Project Director, Pew - Conservation International Ocean Alliance (Marine Protected Areas)

Washington, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA | 4 months
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Job Summary

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Job Description

Full Job Title:  Project Director, Pew - Conservation International Ocean Alliance


The Pew Charitable Trusts uses data to make a difference. For more than 70 years, we have focused on serving the public, invigorating civic life, conducting nonpartisan research, advancing effective public policies and practices, and achieving tangible results. Through rigorous inquiry and knowledge sharing, we inform and engage public-spirited citizens and organizations, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause. We are a dedicated team of researchers, communicators, advocates, subject matter experts, and professionals working on today’s big challenges – and we know we are more effective and creative collectively than we are individually. With Philadelphia as our home town and the majority of our staff located in Washington, DC, our U.S. and international staff find working at Pew personally and professionally rewarding.


Wise stewardship of resources allows Pew employees to pursue work that strategically furthers our philanthropic mission in significant and measurable ways. We collaborate with a diverse range of philanthropic partners, public and private organizations, and concerned citizens who share our interest in fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society. Pew attracts top talent, people of integrity who are service-oriented and willing to take on challenging assignments. We provide competitive pay and benefits, a healthy work-life balance, and a respectful and inclusive workplace. Pew employees are proud of their colleagues, proud of where they work, and proud of the institution’s reputation.


Pew-Conservation International Ocean Alliance
The International Union for Conservation of Nature recommends that countries strongly protect 30% of every habitat by 2030. As of May 2019, 4.8 percent of the world’s ocean is safeguarded through some form of marine protected area, or MPA, designation. The rate of protection needs to accelerate in the coming years to ensure a healthy, resilient ocean, safeguard biodiversity, and conserve critical ecosystems. In addition to the designation of new and expanded areas, it is important that existing protected areas have sufficient controls in place to ensure that the desired conservation outcomes are being achieved. This entails strengthening the management of existing reserves and upgrading their protections where needed. Pew seeks to expand these safeguards in part through a proposed partnership to expand and improve ocean conservation efforts. Pew and other prominent conservation organizations and funders will form an alliance to conserve and improve management of the global ocean in new MPAs, upgraded protections, and improved management of existing MPAs.


Position Overview
The leader of this initiative works with the director, marine habitat protection as well as key internal partners, including the vice president and head of environment, to provide strategic direction for the alliance. This position will manage and oversee day-to-day operations and activities of the partnership implementation team, which includes delivering large-scale investments in sites around the world. The position works closely with and manages a partnership with Conservation International (CI) as well as close working relationships with major institutional partners. In addition to ensuring effective implementation of the strategy in multiple countries, the project director recruits and leverages commitments from new partner institutions to enhance the initiative’s technical and financial resources in project sites around the world. The project director supervises staff located in Washington, DC and internationally. The position is based in Pew’s Washington, DC office, and reports to the director, marine habitat protection and works closely with the partnership leadership.

