Deputy Program Director

Oakland, California
Competitive salary, generous benefits including medical, dental, vision, 401K match, paid holidays
Jan 31, 2018
Mar 31, 2018
Job Level
Senior level
Employment Type
Full time, Permanent
Salary Type

The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) seeks an exceptional leader who is motivated to use their skills in conservation to advance our mission to unite communities to save coral reefs. Working with people around the world—from fishermen to government leaders, divers to scientists, Californians to Fijians—CORAL protects one of our most valuable and threatened ecosystems. CORAL has an aggressive vision for growth and increased conservation action throughout this decade to address the serious threats affecting coral reefs and the human communities they support.

The Deputy Program Director holds primary responsibility for ensuring the success of an international portfolio of community-driven conservation programs. S/he leads a dynamic team to implement strategies that yield tangible outcomes for coral reefs and communities, and that promote CORAL as a leader in marine conservation. The Deputy Program Director is responsible for developing regional strategies, supervising staff at HQ and in our field programs, fundraising, and budget development and management. The Deputy Program Director will be based in our headquarters in Oakland, California and will report to the Program Director.

Ideal Candidate Description

The ideal candidate will be: (1) passionate about CORAL’s mission and values; (2) an exceptional strategic thinker with demonstrated experience developing and implementing successful conservation programs; and (3) a brilliant verbal and written communicator who can weave concepts and programmatic elements into compelling narratives.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide leadership and management to a team of Associate Program Directors based in the field and at HQ, including serving as a sounding board for developing regional strategies and helping to frame CORAL’s conservation work in a broader context
  • Oversee the implementation of multiple projects within CORAL’s focal regions, including developing plans for strategic expansion and growth and identifying mechanisms that will allow CORAL’s community-driven conservation work to scale
  • Evaluate the impact of CORAL’s regional programs and provide recommendations for optimizing performance
  • Implement fundraising strategies to support on-the-ground work, including maintaining close relationships with funders, identifying and pursuing funding opportunities, and overseeing the development of funding proposals
  • Oversee development and administration of budgets for projects, grants, and regional programs
  • Facilitate cross-project collaboration and synergy between CORAL’s geographically dispersed projects
  • Ensure that our conservation strategies are founded in the best available science, and that we use appropriate methods, analyses, tools and frameworks to address conservation needs
  • Build a positive and fun work environment, including by motivating individuals and teams toward success, setting performance goals, and identifying development and training opportunities

Professional Experience and Qualifications

  • Passion for the mission of the Coral Reef Alliance
  • At least seven years’ of progressively responsible experience in conservation practice, including a proven track record of designing, financing, and implementing measurably successful conservation programs
  • Excellent strategic thinking and demonstrated ability to synthesize information from diverse sources to inform priorities for action
  • Experience managing, developing and supervising diverse teams, including motivating, leading, setting objectives, and managing performance
  • Outstanding ability to speak eloquently about coral reefs, translate science to lay audiences, and motivate people to action
  • Experience evaluating and assessing programs to optimize for success and impact
  • Demonstrated experience and success fundraising on behalf of local and global priorities, including identifying prospects and cultivating relationships
  • Experience managing complex projects, including overseeing budget development and tracking, coordinating the work of colleagues and partners, and fostering cross-organizational cooperation
  • Excellent time management skills and a proven ability to juggle multiple competing priorities while delivering quality results,
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to effectively communicate with individuals from a variety of disciplines, cultures, and backgrounds
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in coral conservation, resource and water quality management, and/or social and economic policy
  • A graduate degree (M.S., Ph.D.) in conservation biology, natural resource management, social sciences or related field; or B.A./B.S. degree in natural sciences, resource management, or social science-related field and ten years of experience in program management

About the Organization

For more than 20 years, CORAL has worked directly with community to protect coral reefs. Drawing on cutting-edge science, we strategically identify where and how to invest our time and resources to build networks of healthy reefs that can adapt to climate change. Our strategies include:

  • Reducing local reef threats—overfishing, poor water quality, and unsustainable development
  • Helping communities benefit socially, culturally, and economically from conservation 
  • Improving reef management so those responsible for the creation, enforcement, and durability of protected areas have the tools and financial support they need to be successful
  • Working directly with the tourism industry to decrease its environmental footprint
  • Ensuring that what we learn within our project sites has a global impact

CORAL is spearheading an innovative conservation strategy that addresses the long-term survival of coral reefs through today’s changing environment. Our success will generate the blueprint on how we can work together to save corals.

The CORAL team is dedicated, passionate, and outcome oriented. CORAL has 25 team members across its main office in Oakland and project sites in Fiji, Hawai‘i, Indonesia, and Honduras. Governed by a thirteen-member Board of Directors and supported by a flourishing group of conservation leaders and donors, CORAL has an annual budget that has grown to $3.5M. Learn more at


Competitive salary and generous benefits that include medical, dental, vision and disability insurance, 401K match, paid vacation, and paid holidays.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should apply via email by sending a thoughtful cover letter describing personal interest in the position, relevant experience/qualifications and salary requirements; a writing sample; and an updated résumé (preferably all in one complete document) to Please include Deputy Program Director in the subject line. Please note that due to the volume of applications expected, we are not able to respond to each individual applicant. The position will be open until filled; an immediate start date is preferred.

The Coral Reef Alliance is committed to workforce diversity. Qualified applicants will receive full consideration without regard to age, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, health status, or national origin.

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