Director, Climate Policy

Job Location

Washington, DC


Published By

Publisher Name

Type of Job



Commensurate with experience

Published Date

Feb 19, 2021

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<<Application Deadline: March 5th>>

Director, Climate Policy
Ocean Conservancy
Washington, D.C. preferred, other locations may be considered

About Ocean Conservancy
Ocean Conservancy works to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.

Ocean Conservancy is committed to pursuing durable, ocean-smart climate strategies that accelerate both mitigation and adaptation measures, and to bringing the power of ocean constituencies to the fight against carbon pollution. While the opportunities presented by ocean-based climate solutions are gaining traction, more work is needed to effectively integrate them into the climate agenda. Ocean Conservancy is leading efforts to advance ocean-based climate solutions, and to build the political momentum to better integrate ocean issues into climate strategies and vice versa. We are working with stakeholders and decision-makers in the U.S. and globally to create policy drivers for action from the top down, models for action from the bottom up, and to spur the demand needed for durable and ambitious climate action. By leveraging these approaches across multiple scales of governance, we can ensure the ocean helps accelerate climate action worldwide.

Position Summary
The Director will help shape and lead Ocean Conservancy’s growing climate policy agenda by working to advance a suite of climate policy priorities, and collaborating across the organization to magnify and multiply the impact of climate work happening across Ocean Conservancy’s conservation programs.  The Director will lead creation and implementation of high impact advocacy strategies to ensure ocean-based climate solutions are effectively incorporated as part of U.S. and international climate agendas. This will include building out a targeted set of strategies to advance ocean-based climate solutions, providing leadership to support ambitious climate action domestically and internationally, and partnering with ongoing work in other programs on shipping emissions, offshore wind, and climate-ready fisheries to magnify and multiply the impact of those efforts. 

The Director supervises a growing climate policy team and works collaboratively with other teams to maximize Ocean Conservancy’s impact on climate policy. This position reports to the Vice President for Conservation and is preferably based in Washington, D.C., though other locations may be considered.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Conceptualize and implement strategies to advance ocean-based climate policies in the U.S.Building off the groundwork laid in Ocean Conservancy’s existing policy recommendations, develop, prioritize, and advance targeted strategies that will increase deployment of ocean-based climate mitigation and adaptation policies. This includes setting specific policy goals, formulating high impact strategies, tactics, and tools to advance those goals, and building the political support required to ensure their durability.
    Near term leadership will focus on prioritizing federal legislative and administrative policy targets, building multi-faceted advocacy efforts to advance those priorities, and exploring opportunities to further advance ocean climate action through work with coastal states.
    Proactively incorporate justice and equity into Ocean Conservancy’s climate policy positions, advocacy approaches, and partnerships.
  • Provide leadership and strategic direction for international climate effortsOversee strategic direction and provide guidance and support for existing efforts to ensure the international climate regime takes account of ocean issues, and to steer and support several key coalitions that are working advance ocean-climate stewardship.
    Oversee development of new strategies to educate and engage international leaders and policymakers on ocean-based climate solutions and emerging issues, including through developing expert policy recommendations, briefings, and events.
  • Serve as a strategic hub and impact multiplier for climate policy work occurring across Ocean ConservancyPartner with other programs that are leading work on shipping emissions, offshore wind, climate-ready fisheries, and plastics to multiply the impact of that work in ways that are synergistic and mutually-reinforcing.
    Provide expert advice to the Ocean Conservancy executive leadership team and other program staff on climate policy issues.
    Partner with the Director of Climate Science to anticipate and plan for emerging issues.
  • Support organization-wide efforts to mobilize ocean supporters in support of climate action, with a particular focus on supporting the capacity and engagement of more diverse partners.
  • Provide external leadership and relationship developmentBuild and maintain relationships with NGOs, public officials, funders, and other partners; facilitate engagement with climate advocacy coalitions; represent Ocean Conservancy in external meetings and events and with media.
    Support the continued enhancement of Ocean Conservancy’s reputation and leadership on ocean and climate issues.
  • Program management, staff supervision, and fundraisingEffectively manage a cross-programmatic team, including directly supervising three climate policy staff and ensuring full integration of associated science, government relations, and communications staff. The Director will lead the implementation of some strategies while effectively coordinating and supporting team members’ leadership on other strategies.
    Manage the Climate Policy budget, and work closely with Development staff to manage existing funder relationships and deliverables, and to cultivate new funding partnerships.


  • A high-level performer who thinks strategically and sees the big picture but remains attentive to details, deadlines, and deliverables. The high profile and complex nature of this work require someone with leadership and management skills, a strong collaborative instinct, and an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • 8+ years’ conservation policy experience; Minimum of 2+ years of experience leading climate-related projects or teams.
  • Demonstrated climate policy expertise, with a solid understanding of international and US climate politics and players.
  • A proven track record of successful strategy development, including in particular the ability to see the big picture and how different pieces of a complex puzzle fit together, and a willingness to prioritize; Able to effectively anticipate opportunities and roadblocks, and evolve advocacy strategies in response.
  • Proven management and collaboration skills; Enthusiasm for cross-programmatic work and a multi-disciplinary team approach; a demonstrated ability to build productive working relationships and to integrate strategies and goals across multiple internal teams.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with past success in leveraging partnerships and managing a diverse partner and stakeholder network to affect change and build political will.
  • Verbal and written communication skills expert; demonstrated ability to communicate complex concepts to policy and lay audiences, and to craft compelling narratives for a variety of audiences.

<<Application Deadline: March 5th>>


Apply Now