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Cleared Senior/Principal Program Lead - National Security Space Systems, Onsite

Albuquerque, NM

Job ID: 692888

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About Sandia:

Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:

  • Challenging work with amazing impact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide

  • Extraordinary co-workers

  • Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world

  • Career advancement and enrichment opportunities

  • Flexible work arrangements for many positions include 9/80 (work 80 hours every two weeks, with every other Friday off) and 4/10 (work 4 ten-hour days each week) compressed workweeks, part-time work, and telecommuting (a mix of onsite work and working from home)

  • Generous vacations, strong medical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance*

World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers. Learn more about Sandia at:*These benefits vary by job classification.

What Your Job Will Be Like:

We are seeking a Engineering Program/Project Lead to lead a diverse study portfolio for a critical high security Department of Defense (DoD) National Security Space customer. The program portfolio consists of a mix of analysis, modeling, and hardware demonstration efforts that are dynamically tasked by the sponsor. Individual sub-study efforts usually last 1-2 years to help inform US Space Force acquisition planning and future technical risk reduction efforts. Additionally, the person filling this job will be expected to be a technical contributor as well to one or more of the sub-study efforts. The work is conducted at TS/SCI levels with occasional special program efforts.

This is a growth postion in that successful execution will prepare the program manager for greater responsibility including line management.

On any given day, you may be called on to:

  • Work in a dynamic, high security environment delivering critical analysis, modeling and technical risk reduction capabilities for National Security Space.

  • Take responsibility for ensuring customer directed and funded efforts in the program are executed and delivered as agreed.

  • Team with the Sandia Chief Engineer/Technical Lead and Business Lead to monitor, guide and track efforts, technically and financially.

  • Team with the sponsor and Chief Engineer to define new study directions and opportunities.

  • Working with the Business Lead report program status, issues, risks, and successes to customer and upper Sandia management thru weekly, monthly and quarterly reporting mechanisms.

  • Team with the Business Lead to turn customer direction and guidance into proposals, contract actions and funding.

  • Work with Program and Information Security staff to obtain the necessary facilities and capabilities to execute the program.

  • Help identify Sandia staffing and capability needs to meet customer deliverables and team with Management and program staff to find solutions for these needs.

  • Provide technical contributions (modeling, testing, analysis, design of experiments, etc.) to one or more of the sub-study efforts.

Qualifications We Require:

  • Advanced degree (MS or PhD) in a relevant STEM field (e.g., Physics, Electrical Engineering, Optical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science).

  • A minimum of five (5) years of experience managing or leading Department of Defense or Intelligence Community programs for US Space Force or other National Security Space agencies.

  • Active DOE Q (or equivalent Top Secret clearance, eg DOD, DNI, etc.) and the ability to obtain and maintain an SCI clearance designation.

  • Active TS/SCI clearance (DoD, Intelligence Community or DOE sponsored)

  • Demonstrated ability to clearly communicate to both technical and non-technical audiences and upper-level management in written and presentation format.

Qualifications We Desire:

  • Ten (10) years of experience in program or project management, especially on high security classified programs.

  • Certification in project management, either (a) a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification OR (b) completion of the Defense Acquisition University Level III Program Management certification (previous certification title) or the current Defense Acquisition University "Advanced Program Management" certification.

  • Certification in Systems Engineering/Technical Management, either thru (a) a certification program, (b) a degree program in Systems Engineering or (c) thru Defense Acquisition University Level III Systems Engineering (previous certification title) or the current Defense Acquisition “Engineering and Technical Management - Practitioner” certification.

  • Demonstrated experience communicating with diverse technical and non-technical staff and leaders on diverse technical topics, on financial matters and on the strategic and tactical direction of a program.

  • Experience managing projects with total budgets ranging from the $50k to $1-5M range.

  • If applying with only a Masters degree, Thesis option is desired.

  • A 3.5 grade point average for the advanced technical degree upon which you are applying.