  • Lead development and implementation of targeted, effective and measurable strategies that seek to secure policy reform and other necessary actions at a global level.
  • Specifically, develop and oversee implementation of strategies to establish new or expanded MPAs, as well as upgrading protections and improving management of those already in place. In addition, work closely with partners to create investment frameworks and implement strategic plans and identify new opportunities and interventions to support the campaign’s objectives.
  • Serve as key point of contact for donors to the alliance; cultivate strong, trusted relationships with partners, including high-net worth individuals.
  • Develop global, regional and country level campaign strategies designed to secure marine conservation outcomes as well as to elevate the global prioritization of the effort.
  • Manage and oversee day-to-day operations and activities of the implementation team at Pew and collaborate closely with project leadership and counterparts at CI to assess progress, refine strategies, and achieve critical milestones.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with senior policymakers including ministers, heads of organizations, and other officials. Liaise with conservation groups, expert bodies, and other constituencies to advance campaign objectives.
  • Provide strong leadership, management and oversight to Pew-CI Ocean Alliance staff, including setting of measurable goals and targets, establishing work plans and activity milestones, conducting performance evaluations, using evaluation mechanisms to monitor individual and team achievements, and ensuring staff are adhering to Pew policies and procedures. Also, evaluate capacity needs to ensure the campaign has the necessary support to achieve its objectives.
  • Build and maintain strong working relationships with leadership at Pew and CI as well as with key programmatic staff and relevant leads in government relations, communications, and conservation science.
  • Continually assess project’s performance against identified objectives, and where these are at risk of not being met, revise strategies and take appropriate steps to ensure objectives are met.
  • Oversee the portions of the internal budget, monitor related expenses, and review and approve external payments.
  • Serve as a Pew spokesperson for the Pew-CI Ocean Alliance to cultivate and engage the public and key constituencies on core issues, including representing the Trusts publicly at conferences, seminars, and official forums, authoring articles and other communications, and providing interviews to outside sources.
  • Coordinate closely with other Pew and CI departments, as needed, including on staff hiring and management, contract development and management, budget management, and fundraising.
  • Contribute to and participate in the tasks of the environment department as assigned, as well as broad Trusts-related projects and activities, as needed.

  • Bachelor’s degree required with advanced degree preferred.
  • At least 10 years of specialized experience in the conservation field, including experience working internationally and on large scale initiatives.
  • Minimum of 3 years of previous direct supervisory experience required including experience managing performance management process for direct reports and providing career development advice and counsel.
  • Prior to commencing employment with Pew, candidates for this position who were registered to lobby in any jurisdiction must certify termination of previous registration(s) and provide copies of termination notices with said jurisdiction(s) to Pew.
  • Outcome-oriented style, with focus on achieving measurable and ambitious goals. Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines by maintaining high level of organization.
  • Strong experience developing and executing conservation initiatives with grassroots organizers, communications professionals, scientists, policy leaders, community leaders, and government decision makers.
  • Demonstrated track record of securing conservation outcomes through targeted types of intervention including but not limited to: conservation finance, legal establishment of protected areas, protected area financing, protected area management, monitoring, or enforcement, or coalition-building.
  • Leadership experience working in coalitions preferred.
  • Ability to exercise influence within highly matrixed organizations and with teams and individuals outside of direct supervisory chain.
  • Demonstrated ability to work closely with high-net worth individuals and manage multi-million-dollar initiatives.
  • Experience developing or managing initiatives with public funding, such as Global Environment Facility, Green Climate Fund, or World Bank, preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in identifying new opportunities and outcomes as well as pursuing partnerships and strategies to deliver greater impact.
  • Ablility to synthesize large amounts of information, determine whether issues are ripe for reform or intervention, and identify steps to achieve change. Ability to set short- and long-term planning goals in line with program strategy. Ability to analyze budgetary information and assess capacity.
  • Seasoned judgment. Ability to make decisions, justify recommendations, and be professional, responsive, and authoritative in communications with consultants, partners, and stakeholders.
  • Media-savvy and politically astute. Clear, effective writing style. Strong and persuasive oral presentation and facilitation skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills. Ability to develop and manage productive relationships with colleagues, consultants, partners and others who contribute to the campaign. Highly diplomatic; able to work productively with a wide array of people and institutions.
  • Possess a strong network of relevant contacts and ability to leverage these relationships to advance objectives. Familiarity and connection with the conservation community and enforcement bodies is desirable.

Frequent international travel anticipated. Travel may cross weekends and, on occasion, holidays to accommodate meeting schedules.


Total Rewards
We offer a competitive salary and benefit program, including: comprehensive, affordable health care through medical, dental, and vision coverage; financial security with life and disability insurance; opportunities to save using health savings and flexible spending accounts; retirement benefits to help prepare for the future; and work/life benefits to maintain a good balance.


The Pew Charitable Trusts is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Pew considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity, military/veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

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