Ocean Science Trust

Job Type: Full Time
Location: Oakland, California

About the Organization

The California Ocean Science Trust (OST) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance a constructive role for science in decision-making by promoting collaboration and mutual understanding among scientists, citizens, managers, and policymakers working toward sustained, healthy, and productive coastal and ocean ecosystems. A unique asset to the State of California, OST was established under the California Ocean Resources Stewardship Act (CORSA) of 2000, which calls on OST to “to seek and provide funding for ocean resource science projects and to encourage coordinated, multiagency, multi-institution approaches to ocean resource science.” In working to fulfill its mandate, OST partners closely with the California Ocean Protection Council, a state agency formed under the California Ocean Protection Act of 2004 that strives to “ensure that California maintains healthy, resilient, and productive ocean and coastal ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations.” As part of its collaboration with the Ocean Protection Council, OST provides science advice and the Executive Director serves as the co-chair of the Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team.

OST is a pioneer among boundary organizations, working between government, science, and communities to identify and deliver scientific analysis that informs sustainable ocean and coastal management policies. Recent work has focused on the challenges of a changing climate, including ocean acidification, fisheries reform, and sea level rise, as well as regional baseline monitoring programs, which are now moving into the long-term monitoring phase.

OST is led by a nine-person Board of Trustees, with seven trustees appointed by the Secretary for Natural Resources, as well as one trustee appointed by the Director of Finance and one appointed by the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information, please visit http://www.oceansciencetrust.org/

Executive Director

OST seeks a mission-focused, collaborative, and innovative Executive Director to build upon a reputation of excellence in science-based policy and resource management and expand OST’s contributions, leading it to the next level of financial, programmatic, and organizational success. This is a high-profile opportunity for a dynamic conservation professional. The successful candidate will provide outstanding organizational leadership with an entrepreneurial spirit and a client-serving mentality, and will passionately communicate the mission and achievements of OST to internal and external stakeholders.

S/he will be a collaborative leader, an excellent manager, and an accomplished fundraiser. The ideal candidate will have a deep familiarity with California marine policy and the capacity to provide tangible benefits to the State. The Executive Director provides progressive leadership and management to the staff of 10 professionals including natural and social scientists, and administrators. Key requirements include the ability to communicate and form partnerships, to work successfully in complex relationships with diverse groups engaged in science and policy, and to direct work which will further develop, and expand, the organization’s funding base.

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Trustees.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

The Executive Director will perform the following and other duties as assigned:

Leadership & Management

  • Guide OST in achieving its mission, ensuring its programs build on accomplishments to date and further strengthening the quality, relevance, and profile of the organization. 
  • Motivate and inspire staff to achieve OST’s maximum potential by promoting an organizational culture and structure that fosters communication, collaboration, teamwork, and trust.
  • Provide leadership, direction, and support for all staff, and directly supervise senior staff.
  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, integrity and transparency through productive partnerships, and rigorous program administration, management, and evaluation. 
  • Recommend to, and assist the Board in, developing overall objectives, strategies, and programs to achieve the organizational goals of OST, and oversee the implementation of all adopted policies, programs, procedures, and plans.
  • Ensure the preparation of annual financial plans and budgets for review and adoption by the Board, and be responsible for overseeing staff and ensuring that the approved work program is carried out, pursuant to the adopted budget.
  • Ensure that the bookkeeping, records, and files of OST are maintained in good order, and that financial records are at all times in compliance with all nonprofit reporting and other legal requirements.

Partnerships and Communications

  • Maintain and deepen existing partnerships while cultivating new partnerships with stakeholders, community leaders, industry, government decision-makers, NGOs, and the scientific community.
  • Work closely with the Executive Director of the Ocean Protection Council to coordinate programs, priorities and policies.
  • Maintain and build a client base among state agencies and identify funding pathways to support emerging programmatic goals.
  • Represent the organization externally, making public presentations as appropriate and engaging in and overseeing communications with stakeholders, the general public, media, governmental agencies, elected and appointed officials, and representatives of groups interested in marine environmental issues.
  • Raise the profile of OST within the broader ocean community, garnering recognition for its valuable and unique assets and programs.

Fundraising and Development

  • Lead the staff and work with the Board to strengthen and expand OST’s existing funding partnerships with state and federal agencies, private foundations, and other organizations and partners as appropriate.
  • Develop new funding partnerships, particularly with new state agencies and institutional funders to ensure the growth and long-term financial health and impact of the organization and to meet state priorities.
  • Represent and promote OST externally to new and existing funders, partners, and the public; Raise the profile and visibility of OST and build creative and enduring alliances by expanding awareness of OST’s achievements, building on the organization’s reputation as a credible and accessible resource.

Science Advice and Leadership

  • Serve as Science Advisor to the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) and as Co-chair of the OPC Science Advisory Team. Synthesize and communicate best available relevant science to the Ocean Protection Council. This includes both leadership of OST to perform these duties as an organization through products and convenings; and delivery of formal updates to the Ocean Protection Council.
  • Collaborate closely with the Ocean Protection Council’s Executive Director and the Science Advisory Team’s Executive Committee to advance independent science on salient ocean issues.
  • Provide science advice to other state agencies as appropriate opportunities arise.
  • Identify new opportunities to leverage and enhance OST’s unique value to the state to advance a constructive role for science in decision-making.

Skills and Experience

  • 7+ years of substantive and relevant executive leadership experience; marine conservation experience preferred
  • Commitment to and passion for OST’s mission, vision, and values; unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven evaluation and solutions
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field required; Ph.D. or Master’s degree preferred
  • Strong leadership skills, including an engaging and energetic demeanor and the ability to inspire and motivate staff, donors, and partners
  • Demonstrated success in effectively leading a scientific and outcomes-based organization and staff; experience achieving results in public policy through outreach and advocacy
  • Team-building skills and a collaborative leadership style with the ability to empower staff, as well as the capacity and ability to enforce accountability and to position teams for success
  • A strong reputation and network among conservation organizations and leaders in the nonprofit, government, and for-profit sectors; marine sector preferred
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship management skills and a track record of building and maintaining strong organizational partnerships
  • Demonstrated success in institutional fundraising, working with diverse funding partners, and communicating a compelling and inspired sense of purpose
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, a persuasive and passionate communication style, and experience with social media tools
  • Demonstrated success in working closely and constructively with a Board of Trustees
  • A high level of diplomacy and pragmatism and the ability to collaborate with a wide range of individuals, organizations, and agencies
  • Willingness and ability to travel up to 25% domestically, primarily to Sacramento

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 position will be based in Oakland, California. 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, please click "Apply for this Job" below to submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements through CEA’s job portal. Please direct all applications and inquiries to CEA Recruiting. This position will remain open until filled.

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 www.cearecruiting.com.

Sign In

Not a member? Register

Related job openings

Program Director

About the Organization Ocean Science Trust is a small non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating progress towards California’s vision ... see more

Associate, Clean Energy Access

About the Organization CLASP’s mission is to improve the energy and environmental performance of the appliances & equipment we use every ... see more