Director of Operations Programs

Location US-IL-Northbrook
Job ID
# of Openings
Job Category
Executive Management


Leadership.Global.General – 3D City – Safer World

At UL, we know why we come to work.

We have an exciting opportunity for a high performing Director of Operations Programs to join our dynamic team and growing organization at Underwriters Laboratories. In this role, you will lead a portfolio of programs, processes, and initiatives that supports the growth and expansion of research institutes, optimizes operations, and enables the high performance of individuals, teams, and the organization. You will work closely with the Chief Research Officer, each of UL’s research institutes and offices, and other leaders and colleagues across the organization to advance the growth strategy of the organization and support Underwriters Laboratories’ mission to create a safer and more sustainable future.

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Director of Operations Programs oversees: the expansion and modernization of research facilities, laboratories, and other workspace initiatives; the design of processes and identification of related technologies to enhance effectiveness of and streamline operations; and the leadership of processes and initiatives to accelerate outcomes and increase the performance of the organization.

At Underwriters Laboratories, we wake up every day with a common purpose: to make the world a safer, more secure and sustainable place. Science is in our DNA; we are endlessly curious and passionate about seeking and speaking the truth. We take delight in knowing that our work makes a meaningful contribution to society, and we are proud that our culture is centered on integrity, collaboration, inclusion and excellence. Underwriters Laboratories stands at the forefront of technological advancement, and we are continually challenged to find new ways to foster innovation and positive change. Satisfying? Yes. Exciting? Absolutely!

What you’ll learn & achieve:

As the Director of Operations Programs, you will play a key role in the rapid growth of Underwriters Laboratories as you:

  • Collaborate with leaders and colleagues across the organization – including research institutes and offices, real estate, procurement, finance, legal, information technology, strategy, communications, and human resources – as well as external partners, to develop and ensure successful implementation of programs in the scope of responsibilities.
  • Hire, lead, and develop a team of high-performing program and project managers and to deliver results in in collaboration with leaders and other colleagues.
  • Support the expansion and modernization of facilities by structuring and leading cross-functional teams to identify short and long-term workspace and equipment requirements, capital requirements, identify and develop solutions, negotiate terms and conditions, gain leadership buy-in, and implement approved recommendations.
  • Structure and lead cross-functional teams to identify, design, and implement process and technology initiatives that improve efficiency and effectiveness of management and operations, advance the growth strategy, and support the mission of the organization.
  • Collaborate with research leadership, finance, strategy, human resources, and other functions to streamline, enhance, and support strategic planning and the annual budget processes, including identifying and prioritizing short and long-term goals and initiatives, outcomes, resource requirements, and performance metrics.
  • Design, implement, and manage measurement and reporting processes and tools that define key areas of focus, performance metrics to be monitored, and communicate the progress and success of the organization in implementing and achieving its strategic and operational objectives.
  • Analyze organizational performance, outcomes, and impact, and identify opportunities and recommendations to increase and communicate the benefit and value of the mission to stakeholders and society.
  • Collaborate with the legal department and other functions to define, organize, and communicate policies and procedures that promote and ensure appropriate and efficient use of resources and mitigate risk, in alignment and complying with the organization’s Standard of Business Conduct and other legal requirements.
  • Participate and contribute in other department specific and cross-functional initiatives.

What makes you a great fit:

The ideal candidate will bring several qualities to the team, including:

  • Advanced program and project management skills to successfully lead a portfolio of complex and technical initiatives, manage competing priorities and trade-offs, thrive in a fast-paced environment, and achieve results while engaging multiple and diverse groups of stakeholders.
  • Problem solving skills with the ability to identify root causes, develop practical solutions, and work in collaboration with colleagues across the organization to address strategic, operational, and any other roadblocks to success.
  • Leadership, initiative, and influence skills to create alignment and buy-in with multiple stakeholders and deliver results in a matrix organization.
  • Positive and collaborative attitude and interpersonal skills to work effectively with leaders and colleagues across the organization.
  • Engaging and approachable leadership style to lead and develop a high performing team, setting high standards and accountability for process and results.
  • High degree of curiosity to learn about the mission and impact of the organization and its areas of specialization.
  • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills, with enthusiasm to engage leaders, employees, and other stakeholders with the mission and goals of the organization.
  • Ability to operate at a strategic and operational level, including attention to detail, focus on quality, speed, and outcomes, and willingness to both lead the work and execute.
  • Responsiveness and a sense of urgency, with focus on outcomes, structure, and process improvement for the short and long term. 

 Professional experience and education requirements for the role include:

  • Bachelor’s degree is required, with preference to a degree in science, technology, engineering or math. Additional MBA or advanced degree with emphasis in finance or operations is preferred.
  • 10 years of experience in operations, project or program management, and/or management consulting in areas related to the scope of responsibilities is required.
  • Experience working with scientific research, academic or research institutions, and experience working with public policy, nonprofit, and/or mission driven organizations are desired.
  • Management experience leading teams, developing strategy, and executing plans.
  • Proficiency in MS Office is required. Advanced skills in Excel and PowerPoint, and knowledge of analytic tools (e.g. Tableau, PowerBI) are desired.

 UL has COVID-19 protocols and policies in place to ensure the safety of our employees, customers and clients. Effective November 1, 2021, the company mandates that employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment (except where prohibited by law), subject to reasonable accommodation as required by law.

What you’ll experience working at UL:

  • Mission: For Underwriters Laboratories, corporate and social responsibility isn’t new. Making the world a safer, more secure and sustainable place has been our business model for the last 128 years and is deeply ingrained in everything we do.
  • People: Ask any Underwriters Laboratories employee what they love most about working here, and you’ll almost always hear, “the people.” Going beyond what is possible is the standard at Underwriters Laboratories. We’re able to deliver the best because we employ the best.
  • Interesting work: Every day is different for us here as we eagerly anticipate the next innovation that our customers’ create. We’re inspired to take on the challenge that will transform how people live, work and play. And as a global company, in many roles, you will get international experience working with colleagues around the world.
  • Grow & achieve: We learn, work and grow together with targeted development, reward and recognition programs as well as our very own UL University that offers extensive training programs for employees at all stages, including a technical training track for applicable roles.
  • Total Rewards: All employees at Underwriters Laboratories are eligible for bonus compensation. Underwriters Laboratories offers a generous 401k matching structure of up to 5% of eligible pay. Additionally, we invest an additional 4% into your retirement saving fund after your first year of continuous employment. We provide Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts and Health Savings Accounts that Underwriters Laboratories contributes to twice per year! Depending on your role, you can work with your manager on flexible working arrangements. We also provide employees with paid time off including vacation, holiday, sick and volunteer time off.

Learn More:

Working at Underwriters Laboratories is an exciting journey that twists and turns daily. We thrive in the twists and revel in the turns. This is our every day. This is our normal.


Curious? To learn more about us and the work we do, visit


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All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status. If you'd like more information about your EEO rights as an applicant under the law, please review the EEO is the Law and EEO is the Law Supplement.

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