ann23044 — Announcement

Logo of OAD (Black, White Background)
22 December 2023
Vacancy Announcement: Deputy Director of IAU Office of Astronomy for Development

The IAU Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) is seeking to appoint an inspired and capable individual to take over as Deputy Director. The position is full time and will be based at the OAD in Cape Town, South Africa. The successful candidate will be committed to the OAD’s vision of “Astronomy for a better world”.

The OAD has been established through a partnership between the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) and the IAU. It is based at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town, South Africa. The mission of the OAD is to help further the use of astronomy, including its practitioners, skills and infrastructures, as a tool for development by mobilising the human and financial resources necessary in order to realise the field’s scientific, technological and cultural benefits to society.  Since its launch in 2011, the OAD has been a key part of the IAU’s strategy to use astronomy for sustainable development globally. It has funded over 200 projects around the world, through its annual call for proposals, targeting audiences in more than 100 countries. The OAD coordinates 11 regional offices globally, and has formed 17 partnerships with organisations that share its vision.

The key role of the Deputy Director is to engage various stakeholders that allow the OAD to attract collaborators, fellows, volunteers and interns from different fields, in order to achieve the office’s developmental goals, while remaining closely connected with the professional astronomy community. The Deputy Director will also need to stand in for the Director as needed.

Candidates should meet the following requirements:

  • PhD in astronomy/astrophysics or a closely related field
  • Three years of postdoctoral or related research work, with relevant international experience
  • Fluency in English (both written and spoken)

The following additional skills and experience are also desirable:

  • Project and financial management experience/qualifications/courses
  • Demonstrated skills in communication and presentation (both written and verbal)
  • Software/web development/coding skills
  • Monitoring and evaluation skills
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with people of different cultures
  • Experience in managing teams
  • Multilingualism

As with other OAD staff, the Deputy Director will be employed under the terms and conditions of the SAAO (a facility of the NRF).

A detailed job description and information on how to apply can be found on the OAD website.

For any queries about this position, please contact Kevin Govender by email at:

More information

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together more than 12 000 active professional astronomers from more than 100 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote and safeguard astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.



Kevin Govender
Director of IAU Office of Astronomy for Development
Cell: +27 824 878 466

Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Director of Communications
Cell: +1 520 461 0433/+49 173 38 72 621

About the Announcement



Logo of OAD (Black, White Background)