Senior Director, Marine Program

Pacific Environment Published: June 13, 2023
Bay Area Preferred, CA
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
Outreach / Advocacy / Policy / Program Management
(Number of Job Posting Views: 3)

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For more than three decades, we at Pacific Environment have worked to serve people, wildlife, and ecosystems by promoting grassroots activism, strengthening communities, leading strategic campaigns, and reforming international policies.

We are headquartered in San Francisco, with regional offices or staff in Alaska, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand, and with partnerships that span the Pacific Rim. Pacific Environment and our partners fight fossil fuels and champion clean energy, challenge industrial models that disregard local interests, and bring grassroots concerns – and whenever possible grassroots leaders – to national and international bodies to advocate for policy solutions that reflect community needs and values.

We operate as a grantmaker, thought partner, campaigner, and coalition-builder. We prioritize providing direct funding and technical assistance to grassroots environmental activists in the regions where we work. We complement these community-led efforts with national and international coalition-building and advocacy to decision-makers to support policy changes that prioritize local interests and resolve the root causes of environmental challenges. Pacific Environment has a strong record of local and international achievement.

About the Marine Program

With an annual program budget of approximately $700,000, our Marine Program aims to protect the health of our oceans and the marine wildlife and human communities that depend on them. We are currently dedicated to ending ocean plastic pollution and achieving the global 30×30 commitment of protecting 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030, all while advancing our fundamental value of building enduring community leadership.

Plastics Pollution Campaign

Pacific Environment supports citizens, governments, and businesses to reduce single-use plastics and to put plastics on a downward trajectory by 2030. We seek to reduce plastic flowing into the ocean and mitigate plastic production’s climate impacts. We are accredited and will participate in the upcoming U.N. negotiations to produce a strong Global Plastics Treaty.

Our plastics advocacy is embedded in a large international movement of over 75 advocacy organizations (the “Break Free From Plastic” movement) and over twenty major funders. Our teams bring to this network expertise in building grassroots strength, and leadership in some of the world’s most important plastic producing and supplying nations. We focus our work on both plastic consumption and supply.

Over the coming three years, Pacific Environment and partners will support strong plastics policy, elimination of single-use plastics, and reuse-refill solutions. We will draw attention to the climate and pollution impacts of plastic production through original research and analysis, policy advocacy, and other activities.

30×30 Marine Protected Area Campaign

Pacific Environment seeks to protect high value coastal areas through establishment of formal marine protected areas and other types of protected areas. Our current focus is in Southeast Asia, home to a third of the world’s coral reefs, which have the highest levels of marine biodiversity in the world. We helped support Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines to officially commit, at the UN Biodiversity Conference, to protecting more of their coastal waters as part of the global goal to protect 30% of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030. Our goal is to advance these countries’ 30 x 30 goals through identifying and establishing priority marine protection targets; advocating best practices to ensure establishment of strong protected areas; and facilitating effective community engagement in the management of protected marine areas.

Learn more at

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Senior Director, Marine Program, will lead Pacific Environment’s marine program into its next era, growing our plastics and 30×30 campaigns and developing the next generation of organizational marine strategies. The Senior Director will represent Pacific Environment in large coalition initiatives using a mix of policy advocacy, corporate campaigning, and coordinated support for grassroots environmental partners.

The Senior Director, Marine Program, will supervise a current team of ten with two direct reports. The team spans geographic regions and currently manages Marine Protected Area initiatives and Plastics campaigns in Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and Thailand. This leader will work closely and collaboratively with other program and operational directors to best align strategies and advise the Executive Director and other senior leaders on organization wide efforts and priorities.

Key Responsibilities

The Senior Director’s specific areas of responsibility include, but are not limited to:

Strategy Development & Implementation

  • Lead and manage the overall strategy of the Marine Program, ensuring successful campaigns. Provide campaign oversight, strategic direction, project, and budget planning.
  • Steer and grow our major plastics campaign in current priority countries like China and Vietnam and beyond; evaluate and improve strategies; challenge plastic pollution and harm at every stage of the lifecycle from production to consumption to waste; lead Pacific Environment’s engagement with the large, global plastics movement of activists, funders, and other stakeholders.
  • Grow our marine protected areas initiative in Southeast Asia and beyond: advance global biodiversity conservation goals, engage communities; manage existing relationships and build new ones with frontline community and Indigenous leaders and organizations.
  • Build and manage the team’s structure, annual goals, and key performance metrics.

