Provides leadership and oversight of OAW personnel, budget, and service component functions, as well as funds/resources required for research enterprise growth, system and process improvements.

Provides OAW personnel leadership and oversight, including; recruiting, best practices hiring, training and orientation, and performance development and management, including annual performance evaluations. Assess and project personnel needs in response to changing environment and evolving animal research enterprise.

Develops and implements a strategic plan for growing and enhancing the quality, accessibility and impact of OAW essential services.

Promotes the integrity of UW animal research and adherence to regulations, policies, procedures, and assures strict standards of ethical conduct in planning, conducting, and reporting animal research and academic activity.

Advise the Health Sciences Administration (HSA) Executive Director, Vice Provost for Research, and process owners on strategic plans for development, effectiveness initiatives, and infrastructure improvements to improve OAW productivity, efficiency of protocol flow, and faculty/investigator support.

Leads change management initiatives, applies best practices strategies, process improvement and strategic communication to ensure the OAW consistently represents a fully compliant, efficient and cost-effective system that is responsive to the current and projected needs of the research community and UW.

Establish and maintain frequent and effective communication with faculty and departmental heads and work collaboratively with multiple University offices, peer institutions, and the public as needed.

Undertakes additional assignments related to OAW functions and services at the direction of the HSA Executive Director.


Monitors the regulatory environment utilizing appropriate and timely methods; establish systems to inform appropriate officials and researchers about research compliance requirements; provide advice and consultation in developing appropriate responses to new or modified regulations evaluate best practices among major academic peer research institutions and determine applicability to UW OAW and IACUC activities.

Make decisions on animal use protocol issues advanced by the OAW professional staff reviewers and faculty that require integration and interpretation of multiple federal regulatory requirements for which there may not be specific guidance. Decide, often in time urgent situations, if a new animal procedure can be conducted without prior review by the IACUC.

Develop, communicate and implement UW IACUC policies. Develop and negotiate new and/or revised policies with federal regulators and accrediting agency. Review and implement new regulatory requirements and/or guidance, e.g., new USDA and PHS policies, and/or accreditation requirements.

Ensures protocols and compliance documents are executed and managed in a timely and transparent manner in accordance with all applicable requirements.


Ensures that the UW research community understands its compliance obligations by overseeing the development and dissemination of guidance through effective, current and accessible information services and consultation. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with administrators, investigators, faculty, academic heads, and staff to prevent, detect and respond to research compliance issues.

Provide oversight for review of all animal use protocols submitted to the IACUC for compliance with all applicable Federal, State, University and IACUC laws and policies (including scientific design and veterinary medical recommendations).

Provide oversight, in conjunction with the UW Attending Veterinarian, of the development and implementation of animal use procedure training courses for faculty and research staff that are fully compliant with Federal, State and UW training requirements.

Provide direction and oversight of Post-Approval Monitoring Program, involving semi-annual visits by OAW staff to nearly 400 researchers to support IACUC protocol compliance.

Respond immediately to animal welfare concerns reported to; Director, Attending Veterinarian, members of the IACUC, Veterinary Services or through other forums. Responsible for reporting compliance issues, including adverse events, to the Institutional Official and regulatory agencies. Investigate possible non-compliance with Federal, State and University laws and policies and recommend and implement action as warranted. In the event of violations, write required letters of counsel/reprimand to Principal Investigators and others. Draft final letters for IO review to federal and accreditation agencies regarding reportable non-compliances.

Conduct the semi-annual review of the UW Animal Care and Use Program and finalize report to the IACUC and Institutional Official, including deficiencies and plan for corrections. Provide oversight and finalize all reports to the federal agencies for the continuation of the UW's USDA registrations, Public Health Service Assurance, and to the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC).

Provide leadership and direction to research compliance oversight for decentralized sites.


Attend all IACUC meetings and provide reports to the Committee. Attend professional meetings relevant to Animal Care and Use Program direction and services. Serve on University-wide committees, work groups and affinity groups as noted above, preparing documents and providing presentations as requested and/or required. Develop, plan and provide conferences and seminars for training of UW IACUC members and regional personnel administering animal care and use programs at private and peer institutions.