  • We desire demonstrated experience authoring papers, for instance generating classified /unclassified reports, writing a thesis or publishing in refereed publications.

  • We desire experience presenting in technical field to demonstrate mastery of a technical and programmatic subject area. Such presentations could include to upper-level management and seniors for major reviews and/or conference presentations.

  • The ability to travel up to two times a month for meetings with sponsors and key partners.

About Our Team:

We provide architectures and enabling technologies for pathfinding space-based solutions to national security problems. 6353's focus is on expansion and evolution of mission capabilities for the Space Mission Engineering Program and the Science and Technology Advancing Resilience for Contested Space (STARCS) internal research and development campaign. Responsibilities of 6353 are to foster research and develop solutions in the areas of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Control (SC) and nurture strategic partnerships with various government agencies, universities, and industry partners operating and supporting space missions.

Posting Duration:

This posting will be open for application submissions for a minimum of seven (7) calendar days, including the ‘posting date’. Sandia reserves the right to extend the posting date at any time.

Security Clearance:

This position does not currently require a Department of Energy (DOE) security clearance.

Sandia will conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Furthermore, employees in New Mexico need to pass a U.S. Air Force background screen for access to Kirtland Air Force Base. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause access to be denied or terminated, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.

If hired without a clearance and it subsequently becomes necessary to obtain and maintain one for the position, or you bid on positions that require a clearance, a pre-processing background review may be conducted prior to a required federal background investigation. Applicants for a DOE security clearance need to be U.S. citizens. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted.

Members of the workforce (MOWs) hired at Sandia who require uncleared access for greater than 179 days during their employment, are required to go through the Uncleared Personal Identity Verification (UPIV) process. Access includes physical and/or cyber (logical) access, as well as remote access to any NNSA information technology (IT) systems. UPIV requirements are not applicable to individuals who require a DOE personnel security clearance for the performance of their SNL employment or to foreign nationals. The UPIV process will include the completion of a USAccess Enrollment, SF-85 (Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions) and OF-306 (Declaration of for Federal Employment). An unfavorable UPIV determination will result in immediate retrieval of the SNL issued badge, removal of cyber (logical) access and/or removal from SNL subcontract. All MOWs may appeal the unfavorable UPIV determination to DOE/NNSA immediately. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the MOW may try to go through the UPIV process one year after the decision date.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.

NNSA Requirements for MedPEDs:

If you have a Medical Portable Electronic Device (MedPED), such as a pacemaker, defibrillator, drug-releasing pump, hearing aids, or diagnostic equipment and other equipment for measuring, monitoring, and recording body functions such as heartbeat and brain waves, if employed by Sandia National Laboratories you may be required to comply with NNSA security requirements for MedPEDs.

If you have a MedPED and you are selected for an on-site interview at Sandia National Laboratories, there may be additional steps necessary to ensure compliance with NNSA security requirements prior to the interview date.

Job ID: 692888

Job Family: EN

Regular/Temporary Position: R

Full/Part-Time Status: F

Apply Now


  • Worklife Balance
  • Flexible Work Schedules
  • Generous Paid Time Off
  • Exceptional 401K Savings Plan
  • Medical/Dental/Vision Insurance
  • Wellness Programs
  • On-site Amenities
  • Vacation Buy Plan
  • Telecommuting Arrangements*

*with management approval

Life in New Mexico

  • Affordable housing, reasonable cost of living
  • Minimal traffic congestion compared to larger cities
  • Outdoor recreation - Ski, snowboard, hike, etc.
  • Experience rich culture and history
  • International Balloon Fiesta
  • Green chile – NM Cuisine
  • Museums, Parks, Sports

Learn more about Life in Albuquerque, New Mexico


  • At Sandia, recruiters manually review resumes on each job posting instead of using a resume screening software program
  • Review the Sandia Resume Writing Best Practices Sheet before beginning your application
  • By following the best practices outlined, this ensures that recruiters can accurately determine your qualifications for the position