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Principal Program Manager (Defense Space Products)

Airbus Defense and Space
Arlington, VA
  • Expired: January 23, 2023. Applications are no longer accepted.

Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc offers advanced solutions to meet the most complex U.S. defense, security, space, and intelligence requirements. Celebrating over 50 years in the US, we remain a trusted government partner, leveraging world-class satellite, laser communication, rotor and fixed wing solutions to help our national security, defense and space focused customers meet their missions.

Airbus U.S. looks to employ a commitment driven team, dedicated to enabling our customer's mission success. We are committed to maintaining a diverse and inclusive work environment and a welcoming and engaging staff. With competitive compensation and superior employee benefits, as well as a commitment to fostering individual career growth, Airbus U.S. is the place where top talent wants to work.

Position Summary:

The Principal Program Manager is responsible for program management of one or more of the Optical Communications programs within the Airbus U.S. Airbus U.S. supplies leading spacecraft equipment, technology and solutions to U.S. customers. This role consists of program management, planning, budgeting, scheduling, coordination, and reporting to ensure that programs and tasks are executed to meet cost, schedule and performance commitments. Works closely with the engineering team to coordinate technical expectations and deliver results for assigned programs. Works with functional areas of Airbus U.S. ensure that supply chain, contractual, finance, export, compliance, and legal requirements are satisfied. Provides support to the strategy and new business development team for customer requests, capture and proposal efforts, to win business and increase revenues on new and existing programs. This role reports to the Director of Spacecraft Equipment.

Position Responsibilities:

Program Management: (60%)

Serve as program manager and/or Deputy program manager for identified space equipment program(s).

Responsible for program management including technical, cost, schedule and risk management for medium dollar amount/medium complexity/medium team size programs.

Manage project planning, costing, scheduling and provide regular updates to the Line of Business and Airbus U.S. executive management.

Provide daily project direction and support. Coordinate with team members (engineering, support functions) to plan, update, and execute program plans against cost and schedule, with risks and risk mitigation, and within budget.

Develop detailed Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) and track and manage project costs against the program spend rate baseline.

Work with master scheduler to develop schedules that identify major milestones, internal and external task dependencies, critical paths, and resources allocation requirements.

Create and submit status reports, briefings, summaries, technical reviews, revenue/budget reports, cost/benefit analysis, risk management and other documents as necessary. Provide current project and program updates to senior management and team members to report status on cost, performance and schedule.

Proactively track leading indicators, identify issues or delays and recommend corrective actions as needed. Provide leadership with recommendations and implementation strategies to ensure project and program costs remain within the budget and schedule.

Manage and update project risks through a risk management plan that identifies, assess, documents, and mitigates program risks.

Coordinate and manage projects and ensure Contract Data Requirements List (CDRLs) are completed. Manage internal, external, and international organizations to ensure strict adherence to timelines.

Manage milestone progress and invoice for work accomplished

Stakeholder Management: (20%)

Develop and maintain strong relationships with customers, other external stakeholders, and internal stakeholders, working in a collaborative partnership to ensure successful program execution and business growth. This includes working with internal support functions across the company - finance, contracts, compliance, security, export, configuration management, etc.

Provide direct management of partners and affiliates, including program definition and scope, program reviews, deliverables, schedule and milestones management, risk management, payments, invoices.

Establish and maintain effective working relationships with subcontractors, suppliers, Airbus affiliates and other external stakeholders.

Finance/Earned Value, Contract, Supply Chain, Compliance, Security Coordination: (10%)

Coordinate with finance, contracting, supply chain, compliance and security team members to ensure project are being managed per financial, contractual and compliance requirements, within project scope and budget and following the approved schedule

Apply guidance and redirection as required to ensure programs stay on track.

Leverage individual project management and industry experience to contribute substantively to Airbus U.S. efforts to optimize company project management processes

Additional Duties as Required: (10%)

Qualified Experience / Skills / Training:


Required: Bachelor's degree in Aerospace, Systems, Electrical, Mechanical or other STEM related scientific field.

Preferred: Master's degree in Engineering or business field

Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate is a plus


15 years (12 years with a master's degree) of progressive experience in aerospace, systems, electrical, mechanical, or thermal engineering

Experience in technical or business project management or of teams

Experience managing projects and teams, for space flight hardware or technologies, for U.S. Government or commercial space customers, with successful execution (cost, schedule, performance)

Experience with hardware production desired

Experience working with subcontracts and supply chain teams highly desired

Knowledge, Skills, Demonstrated Capabilities:

Understanding of space systems, technologies and products

Experience and familiarity with U.S. government contracts

Knowledge of program management metrics, tools, reporting methods

Direct experience with U.S. national security space programs is highly preferred.

Communication Skills (Spoken, Written, Influencing, Proficiency in Other Languages):

Systems-thinker, entrepreneurial mindset and ability to perform in a fast-paced environment with complex issues and competing priorities

Excellent listening, comprehension, interpersonal, communication (verbal/writing), skills as responsible for daily communication in all forms

Excellent analytical and presentation skills; clear, concise, accuracy, and commitment to follow-up

Collaborative spirit, diplomacy skills with inclusive and personable approach

Professional demeanor, with ability to effectively engage and partner with stakeholders at all levels, internally and externally, from support functions to engineers to executive leadership to senior government officials

Ability to work in a diverse, geographically distributed team to achieve successful program execution

Technical Systems Proficiency:

Excellent PC skills, specifically Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Sharepoint

Experience with MS Office suite, MS Project

Familiarity with Salesforce, Costpoint, Deltek systems a plus

Travel Required:

20% domestic and international

Occasional travel to Florida and/or Virginia and International travel to collaborate with European Airbus counterparts

Ability to work extended hours on occasion, in support of requirements for program execution, proposals, customer events, international time zones, etc


U.S. Citizenship required


Ability to obtain and maintain a Government security clearance

Active DoD security clearance desirable

Decision Making, Complexity:

Able to manage multiple activities

Able to act decisively while ensuring actions are legal, within contract boundaries, and ethical

Organizational information:

Reports to Director of Space Programs

Job Dimensions, Contributions to Success:

Lead an industrial team to achieve programmatic success

Ensure programs achieve cost, schedule, and performance objectives

Nature of Contacts:

Role includes involved communication with internal and external parties on a daily basis.

Physical Requirements:

Carrying: able to carry documents and/or electronic equipment up to 20lbs/9kg.

Lifting: able to lift documents and/or electronic equipment up to 20lbs/9kg.

Pushing/Pulling: able to push/pull items in office areas.

Sitting: able to sit for extended periods of time at computer and in meetings.

Squatting/Kneeling: able to occasionally squat or kneel to retrieve or replace items shelved on bottom shelves.

Standing: able to stand for extended periods of time.

Travel: able to travel independently and at short notice.

Walking: able to walk through office and production areas including uneven surfaces.

Equal Opportunity: Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. is also committed to compliance with all fair employment practices regarding citizenship and immigration status.

As a leader in our field, Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. provides relocation assistance for qualified positions and a comprehensive compensation and benefits package.

As a matter of policy, Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. does not sponsor visas for US positions unless specified. Only applicants with current work authorization will be considered.

Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. does not offer tenured or guaranteed employment. Employment with Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. is at will, meaning either the company or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice.

As a matter of policy, Airbus does not sponsor visas for US positions unless specified. Only applicants with current work authorization will be considered.

Airbus does not offer tenured or guaranteed employment. Either the company or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice.

Airbus Defense and Space


Arlington, VA
22209 USA



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