We Are Hiring

2023-135 Project Director, Urban Ocean


Ocean Conservancy works to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.


Ocean Conservancy has a growing portfolio of city-facing initiatives to keep trash out of the ocean, recognizing the critical role that cities play in implementing solutions to the ocean plastics crisis. This work aims to engage with city leaders, industry, and civil society partners to 1) accelerate city-level waste reduction, management and circular economy projects 2) enable peer-to-peer learning amongst city waste management leaders, and 3) utilize policy and financing tools to enable effective and on-going progress in cities. Ocean Conservancy aims to break down silos between cities and ocean communities to ensure that the current public and political interest in reducing ocean plastic pollution supports and amplifies city-level efforts to reduce plastic waste, improve waste management, move towards a circular economy, and increase resilience.

Ocean Conservancy seeks a Project Director to manage and build this portfolio of work, which is primarily housed under its Urban Ocean program, in partnership with Resilient Cities and The Circulate Initiative. The ideal candidate is a skilled project manager with experience working in Asia and Latin America with exceptional organizational and communication skills, as well as a strategic lens. They will be responsible for building and maintaining effective partnerships with city organizations; coordinating and developing programming, training, workshops, and toolkits relevant to cities and focused on plastics reduction/reuse, as well as other related topics; and connecting across multiple initiatives to ensure continued sharing of lessons learned and best practices. They will have a collaborative, results-oriented approach and a true passion for working with partners across organizations to achieve results. Professional presence and the ability to interact effectively with leaders in government, business, philanthropy, and civil society is highly valued.

The Project Director reports to the Director, International Plastics and will work in close collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of staff and consultants. This position will require some international travel to develop relationships with key partners and stakeholders. It will also require some calls/meetings outside of standard working hours due to its implementation in different time-zones.


  • Manage the implementation of Ocean Conservancy’s Urban Ocean Initiative to ensure achievement of program objectives and conservation impact, as well as timely completion of grant deliverables.
  • Develop and maintain effective partnerships with Urban Ocean partners, technical experts, private sector partners, and partner civil society organizations, and city leaders (as appropriate) to help cities accomplish their waste reduction, waste management and circular economy goals through the ocean lens.
  • Ensure cohesion between various Ocean Conservancy city efforts, as well as coordination with partners and other organizations working to end the ocean plastic crisis and advance city resilience.
  • Oversee the project budget and contracts, working collaboratively with development and other senior management to attract new resources, report on grants, and support ongoing relationships with funders.
  • Identify partners to design, convene, and facilitate high-impact workshops, trainings, and meetings to advance city-led solutions to the marine debris crisis, identifying the appropriate technical, private sector, and peer-to-peer expertise needed.
  • Together with other Ocean Conservancy staff, develop policy papers, reports, presentations, and toolkits to capture program findings and ensure continued application of best practices.
  • Provide support and expertise to other projects within the International Plastics, and broader Trash Free Seas teams, and work with program colleagues to identify opportunities for cross-programmatic impact.


  • 5+ years professional experience, including 3+ years of project management experience; experience working in Asia, Latin America, or Africa and with local and municipal governments strongly preferred.
  • A high-level performer attentive to details, deadlines, and deliverables, who exhibits both leadership and management skills and an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Proven experience developing and leading projects/policy initiatives, including identifying new opportunities and creating new strategies; ability to effectively anticipate opportunities and roadblocks, and evolve strategies in response.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with past success in leveraging partnerships and managing a diverse partner and stakeholder network.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, particularly the ability to communicate complex scientific concepts to lay audiences.
  • A collaborative leadership style and demonstrated ability to effectively integrate across a wide variety of partners, consultants, and stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated expertise on marine debris, municipal solid waste management, circular economies, or related discipline.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in an international, political, or environmental field.


Ocean Conservancy is committed to equity in its pay practices and posts expected hiring ranges for each of its positions. Salary minimum is $69,937; salary midpoint is $102,794. The midpoint usually represents the market rate for a position, and a fully experienced employee may be paid at this level. Compensation will be commensurate with the candidate’s specialty skills, years of experience, location, and unique background.  We would welcome the opportunity to connect with potential candidates whose salary requirements may be outside of the expected hiring range.


If you think you’d be a great fit for the job and are interested in joining Ocean Conservancy’s team, please apply here.


You will be required to provide proof of full vaccination status or submit to regular masking and testing as a condition of employment at Ocean Conservancy’s meetings, gatherings, and offices. You may request accommodation for medical or religious reasons.


Ocean Conservancy provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

We encourage applicants who have a diverse level and range of relevant skills and experiences to apply. A 100% match is not required. We want to support employees’ career growth and in return, our employees help Ocean Conservancy grow into a stronger, more inclusive organization.

Ocean Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer.

  • Washington, DC preferred; other locations considered: AK, CA, FL, MD, OR, VA, TX, WA, WV
  • Conservation Policy and Programs/ Trash Free Seas
Reports To
  • Director, International Plastics
  • Full Time

More Open Positions

Back to Top Up Arrow