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2023-161 Vice President, Arctic Conservation


Ocean Conservancy envisions a healthier ocean, protected by a more just world. From the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico to the halls of Congress, OC brings people together to find solutions for our water planet. OC creates evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. The organization champions evidence-based solutions to tackle the largest ocean conservation challenges and collaborates with partners to strengthen the health of the ocean for future generations. OC mobilizes citizen advocates to facilitate change and is committed to supporting efforts that benefit the people who depend on the ocean for food, jobs, and recreation. OC shapes the political agenda for the ocean so sound decisions are made that sustain our planet and improve lives.


The Arctic is warming four times faster than the planet, driving the melting of Arctic sea ice and changes to its ecosystems, marine life, and human communities. OC’s Arctic program works in Alaska and internationally to advocate for protection of Arctic waters through precautionary solutions that combine science, Indigenous knowledge, and participation of Arctic residents. OC’s experts work at the community, state, federal, and international level to craft and win policies designed for the Arctic to protect vital ocean habitat from risky industrial development and establish precautionary rules for commercial fishing, offshore energy development, industrial shipping and other new industries interested in Arctic resources. Through community partnerships, OC organizes marine debris cleanups on Alaska beaches and works to safely dispose of ocean plastics including derelict fishing gear. Throughout its Arctic work, OC partners with Alaska Native and Arctic Indigenous leadership to promote Arctic conservation solutions co-produced and co-managed with Indigenous experts, communities, and organizations. 


The Vice President for Arctic Conservation is responsible for leading OC’s efforts to conserve the Arctic, one of the most biologically productive ecosystems on earth and home to millions of people that rely on the abundance of the Arctic. The VP will ensure that the Arctic conservation team has the direction, resources, guidance, and support needed to achieve conservation goals and objectives that are consistent with ocean justice. This includes the following responsibilities 1) setting a vision and developing a strategy, 2) overseeing effective implementation of the strategy to achieve conservation impact, 3) managing teams, individual staff members, and budgets, 4) fundraising for the Arctic work and broader OC efforts and serving as an external ambassador, and 5) bringing a collaborative spirit to the work.

The Vice President serves as a member of the Executive Team and works closely with other Executive Team members to provide organizational leadership and strategic direction. Together with the other members of the Executive Team, the VP ensures alignment and integration of OC’s programs and cross-cutting and supporting services and acts as a program resource for other VPs and departments. Finally, the Vice President will work to identify and assist in the development of new Arctic program initiatives designed to achieve programmatic goals and further OC’s brand both internally and externally.


Vision and Strategy

  • In collaboration with key executives, provide leadership on development of a vision and strategy for ocean conservation in the Arctic (including goals and metrics) that integrates ocean justice and includes partnerships with other organizations or communities.
  • Serve as an important strategic thinker and catalyst for innovation and creativity within OC. 

Implement and Impact

  • Deliver outcomes to achieve conservation impact as set out in the strategy.
  • Implement conservation strategy in ways that are consistent with OC’s commitment to ocean justice.
  • Build and maintain strong working relationships with national and regional opinion leaders, including Indigenous leaders, to advance conservation effectiveness in our geographic priority areas, nationally and regionally.
  • Advocate for OC policies and positions before global, national, regional, and state decision makers.

Managing Teams and Budgets

  • Supervise the Arctic conservation team of 12 people, including directing, managing, and coaching direct reports in their achievement of expected levels of performance in alignment with institutional goals and overall mission.
  • Oversee development and execution of effective work plans and manage budgets to ensure success.
  • Support an organizational culture that promotes and strengthens diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Proactively support the professional growth and development of Arctic team members and other OC staff.

Fundraising and External Visability

  • Raise funding to support multi-million-dollar bodies of work.
  • Work collegially with OC Development staff in stewardship of funding opportunities, cultivation of new partnerships and creation of fundraising materials to support program growth.
  • Work collegially with OC Communications and Digital Staff to serve as an externally facing ambassador to help raise the profile and influence of Ocean Conservancy, including conducting media interviews, speaking about our organization and policy/issue priorities at in-person events and on online platforms, and developing reports and products to build OC brand reputation and awareness.
  • Serve as a public spokesperson for OC to advance our Arctic conservation goals and to enhance institutional exposure and brand awareness.