Coordinate, cultivate, and integrate partnership/collaborative opportunities across the University and scientific community. Write inter-institutional agreements and review collaborative projects with outside institutions to insure that collaborations meet all regulatory requirements. Write NIH requisite inter-institutional agreements for applicable grants. Provide oversight of grant review involving animal use to determine that all proposed use corresponds with investigators' animal use protocol(s) and applicable laws and regulations. Provide detailed review of grants with issues that do not clearly fall into published sponsor guidelines, to determine processing procedures that meet established interpretation of federal requirements. Interact directly with NIH Program Officers and/or the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) regarding federal rulings specific to given situations.

The Director OAW is accountable for recruiting, allocating, supervising and managing the performance and work product of the OAW direct reports, currently 6 personnel of a total of 22 OAW staff. These responsibilities include: assessing and projecting staffing needs, assignments and allocations; leading OAW recruiting, best practices hiring, training and orientation, and individual performance development and management, including annual performance evaluations. This position has the authority to take and/or recommend corrective action for OAW professional and classified staff and is charged with identifying and nominating high performing staff for appropriate recognition. In order to effectively assign and deploy staff during significant projects, deadlines or emerging events, this position works closely with the Assistant Director to assign work hours and implement cross-training where appropriate to successfully meet OAW objectives.

PhD or DVM with a minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience in the field of research compliance in a scientific, research or academic setting, including at least 5 years relevant, substantive experience interpreting and applying federal regulations in a research-intensive environment, including a senior leadership role related to animal research compliance.

Distinguished record of research and/or IACUC management and extensive experience with the AAALAC accreditation process.

Broad knowledge of the appropriate conduct of animal research including federal regulations regarding research activities, protocol development, approval and support, IACUC activities and function, and the responsible conduct of research training programs.

Vision to create and implement an effective, productive, responsive and collaborative program and services that promotes ethical and responsible use of laboratory animals and respects the time and effort of the research personnel.

Managerial expertise in personnel supervision and development, financial management, strategic planning, compliance, change management, and ongoing process improvement.

Fiscal experience and expertise in budget preparation, budget management and review, complex analysis relating to fiscal components of program operations and strategic objectives.

Strong communication, interpersonal and writing skills combined with a faculty/investigator-oriented, customer service approach. Demonstrated ability to work effectively and diplomatically with a diverse faculty, staff and student body across a wide range of scientific disciplines.

Ability to work independently and collaboratively and apply sound judgment to complex, confidential and/or highly-sensitive communication. Understanding of and experience with developing and managing communication and information operations in a complex biomedical research facility.

Excellent organization skills with the ability to lead and work effectively under pressure, manage multiple tasks concurrently, meet deadlines and respond to emerging priorities.

Familiarity with electronic protocol review/management systems and supporting technological infrastructure required for a modern and responsive IACUC support environment. Ability to identify, integrates and implement processes and systems in consultation with IT, Assistant Director, and external partners and vendors to meet the needs of the research community.

Experience consulting with scientific and technical personnel regarding animal research and the development and implementation life cycle of animal research protocols.

Documented ability to serve as a strong advocate for investigators and the IACUC in all areas of animal research, and capacity to promote the UW, OAW and IACUC as leaders in responsible, ethical research to external constituencies.


Prefer credentials such as; Certified Professional IACUC Administrator (CPIA), CRA (Research Administrator), or Certification for IRB Professionals (CIP). Documented, successful experience as IACUC administrator expected.

Experience as Principal Investigator conducting animal research in an academic institution of similar scope and scale.

Salary and benefits are competitive. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Term of Appointment:
UW Professional Staff Appointment

Application Deadline:
Open until filled; early consideration for applications received by May 10

Applicants must apply via the UW Hires website, enter requisition 94647 at:

Contact Information:
Peggy S Smith
UW Health Sciences Administration Box 356355
Seattle, WA 98195

Telephone Number:


E-mail Address:

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