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Asst. Director - Network Operations

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

What's the role?

This role will be responsible for leading the Network Operations team at Northwestern Mutual. This includes the data center core network, campus building connectivity, optical inter-campus connectivity, remote office locations, a field network supporting 300+ locations, all in-building wired and WIFI Infrastructure, network security operations and all related infrastructure.

This role will work with the Sr. Director of Network Services and lead the tier 1 (24x7) operations team, network security operations team, and the tier 2 operations team.

The leader will be responsible to maintain a stable environment, drive down technical debt, and continuously improve monitoring / alerting. The person should communicate regularly with customers on key network availability metrics, uptime, SLAs, delivery performance, and problem management. This role is also responsible for managing relationships among enterprise peers, organizational teams, and vendors to achieve company strategies. Focus should be placed on risk identification, prioritization, and mitigation planning. Senior leadership communication of identified risks and plans will be key to this role.

Core Functions of the position:

  • The focus of this leadership position is on delivering business value through operational best practices, developing teams through guided learning, and leading change with intent.

  • Ability to understand and communicate technical topics through a business lens.

  • Recognize, communicate, and plan program-level mitigations to business risk associated with network technologies and changes. Clearly articulate a roadmap to achieve these objectives.

  • Clarify objectives, reinforce responsibilities, and remove obstacles and barriers that prevent individuals and the team from achieving results.

  • Supervise budget, program, service, and team performance and results through quantitative and qualitative measures of value, outcome, velocity, engagement, and satisfaction.

  • Develop and cross breed tier 1/tier 2 staff through training, mentoring, and coaching while also supplementing staff in that role as needed.

  • Develop, implement, and promote agile / lean best practice standards including the use of tools where appropriate.


  • Experience managing network engineering or operation functions with exposure to a wide breadth of technologies

  • Enterprise experience in key technologies such as routing/switching, WAN, DC networks, Applications LBs, DNS, Network Security

  • Ability to handle and drive escalations with our partner organizations, Applications, and Security

  • Experience with engineering best practices to include analyzing, designing, developing and supporting software solutions and/or infrastructure implementations/upgrades

  • Ability to explain technical solutions to technical teams and non-technical teams

  • Flexibility, ability to prioritize and handle ambiguity

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

  • Ability to coordinate with business areas on technical projects and impacts

  • Experience with ServiceNow, SolarWinds, PowerBI is a plus

  • Active participant in setting technical roadmap and technical vision for a broad set of technology disciplines

  • Bachelor's Degree in related field

  • 6-8 years professional experience

  • Theoretical and logical understanding of specific domains your reports work in, and articulate engineering tradeoffs across team and to senior leaders

  • Experience with multiple delivery methodologies such as Agile and Waterfall


  • Tons of room for career growth! We are at the beginning and the team will be growing - leadership positions are there for the taking if you show the desire.

  • Highly technical and hardworking fellow test engineers. We care a lot about what we do and are very active in local meetups and love new insights.

  • Flexible work schedules

  • Employee tuition reimbursement

  • Group Life and disability income insurance

  • Competitive benefits- medical/dental/vision, PTO, bonuses, and highly competitive salary


This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

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We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.