Chief Knowledge Officer

Job Details

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.


The Office of the Chief Engineer (OCE) is seeking a Laboratory Chief Knowledge Officer.  In this role, you will serve as the Laboratory’s leader for Knowledge Management (KM) and Lessons Learned strategy and programs , with a focus on helping the organization promote and facilitate continuous learning and utilize its knowledge effectively and efficiently to be a continuous learning orgnization.

  • Develop, implement and maintain the Laboratory’s Knowledge Management Architecture and Strategic Plan that focuses on facilitating knowledge sharing among workers, balanced with an appropriate amount of knowledge capture, and identifies the organizations responsible for each element of the KM architecture.
  • Direct and coordinate Knowledge Management by forming partnerships with HR, OCIO, Digital Transformation, JPL Library, Section 319, and other organizations that may interface in this domain.
  • Continually study and evaluate the current state of the practice and identify gaps in JPL’s knowledge transfer practices and act as an agent of change to bring about improvements.
  • Organize an effort to bring the “what and why” (context) to JPL’s Design Principles for use in training JPL engineers not only how we do business, but also why we do it that way.
  • Partner with the Digital Transformation team to ensure KM practices, tools and structures are consistent with the future state goals of Digital Transformation, move the Laboratory towards becoming a better learning organization, and support KM activities locally and across the Laboratory.
  • Interface with all Directorates to ensure their needs in the KM domain are understood and plans are in place to satisfy those needs.
  • Coordinate with the Office of Safety and Mission Success (OSMS) to facilitate capture and implementation of lessons learned to support Knowledge Management needs across JPL.
  • Serve as a resource for JPL organizations to ensure that local knowledge sharing and capture approaches utilize “best practices.”
  • Ensure that knowledge sharing, capture and retention practices are efficient and directly benefit JPL employees
  • Serve as primary JPL point of coordination with NASA’s chief knowledge officer.
  • Serve as the focal point for the Project Knowledge Management Plan gate product by providing guidance and a Project KM Plan template that meets the requirements stemming from 7120.5E as well as the broader needs of the Institution for use by future Projects.
  • Additional responsibilities include developing a plan that reflects the priorities of the OCE and 3x and 5x Technical Divisions to capture appropriate information from experts around the organization.
  • Support the Assistant Director for ESD as needed on training/learning-related issues linked to ESD’s KM plans.
  • Partner with the 3x and 5x line organizations and OCE to facilitate technical knowledge sharing via Communities of Practice (CoP).
  • Lead the JPL Lessons Learned Committee to ensure Lessons Learned are captured and disseminated in a way that is useful for the future and supports the NASA Lessons Learned process.
  • Develop and utilize metrics to measure KM progress.
  • Report administratively to the Office of the Chief Engineer.


  • Typically a degree in relevant areas such as Organizational Behavior, Learning, Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Minimum experience Bachelor’s with 12 years of related experience, Master’s with 10 years of related experience or Ph.D with 8 years of related experience.
  • Demonstrated expertise and accomplishments in Knowledge Management domain
  • Demonstrated expertise in training and mentoring a variety of staff types including engineers and/or scientists
  • Demonstrated ability to create new solutions to complex problems
  • Demonstrated expertise creating results when leading a diverse team
  • Pesonal commitment to continuous learning
  • Personal commitment to knowledge capture, knowledge transfer and retention.
  • Ability to learn and understand the tools used by JPL staff to share, capture and curate knowledge.
  • Demonstrated ability to reach across organizational lines to bring together stakeholders and achieve results
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills


Preferred Qualifications

  • Substantial technical contribution to multiple recent JPL flight projects
  • Knowledge of Jet Propulsion Laboratory policies and procedures, NASA policies and procedures, and government regulations across a range of applications


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