2022-052 Associate Director, International Climate Policy

Ocean Conservancy - Washington, DC

POSITION TITLE: 2022-052 Associate Director, International Climate Policy


REPORTS TO: Director, Climate Policy

STATUS: Regular, Full-Time

LOCATION: Washington, DC




For more than 40 years, Ocean Conservancy has been championing science-based policy solutions to protect the healthy and diverse ocean ecosystems that support our planet. Through its programs, Ocean Conservancy provides leadership on the protection of special places, restoration of sustainable fisheries, the reduction of human impacts on ocean ecosystems, and the need for comprehensive management of our nation’s ocean resources and ecosystems. Informed by science, Ocean Conservancy’s work guides policy and engages people in protecting the ocean and its wildlife for future generations.


Climate Policy Program

Ocean Conservancy envisions a healthy future for our ocean and the communities that rely on it, free from greenhouse gas pollution and resilient to the climate impacts we can no longer avoid. To help achieve this vision, we advocate for sustainable ocean-based climate solutions, work with all levels of government to implement these solutions and help build demand for climate action. Ocean Conservancy’s work in international policy circles has grown dramatically over the last few years including advancing ocean-climate action at the UNFCCC and supporting ocean-climate goals in other fora including the IMO, APEC and the SDGs. Our international climate work requires dedicated leadership focused on how to maximize the institution’s influence and impact within these arenas. The Associate Director will be responsible for providing strategic leadership as well as managing our international climate relationships, working in partnership with related program issue area staff to advance the institution’s priorities.



Working with the Director of Climate Policy, the Associate Director conceptualizes, develops and implements key elements of Ocean Conservancy’s international climate diplomacy, and collaborates with staff across multiple program areas to advance Ocean Conservancy's international climate policy goals and agenda. This position leads the organization’s work with the UNFCCC, including engaging directly with senior government officials in partner countries to advance mutual priorities and utilizing Ocean Conservancy’s engagement in the UNFCCC to support progress on key issues such as zero-carbon international shipping, the climate-plastics nexus, climate-ready fisheries, and a clean energy transition. The Associate Director is responsible for developing relationships and working directly with major public institutions, governments, multilateral agencies, international NGOs, international public officials, private sector leaders, and influential individuals and OC staff to establish Ocean Conservancy as a leading international organization for climate action. They provide leadership for international partnerships and NGO coalitions; advocate for increases in finance for ocean-climate solutions from countries around the globe; provide strategic advice on policies that support ocean-climate progress outside of the United States; and serve as a senior representative for Ocean Conservancy in bilateral and multilateral meetings and global fora where they articulate and advocate for Ocean Conservancy's positions and goals.


This work will include developing expert policy recommendations, leading partner relationships and coalition management, leading strategy development and implementation, and collaborating with the NGO community. Duties will include:

  • Conceive and lead strategies and policies in international fora—including specifically in the UNFCCC—that advance the development and implementation of sustainable ocean-climate mitigation and adaptation solutions (offshore wind and other marine renewables, zero-emissions shipping, protecting blue carbon, evaluating ocean carbon dioxide removal, supporting coastal community resilience to climate impacts).
  • Lead development and implementation of international strategic alliances and partnerships for climate action with government agencies, international institutions, and civil society organizations; Lead collaboration with partners in key geographies and in NGO coalitions.
  • Maintain role of Ocean Conservancy as Secretariat for a critical government-led partner coalition:
  • Build and maintain effective relationships with senior government officials from partner countries and with external stakeholders;
  • Lead development of policy recommendations including drafting policy papers, declarations, decision-making papers, etc.;
  • Facilitate members’ input and seek input from external stakeholders as needed on policy priorities and tactics;
  • Plan and execute events that highlight the leadership of members.
    • In collaboration with the Director of Government Relations and the Director Climate Policy, develop and implement strategies to catalyze U.S. Government leadership on ocean-climate action internationally.
    • Explore sustainable public funding opportunities for Ocean Conservancy priorities and support OC's efforts to increase political and financial support for ocean conservation and climate action among foreign governments, and bilateral and multilateral financial institutions in order to grow international public funding, ensuring alignment with the overall position and strategy of Ocean Conservancy.
    • Serve as a senior representative and spokesperson on behalf of OC at international events and meetings, in writing and through interviews to advance ocean conservation outside the US.
    • Drive progress on Ocean Conservancy’s justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts, including by proactively incorporating the perspectives of disadvantaged communities in advancing international policy agendas.

Required Qualifications:

  • 5+ years of relevant experience in international environmental policy or international development, or globally relevant experience in conservation, business, diplomatic, or government service. Proven ability to understand and analyze complex environmental and political issues, and develop and implement strategies to advance policy and implementation goals.
  • Demonstrated International Government Relationships experience and a robust understanding of international relations and policy-making processes and institutions.
  • Superior oral and written communication skills, including the capacity to communicate complex ideas compellingly to a variety of audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to integrate across disciplines and work collaboratively with diverse teams, networks, and coalitions.
  • Strategic thinking and ability to identify, maximize, and create opportunities to advance Ocean Conservancy's policy goals.
  • Creativity, flexibility, energy, and commitment, and ability to move rapidly in response to policy opportunities.
  • Sense of humor and collaborative work style with an appreciation of the benefit of a multi-disciplinary team approach.
  • Willingness to travel up to 30%, including significant international travel (COVID dependent).


    Other/Personal Characteristics:

  • Advanced degree in international relations, international development, political science, environmental policy, science, or public policy preferred.
  • Knowledge of ocean conservation issues and one or more of the policy issues listed above is preferred.
  • Fluency in Spanish is preferred.



Ocean Conservancy is committed to equity in its pay practices and posts the minimum and midpoint of the range for each of its open positions. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with the skills, years of experience, and unique background of the candidate. The salary minimum is $100,200; salary midpoint is $125,200. Salary may be higher as appropriate for the selected candidate, with internal equity being considered.


You will be required to provide proof of full vaccination status, or submit to regular masking and testing, as a condition of employment at Ocean Conservancy’s meetings, gatherings and offices. You may request an accommodation for medical or religious reasons.


Ocean Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Ocean Conservancy is continually seeking to diversify its staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.


We encourage applicants to apply who have a diverse level and range of relevant skills and experiences. A 100% match is not required. We want to support employees’ career growth and in return, our employees help Ocean Conservancy grow into a stronger, more inclusive organization.

Posted On: Friday, April 15, 2022

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