Manager, Technical Publications

Job Details

Job ID: 10893

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 Communication Services Section is seeking a Manager for the Documentation Services Group. The group provides a full range of publications production and documentation activities for internal customers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL):

  • Write, edit, format, and produce technical and administrative materials for JPL program, project, and institutional needs.
  • Manage publication tasks for JPL internal and external documents—from concept through production, to printing and distribution.
  • Provide dedicated project support (documentarians).
  • Edit, produce, and oversee the production and delivery of mission proposals to NASA Headquarters.
  • Support Laboratory-wide initiatives and process improvement activities.
  • Support training activities.
  • Support JPL institutional meetings such as evaluation boards and teams, committees, task forces, tiger teams, red teams, and review boards.
  • Perform real-time information capture, deliverable support, notes preparation, file management, electronic library support, records management, and any other documentation tasks required.

The Documentation Services Manager will report to the Communication Services Section Manager and Deputy Section Manager, executing day-to-day oversight and guidance of the group’s work and operations, including workforce, workflow, safety, and property management. 

  • Hire, retain, train, and oversee a diverse, highly qualified staff of professional technical writers/editors and publishing specialists
  • Lead team and provide career coaching and mentoring and facilitate growth and personal development
  • Approve employee work schedules, work assignments, and time records.
  • Monitor, facilitate, and enhance employee work performance and the team’s workplace experience
  • Direct and ensure the development and delivery from the group of high-quality documentation products and services to science, technical, business, program, project, and line customers across the Laboratory
  • Review products and guide leads in identifying effective problem solutions to meet goals
  • Assume accountability for schedule, resources, and performance of all assigned group activities
  • Administer and execute policies and procedures and recommend changes
  • Participate in section-, organization-, and Laboratory-wide activities, committees, and initiatives as appropriate
  • Work closely with section management on strategic planning, staff development, and operational improvements
  • Provide leadership in helping to develop and implement the next generation in people, processes, tools, and technologies.
  • Create a professional working environment that emphasizes quality in the work product, work experience, and work environment.
  • Identify, lead, and support change and continuous improvement within own group and the wider JPL organization.
  • Conduct open communication within the group, facilitating “upward,” “downward,” and “lateral” communication among group members; address concerns of group members, advocating for them as appropriate.
  • Establish areas of work emphasis for the group; forecast work for the group; establish work procedures for group members; approve work process documentation; assure appropriate communication and understanding of work processes, policies and procedures.
  • Support the Documentation and Graphics Service Center Manager in financial oversight of the service center.


  • Typically requires a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Technical Writing, or a related field with a minimum of 9 years of related experience; Master’s degree in similar disciplines with a minimum of 7 years of related experience; and with a minimum of three years of leadership experience.
  • Strong analytical and financial skills in conjunction with excellent communication, training, and presentation skills.
  • Ability to describe complex issues clearly and effectively with all levels of employees and management, including the ability to analyze, interpret, synthesize, and effectively present complex information at key leadership meetings.
  • Demonstrated experience in implementing business operations innovations resulting in process improvements and increased efficiency.
  • Proficiency in the use of communications and business applications software and the ability to use JPL’s specialized project management and financial applications.
  • Demonstrated experience in estimating costs to accomplish work, managing budgets and schedules
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with all levels of engineers, scientists, and managers across a large organization
  • Ability to hire, develop and retain a diverse, high-performing team.
  • Proven track record of developing and delivering high-quality documentation products on schedule.






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