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Director, Resilient Fisheries

Environmental Defense Fund
San Francisco, California, US
Closing date
May 16, 2022

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Location field must contain 'city, state' or a zip code to perform a radius search (e.g., Denver, CO or 46122 ). City and state must be separated by a comma followed by a space (e.g., Houston, TX )

Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth - for everyone.

We're Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 850 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people's ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide, and even in space.

Our culture, values and commitment to diversity make EDF an exciting and meaningful place to work. Every job here makes a difference. Won't you join us?

Director, Resilient Fisheries


This position can be be based out of one of our EDF office locations: Washington, D.C.; San Francisco, CA; Austin, TX; Raleigh, NC; New York, NY; Boston, MA; Boulder, CO; or remotely in the United States, if preferred.

Program Overview

Healthy oceans are the lifeblood of our planet. But they're in peril - from climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction, and other threats. That's why EDF's Climate Resilient Fisheries & Oceans team is working to safeguard the oceans and protect nature while feeding the planet, creating more secure livelihoods, and bolstering more equitable societies for human well-being. One of the greatest threats to the oceans is overfishing, which is why our dedicated team of scientists, economists, and fishery management experts are collaborating with partners around the globe to make sustainable fishing the norm. Through our work in the United States, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, we draw on strong science and economic principles to advance sustainable fishing practices, forward-looking policies and innovative tools that support the health of our oceans and the people who depend on them for food and their livelihoods.

Overall Function

The Director will be a key leader in the Climate Resilient Fisheries & Oceans team within the broader People and Nature team. This individual will lead efforts to achieve sustainable, profitable, and resilient fisheries, with a particular focus in the United States. Reporting to the Senior Director, Resilient Fisheries, and working closely with other EDF teams including the Political Affairs, Science, Ocean Technology Solutions, and Communications teams, the Director will shape and advance program priorities for positive outcomes for marine ecosystems and fishing communities.

The Director, Resilient Fisheries, will be responsible for developing and driving a strategy to spur the adoption of measures to increase the resilience of fisheries across the United States. This will be a dynamic role that works across internal teams and regions with partners and collaborators (including fishing organizations, technology providers, researchers, NGOs, and policymakers), to create and implement a coherent and cohesive national strategy with key policy outcomes and accomplishments on the ground. This person will work with a counterpart focused on national policy to leverage regional and national efforts and create synergies for maximum impact while also pulling in regional on-the-ground experience. This role will also be responsible for leveraging fisheries/oceans technologies to build climate resilience including encouraging the adoption of electronic technologies and modernization of information systems to find ways to achieve climate-ready fisheries through more adaptive/dynamic approaches using real-time data. This individual will lead several core projects and coordinate a team of diverse expertise to develop and deliver key solutions.

Key Responsibilities

Develop and implement strategies to advance policy and projects in support of resilience goals in partnership with Program leadership, team members across EDF, consultants, partner organizations, and others to ensure the U.S. continues to be a leader on sustainable, climate-resilient fisheries through ensuring effective policies and practices are developed and adopted.

Lead EDF's efforts to identify and advocate for the adoption of science and policy solutions across Regional Fisheries Management Councils to build the resilience of fisheries across the U.S. and oversee communication and coordination of staff and consultants working across regions.

Lead and manage EDF's efforts to conserve highly migratory species (HMS) such as sharks, tunas, swordfish, and billfishes and build resilient HMS fisheries in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico using innovative participatory approaches.

Collaborate with HMS stakeholders, including fishermen and other parts of the fishing industry, policymakers, and the scientific community to advance cooperative research to test more climate-ready, adaptive fishing practices and fisheries management.

Ensure EDF is a thought leader on the practical application of resilience approaches for solving key fishery challenges, and spearhead research on key scientific, economic, and management questions related to climate resilient fisheries.

Provide leadership in a joint effort with other environmental NGOs to advance policy recommendations for increased uptake of electronic technologies in fisheries and modernize information systems.

Manage the necessary budget, personnel, and consultants required to successfully advance key objectives of the regional climate resilient fisheries work.

Partner with fishing industry organizations, researchers, technology providers, NGOs focused on sustainable fisheries and ocean issues, and others to achieve goals and manage stakeholder relationships.

Engage the media to advance project objectives and communicate project results to a broad array of audiences.

Coordinate the development of solutions for climate resilience across other teams, including teams working in other geographies (Europe, Latin America, Asia) and teams working on other focus areas (food security, blue carbon).

Participate in advancing EDF's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.

Serve as a mentor for junior staff and identify opportunities for professional growth and development.

Participate in fundraising efforts, including drafting proposals, growing relationships with donors and foundation officers, tracking and reporting progress, and other functions.

Liaise with EDF senior management, Executive Team and Board of Trustees as needed.


At least 10 years of direct program experience and an advanced degree in Marine Science, Environmental Science or Law, Natural Resource Management, Political Science, or another related field or other related field.

Demonstrated ability to effectively manage programs/projects and staff.

Demonstrated ability to navigate high-level, high-stakes engagements with senior officials, environmental NGOs, industry representatives, and other key stakeholders.

Keen strategic capacity, and ability to develop and refine as needed an optimized strategy given technical, policy, legal, and political considerations.

Demonstrated ability to lead complex projects with numerous team members in a fast-paced working environment.

Proven results from advocacy in the environmental sector.

Deep knowledge in fisheries science, policy, and management required and experience working on issues related to fisheries/oceans technologies and climate adaptation/mitigation/resilience. Working knowledge of the national policy landscape for fisheries/oceans issues.

Experience managing budgets and successfully pursuing and managing grants.

Excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to communicate complex information to diverse audiences.

Demonstrated ability to forge collaborations and work in effective partnerships with nonprofit colleagues, scientists, economists, industry, policymakers, etc.

Exceptional problem solver who is adaptive and takes personal initiative to identify and resolve problems.

Demonstrated self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Excellent judgment, flexibility, and good humor.

Proficiency in the use of PCs, Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.), and virtual meeting platforms/tools.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

Requisition ID: POS-6780

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