Director, Ocean Visions – UN Center for Ocean-Climate Solutions and Innovation

Ocean Visions Published: June 26, 2022
225 Baker St NW, Atlanta, Georgia
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
Program Management

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A Collaborative Center of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development


Jointly launched by Ocean Visions, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Georgia Aquarium, the Ocean Visions – UN Center for Ocean-Climate Solutions and Innovation (COCSI) is a designated Decade Collaborative Center (DCC) under the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development.  The primary focus of the COCSI is on leading and supporting processes to co-design, develop, test, and ultimately deploy global-scale, equitable ocean-based solutions to mitigate and reverse the effects of climate change.  The system-level challenges targeted by the COCSI are ocean-based solutions to ameliorating climate change, enhancing food security, and building the climate resiliency of critical marine ecosystems and coastal communities.

COCSI seeks a Director who will develop, lead, and support the Center and all of its responsibilities under the Center’s establishing mandate.  The primary focus of the Center is to work with a set of UN-endorsed Decade Programs, including their associated Projects and Decade Contributions that are aligned with the overall goals of the Center above. 

Functions of the Center include:

Build a Community of Practice (CoP) among the affiliated Programs to co-design, develop, test, and deploy equitable ocean-based solutions.

  • Lead coordination of the CoP and use the UN’s Global Stakeholder Forum, in-person meetings, online meetings, and other mechanisms for convening and facilitating dialogue and exchange.
  • Enhance collaboration, promote synergies in implementation, and avoid duplication of efforts. Actively seek potential for joint activities, learning and exchanges amongst endorsed Decade Programs, Projects and Actions to ensure collective action and impact.
  • Work with the CoP and new partners to develop solutions roadmaps that can be used as the basis to co-design, co-deliver and resource new Decade Actions.
  • Build, track, and maintain a global database of all affiliated Decade Programs and their implementation activities.
  • Contribute to diffusing content and assets created by the Decade Coordinating Unit and create content tailored to the interests of the general audiences associated with the Center.
  • Identify and mobilize resources for the Center and affiliated Programs, Projects, and Initiatives.
  • Monitor and report on all of this work to the United Nations Decade Coordinating Unit.

Position Overview

The COCSI Director will be a staff member of Ocean Visions, reporting to OV’s Executive Director, and will be guided by the COCSI’s Executive Council, which is comprised of representatives from the three partner institutions.  The Director will work with the Council, Ocean Visions, and COCSI staff and partners to develop a Strategic Plan for the COCSI and annual operating plans and budgets.  The Director will lead, coordinate, and oversee all the COCSI functions and activities described above.  COCSI will have a small staff and the Director is expected to be highly operational.

This position is based in Atlanta at the COCSI offices located inside the COCSI on the 4th floor of the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.     

The Director will also work together with Ocean Visions, Georgia Tech, and the Georgia Aquarium to facilitate faculty, staff, and student leadership and engagement in the COCSI.  This may include involvement in related Georgia Tech programs that support and advance the global mission of the COCSI (e.g., online master’s program in equitable Ocean Solutions; student internships; engagement in broader impacts opportunities via Georgia Aquarium programs with communities; undergraduate curriculum development related to the UN SDGs; etc.).

Primary Responsibilities

1) Working with the Executive Council, DCU, staff and key partners, develop and implement a Strategic Plan

  • Develop a Strategic Plan, to be approved by the Executive Council, that outlines a strategic agenda for the COCSI, including specific goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics to advance the vision, mission, and responsibilities of the COCSI. This plan will also respond to all of the obligations agreed to with the DCU. 
  • Maintain communication and coordination with the DCU. The COCSI is an extension of the administrative functions of the DCU (see Ocean Decade Implementation Plan for details).
  • Produce an annual budget and manage against it, managing employees and contractors, and maintain a productive environment for teamwork and broad collaboration with number of external partners.

2.) Support & Coordinate Ocean Decade Endorsed Programs

    • Facilitate collaboration and coordination of endorsed Programs affiliated with the COCSI
    • Maintain and regularly convene the COCSI Programs’ Committee, comprised of representatives from each of the endorsed Programs, to develop a plan to coordinate, support, and engage the Programs.
    • Facilitate collaboration within and amongst Programs to co-design shared visions, initiatives, and projects to advance specific ocean-based solutions at the ocean-climate nexus. This may include development of solution road maps to guide the overall effort.
    • Drawing from the shared visions, strategies and roadmaps established by participating programs, (1) inform new Calls for Action by the Ocean Decade, (2) guide philanthropy and investments, and (3) engage and activate the startup and innovation ecosystem to help drive further development and commercialization of solutions.

3.) Fundraising: Raise funds to support the work of the COCSI and affiliated Program, Projects and Actions 

4.) Ensure that diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice are guiding principles and core tenets of all COCSI activities

  • Facilitate targeted engagement of underrepresented stakeholders and climate-vulnerable communities to ensure strong representation and participation in co-design and implementation of ocean-climate solutions.

5.) Document and report activities to the DCU

6.) Manage relationships and serve as liaison to key industry and government partners

    • Convene the DCC Advisory Board comprised of multi-sector stakeholders
    • Serve as liaison with the U.S. Decade Committee at NAS and NOAA

7.) Other duties as assigned


Required Professional Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in a field related to ocean or climate science and/or policy and at least eight years of relevant experience is required.
  • Demonstrated success thinking and acting strategically while also managing organizational details.
  • Proven efficacy in program design and management.
  • Ability to generate and deliver clear and persuasive verbal and written communications.
  • Ability to inspire trust, to build and organize teams, and to sustain a positive, productive working environment.
  • Demonstrated skills in working with a wide variety of people, cultures and in diverse geographies, and in multiparty collaborations.
  • Capacity to synthesize information. Expert analytical skills.
  • Proven experience in raising funds for projects, programs, and institutions.
  • Demonstrated management experience, budgeting and planning skills, and internal team building skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple lines of work simultaneously, and to be timely in meeting deadlines.
  • Ability to utilize data analytical tools for evaluation and knowledge dissemination.

Desired Professional Skills and Qualifications

  • Preference will be given to candidates with additional relevant work experience.
  • Passion for conservation and recovery of our oceans.
  • Demonstrated success in collaborative work with both external and internal colleagues.
  • An outstanding relationship builder, with a capacity to establish broad and diverse connections to a global community.

Location and Travel

This is a regular full-time position and must be located in Atlanta, Georgia.  Must be willing and able to travel on average once a month insofar as COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures allow, and position will require international travel.


Compensation includes a competitive base salary range between $130,000 - $150,000 depending on the experience of the candidate. The position also comes with a competitive package of health and other benefits.

How to Apply:

  • Qualified candidates should click "Apply" below to email a resume and cover letter responding specifically to the experience and qualifications being sought by May 30th
  • Successful short-listed candidates will be contacted mid-June, first-round interviews will be held in late June, with final interviews in July, likely in-person in Atlanta. The projected start date is September 1. 
  • References and a background check will be required for final candidates. 

Values:  The COCSI strives to cultivate a diverse, equitable, just, and inclusive community of researchers and practitioners around the world focused on solutions for a healthy and sustainable ocean. We aim to provide an inclusive voice for the role of ocean solutions in addressing societal needs. 

Ocean Visions is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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