Director of Oceans Policy; Conservation International

Job Title: 
Director of Oceans Policy
Job Location: 
Arlington, Virginia or New York, New York
Duration: 
Full-Time - Permanent
Description: 

Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet. 

POSITION SUMMARY

The Director for Oceans Policy will lead implementation of priority initiatives related to global policy strategies related to blue carbon, marine biodiversity and protection on the high seas, including project development, fundraising, implementation, communications and broader capacity building. The position will support country programs and other CI teams in related national policy initiatives in targeted countries and such is responsible for building and maintaining strong working relationships with priority country staff and partners. The position will work closely with the Center for Oceans, specifically including the Blue Climate and Blue Nature teams, to ensure successful completion and maximum integration of ocean policy at CI. This position needs to work independently and provide innovative and strategic solutions. The position also requires strong leadership skills that can build consensus around CI’s policy priorities and build the coalitions and collaborations necessary to implement those strategies.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Lead CI’s High Seas Policy Strategy:

  • In partnership with CIs Center for Oceans, formulate CI positions for science-backed policy goals related to the UN negotiations on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdictions (BBNJ).
  • Develop and implement strategies to influence negotiation outcomes to achieve CI’s goals, including creation of a mechanism for MPA establishment and management in high seas areas
  • Track UN BBNJ negotiations and lead any CI delegation thereto.
  • Lead development of key policy inputs in the form of policy analyses, case studies, science-to-policy briefs, etc. to inform negotiations and key decision-making processes.
  • Maintain and expand relationships with government representatives and like-minded organizations, including the High Seas Alliance, to accelerate and achieve CI objectives.
  • Provide capacity building and targeted technical support to CI staff to engage their governments or other partners in achievement of CI’s high seas policy objectives.
  • Provide technical and other relevant support to the institution on high seas policy issues as needed.

Lead CI’s Oceans and Climate Policy Strategy:

  • In close partnership with CIs Center for Oceans, and in collaboration with CI country programs, lead refinement and implementation of strategy to achieve CI’s policy objectives relating to Blue Carbon at both global and national levels.
  • Lead and support associated fundraising efforts.
  • In collaboration with CIs policy and ocean programs, lead blue carbon representation within the CI delegation to international negotiations on climate and others as required.
  • In collaboration with CIs policy and ocean programs, lead development of CI positions and associated policy briefs, position papers, etc. and engagement with policy makers on matters related to oceans and climate policy.
  • Provide leadership, capacity building and targeted technical support to CI staff to engage their governments or other partners in achievement of CI’s policy objectives.
  • Develop relationships and partnerships with government representatives and like-minded organizations to accelerate and achieve CI objectives.
  • Coordinate with CI partners to implement this strategy, including by organizing and rallying other organizations active in the oceans-climate arena around a shared strategy.

Lead CI SDG and CBD strategy for Oceans:

  • In coordination with CI’s overall CBD lead and the Center for Oceans, work across the organization to develop and implement a strategy to achieve CI’s objective of 30% protected areas target for oceans under the renegotiation of the CBD’s new targets.
  • In coordination with the International Policy lead, work across the organization to engage in efforts to raise visibility of and advance implementation of SDG 14.
  • Lead and support associated fundraising efforts.
  • Lead development of CI positions and associated policy briefs, position papers, etc. and engagement with policy makers.
  • Represent CI in existing NGO coalitions focused on marine targets for the CBD or advancement of SDG14 and work closely with these groups to develop and achieve policy objectives.
  • Provide capacity building and targeted technical support to CI staff to engage their governments or other partners in achievement of CI’s policy objectives.
  • Contribute to Divisional planning, strategy development, budget processes, communications efforts and other cross-cutting tasks:
  • Provide robust contributions to divisional strategy development, planning processes, team initiatives/special projects (e.g. hiring committee for an open position), reporting and communication efforts as needed. 

WORKING CONDITIONS

  • This position is based in CI-Headquarters in Arlington, VA or New York, NY with potential consideration for other CI office locations or remote locations on a case by case basis
  • Requires working remotely with colleagues in other locations.
  • Occasional night and weekend work to accommodate colleagues in other time zones.
  • Position requires up to 25% travel.

QUALIFICATIONS

Required

  • Advanced degree in conservation science, marine science, climate or international policy.
  • Seven years of specialized professional experience in topics related to international climate and/or ocean policy.
  • Knowledge of current negotiations under major climate, high seas and biodiversity policy fora, and existing network of contacts
  • Strong interpersonal and written and oral communication skills.
  • Highly independent worker able to assess a situation, develop a strategy and execute it for multiple lines of work and usually working through others.
  • Proven ability to form collaborative working relationships with multiple groups internal and external to the organization and to lead groups to a strong and strategic outcome.
  • Comfortable working across cultures.
  • Experience in professionally and diplomatically interacting with government delegates and other high-level partners to achieve intended aims.
  • Ability to understand complex, technical issues concerning conservation science, international policy, and the politics surrounding multilateral institutions that are critical to CI’s success.
  • Ability to coordinate and work effectively as a member of a team.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Work permit for United States.

Preferred

  • Fluency in Spanish.
  • Established relationships in the climate change and ocean policy communities.
  • Experience living and working abroad.
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