FishWise is transforming global seafood supply chains to sustain oceans and the people who depend on them. For more than 15 years, FishWise has worked closely with the seafood sector to improve sustainability. Our holistic definition of sustainable seafood integrates attention to ocean ecosystems and human and labor rights. At the core of our approach is partnership with leading seafood companies to integrate comprehensive sustainability into their business policies and practices toward ultimately changing the fundamental dynamics between supply chain actors for all-inclusive systems change.
Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and serving as an integral member of the senior management team, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) will provide the internal leadership required for FishWise to achieve its ambitious and strategic goals. The COO will work closely with the CEO to guide and support senior directors in the pursuit of a diverse scope of work and multi-faceted approach to fulfilling our mission. The COO’s function will be to ensure alignment, coordination, and connectivity across all teams, programs, and work streams. In addition to the strategic components, the COO will carry out financial and administrative leadership functions and will be charged with developing and implementing more sophisticated policies and procedures in the finance, human resources, and other general operating realms.
Importantly, the successful COO will bring the skills, sensitivity, and personal confidence to tap into the power that each member of the FishWise team brings to our mission. While it is essential that the COO is an expert in efficient and effective systems, it is also critical that the COO maintains an awareness of employee needs, shows empathy, and demonstrates accountability for organizational outcomes. The CEO will foster a work environment in which individuals of different backgrounds can be successful and diverse perspectives are heard and recognized as essential to the mission of the organization. The COO will serve as a catalyst for change and innovation by providing the building blocks and creating a safe environment for experimentation and appropriate risk-taking.
This is an outstanding opportunity for a leader with operational experience and a proven track record of creative problem-solving and organizational development to join in a vibrant, mission-driven organization.
In the near-term, the COO will help to finalize FishWise’s new multi-year strategic plan (depending on date of hire), and will lead in the subsequent development and roll-out of an operations plan that defines the organizational structure, resources, milestones, and methods for monitoring progress and identifying challenges. Further, the COO will also support development of annual programmatic operational plans to ensure linkages between the longer term strategic plan and annual activities and objectives.
Strategy and Leadership
- Contribute to the continuous development of FishWise’s strategic goals and objectives as well as the overall management of the organization
- In partnership with the CEO and senior leadership, integrate and oversee the implementation of the organization’s strategy
- Advise the CEO and Controller on financial planning, budgeting, cash flow, investment priorities, and policy matters
- Serve as the management liaison to the Board and Audit Committee; effectively communicate and present financial reports and critical financial matters at Board of directors and committee meetings
- Maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping the CEO informed of all critical issues
- Represent the organization externally, as necessary
Team Development and Staff Leadership
- Build and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with leadership, staff, and the Board of Directors, cultivating a cohesive culture and inspired team dynamics
- Supervise a team of high-functioning, independent, and collaborative senior directors
- Oversee the recruitment, hiring, and retention of a diverse and highly qualified workforce
- Support all aspects of staff performance, primarily through review, improvement, and implementation of a best practice performance evaluation system
- Challenge assumptions and norms to either reaffirm current approaches or to identify the need to create new ones
- Unearth challenges and root causes, initiate difficult conversations, and foster team cohesion
- Develop and deliver transparency in decision-making, reporting, and cultural dynamics
- Foster a culture of consensus while also making timely decisions and serving as arbiter when necessary
- Increase equity and diversity through growing the Board and employees’ cultural competency
- Develop processes and practices to integrate equity into all aspects of the organization
- Maintain an open-door policy and strong and consistent leadership presence in the FishWise office. Be available to remote staff in ways that support these same principles
- Adeptly interface and manage via remote-work technology and processes
Finance, Resources, and Administration
- Oversee the internal operations of the organization
- Plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of the organization
- Coordinate, and track progress against, the annual operations plan and budget
- Ensure financial policies/procedures are followed and in compliance with legal requirements
- Lead the establishment of financial objectives that ensure strategy-driven growth and sustainability for the organization
- Oversee employee relations, payroll, benefits, and training
- Ensure that projects and teams have the necessary staff and other resources, in accordance with the operational plan and those established with various governmental, philanthropic, and business partnership funding sources
- Build organizational capacity and stability through constant evaluation and testing of approaches, technology, and resources
- Serve as the coordinator of all FishWise workstreams toward optimal efficiency and productivity
The successful candidate will be driven by the mission and bring a passion for leading social and environmental change. The candidate should demonstrate achievements in scaling an organization and a demonstrated ability to both lead and build the capabilities of diverse, bright and driven teams.
The candidate must possess an advanced degree (MBA or related) and a minimum of ten years of progressive responsibility in private, nonprofit, or public sector organizations, including substantial management experience. The candidate should have experience in ocean conservation or a related field, and have a basic understanding of the sustainable seafood landscape and corporate social responsibility.
- Motivated: a proactive self-starter and critical thinker; enjoys working hard and is unafraid to take charge of a situation; can take unpopular stands when necessary
- Results Oriented: proven track record of exceeding goals and a bottom-line orientation; evidence of consistently good decision-making through a combination of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgment; high level of business acumen including successful P&L management; the ability to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a budget; and problem solving, project management, and creative resourcefulness
- Agile and action-driven: able to adapt, act decisively, and lead despite uncertainty
- Capacity-Focused: effectively build organization and staff capacity, developing a top-notch workforce and the processes that ensure the organization runs smoothly
- Equity-Minded: understands the concept of bias, institutional and structural racism, and practices questioning assumptions, recognizing stereotypes, and continually reassessing practices to create change. Is accountable for the success of all employees and sees gaps in gender and racial/ethnic representation as personal and institutional responsibility
FishWise is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse candidate pool. We recognize diversity as important to accomplishing our work and view diversity as encompassing differences in race and gender, as well as age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, job skills, education, and geographic location. FishWise offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. This is a full-time position, ideally based near the FishWise office in Santa Cruz, CA.