We Are Hiring

Project Director (Cities)

About Ocean Conservancy’s  Work on Trash,  Cities and the Ocean

Trash in the ocean compromises the health of humans and wildlife and threatens those whose livelihoods depend on a healthy ocean.  Ocean Conservancy, a long-time leader in this field, has a growing portfolio of initiatives working to end plastic inputs to the ocean by 2030. Over the last decade our work has expanded to support scientific and economic analyses of the major ways plastic waste reaches the ocean. Through partnerships with key corporate, government, scientists and civil society leaders, Ocean Conservancy has led efforts to implement multi-million dollar initiatives and strategies to invest in impactful solutions.  Strategies have included catalyzing a $110 million impact investment fund for waste collection and recycling in Southeast Asia, awareness campaigns, technical assistance, policy advocacy at the international, federal and state level, and development of on-the-ground partnerships in key countries.

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 management and circular economy projects 2) enable peer-to-peer learning among 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 improve waste management, move toward a circular economy, and increase resilience.

This work will leverage Ocean Conservancy’s other city work, including an ongoing city project “Clean City and Ocean” in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to bring state-of-the-art marine debris assessment tools to APEC cities to help them identify their waste leakage challenges.  Ocean Conservancy’s new partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on its flagship “Clean Cities Blue Ocean” project will also provide opportunities to enhance engagement and impact.


Ocean Conservancy seeks a Project Director to shape and this new portfolio of work. 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. S/he will be responsible for building and maintaining effective partnerships with city organizations; coordinating and developing programming, training, workshops, and tool kits relevant to cities; and connecting across multiple initiatives to ensure continued sharing of lessons learned and best practices. S/he 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 Plastics Initiative Director and will work in close collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of staff and consultants. This position is based in Washington, D.C. with a fair amount of international travel to develop relationships with key partners and stakeholders.


  • Design and implement Ocean Conservancy’s city portfolio to ensure achievement of program objectives and conservation impact, as well as timely completion of grant deliverables.
  • Develop and maintain effective partnerships with city network partners, technical experts, private sector partners, and partner civil society organizations, and city leaders (as appropriate) to help cities accomplish their waste management and circular economy goals.
  • 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 tool kits to capture program findings and ensure continued application of best practices.
  • Provide support and expertise to other projects within the Plastics Initiative, 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 or Latin America 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.


Bachelor’s degree required; demonstrated expertise on marine debris, municipal solid waste management, circular economies, or related discipline.


To be considered for this position, interested candidates must submit a resume and cover letter to and note position title: Project Director (cities) #19-22 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
  • Trash Free Seas
Reports To
  • Plastics Initiative Director
  • Full Time

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