Collaborative Spirit

  • Take an institutionalist perspective to collaborate deeply with peers and colleagues.
  • Promote and strengthen cooperation, commitment and trust to help make OC an employer of choice and to achieve the organizational mission.
  • Ensure an integrated and cohesive approach to OC’s Arctic conservation program by deepening the connection within the program and with other OC teams.
  • Ensure others in the organization are appropriately consulted with and informed about the Arctic work.


OC seeks a strategic, equity-driven, and relationship-oriented leader with robust experience and expertise in Arctic conservation and justice. The VP will have demonstrated success leading multiple strategies and projects, effectively engaging key stakeholders, and ensuring internal teams have the necessary plans and tools to realize impact. This leader will have a track record in evaluating strategies, programs, and campaigns while providing the necessary support to staff and other internal colleagues. The VP will have successfully led teams and created a positive, collaborative and equity-driven culture. This person will have demonstrated accomplishments at fundraising and being a voice of an organization and thought leader in the field.


  • Fifteen years or more of professional conservation, public policy, program management experience, or other relevant field experience preferred. Experience in the Arctic strongly preferred.
  • Proven track record of developing, securing, and leading multi-million-dollar fundraising efforts for conservation programs.
  • Proven management and fiduciary experience in managing multi-million-dollar budgets.
  • Demonstrated ability and track record in leading and developing strong collaborative partnerships with other executive leaders to drive organizational cohesion.
  • Flexible leader with a strong commitment to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion and with demonstrated history of creating diverse, inclusive, and engaged teams, and managing individuals with diverse identities.
  • Strong ability to manage, supervise and motivate a multi-disciplinary team in achieving concrete and meaningful outcomes.
  • In-depth knowledge, training, or experience in at least one of the following: marine ecosystem or resource management; marine wildlife or fisheries biology/management; science communications, ecosystem protection and management; natural resource/environmental policy; program management; or public policy.
  • Belief in and commitment to Ocean Conservancy’s mission and values, ideally as demonstrated by experience in conservation, and understanding the intersection of conservation and justice.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills and demonstrated advocacy skills, the ability to mobilize and manage a diverse partner network, and the ability to communicate complex scientific or technical concepts to policy and lay audiences.
  • A strategic thinker who can bring the vision, creativity, energy, discipline, and commitment needed to help conserve the Arctic and enhance Ocean Conservancy’s mission.
  • A high-level performer who remains attentive to details and adheres strictly to deadlines and deliverables while keeping a larger vision in mind.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with past success in deepening and leveraging the power of partnerships to affect change and build political will.
  • Possess an appreciation of the benefit of a multi-disciplinary team approach.
  • Personable, passionate, productive, and focused to support accurate, timely, and powerful policy, products, and positions.
  • Ability to travel up to 35% of the time.


  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant science or interdisciplinary specialty, management, law, communications, public policy, or another field closely related to coastal/marine affairs or environmental conservation or protection. Advanced degree a plus.


The preferred location for this role is Alaska followed by California, Oregon, and Washington. Other locations may be considered. OC is committed to equity in its pay practices and posts expected hiring ranges for each of its positions. The salary range for this role is $175,306 – $219,081. Compensation is commensurate with the candidate’s specialty skills, years of experience, location, and unique background. OC offers a generous benefits package including: comprehensive medical, dental and vision insurance, paid time off, life and disability insurances, and employer contribution to a retirement plan.


If you think you’d be a great fit for the job and are interested in joining Ocean Conservancy’s team, please apply here. The link will take you to the recruiting firm’s website where you will find more details on how to apply.

Applicants applying by Friday, December 29th, will be given priority consideration, with the position open until filled.


Ocean Conservancy embraces a hybrid work environment, which allows our staff the flexibility to work virtually and in-person while building strong connections across the institution.

Equal Opportunity Employer

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.


Alaska Preferred; Flexible within CA, OR, WA



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