Senior Director, Oceans Science; Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)

Job Title: 
Senior Director, Oceans Science
Job Location: 
Various USA
Duration: 
Full-Time
Description: 

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace where innovation and results are a way of life.

EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share our Core Values of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our Commitment to Diversity.  

Oceans Program

Healthy oceans are the lifeblood of our planet. But they’re in peril - from climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction and other threats. That’s why EDF’s Oceans program is working to safeguard the oceans and protect nature, while feeding the planet, creating more secure livelihoods and bolstering more equitable societies for human well-being. One of the greatest threats to the oceans is overfishing, which is why our dedicated team of scientists, economists and fishery management experts are collaborating with partners around the globe to make sustainable fishing the norm. Through our programs in the U.S., Latin America and Asia Pacific, we draw on strong science and economic principles to advance sustainable fishing practices, forward-looking policies and innovative tools that support the health of our oceans and the people who depend on them for food and their livelihoods.

Overall Function

The Oceans Program seeks a senior, experienced marine or coastal scientist to work closely with program leadership to inform and guide implementation of its new strategic plan. The successful candidate will lead and manage scientific work across the program, working collaboratively with other EDF program experts to identify, develop, advocate and implement science-based, economically sound, fair and equitable environmental solutions focused on attaining ocean climate resilience.  Under the supervision of the Senior Vice President for Oceans, the Senior Director for Oceans Science will manage the EDF Oceans Science Team’s work on scientific priorities.  Priorities include developing and demonstrating strategies and tools that enhance climate-resilient fisheries, pioneering integrated approaches that combine sustainable fisheries management with sustainable aquaculture and other coastal activities, advancing the performance of fisheries and related systems in food and nutritional provisioning for vulnerable populations, characterizing and advancing oceans based carbon capture and storage, and using science as a key strategy to accelerate adoption of regional and global strategies.

This position will be located in EDF’s San Francisco, Austin, Boston, NYC, Raleigh or Washington, DC office (with option for geographic flexibility for the right candidate).

Key Responsibilities

  • Advising Oceans leadership on the development and implementation of climate resilient strategies both in target countries and around the world
  • Working with program directors to ensure that all Oceans Program projects are based on the best available science, and are not unduly limited by the availability of scientific information, as defined by the strategic plan determined by the functional group
  • Manage the Oceans Program science budget, while assisting unit managers with development of scientific capacity and performance
  • Functioning as a member of the Oceans Program’s Management Team in order to improve effectiveness, including collaborative decision-making and coordination, across the Ocean Program
  • Coordinating Oceans science work with other global initiatives within Oceans
  • Coordinating Oceans science with other EDF programs - including EDF’s Office of the Chief Scientist - on scientific aspects of cross-cutting areas of engagement
  • Representing the Oceans Program and EDF with EDF’s Board of Trustees, key partners, core donors and the public, working with senior leadership and EDF Communications Department
  • Working with Oceans leadership and EDF Development to translate new ideas and approaches into fundable programs and projects
  • Representing Oceans regional teams in high-leverage engagements in targets countries and high-visibility forums globally
  • Publishing in the peer-reviewed literature
  • Securing and maintaining EDF’s leadership role in ocean science among environmental non-governmental organizations, in particular with respect to sustainable fisheries management and related program priorities
  • Participating in scientific and marine conservation conferences and working groups
  • Acting as an effective scientific spokesperson for the Oceans Program and EDF generally
  • Developing and implementing collaborative science relationships and initiatives with partner institutions.
  • Mentoring science staff
  • Engaging with external partners and consultants
  • Taking full responsibility for work planning and project implementation for the Oceans science team

Qualifications

  • Ph.D in marine ecology, marine science, fisheries science, climate science or related field
  • At least 12 years’ post-doctoral experience in marine or coastal ecology, fisheries science or a related field
  • Excellent quantitative and analytical skills, especially in complex systems
  • Extensive personal scientific networks and a willingness to build on those, including in new geographies
  • Exemplary communications and public speaking skills, including to non-technical audiences
  • Field experience working directly with coastal communities, especially with vulnerable populations
  • Expertise in international, particularly Asian, fisheries is a plus
  • Demonstrated capacity for managing teams working on scientific issues, and in coordinating such work with non-science partners
  • Experience in strategic planning and research in support of strategic planning; leadership of research projects; presentations at scientific conferences
  • Experience in fundraising for complex science-based advocacy programs
  • High level of creativity 

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

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