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Director, Information Technology (16275)

Date: Jan 21, 2021

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20008

Company: American University


The Director, Information Technology (“IT Director”) is a hands-on technical leader who brings deep technical knowledge to bear to deliver a reliable and secure IT environment for WAMU. The IT Director provides networking, machine management, and security expertise while also overseeing the manager of the IT helpdesk. This individual is also responsible for maintaining key relationships with the American University Office of IT (AU OIT) while collaborating across the technology department to support the needs of a rapidly evolving major-market media enterprise. The IT Director maintains the up-to-date technical knowledge necessary to play a hands-on management role and collaborates with team members to bring about the best possible solutions to the station’s IT needs. They craft policies and procedures focused on building and maintaining robust, resilient, and secure infrastructure. They also create disaster recovery and incident response plans. This role provides primary oversight of Active Directory, network infrastructure (firewalls, switches, and routing), storage, and virtualization (Hyper-V / SCVMM).


The team led by this role is responsible for media production technologies, including mission-critical audio playout and automation systems, editorial content management methods and systems, and audio-over-IP routing (AoIP / Axia) in collaboration with the Broadcast Engineering team. WAMU utilizes Active Directory, WAN/LAN/WLAN, and Office 365 email infrastructure provided by American University, and additionally maintains independent networks, applications, servers, and storage to support its isolated media production environment. The IT Director provides the technical expertise and soft skills needed to navigate the technical and political complexities of this hybrid environment. Additionally, the IT Director oversees compliance efforts with regard to Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards and other applicable regulations, as well as secure data storage and protection of sensitive or personally identifiable information, in addition to business continuity and disaster recovery planning.


This position reports to the Senior Director of Technology Operations. This role collaborates with the Senior Director and has primary responsibility for the daily IT operation of the station, ensuring seamless delivery of content across multiple platforms and a well-supported user environment. They are an essential leader of a broad strategy to provide service excellence to a content creation enterprise undergoing rapid transformation. They have key relationships with the Directors of Broadcast Engineering and Digital Engineering to ensure systems and infrastructure meet the needs of broadcast operations and web development efforts. The IT Director works with colleagues in multiple areas of AU OIT to ensure a smooth operating relationship.

Essential Functions
  1. Operations Management: Sustains detailed knowledge of all IT systems and ensures proper maintenance and implementation. Delivers effective administration of WAMU-managed systems and partners with AU OIT as necessary to ensure all systems meet the 24/7 mission-critical demands of WAMU within the requirements of the University. In charge of IT change management and maintains relevant service contracts, SLAs, and vendor relationships to deliver a high level of support and ensures timely deployment of software and firmware patches. Notifies Senior Director of concerns that may create instability for any aspect of the station’s IT operations and pursues solutions for correction. Procures and installs hardware; maintains a clean, professional data center and related technical spaces; and configures applications and networks.
  2. Systems Administration: Performs configuration, scripting, and development on a variety of computer and network hardware, cloud based services, and server systems. Architects and plans system changes, upgrades, and transitions. Monitors network systems and traffic to maintain the integrity of WAMU’s information infrastructure. Performs system administration and development tasks to protect WAMU’s network and systems from unauthorized access or abuse. Deploys, administers, and optimizes WAMU’s core IT systems. Works with the Director of Digital Engineering to ensure the security of WAMU’s digital assets
  3. People Management & Service Excellence: Leads the WAMU IT team and collaborates with them to ensure delivery of solutions of appropriate scale, quality, and repeatability to support the ambitions of a rapidly growing modern media company. Keeps current on emerging trends for IT administration. Works with the Senior Director to set the vision and direction for the group and ensures alignment with overall station goals. Develops strategy as it pertains to WAMU IT infrastructure and the needs of the organization. Routinely evaluates service delivery to ensure it meets the needs of the organization and provides coaching and course correction for staff when required. Strives for standardization where possible and leads efforts within the IT group to deploy robust, repeatable solutions across the enterprise. Develops and inspires staff while building a supportive culture. Provides upper-tier helpdesk support and prompt internal customer support as an active member of the helpdesk operations team.
  4. Project Management & Administration: Leads enterprise-scale IT projects to support the evolving needs of WAMU from initial concept, to budget and procurement, to final implementation and testing. Guides non- technical staff through change and system rollouts across the organization. Manages resources to their highest and best use and ensures funds and time are prioritized to the benefit of the station’s most pressing needs. Manages the budget associated with the IT operations of the department, with the support of the Technology Business Operations Manager. Works with WAMU and AU business administration staff to execute orders, reconcile billing, and source materials and services as necessary. Supports special needs across the station. Provides ongoing business continuity planning and support in the event of disaster.
Supervisory Responsibility
  • The Associate Director, IT Operations reports to this role.
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
  • Full time
  • Function Leader B
  • Exemp
Position’s Required Presence (subject to change due to the University’s operating status)
  • Require Partial Presence On Campus (mix of on-campus and remote work)
Salary Range
  • Commensurate with experience 
Required Education and Experience
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent
  • 10+ years of relevant experience
Preferred Education and Experience
  1. Master's degree or equivalent
  2. 10+ years of relevant experience
  • Ten years of IT experience including the management and operation of Active Directory and computer networks
  • Experience delivering IT support to an organization of at least 50 users
  • Management experience of multiple direct reports · Experience with desktop IT administration (ideally utilizing a management platform such as JAMF or SCCM), end-user support, and server maintenance · Prior experience in administering Microsoft Active Directory, Hyper-V, Cisco networking, firewalls and network security strategies, disaster recovery / business continuity planning, internet access providers & methods · Knowledge of scripting (Bash / Powershell), log management systems (Elasticsearch/Graylog), Arista, Palo Alto, and Juniper networking, incident response · Experience with git, Github, Jira, Google Suite, Azure, and Amazon Web Services · Cisco, Microsoft, Juniper, Palo Alto or SBE Certifications
Additional Eligibility Qualifications
  • Comfortable and proficient in Mac, Unix, and Windows environments
  • Curious and open; applies prior experience to the specific needs of WAMU; strives to build responsive solutions after understanding context and ensuring alignment with others
  • Strategically oriented; works to align activities with broader strategic objectives and to prioritize investments of time and resources toward their highest and best use
  • Collaborative communicator; assumes good intent of others; uses an authentic communication style to foster understanding; keeps key stakeholders apprised
  • Project Manager; able to effectively manage multiple simultaneous projects, move them forward, and develop solutions
  • Thought leader; keeps current on emerging trends; participates in the IT and IT security communities; raises the overall proficiency of the team by sharing expertise
  • Able to balance being an individual performer, leader, and essential member of a larger team
  • Creative problem-solver; able to solve problems for which the answers aren’t immediately obvious; committed to overcoming obstacles to achieve results
  • Patient teacher of non-technical staff
  • Preferably, passionate about WAMU and the mission of public media
  • Must have a reliable method for getting to all WAMU worksites, including the studio and DC area transmitter facilities, within a reasonable amount of time (typically within 2 hours of notification).
  • Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options
Other Duties
  • This is an essential staff position. Frequently on-call 24 hours a day. Required to monitor system alarms and respond to essential email after-hours. After-hours work required for scheduled systems upgrades and maintenance, special broadcasts and emergency response. Must be able to work remotely in the event assistance is required after-hours or during inclement weather
  • Travel will periodically be required to remote facilities


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American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

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