We Are Hiring

Director, International Government Relations


Ocean Conservancy’s presence and influence in international policy circles has grown dramatically over the last few years. Our work on ocean plastics, climate change, ocean acidification, and fisheries management is designed to take advantage of opportunities at the UN, G7, G20, APEC, and on the ground with partners and policy makers in key countries. Our international programmatic work has reached a point where we would benefit from dedicated leadership focused on how to maximize the institution’s influence and impact within these arenas, across issue areas. The International Government Relations team will work to manage and coordinate our international footprint and relationships, working in partnership with program issue area staff to advance the institution’s priorities.


The Director of International Government Relations oversees a team to develop, implement, and coordinate efforts to advance Ocean Conservancy’s international policy goals and agenda. Working across Ocean Conservancy’s program areas, s/he works with our conservation experts to develop principled and pragmatic policy goals, build partnerships, win real policy changes, and mobilize funding sources that protect and promote ocean health. The Director works with major public institutions, governments, multilateral agencies, international NGOs, international public officials, private sector leaders,  influential individuals and Ocean Conservancy staff to expand Ocean Conservancy’s role as a leading organization for ocean conservation.

The Director develops and manages international partnerships; increases public funding for conservation from countries around the globe; supports policies that advance ocean priorities outside of the United States; and represents Ocean Conservancy in bilateral and multilateral meetings and global fora, where they will articulate and advocate for Ocean Conservancy’s positions and goals. International work is a core part of Ocean Conservancy’s growth trajectory. As such, the Director will work closely with senior leadership to identify opportunities and priorities for expanding our impact.


  • Provide leadership and support for International Government Relations staff to work collaboratively with program staff to develop and implement strategies and policies to advance international conservation priorities.
  • Ensure international policy agendas are aligned across Ocean Conservancy programs and coordinated with domestic policy agendas.
  • Coordinate and manage Ocean Conservancy’s strategy and agenda related to our program goals in key international policy bodies including: APEC, the UN, G7, Our Ocean, Economist World Ocean Summit, and others;
  • Build and strengthen relationships and strategic partnerships with key influencers in international policy and finance circles including: the World Bank, USAID, the GEF, bi lateral relationships with government agencies in key countries, APEC, NGO partners, private sector actors, and other stakeholders to increase Ocean Conservancy’s connection, presence and impact. Key geographic priorities in South and Southeast Asia and Latin America.
  • Provide leadership for increased collaboration between Ocean Conservancy and international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility, in support of Ocean Conservancy’s goals.
  • In cooperation with the Senior Director of Government Relations, develop and implement strategies to catalyze U.S. Government leadership on ocean conservation internationally, including support for international policy processes and provision of funding and technical assistance for ocean conservation internationally.
  • Support Ocean Conservancy’s efforts to increase political and financial support for ocean conservation among foreign governments, bilateral and multilateral finance institutions, and the private sector to grow international public funding consistent with the overall position and strategy of Ocean Conservancy.
  • Represent Ocean Conservancy’s position on international policy issues in writing and through interviews, and represent Ocean Conservancy at international events and meetings.
  • Monitor international policy and finance developments affecting oceans and lead engagement in meetings, decisions, and emerging issues, and/or opportunities to advance Ocean Conservancy’s priorities.
  • Work closely with Ocean Conservancy program and development staff to cultivate and foster new funding partnerships, and create fundraising materials to support program growth.
  • Support Ocean Conservancy’s justice, equity, diversity and inclusion efforts, including by proactively incorporating the perspectives of multiple communities in advancing international policy agendas.
  • Manage current staff of two, and identify and hire additional capacity as needed and in consultation with leadership. Hire and manage consultants as appropriate to accomplish the above.


  • A high-level performer who thinks strategically and sees the big picture but remains attentive to details, deadlines, and deliverables. The high profile and complex nature of this work requires someone with both leadership and management skills and an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • 8+ years relevant experience in international environmental policy or international development, or global experience in conservation, business, diplomatic or government service required. 10+ years of experience, including experience leading teams, and a network of international contacts highly desirable.
  • Proven experience developing and leading strategies to advance international conservation policy strategies, including identifying new opportunities and creating new strategies; Able to effectively anticipate opportunities and roadblocks, and evolve advocacy strategies in response.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with past success in building and leveraging partnerships and managing a diverse partner and stakeholder network to affect change and build political will. Strong verbal and written communication skills, particularly the ability to communicate complex ideas in a compelling manner to a variety of audiences.
  • Experience incorporating the perspectives of multiple communities, including indigenous, underserved, and underrepresented communities, in the consideration of impacts and outcomes of policies and strategies.
  • A collaborative leadership style; demonstrated ability to effectively integrate across a wide variety of partners, consultants, and stakeholders.
  • Creativity, energy, and commitment; ability to move rapidly in response to policy opportunities.
  • Understanding of international relations and policy making processes and institutions.
  • Experience in the public or private global funding sector, with a strong preference for experience working with multi- and bi-lateral donor agencies. Private-sector finance experience is also desired.
  • Willingness to travel up to 30-40%, including significant international travel.
  • Knowledge of ocean conservation issues and one or more of the policy issues listed above preferred.
  • Experience working in an organization that applies Equity, Diversity and Inclusion practice and procedures preferred.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Graduate degree in international relations, international development, political science, environmental policy, or public policy preferred.


To be considered for this position, interested candidates may submit a resume and cover letter to Please note position title and #19-13 in the subject line.


Ocean Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Ocean Conservancy is continually seeking to diversify its staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.

Ocean Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer.

  • Washington, DC (other locations will be considered)
  • International Government Relations
Reports To
  • Senior Director, Conservation Policy and Programs
  • Full Time

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