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Chief Conservation Officer Seattle Aquarium

Job Location

Seattle, WA


Type of Job



$175,000 - $205,000

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

May 11, 2023

About the job

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Another Source’s client, the Seattle Aquarium, is recruiting a Chief Conservation Officer to join their team in Seattle, WA. The role will include some hybrid flexibility.

The Seattle Aquarium Society is a nonprofit organization operating the Seattle Aquarium (the Aquarium) on Seattle’s waterfront. The Aquarium works among global leaders to advance animal well-being, marine and ecosystem science, public policy, field conservation, and education that benefits our one ocean. We thoughtfully bring the ocean to life for the public with experiences that inspire awe, empathy, and conservation action. Our work is integral to a healthy future for marine life, people, and the planet.

All positions at the Aquarium support our SALISH Values (Sustainable, Awe-Inspiring, Learning and Improving, Inclusive Community, Scientific Integrity, Honoring Place). As a part of our values, the Aquarium is committed to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization that reflects our community.

We recently adopted a new DEI strategic plan and Regenerative Plan



About the Role:

The Chief Conservation Officer is the first expansion of the C-level of the Aquarium since the creation of the COO position in 2016 and will be a key member of the Aquarium’s executive team. The CCO is responsible for the direction and management of all Seattle Aquarium conservation initiatives. The CCO co-creates and advances the Aquarium’s local, national, and global conservation strategy in service of our mission and with a strong foundation in our SALISH values and a commitment to inclusive, locally led conservation initiatives. The CCO seeks opportunities to expand our work to advance the conservation agenda in climate resilience, sustainable seas and clean water.


Salary and benefits: $175,000 - $205,000/year, Dependent on experience.

Seattle Aquarium encourages individuals from diverse backgrounds to apply. We welcome applications from qualified candidates regardless of nationality, citizenship, or current country of residence.

Full-time staff are eligible for the Seattle Aquarium’s comprehensive benefits package to include:

  • Medical, vision, dental, an employer-funded health reimbursement account, medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts, life insurance, long-term disability
  • 403b retirement fund with employer match
  • Access to a subsidized ORCA pass
  • A Seattle Aquarium Family Plus membership
  • Generous paid time off.

Key functions:

  • Leads the development, expansion and implementation of the Seattle Aquarium’s global conservation strategy.
  • Brings a focus of collaborating with tribes and other Indigenous and marginalized communities as a key part of our conservation program development.
  • Develops, leads and implements robust evidence-based measurement and analysis of conservation impact and ensures insights drive accountability, transparency and innovation across conservation programs.
  • Knowledge and experience of global conservation issues, threats and practices with proven experience constructively working across boundaries to achieve conservation impact.
  • Ensures all conservation programs reflect our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and are based on the Aquarium’s SALISH values.
  • Works with the conservation leadership team to develop communication plans for a wide variety of audiences. Acts as spokesperson for conservation issues when appropriate in coordination with the VP of Marketing & Communications and the CEO.
  • Represents the Seattle Aquarium at local, regional and international conferences and events, with the press and media, and serves on various boards, coalitions, and committees.
  • Develops, helps grow, and manages the annual conservation budget, including seeking new funding opportunities and participating in a variety of fundraising activities.
  • Supports learning and ensures development of best practices & partnerships for delivering conservation outcomes and operational excellence.
  • All Aquarium staff and volunteers are expected to participate in advancing and integrating into their work Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Regenerative practices in alignment with our S.A.L.I.S.H. Values.

Required skills and experience:

  • A successful candidate will have a minimum of 10 or more years of growing responsibility in conservation program development, implementation and leadership.
  • Demonstrated experience and sound understanding of the links between environmental conservation, regeneration, poverty and livelihoods with deep experience working in a cross-cultural environment.
  • Experience co-developing conservation programs in partnership with tribes, Indigenous communities and other marginalized groups.
  • Strong executive presence: proven ability to effectively interact with CEO, executive team members and board; able to contribute as part of a strong and collaborative executive leadership team.
  • Solid supervisory experience of multiple team members: coaching, mentoring, counseling and discipline.
  • Strong ability to build and maintain positive, respectful relationships and actively contribute to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Demonstrated ability to foster collaboration and communication in a large diverse and interdisciplinary team.
  • Extensive experience managing conservation programs – preferably both in the United States and in other countries.
  • Proven ability to raise funds through grants, individual donations and corporate partnerships.
  • Demonstrated ability for strategic thinking and development of strategic plans, centered in generational and multicultural perspectives. Highly developed communication, media, interpersonal, influencing and relationship skills and a proven ability to motivate teams.
  • Excellent verbal, writing and editing skills. Preference for Multilingual or English speakers with comfort and practice communicating across cultural and language barriers.
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced not-for-profit environment, have excellent judgement and decision-making skills, and produce high-quality work.
  • Ability to travel 20% of the time
  • Passion for the Aquarium’s mission.

The Seattle Aquarium is committed to expanding a diverse, equitable, and inclusive conservation movement. We are invested in building an Aquarium with a wide variety of backgrounds, identities, languages, cultural ways of knowing, and life experiences. We know research shows that society has conditioned communities of color, trans and gender non-conforming people, immigrants, people with disabilities, and other marginalized candidates to more frequently not apply to a job because they don’t feel that they meet all of the qualifications listed even if they are qualified. If you meet some of the requirements and you are passionate about our mission and our ocean, we encourage you to apply and look forward to learning more about you.


Another Source works with their clients, on a retained project basis. We are committed to building inclusive candidate pools as we partner with hiring teams. Veterans, women, people of color, LGBTQIA+, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. As you read through the job posting and review the list of qualifications (required and/or preferred), please do not self-select out if you feel you do not meet every qualification. No one is 100% qualified. We encourage you to apply and share your story with us.

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