Program Director (OST)

Full Time

About the Organization

Ocean Science Trust is a small non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating progress towards California’s vision for a healthy and productive coast and ocean with salient and rigorous science. Our collaborative team - with diverse science, policy and management expertise - pursues projects and initiatives that draw together diverse perspectives to synthesize, interpret and share science that can inform and advance policy, funding and management decisions. For more information, please visit

Program Director

The Program Director plays a senior leadership role on a cross-functional and multi-disciplinary team to ensure rigorous and unbiased science is integrated into policy and management decisions impacting California’s ocean and coastal areas. Through a partnerships-based approach to all projects, s/he will work closely with stakeholders and partners to synthesize, interpret, and share scientific information that is salient and credible, and will identify and pursue both programmatic and fundraising opportunities to advance science-informed decision-making.

We are seeking a collaborative team leader and an accomplished relationship builder to grow our climate adaptation work. The Program Director will develop and implement new initiatives that inform state, local, and community efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of sea-level rise, ocean acidification, and other changing ocean conditions. We seek an entrepreneurial leader well-versed in current and emerging innovative climate adaptation science and practice, including strategies for financing adaptation actions and promoting positive social change for coastal communities. This is an exciting opportunity to build on OST’s initial work focused on fisheries and adaptation in a resource management context, and shape a strategic vision that supports state adaptation needs and priorities. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Program Director will work closely with a peer Program Director.


Leadership and Management

  • Provide a clear vision, strategic direction, and oversight for programmatic work, with a focus on mission alignment and sustainability.
  • Lead the development, design, and execution of new projects and initiatives.
  • Ensure programmatic work is aligned with organizational, business, and financial needs and priorities, as well as staff capacity and expertise.
  • Ensure ongoing program excellence, integrity and transparency, through productive partnerships and rigorous project management.
  • Lead, coach, and develop OST’s high-performance science staff, engaging them in grant, workplan, and budget development for projects and initiatives.
  • Work closely with the Executive Director to inform and advance the organization’s strategic vision and plan as part of the senior management team.

Partnerships and Communications

  • Maintain, cultivate, and advance productive partnerships and collaborations with all stakeholders, including tribes and tribal communities, community leaders, industry, state, and federal government decision-makers, NGOs, the academic scientific community, and, most prominently, members of the Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team.
  • Represent the organization in diverse venues, such as community meetings, academic conferences, and State partners meetings.
  • Ensure the successful delivery of high quality products that meet the needs and expectations of clients and key audiences.

Fundraising and Development

  • Identify and pursue funding opportunities to advance the mission of the organization and meet the needs of the State.
  • Maintain and develop relationships with existing and new state, federal, and philanthropic funders.

Intellectual Foundations and Organizational Culture

  • Guide the integration of state-of-the-art science into OST programming.
  • Foster intellectual development and staff contributions through activities such as conference presentations and publications and by fostering strong internal communications and transparency of process.

Desired Skills and Attributes

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Possess an entrepreneurial spirit and be a creative and flexible thinker
  • Possess a collaborative and service-oriented focus, with ability to balance multiple perspectives.
  • Demonstrated strategic, analytic, and synthetic abilities
  • Ability to design and implement collaborative processes and engage effectively with a diverse portfolio of public and private contractors, partners, and collaborators
  • Possess an extensive network of science, management, and policy experts
  • Strong networking and relationship building skills
  • Outcome-driven project management skills
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills; ability to translate scientific and technical concepts and organizational messages for diverse audiences
  • Ability to prioritize multiple tasks and remain flexible when faced with short or changing timelines
  • Authorized to work in the United States

Desired Knowledge and Experience

  • 7+ years of substantive and relevant experience; familiarity with California’s marine and coastal human-natural ecosystems preferred
  • Advanced degree in climate science, social science, political science, public policy, natural resource management, or other relevant field
  • Demonstrated success fostering professional growth of staff
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in fundraising and managing relationships with funders to build excitement for and successfully frame mission-driven work
  • Extensive knowledge of the science and practice of climate adaptation. Familiarity with current and emerging approaches to adaptation in coastal and ocean contexts.
  • Extensive knowledge of policy processes and management approaches to ocean and coastal resources
  • Familiarity with California’s human interface and social implications relative to marine and coastal policy and management preferred
  • Familiarity with new approaches for adaptation financing, fostering social resilience, and diversifying community adaptation options preferred

Compensation and Location

Ocean Science Trust offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. The benefit plan, upon completing the qualifying period, includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, and up to 3.5% employer matching 403b plan.

The preferred location for this position is Sacramento, CA, however Oakland, CA will be considered as an alternative. OST is amenable to considering the option of some remote work. Travel within California and possibly elsewhere in the U.S. will be required. Applicants must possess a valid drivers' license permitting driving within the U.S. and may be required to use their own vehicle for travel, reimbursable at the state rate.

To Apply

CEA Recruiting is assisting Ocean Science Trust with this search. To be considered for this position, interested candidates must follow the link below to submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements through CEA’s job portal. Please direct all applications and inquiries to CEA Recruiting.

California Ocean Science Trust is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit. We want to have the best available person in every job. Trust policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, gender, religion, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition including genetic characteristics, sexual orientation, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws. It also prohibits unlawful discrimination based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has, or is perceived as having, any of those characteristics.

CEA Recruiting works with leading environmental nonprofits, foundations, and businesses to recruit top talent and design effective organizational staffing strategies. For more information, visit

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  • Biz Ghormley
    published this page in Job Board 2018-07-06 17:13:19 -0400