Director, Marine Resources Education Program (MREP)

Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Portland, ME, USA
Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Job Type

Title: Director, Marine Resources Education Program (MREP)

Supervisor: Chief Community Officer

Pay Grade: 10 Pay Grade Range: $94,348- $169,641

Salary Range: $95,000- $100,000


The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) develops and delivers collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges. We are dedicated to the resilience of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities that depend on it. To learn more, visit

The Marine Resource Education Program (MREP) empowers fishermen and other fisheries users to bring their voice, experience, and perspective into the federal fisheries science and management process. Delivered annually through either two 3-day workshops, or a single 5-day workshop, MREP engages 20-30 fishing industry members with 15-20 fisheries researchers and managers in a neutral setting. Originally developed in New England by members of the fishing industry, MREP ardently maintains its ‘by fishermen, for fishermen’ ethos via industry-based regional steering committees, planning teams, program principals, and session moderators. GMRI administers and facilitates MREP, working alongside these regional partners as well as staff from NOAA Fisheries and the Regional Fishery Management Councils.

The MREP Director will oversee all aspects of GMRI’s role in administering, facilitating, and funding MREP nation-wide. The director will join a current MREP staff of five: a senior program manager, two regional program managers, and two operational staff, with a vision for ultimately adding another regional program manager for a total staff of seven. The team’s primary function is to facilitate the development and implementation of MREP under the guidance of industry-based steering committees in each of NOAA Fisheries regions: Greater Atlantic, Southeast (& Caribbean), West Coast, Alaska, and the Pacific Islands (currently under development). A National Steering Committee meets once a year in person and virtually as needed to set high-level strategy, share lessons across regions, and address national-level challenges and opportunities.

GMRI’s MREP team facilitates the activity of each region’s industry-based Steering Committee, meeting in person once a year. Smaller planning teams (subsets of the full steering committees) meet virtually throughout the year. Together, the steering committees and planning teams develop program curriculums and workshop agendas, identify presenters, recruit participants, and develop exercises, such as role-plays, interactive activities, and field trips. The teams also undertake initiatives to enhance and improve MREP using program evaluation, such as fostering alumni engagement in fisheries science and management and developing mentoring relationships.

Finally, GMRI secures and manages the funding for MREP. Financial support for MREP currently comes from NOAA Fisheries and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and totals $1.6 million per year. Funding covers MREP staffing at GMRI and all costs associated with program implementation: workshop and steering committee meeting delivery, which includes hotels, meals, facilities, materials, and travel reimbursements.

The position is based at GMRI in Portland, Maine, and requires frequent travel to attend regional workshops and steering committee meetings, and to represent MREP at national meetings and conferences. The Director can expect to travel one week every other month on average.

The MREP Director will report to the Chief Community Officer and oversee the MREP senior program manager, two of the regional program managers, and the operations manager. In addition to managing GMRI’s internal MREP team, securing and overseeing funding, the Director will support the National Steering Committee to chart the program’s high-level strategy with the support and guidance from the Senior Program Manager.


Direct GMRI’s role in MREP

  • Steadfastly maintain MREP’s foundational ‘by fishermen, for fishermen’ approach through close communication with MREP leadership, internal dialogue with GMRI’s communication team, and supporting program managers in their engagement with regional steering committees.
  • Manage complex collaborative oversight of the program, including relationship building, strategy development, and partnering with key leaders in MREP regions to keep MREP vibrant, relevant, and true to its foundational industry-based principles.
  • Seek guidance and support from the Senior Program Manager.
  • Ensure delivery of all annual regional steering committee meetings.
  • Ensure delivery of MREP workshops in each region.
  • fMaintain and deepen GMRI relationships with key NOAA partners and industry leaders.
  • Represent MREP at the request of national or regional steering committees or delegate those requests to the Senior Program Manager.

Manage MREP team

  • Supervise the Senior Program Manager and two Regional Program Managers.
  • Supervise Operations Manager.
  • Hire and train additional staff as needed.
  • Maintain strong communication and coordination within the team.

Facilitate MREP National Steering Committee (NSC)

  • Plan and facilitate regular meetings of NSC’s planning team with the support of the Senior Program Manager.
  • Schedule, plan, and execute an in-person National Steering Committee meeting annually.
  • Collaboratively develop agenda, drawing on interests and each MREP region’s challenges and goals, to ensure NSC effectively achieves its objectives.
  • Facilitate NSC meeting, drawing on committee members to develop and deliver content
  • Manage the Finance subcommittee of the NSC to ensure consistent use and application of funds, and to gain insights and industry perceptions of potential new funders as part of fundraising strategy.

Secure funding and maintain budgetary oversight for MREP programs:

  • Develop and maintain relationships with NOAA headquarters staff responsible for directing and administering funds.
  • Maintain relationships with National Marine Sanctuary Foundation staff responsible for directing and administering funds.
  • Draft and submit funding proposals in coordination with GMRI’s Sponsored Programs Office.
  • Track metrics.
  • Ensure federal funds are used appropriately and equitably across all MREP regions.
  • Draft and submit reports.
  • Keep key partners informed and engaged in the fundraising process.
  • Develop and maintain internal annual and programmatic budgets.

Participate in and contribute to broader Community Department meetings and activities as well as GMRI meetings and activities.



GMRI is seeking a seasoned professional who is dedicated to MREP’s mission of building fishermen’s capacity to engage in fisheries science and management and to MREP’s core value of being industry-driven. The new director must embrace wholeheartedly the central role the steering committees, planning teams, program principals, and moderators play in developing and implementing MREP and recognize GMRI’s role is supporting, not leading, that work.


  • Strong team leadership to support and manage a high-functioning team that has a heavy travel schedule, working closely with industry partners while maintaining staff’s work-life balance, morale, and energy
  • Effective facilitation to support MREP’s National Steering Committee so all voices are honored, and key decisions get made based on their input,
  • Fundraising and budgetary oversight: lead GMRI’s engagement with NOAA Fisheries and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to secure funding, develop and maintain annual budgets of $1.6 million, and assume fiscal oversight
  • Ability to maintain programmatic integrity while embracing measured enhancements and new approaches, as proposed by the national and regional steering committees.
  • Knowledge of US federal fisheries management, specifically in the regional fisheries management council process


  • Experience with MREP strongly preferred
  • 10+ years’ professional experience managing internal teams
  • Facilitating external partners
  • Budget management, including programmatic and annual budget development and financial oversight

Diversity and Inclusion:

Gulf of Maine Research Institute has a long-standing policy and commitment to providing equal access and equal employment opportunities in all terms, conditions, processes, and benefits of employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. GMRI's employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status.

Applicants and employees are encouraged to voluntarily self-identify their race/ethnicity, gender, disability status and veteran status to assist GMRI in fulfilling various data reporting requirements of the federal government. This self-identification is completely voluntary, will be kept confidential and separate from your application data, and used only to meet federal reporting requirements. Providing or declining to provide this information will not result in adverse action of any kind.

Salary and Benefits:

Gulf of Maine Research Institute offers a competitive salary and benefits package.

Salary: $95,000-$100,000

Application Instructions:

All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the successful candidate has been selected. The deadline to submit applications is June 21st, 2024.