Job Title: 
Job Location: 
Seattle, Washington
Full-Time - Permanent

Washington Sea Grant (WSG) has two outstanding opportunities for experienced and innovative program managers to serve as Assistant Director for Community Engagement and Assistant Director for Science and Technical Assistance. These positions are members of the WSG leadership team and fill a central role in strategic and operational planning, policy making and maintaining organizational effectiveness. The Assistant Director for Community Engagement and Assistant Director for Science and Technical Assistance are the two positions with primary responsibility for managing WSG's outreach program, which delivers information and technical assistance to Washington's coastal communities. Reporting to the WSG Director, the individuals will each serve in these supervisor and mentor roles for roughly half of WSG’s outreach staff and contribute directly to organizational priorities as a project lead on especially complex or challenging issues.


Both the Assistant Director for Community Engagement and Assistant Director for Science and Technical Assistance work with the Director and other leadership team members to discern organizational priorities; address emerging needs and areas for improvement; and encourage program innovation, performance and sustainability. The Assistant Directors supervise and mentor professional staff with diverse backgrounds and needs who work in coastal communities throughout western Washington. The scope of the outreach program demands a broad knowledge of coastal community needs and their social, economic and political context. These positions require the exercise of independent judgment and problem-solving skills as well as communicating effectively with colleagues and constituents using tact and diplomacy.

WSG is housed within the UW College of the Environment and is a unique unit with federally designated responsibilities to support marine and coastal research, education, outreach and communications for all of Washington. WSG serves the state and the region by delivering information and technical assistance to marine resource users and managers, engaging the public in activities that promote ecosystem health, educating students of all ages and encouraging science-based solutions to marine and coastal issues. To achieve organizational excellence, pursue its vision, and adhere to its mission, WSG maintains a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, by pursuing diverse perspectives, and enhancing cultural understanding. WSG works to create equitable access to resources and opportunities for Washington’s diverse communities and seeks to incorporate their voices and priorities. WSG’s values are informed by environmental justice and are based in a culture of inclusion, respect, long-term engagement and accountability. WSG has about 20 full and part-time environmental outreach specialists with diverse expertise who connect with thousands of Washington residents each year and serve as university representatives locally, regionally and nationally. They provide an important conduit for translating university research into information, tools and technology for use in the coastal and marine environment. The Assistant Director for Community Engagement and the Assistant Director for Science and Technical Assistance will each supervise half of the outreach staff; the Assistant Director for Community Engagement will supervise those who emphasize community engagement as a means of providing assistance, while the Assistant Director for Science and Technical Assistance will supervise those who focus more on science and technical innovations.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Supervise and support environmental outreach specialists who engage and deliver advisory services to Washington’s coastal communities.

  • Maintain the success and responsiveness of WSG outreach and engagement activities, including the high quality and timeliness of outreach services and informational products.
  • Maintain effective working relationships with cooperating partner institutions, community leaders and agency officials.
  • Supervise and provide professional development guidance to outreach staff. Assess training and professional development needs.
  • Mentor outreach staff through work planning, staff evaluations, regular 1:1 meetings, etc. to ensure they have the support and guidance they need to thrive in their positions.

    As a member of the leadership team, contribute to the strategic vision and organizational strength of Washington Sea Grant.

  • Contribute to and implement processes and initiatives that enhance the overall effectiveness of WSG.
  • Contribute to WSG program documents, including but not limited to strategic plans, program directories, progress reports, and informational briefings.
  • Identify program needs and priorities, and evaluate and pursue new program opportunities, including funding.
  • Represent WSG at university, state and national levels, including as a member of the Assembly of Sea Grant Extension Program Leaders.

    Outreach programmatic activities

  • Design and carry out outreach and community engagement programming, either individually or as a team member, in an area of personal expertise that contributes to WSG strategic priorities.
  • Serve as the team lead for complex projects and programs that falls within an area of personal expertise or present challenges to successful community engagement.

    As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs.  For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.


    Master’s Degree in a scientific or policy field applicable to the responsible use and conservation of ocean and coastal ecosystems (e.g., oceanography, marine biology, fisheries or aquaculture, social sciences, coastal and marine policy, etc.) AND Four to five years of related experience.

    A minimum of four years managing projects or programs relevant to WSG’s mission that demonstrates: leadership and success in either supervising and/or mentoring professionals and/or scientists in related fields, proficiency in assessing and addressing organizational needs, the ability to manage competing demands in a diverse program, and excellent communications skills. Demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to the best practices of community engagement, science and technical assistance and the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.


    PhD in a scientific or policy field applicable to the responsible use and conservation of ocean and coastal ecosystems.

    A successful track record applying personal technical expertise to challenges faced by coastal communities and/or maritime businesses. Demonstrated success developing grant proposals and managing grant-supported projects.


    These positions will work from an office in a Washington coastal community yet to be determined. One option is the program office for WSG, located on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus, but other options will be considered in consultation with the successful candidates. The responsibilities and workload require periodic evening and weekend hours. A driver’s license and the ability and willingness to travel locally, nationally and internationally are required.

Please note that all jobs are automatically removed once the application deadline passes. Jobs without a deadline are automatically removed after 30 days.