Job Type: Full Time
Location: Santa Cruz, California

We are a new oceans-focused philanthropic venture building a small and passionate team to do right by the world’s oceans. Our vision is the brainchild of a Palo Alto-based family who wants to leverage out-of-the-box thinking, technology, and new inventions to dramatically improve our ocean’s health and the livelihoods of the people who depend on it. We pursue impact, not credit or spotlights. The work is the reward.

The Venture

We believe there is a critical and urgent need to dramatically improve the health of the world’s oceans to support biodiversity while also meeting the needs of the people and communities who rely on it. We will catalyze the rapid growth of innovative new and existing products, programs, companies, and industries that can rise to meet the enormous challenges facing our oceans. Our key strategies are to:

  • Source and invest in opportunities in the nonprofit and for-profit space.
  • Support new scalable oceans-focused solutions by working directly with non-profits, research institutions, entrepreneurs, investors, and funders.
  • Look for ocean challenges and priorities where we can strengthen our knowledge base, make data actionable, leverage technology, and develop new tools.
  • Embrace the unique opportunity of being a new venture characterized by creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and learning by doing.

The Ideal Candidate

We are seeking a Program Manager to join our team and work side by side with the CEO. You are:

  • An exceptional program manager known for laser-focus, clarity, productivity and attention to details.
  • A synthesizer who can turn out high-quality products that require excellent writing, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and professional presentation in tight timeframes.
  • A critical thinker with experience in data-driven decision making and grantee/investee performance assessment.
  • Knowledgeable of the mission-oriented, philanthropic and/or impact investment sectors and each one’s unique strengths and shortcomings as agents of change and impact.
  • An optimistic problem solver able to juggle and prioritize a wide range of commitments and projects with superb judgment and efficiency – everything from necessary operational tasks to high profile, high-risk, and complex projects.
  • Drawn to a start-up environment where ideas, systems and structures are iterated, trial and error are expected, and no job is too big or too small. Adept and willing to wear many hats on a daily basis.
  • Experienced in grants management, including maintaining productive and supportive working relationships with grantees.

Key Responsibilities

  • Project and grants management. Manage diverse projects related to our investments and grants through their lifecycle: due diligence, opportunity/risk assessments, research and literature analysis, etc.
  • Evaluation. Support the development and implementation of an evaluation approach for the venture overall as well as individual projects.
  • Partners. Work closely with the CEO to manage relationships and collaborations with a broad set of people and entities from different countries, cultures and stages of development.
  • Start-up systems and processes. Handle and set up systems and processes.
  • Support. Perform a wide array of detailed tasks and projects to help move workflow forward and support the CEO.
  • Family office interface. Coordinate with the family office in Palo Alto on issues involving finance, IT, legal, etc., including on some due diligence issues.
  • Travel. Up to 25% travel domestically and internationally.

Specific Requirements

  • BA/BS degree, advanced degree preferred. Preferably in a relevant field (science, engineering, economics, etc.)
  • 5 years or more of project management experience with an exceptional track record in a relevant role in the non-profit, business, investing, or philanthropic sectors. A diversity of backgrounds may be suitable:
    • A senior role at an impact investment firm or business accelerator
    • A product developer for a technology firm
    • A program officer at a corporate foundation or family foundation
    • A management or design consultant
  • A passion for nature – and oceans in particular. Work and/or academic experience in this area is a plus, but a beginner’s mind approach is required.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills exemplifying clear communications and respect in all relationships; able to deliver positive and/or disappointing news while maintaining great relationships.
  • A positive, can-do attitude - no job is too big or too small.
  • Strong computer skills, especially with G suite products, and an enthusiasm to learn new tools.
  • Prior experience working internationally, particularly in the developing world, is helpful.    

The initiative is a small, intimate environment where culture fit, shared values and personal and professional maturity is key. The office is based in the beautiful ocean-loving city of Santa Cruz, and we will incorporate surfing and other ways to love the ocean into our everyday work.

Salary is competitive and commensurate with background and experience, and a generous benefits package is offered.

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