Fundraising & External Engagement

  • Grow Pacific Environment’s marine efforts and staffing through fundraising to foundations and other supporters. Maintain strong relationships with donors, funders, and the organization’s board of directors.
  • Serve as a marine policy expert and thought leader, representing the organization in media, events, public comment opportunities, and more.
  • Manage relationships with key program partners. Work sensitively with grassroots organizations and local leaders, foster and work within large, often international coalitions.

Team Leadership & Management

  • Supervise a dynamic and growing team of place-based staff, technical staff, and consultants.
  • Motivate and inspire a diverse and cohesive team, ensuring a culture of support, transparency, communication, accountability, and inclusivity.
  • Proactively engage all team members to support their professional development, career goals, and growth plans.
  • Promote and sustain a culture and work environment where equity, diversity, and inclusion are shared, practiced, and instilled within the team.

Ideal Candidate

Pacific Environment seeks a strategic, equity-driven, collaborative leader with robust expertise in successful issue-based campaigns locally and globally. The Marine Program Director will have deep skills in progressive and trust-based coalition building and campaign development that empowers impacted communities. This person will be skilled at working with communities, advocates, scientists, policymakers, national and global organizations, and funders.

The ideal candidate will have a record of leadership winning major campaigns, experience with foundation fundraising, a passion for protecting our oceans and taking on plastic pollution, and technical expertise on marine, plastics, and/or complex campaign management. Experience working internationally and particularly within Southeast Asia and China will be a plus.

Desired Qualifications & Skills

With the understanding that no person will offer every desired skill and characteristic outlined below, compelling candidates will offer much of the following:

  • 7+ years of relevant experience in strategic advocacy, policy, and campaign work; in program leadership and implementation; and in managing campaign programs and staff.
  • 5+ years of personnel management experience
  • 3+ years of budget management experience.
  • A record of achievement in winning campaigns.
  • Experience and expertise in marine issues and policies.
  • Demonstrated success in foundation fundraising. Experience in major donor and individual fundraising is a plus.
  • Demonstrated success as an effective team player and collaborator in coalition efforts; a strong plus for experience partnering with Pacific Rim grassroots organizations and experience in community organizing.
  • Superb oral and written communication skills, including proposal and report development and presentation with partners and other stakeholders. A compelling presenter to groups and at conferences.
  • Experience developing, tracking, and reporting on metrics and KPIs to track program development.
  • Strong preference for candidates who have experience working in Southeast Asia or East Asia; a plus for language proficiency in Vietnamese, Mandarin, Filipino, or other East Asian/Southeast Asian languages.

Location & Salary

Pacific Environment staff currently work from home. Bay Area and California candidates are strongly preferred, followed by candidates located in East and Southeast Asia or on the U.S. West Coast. This position requires working across US West Coast and East Asia hours, including some evenings or weekends. This role includes frequent travel, domestically and internationally.

Pacific Environment provides compensation commensurate with experience and equitable with others on our team, plus a full benefits package for staff positions. The salary range for this position is $112,000-$130,000, which is carefully considered to account for equity, and the final offer will be based on the candidate’s qualifications. The employee will enjoy a flexible working environment with a dedicated, diverse group of colleagues.

To Be Considered

  • Please click "Apply on Company Website" below to email your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role. Click on the "Become a Candidate” button. 
  • Letters may be addressed to Martens Roc.
  • Applicants applying by July 3rd will be given priority consideration, with the position open until filled.

Pacific Environment’s EEO Statement

Pacific Environment is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage people from communities harmed by environmental degradation and from backgrounds underrepresented in the environmental movement to apply. We welcome diversity to do our best work and believe that creating teams in which everyone can be their authentic self is key to the change we seek.

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