Program Director, Marine Conservation: Arctic Ocean Initiative

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Palo Alto, CA, USA
Posted on Monday, July 1, 2024
Gordon and Betty Moore established the foundation to create positive outcomes for future generations. Guided by this vision and the Statement of Founders' Intent, the foundation fosters path-breaking environmental conservation, scientific discovery, and preservation of the special character of the San Francisco Bay Area. We strive to make significant and durable impacts on the world.
Together, we work to honor the vision of our founders and serve as stewards of the resources they have entrusted to us. We establish specific strategies based on advice from experts, identify partners who share our goals and measure results along the way. We build relationships and fund work in areas where we hope to make significant impacts; and we know that working together expands our ability to drive meaningful change.
We believe there can be no lasting change for the good if that change is not just and widely shared. Comprehending and incorporating values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in pursuing goals and refining strategies is vital to achieving our desired outcomes. These values weave through what we do and shape how we operate.

The Opportunity

The foundation is seeking an individual to lead the “Marine Conservation: Arctic Ocean Initiative,” a 10-year, $270 million effort designed to ensure that 30% of the Arctic Ocean is conserved by protected areas within effectively managed seascapes. The Arctic Ocean Initiative has been newly approved and will launch in 2025. It will build off work the foundation has supported to advance ocean habitat protection and science-based fisheries management in the U.S. and Canadian Arctic for the last ten years.

The foundation is hiring a new Program Director to build and manage a high-functioning team to drive the establishment of protected areas in the Arctic Ocean and secured seascape-level protections that deal with the biggest potential threats to Arctic waters: fishing (particularly bottom trawling), shipping and offshore development. This position reports to the Chief of Programs.

What you will do:

  • Lead strategy development and implementation of the Arctic Ocean Initiative.
  • Represent the initiative in partnerships with other foundations and public actors and international fora.
  • In partnership with the Arctic Ocean team, build and maintain relationships with key grantees and other partners.
  • Assess strategic trade-offs implicated by proposed investments of grant and other Initiative resources, and continuously monitor and adaptively manage progress towards targeted outcomes, including informal internal measurement, evaluation and learning plans and systems.
  • Hire, lead, and manage a team of approximately three program officers and an operations associate, ensuring their work is well-structured, coordinated, and of the highest quality.
  • Manage the team's overall operations, including grant budget allocation and cash flow, operating expenses, annual objectives and reporting, board reports, and other foundation-level communications.
  • Manage critical foundation processes pertinent to the initiative, including planned strategic reviews and external evaluations, annual objectives-setting and quarterly reporting, board reports, and other foundation-level communications.
  • Stay current with policy, science, and political developments relevant to the initiative.
  • Serve as a part of the Environmental Conservation Program’s Management Team and the foundation’s Senior Management Team.
  • Manage and develop a high-performing team. Lead by example, maintaining a climate that attracts, retains, and motivates top-quality people.

What you bring with you:


The successful candidate will be a recognized and well-connected thought leader in ocean conservation, with meaningful experience translating ideas into conservation impact. The ideal candidate will also have relevant experience in one or more of the following areas: the Arctic, fisheries management, ocean conservation science, seascape-scale policy and governance, indigenous-led conservation, or ocean conservation-related philanthropy. While we understand that there are multiple paths to develop a specific expertise, we expect that this candidate will likely have the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a relevant field is preferred.
  • At least fifteen years of experience in ocean conservation or philanthropy.
  • Experience creating change in conservation through science, policy, governance, and communications. Philanthropic experience is a plus.
  • Demonstrated track record of success in managing a team of professionals.



  • Thinks critically, adds value as a thought partner, and provides practical solutions based on thorough analysis in the face of real-time issues.
  • Develops solutions that advance strategic framework and are aligned with program and organizational goals and needs to maximize impact.

Relationship Management

  • Demonstrates empathy and integrity in dealing with both internal colleagues and external partners, engaging with them in a manner that is both appropriately nuanced and direct as necessary
  • Provides thoughtful and responsive support to team, foundation colleagues, grant and other external partners, while balancing fidelity to strategy, legal requirements, and foundation policies.

Project Management and Quality of Deliverables

  • Delivers high-quality products in a timely and efficient manner: setting appropriate goals, developing thoughtful work plans, mobilizing the necessary resources, drawing effectively on staff skills and strengths, and conducting quality control as needed.


