Chief Science Officer

DC Department of Forensic Sciences, Washington, DC, US


The Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS) is seeking a Chief Science Officer 
(Laboratory Director) to manage the Forensic Science Laboratory Division.  The DFS Forensic Science Laboratory Division was established by the Department of Forensic Sciences Act of 2011 by the District of Columbia City Council and became operational as an agency on October 1, 2012. The Department’s mission is to provide “high-quality, timely, accurate, and reliable forensic science services...[using] best practices and best available technology; a focus on unbiased science and transparency; and the goal of enhancing public safety." The DFS Forensic Science Laboratory Division is comprised a Forensic Biology Unit, a Forensic Chemistry Unit, a Latent Fingerprint Unit, and a Quality Assurance Division. 

Upon request, The DFS Forensic Science Laboratory Division provides services to District agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the Office of the Attorney General, the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department. The laboratory also provides services to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, as well as to other law enforcement or investigative agencies.  

DFS is situated within the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice (ODMPSJ). The Chief Science Officer reports to the Director of DFS and provides scientific and project management expertise to identify, address and coordinate forensic science operation initiatives. The Chief Science Officer is also responsible for reviewing and analyzing legislative and policy proposals that affect the department’s interest and advises on its impacts. Other responsibilities include: 

  • Directing the creation and implementation of all strategies, policies, procedures, and best practices needed to support the optimal performance of the laboratory
  • Ensuring the proper implementation of scientific and technical procedures and policies in relation to test offerings and new product development
  • Driving efforts in support of program-driven milestones and overseeing laboratory safety compliance
  • Supporting the DFS Director in developing the strategic roadmap for the unit and translating the strategy into actionable targets linked to the annual budget
  • Managing and proposing a projected budget for the Forensic Science Laboratory that accounts for the fiscal responsibilities of the laboratory and the agencies it serves.
  • Managing the laboratory equipment calibration, ensuring laboratory equipment is in proper working order, and adhering to maintenance and calibration schedules.
  • Serving as advisor and consultant to the Chief of Police and other executive staff on matters related to consolidated laboratory.
  • Acting as a liaison between the DFS Forensic Science Laboratory and other members of DFS, law enforcement community, and the entities it serves.


The successful applicant will possess a degree in Forensic Science or other related sciences; however, a master’s degree or Ph.D. are preferred. Expert knowledge of forensic laboratory accreditation, standards, and guidelines, as well as extensive knowledge of the tools necessary to evaluate forensic quality processes is required. The ability to establish new standards and assist with identifying training needs and resource requirements for the agency is also required. 

The Chief Science Officer will have qualified previously as an expert witness in their respective field or fields and have comprehensive knowledge of forensic science policies, procedures and practices sufficient to effectively provide guidance and assistance in the direction of a cohesive quality assurance program. Experience with administering ISO 17025 standards in laboratory operations and experience with the ANAB accreditation process are essential. 

As this position is housed within the Consolidated Forensic Laboratory – a protection-sensitive facility – the person who holds this position will be subject to background investigations and drug and alcohol testing as applicable. 

This position is considered “essential” as defined by the District’s Personnel Manual (DPM). 

The selected candidate will need to establish primary residency within the District of Columbia within 180 days of hire. 


The salary and compensation for this position is highly competitive and based upon the education and experience of the applicant

How to apply

The DC Department of Forensic Science is partnering with POLIHIRE to find the Chief Science Officer. If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a cover letter outlining your qualifications and your resume to: Please include only your name (Last, First) in the subject line when submitting materials