Center for American Progress: Director of Ocean Policy

Director, Ocean Policy


American Progress has an immediate opening for a Director of Ocean Policy with the Energy and Environment team. The Director of Ocean Policy will lead the Ocean Policy team’s work to develop and execute national and regional strategies and campaigns to further American Progress’ ocean policy, climate change, and clean energy goals. The Director of Ocean Policy is responsible for developing, researching, and writing major reports; creating strategies to promote the value of science-based management initiatives; establishing and managing coalitions of national and regional partner organizations; implementing communications strategies; and developing relationships and partnerships with ocean champions on Capitol Hill and within the federal government. The ideal candidate will be an experienced team leader with deep organizational relationships throughout the ocean policy world, as well as a deep understanding of ocean issues, politics, and science.

The Ocean Policy team at American Progress focuses on developing science-based policy goals and finding solutions that promote growth of the sustainable blue economy, defined as industries that either depend on or contribute to healthy oceans and coasts. Since the program’s inception in 2011, this focus has led the team to engage in significant work on sustainable fishery management; offshore renewable energy development; coastal restoration and resiliency; and recreation and tourism. The work has been both proactive and defensive—seeking opportunities to advance good policy, making progressive gains where possible, and attempting to prevent rollbacks to positive policies when necessary.


  • Lead in identifying and establishing American Progress’ organizational priorities on ocean policy in 2018 and beyond.
  • Work with key stakeholders and allies to develop and implement legislative and political strategies with a primary focus on federal action.
  • Represent American Progress in coalitions of other ocean organizations focused on science-based initiatives, including fisheries management and marine protected areas.
  • Leverage American Progress’ research and policy capabilities to support allies and serve as a resource on substantive issues.
  • Liaise with members of the president’s administration, members of Congress, and Capitol Hill staff to understand and support positive policy ideas or stand up to oppose harmful policy changes.
  • Collaborate with American Progress staff from the Energy and Environment team as well as other policy teams throughout the organization as needed to ensure ocean policy issues are included in broader team and organizational goals.
  • Conceive, research, write, and edit original reports, issue briefs, columns, and blog pieces.
  • Represent American Progress as a spokesperson in all forms of media as necessary to promote the team’s policy agenda.
  • Oversee the Ocean Policy team’s media strategy, including social media presence.
  • Fundraise to expand the program’s reach and support new and developing initiatives.
  • Plan and implement public and private events, meetings, summits, conferences, and other special events.
  • Supervise other Ocean Policy team members.
  • Support American Progress executive staff when they engage in ocean or marine climate issues.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree is required, advanced degree is a plus; at least one degree should be in a relevant field such as marine or environmental policy, marine science, or law.
  • At least eight years of experience in policy development, campaign management, legislative advocacy, coalition building, or related fields.
  • A proven knowledge base in ocean policy issues such as fisheries management; offshore energy development; marine protected areas; outdoor recreation and tourism; or oceans and climate change.
  • Experience working with coalitions and a breadth of existing relationships in ocean or environmental organizations.
  • Excellent project-tracking and relationship management skills.
  • Excellent writing, public speaking, and communications skills.
  • Experience overseeing personnel and a track record of fostering professional development among subordinates.
  • Experience in seeking funding or grant writing is a plus.
  • Capitol Hill or executive branch experience or experience working with 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations is a plus.
  • Commitment to the organization’s mission and goals.

To apply

E-mail your Word resume and cover letter attachments to:

Or you may write to: Center for American Progress, 1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor, Washington, D.C., 20005.

In your correspondence, please reference the exact title and department of the job you are applying for in the subject line. This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.

Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.

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