  • Adept in communicating with people from diverse Arctic countries and cultures.
  • Shares relevant information with team, foundation colleagues, grant, and other partners in a timely, structured, and synthesized manner that advances the initiative outcome.
  • Delivers high-impact written and oral presentations, acting as an experienced and credible spokesperson for the Marine Conservation: Arctic Ocean Initiative.

Leading and Managing

  • Empowers others to use their talent and capabilities to take thoughtful risks with the intent to drive impact and make change, providing consistent direction and feedback to develop staff, help them reach their full potential, and ensure high-quality contributions
  • Enthusiastic and experienced in driving change and creating excellent, high-functioning work environments. Strong leader who inspires and positively motivates others and can maintain a sense of perspective and humor even in stressful situations.
  • Excellent judgment and creative critical thinking skills.
  • Creative results-oriented problem solver.
  • Open-minded, collegial, and able to develop relationships based on trust, confidence, and respect. Open to considering a diverse range of viewpoints. Builds effective coalitions to move the agenda forward and proactively solicits others’ views before making key decisions.
  • Unquestionable ethics and integrity.
  • Passion for the foundation’s mission, values, and attributes.
  • Willingness to support and promote the foundation and colleagues through a commitment to enhancing the foundation’s considerations of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following attributes that describe how we at the foundation strive to do our work with each other and our partners.

  • Committed to Excellence
  • Passionate
  • Collegial
  • Open and Honest
  • Humble and Self-Aware
Compensation and Benefits

The Moore Foundation provides a generous total compensation package that includes a competitive salary and a wide range of benefits to support your life, health, and well-being.

The expected salary range for this position is between $290,000 and $375,000 per year. Our job titles and salary ranges may span more than one career level, and the salary offered to a candidate will be determined based on factors such as the scope and responsibilities of the position, job-related knowledge and skill set, depth of experience, certifications and/or degrees, and our practice of upholding salary equity within the foundation.

Our health benefits include employer-paid options for medical, dental, and vision insurance for employees and dependents; a mental wellness program; paid parental leave; employer-paid disability and life insurance benefits; and pre-tax flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care expenses.

Other benefits include six weeks of paid time off per year and ten paid holidays; a 401(k) retirement savings plan with a foundation contribution of up to 10% and a Roth 401(k) option; a matching gifts program for qualifying charitable contributions; hybrid work arrangements and a home office stipend; and a commuter benefits program.

To support you in achieving your career goals, the foundation offers a professional development program to all benefits-eligible employees that includes an annual financial benefit of $5,000 and paid time off to participate in educational programs.

Work Arrangements/Location

This position is based at the foundation’s main office in Palo Alto, CA. Candidates must be based in or willing to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area. Under the foundation’s residency policy and hybrid work arrangements, employees must reside within a reasonable driving distance of the foundation’s Palo Alto office and work onsite a minimum of four days a month, the weeks of May and November board meetings, and on periodic occasions throughout the year when foundation business needs require. A fully remote work option will not be considered for this role.

This will be a global search. The foundation will provide relocation and visa assistance for the selected finalist as appropriate.

To Apply

Martha Montag Brown & Associates, LLC has been retained to conduct this search.

Interested and qualified candidates should apply by emailing a resume and substantive cover letter to

All correspondence will remain confidential.

The Moore Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse pool of applicants. We depend on individuals who possess varied skills, perspectives and expertise. We seek to recognize many forms of excellence in candidates, attract individuals with varied identities and backgrounds and enable all employees to feel they belong and can contribute to the mission of the Moore Foundation.
We do not discriminate based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, military or veteran status, marital status, registered domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or on any other basis protected by applicable federal, state or local law. We also do not discriminate based on the perception that anyone has any of these characteristics or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of these characteristics.
The foundation is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its programs and operations. As part of this commitment, the foundation will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations.
If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application process, please contact A request for accommodation will be responded to within three business days. However, non-disability related requests, such as following up on an application, will not receive a response.
Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the ordinance.
The Moore Foundation requires that all employees be up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations as defined by the CDC, subject to reasonable accommodations for medical or religious reasons. Any employment offer will be contingent upon satisfactory proof that you comply with this requirement.