Executive Director

Port Townsend Marine Science Center Published: November 30, 2021
Port Townsend, WA
Second Location
Port Townsend, WA 98368, United States of America
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
CEO/ Senior Mgmt/ Exec Director

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The mission of PTMSC is to inspire conservation of the Salish Sea. Its strategic plan is founded on three key values, underscoring that PTMSC relies on the process and findings of science, integrates diverse viewpoints and interests toward creating a more ecologically sustainable and equitable future, and is committed to a culture of accountability with measurable impact.

PTMSC at a critical inflection point. The organization currently operates two sites: a marine science museum and a public aquarium. Recognizing an opportunity for growth, in 2021 PTMSC acquired a new property. The organization’s future calls for development of this property as a new marine science museum and aquarium. 

Position Overview

PTMSC seeks a visionary and entrepreneurial leader who can engage with the board, staff, and community to create a world class organization, thus ensuring the long-term health of the Salish Sea.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) implements the Port Townsend Marine Science Center’s strategic plan by leading people, leading change, exercising business acumen, and building coalitions.

Lead People:

  • Work in collaboration with the Board of Directors to continually develop PTMSC’s organizational capacity, competence, and community inclusion.
  • Articulate and refine the PTMSC vision, mission, strategic plan, budget, and policies with the Board of Directors; within those agreed-upon directions, the ED has considerable discretion in the use of human, fiscal, and other organizational resources to advance the PTMSC mission.
  • Oversee the staff on all aspects of day-to-day operations, developing an efficient staff structure and optimizing staff diversity and talent to deliver relevant lifelong learning, engaging community science opportunities, and an inspiring visitor experience.
  • Work particularly closely with Directors of Programs, Development, and Finance to optimize effectiveness in each focus area and create a cohesive leadership team.
  • Engage, invite to invest, and steward both existing and new donors to PTMSC, particularly in preparation for and implementation of a capital campaign.

Lead Change:

  • Lead the transformation of PTMSC from its current stage to a more mature organization capable of delivering on its long-term vision.
  • Work closely with the Board to lead PTMSC into the future¾anticipating change, determining solutions, and embracing opportunities that arise from fiscal, programmatic, or marine science developments.
  • Focus particularly on optimization of PTMSC’s new property of Flagship Landing and its potential to enhance the organization’s core competencies. This includes the launch and successful completion of a capital campaign to provide necessary resources.
  • Advance PTMSC’s commitment to diversity and equity in all areas of the operation, making the organization authentically welcoming and inclusive, and embracing diverse viewpoints as valuable to current and future success.
  • Enhance PTMSC’s use of technology to reach more people more creatively, enrich community science projects, and engage with multiple audiences to achieve strategic objectives.
  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence and rigorous program evaluation.

Exercise Business Acumen:

  • Ensure the financial health and resiliency of the organization by building earned income and philanthropic contributions, with a commitment to both minimizing expenses and identifying strategic investments for future growth.
  • Oversee the financial status of the organization including developing long and short-range financial plans, developing an annual budget in partnership with the board, monitoring the budget and ensuring sound financial controls are in place; setting financial priorities accurately to ensure the organization is operating in a manner that supports the needs of programs and staff.
  • Oversee Flagship Landing’s facility management, increasing the organization’s capacity for its new role as building owner and landlord.
  • Engage contractors, vendors, and financial institutions with ethical and effective selection practices, contract negotiations, and work oversight to ensure wise deployment of PTMSC resources and a commitment to community investment.

Build Coalitions:

  • Cultivate strong working relationships with PTMSC marine resource stewardship stakeholders, including but not limited to peer organizational leaders, tribes, local authorities, state, and federal entities.
  • Maintain and strengthen working relationships with marine resource managers and the science community in the Salish Sea region, as a source of opportunities for PTMSC to contribute to conservation efforts, create new and enhanced community science projects, and provide an outlet to inform the public about regional research.
  • Engage actively with local tribes, recognizing their relationship with the Salish Sea and incorporating indigenous practices of living in balance with marine ecosystems in PTMSC programs.
  • Maintain visibility as a Port Townsend leader, particularly downtown as a fellow member of the business community.
  • Cultivate philanthropic, business, and political support, looking for opportunities to collaborate on initiatives, policies, and funding that result in mutual benefit.

Qualifications, Experience, and Skills

  • Demonstrated evidence of visionary, creative, and strategic thinking, complemented by a commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Working knowledge, professional credibility, and high literacy in science of the coastal ocean habitat and the near-shore environment through a combination of professional experience and academic training.
  • Experience facilitating the science of the coastal ocean and engaging the public to participate as community scientists.
  • Competence in delivering an exemplary visitor experience through exhibitions, public programs, and/or online offerings.
  • Demonstrated experience in and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in nonprofit management and program implementation, informed by lived experience and/or personal study and reflection.
  • Excellent communication skills in both formal/informal speaking and writing; ability to be an active listener; charismatic and compelling in representing the organization.
  • Demonstrated experience in and comprehensive understanding of nonprofit organizational leadership including strategic planning, financial management, fundraising, board relations, human resources, and marketing.
  • Experience in coaching, managing, and developing high-performing teams that demonstrate commitment and accountability.
  • Proven fundraising success and enthusiasm for a new capital campaign.

To Apply

Please click "Apply" below to email:

  • A cover letter (maximum three pages) that describes why you are interested in becoming the ED of PTMSC and how your experience relates to our three core competencies: lifelong learning, community science, and the visitor experience.
  • A resume, including contact information for three professional references.
    (Other materials submitted will not be considered.)

    • Additional information can be found at https://ptmsc.org/exec_director_2021
    • Applications will be reviewed beginning on October 31 and the position will remain open until a suitable candidate is identified.

When you apply for this position, please say you saw this job on Green Dream Jobs!!

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