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Senior Director, Americas Oceans

Location: United States- Arlington, VA
Job Code: 1211
# of openings: 1


Senior Director, Americas Oceans


Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet. 



This is a senior-level position responsible for leading and overseeing the implementation of the Oceans Strategy in the Americas. Reporting directly to the Senior Vice President of the division, the Senior Director will coordinate, oversee an fundraise for the implementation of the ocean’s work in the region, including working with country staff, our global Center for Oceans, aligning efforts towards the organization’s goals. Specific areas of focus include expanding of marine conservation areas, advancing sustainable seafood, maximizing coastal ecosystems as a climate solution and developing an integrated approach ridge-to-reef and seascape management.

The Senior Director fundraises for oceans work in the Americas from public and private sources and develops partnerships that position CI as a preferred partner with funders, governments and other stakeholders.  Leading a regional team of technical staff, coordinates within the region and globally to achieve results and represents CI’s oceans work in the Americas internally and externally, communicating our strategy, results, successes and lessons learns to multiple audiences.



Program Strategy, Planning and Technical Support

  • Provide strategic vision and direction for the CI’s oceans work in the Americas and develop a clear strategy for how CI’s global oceans strategy is implemented in the region.
  • Ensure efficient and effective implementation of strategies for CI’s two priority seascapes in the region – Abrolhos in Brazil and the Eastern Tropical Pacific in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador.
  • Provide strategic leadership and guidance to emerging oceans work in Guyana, Mexico, Peru and Suriname.
  • Provide technical support to CI’s country programs in the Americas to implement oceans work, either directly or by deploying global, regional or national staff as appropriate.
  • Identify priority areas for CI engagement, including potential sites for Ocean Fund investment.


Fundraising and Proposal Development

  • Proactively raise funds to support the Americas oceans program and projects, including identifying and cultivating new sources of funding from national, regional and international sources and ensure efficient proposal development.
  • Participate and collaborate in fundraising initiatives led by the Americas regional team, and by the headquarters teams.
  • In coordination with national, regional and global teams, write proposals, lead proposal teams, meet with donors, identify new donors, accompany donors on site visits.


Program and Project Management

  • Maintain a highly efficient and capacitated team that delivers the program’s strategy and ensures operational excellence.
  • Lead, supervise and mentor Americas oceans staff
  • Ensure operational excellence, including managing the financial resources of the program and addressing all compliance matters of the program.
  • Ensure effective and efficient delivery of projects, supervising specific Americas oceans projects and their project managers to ensure delivery of planned results, including the supervision of partners’ and sub-grantees’ project execution.


Partnership Development and Stewardship

  • Position CI appropriately in national, regional and global forums related to oceans and marine conservation.
  • Plan, develop and maintain a network of strategic partners and alliances that supports the successful implementation of CI’s oceans work in the Americas, including from the civil, academic, public and private sectors.
  • Provide advice to key governmental and other key partners to ensure sound decision-making on themes related to ocean conservation and management.


Communications and Knowledge Management

  • Communicate the Americas oceans strategy, program, projects and results to internal and external audiences.
  • Represent the Americas oceans program at internal and external meetings and events
  • Seek out, share and convene meetings around science and knowledge that affects the Americas oceans strategy and program.
  • Coordinate a network of staff working on oceans in the Americas


Participation in Institutional Processes

  • Participate as a member of the Americas Field Division Continental Management Team in meetings and other mechanisms to contribute to the formulation and evaluation of regional plans and strategies and determination of priorities.
  • Participate in any annual or other institutional planning meetings and processes, representing the Americas Oceans Program.
  • Participate in regional or institutional strategic groups as requested.



  • This position can be based in Arlington or in any of CI’s Americas offices, (e.g., San Jose, Panama, Bogota, Quito, Rio de Janeiro).
  • This position includes extensive field visits and international travels (internal and external meetings) cumulating to around 30% of the time.




  • Master's degree (or equivalent of) in biology, marine science, oceanography, fisheries, environmental studies, natural resources management geography or a field related to ocean conservation and management.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience with a conservation NGO preferably in developing countries or in relation to them.
  • Minimum of 10 years experience (in excess of degree requirements stated above) of progressively responsible experience in strategic planning and program implementation as well as in information analysis, sythesis, management, monitoring and report development.
  • Specific experience in supporting programmatic planning by linking strategic plans and workplans.
  • Demonstrated experience with policy analysis and/or informing policy development or change.
  • Project management experience, including management of substantial project/program budget.
  • Demonstrable success in fundraising from multiple sources.
  • Demonstrated capacity to lead and supervise a team.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Excellent writing skills in both English and Spanish, preferably writing skills capable of peer-review publishing.
  • Self-starter, willing to take initiative on solving problems and providing follow-on assistance.
  • Ability to negotiate and resolve conflicts in collaborative teamwork and in meetings.
  • Flexibility of assumption of responsibility and strong interpersonal skills.
  • Strong organizational and financial skills required.
  • Fluency in English and Spanish 



  • Field experience in developing countries and multicultural settings
  • Vision obtained from field experience of real-world conservation challenges and opportunities in specific cultural and political contexts.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of sustainable development and green economy concept.
  • Passion for conservation of nature and a commitment to CI’s vision and mission
  • Fluency in Portuguese


To apply, applicants must submit their CV in English and a cover letter of interest (1-page maximum), including salary requirements until April 15, 2019. Only qualified applicants will be contacted.



CI Values

We expect that all employees will embrace the values of our organization.


Passion: We are inspired by nature and cherish the diversity of life in all of its forms. 

Respect: We respect and trust each other, and we embrace our diversity of cultures, talents, and experiences.

Integrity: We act with integrity and are accountable for our actions.

Optimism: We are optimistic about the future of life on Earth and are confident that, with our partners, we will achieve unprecedented conservation results.

Courage: We tirelessly pursue our vision, taking bold action and persevering through challenges.

Teamwork: We work together, recognizing that openness, collaboration and cooperation are fundamental to achieving a healthy and prosperous world for all.


Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled



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