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Manager - Safety & Regulatory Operations

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Legal, Operations
Auckland, New Zealand
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2023

About The Role

Rocket Lab is a vertically integrated provider of small launch services, satellites, and spacecraft components. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. Our team is over 1,500 people strong and we’re adding to it every week. Collaboration is at our core – every idea is heard, and everyone makes a difference. Teams are nimble, decisions are made quickly, and we are action oriented.

Life at Rocket Lab

About the role

The Manager - Safety & Regulatory Operations is responsible for developing and implementing appropriate strategies for managing:

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Sustainability
  • Range and launch licensing (excluding RF)
  • Ground safety (facilities and operations)
  • Occupational health and safety

Key outcomes include timely hazard identification, mitigation, and acceptance methods across the business to protect the company's people, assets, interests and the environment in a challenging and exacting safety and regulatory environment, while opening commercial opportunities in the high-assurance requirement market.

The Manager - Safety & Regulatory Operations shall build and maintain close relationships with all internal and external stakeholders, including regulators, in all global locations where the company operates to ensure alignment and help shape the future regulations in a way that promotes safety and allows the business to grow sustainably.

Essential skills

  • Bachelor's degree in Engineering, Safety, Quality Assurance, or a related field; advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 7 years of experience in safety management, mission assurance, or a related field, preferably within the aviation or space industry.
  • Strong understanding of safety regulations, quality assurance practices, and mission assurance principles applicable to the space industry.
  • Proven experience in managing safety programmes and ensuring mission success.
  • Excellent communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong leadership abilities and a collaborative mindset.
  • Commitment to fostering a culture of safety and continuous improvement within the organization.
  • 2+ years program or project management experience at a team or functional level, ability to manage multiple programs in parallel, perform dynamic resource allocation, provide realistic and validated estimates for project planning purposes, and quickly adapt or pivot projects to prevent time, cost, or effort over-run or waste.
  • Proven ability to provide technical mentorship to engineers within the team, effective in establishing an effective on-the-job training framework, and proven ability to enhance the technical capacity and capability of a team.
  • Proven ability to devise a cohesive set of team goals in alignment with business needs, generate accurate budgets for financial planning, estimate head count trends against project requirements, and report regularly on cost and engineering hour efficiency of the team against these metrics.
  • Proven ability to communicate technical strategy and direction.
  • Proven ability to identify gaps in resourcing, craft position descriptions, and collaborate with internal or external recruitment agencies to attract candidates to the team. Able to effectively screen potential candidates, perform robust interviews, and hire the right fit for the team to ensure morale and performance of the team is upheld.
  • Proven ability to propose, design, implement, and validate new business processes to boost the technical excellence or throughput of a team.
  • Proven ability to function as a technical contributor to key projects or programs whilst in parallel managing the team.
  • Proven ability to drive collaboration within and across teams.
  • Proven ability to manage relationships with regulators, 3rd party vendors and contractors.
  • Proven ability to meet deadlines across competing projects in a high-pressure technical environment.
  • Proven communication skills and the ability to build strong working relationships with people of varying backgrounds.
  • Proven ability to generate and communicate accurate business cases for capital investment, including test equipment, tools, engagement with external vendors, and contractors.

Rocket Lab Employee Benefits

  • The opportunity to work on innovative and ground breaking technology
  • An employee stock purchase program
  • Access to world leading experts to develop your career
  • Unlimited barista coffee, fruit, and snacks
  • Rocket Lab merchandise – T-shirts, mission patches etc.
  • Discounted health insurance with Southern Cross
  • Additional parental leave entitlements
  • A vibrant team culture with social activities throughout the year

Important information:


To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations fromthe U.S Department of State.

Rocket Lab provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment at Rocket Lab, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.


For security reasons background checks will be undertaken prior to any employment offers being made to an applicant. These checks will include nationality checks as it is a requirement of this position that you be eligible to access equipment and data regulated by the United States' International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

Under these Regulations, you may be ineligible for this role if you do not hold citizenship of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the European Union or a country that is part of NATO, or if you hold ineligible dual citizenship or nationality. For more information on these Regulations, click here ITAR Regulations.

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