American Institutes for Research

Principal Contracts Administrator

Job ID
United States
Contracts & Legal


Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., American Institutes for Research (AIR) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally for Federal, State & Local and Commercial clients. As one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world, AIR is committed to empowering communities and institutions with innovative solutions to the most critical challenges in education, health, workforce, and international development.
Currently, AIR is seeking a Principal Contracts Administrator for our Washington, D.C. (Georgetown) office. We offer outstanding compensation, benefits and a flexible professional work environment for the qualified candidate who demonstrates comprehensive competence and professional excellence.


As a Principal Contracts Administrator you will provide cradle-to-grave leadership of the contract administration support function for the portfolio of our Contracts, Grants and Cooperative Agreements. You will ensure execution of Agreements in accordance with AIR policies, legal requirements, Federal Acquisition Regulations and other Government and Client provisions. This highly visible position serves as a company-wide internal advisor and “clearinghouse” to management and staff for Federal and State & Local Government and commercial RFPs, proposals, contracts, and prime/sub-contracting issues. The individual who meets the requirements for this role will stay informed of company-wide research activities, industry trends, contract issues and customer relationships to provide insight and advice that protects and advances AIR’s success. You will be part of a dynamic organization with an opportunity to influence and define your role as AIR grows. Your thought leadership and influence will be recognized and rewarded. Specifically, you will have leadership impact over the following contracts functions:

 Provide life-cycle contracts management of a variety of business agreements including prime contracts, subcontracts, task, purchase orders, teaming agreements, and non-disclosure agreements.
 Assist in the development of plans to achieve strategic objectives with senior management and operations lead.
 Ensure language and process uniformity that limits exposure to unintended risk.
 Develop good business relationships with senior contracts officials of major clients in coordination with priorities of internal leadership.
 Manage, coordinate, monitor and track Data Rights, Patent, Trademark and other Intellectual Property issues.
 Prepare cost narratives and pricing approaches in accordance with the proposal/pricing volume instructions ensuring compliance with AIR systems/processes, technical approaches and mission objectives.
 Assure quality and timeliness of work product, and satisfaction of all internal and external client contract requirements.
 Develop, implement and evolve processes and structures to ensure effective and compliant business systems and operations.
 Provide contract and grant administration leadership, working with internal and external clients, to meet shifting requirements and ensure client satisfaction.
 Respond in an informed and timely fashion to questions and requests for assistance, demonstrating appropriate sense of urgency when answering internal and external client requests.


 Bachelor's degree required; Master’s highly preferred.
 15-18 years of progressively complex and relevant contracts leadership experience in a professional environment.
 Substantial knowledge of federal and client contracting regulations, policies and practices with ability to articulate vision and manage staff; demonstrated ability to provide accurate interpretation and implementation advice to leadership and staff.
 Demonstrated ability to mentor staff to their greatest capability and create effective teams
Highly motivated with good organizational, mathematical, analytical and reasoning skills and the ability to multi-task.
 Persuasive and professional verbal and written communication skills to identify, communicate and implement complex business solutions for clients, staff and management.
 General Services Administration (GSA) Schedules contracting experience preferred.
 Possess requisite experience, judgment and senior presence to productively interact with internal and external clients and manage staff to identify and resolve risk and performance issues.
 Proficient in using standard MS Office Programs.
 Must demonstrate above-average initiative, self-reliance and autonomy, with the judgment to know when to take the lead, when to involve others, and how to set priorities.



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