Monterey Bay Aquariam Research Institute

Monterey Bay Aquariam Research Institute

Sales & Business Development
Posted on Tuesday, August 1, 2023

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) is currently recruiting for the President/CEO position. Founded in 1987 by the late David Packard, MBARI is dedicated to merging science, engineering, and marine operations for the purpose of developing state-of-the-art instruments, methods, and systems for advancing scientific research in the ocean. MBARI’s 2023-2033 Strategic Roadmap sets forth institutional priorities related to a series of interconnected scientific and engineering challenges that MBARI is uniquely poised to address.

Located in Moss Landing, California, the heart of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, MBARI offers ready access to the open ocean and deep-sea, and embodies a balanced emphasis on science and engineering. Ongoing research programs range across autonomous and remotely operated underwater vehicle systems, control technologies, ocean biogeochemistry, geology, biology, oceanographic instrumentation development, bioacoustics, digital video annotation, and information management. MBARI hosts approximately 200 employees, with shore facilities that include state-of-the-art science and engineering laboratories, manufacturing and electrical fabrication shops, and dock facilities. Our operations division supports state-of-the art sea-going assets, including the R/V David Packard (arriving December 2023), R/V Rachel Carson, R/V Paragon, MARS deep-sea cabled observatory, and a fleet of remotely operated and autonomous systems. More information about MBARI’s mission, vision, and values is available here.

MBARI enjoys cooperative relationships with a host of neighboring academic and government institutions, including Stanford University, Hopkins Marine Station, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the Naval Postgraduate School, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, California State University Monterey Bay, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, offering many opportunities for collaborative research and education. Our partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium also provides unique opportunities for public outreach and for engaging resource managers as well as policy makers.

The President/CEO is the most senior level position at the Institute, overseeing all functions:
Marine Operations, Science, Engineering, Information and Technology Dissemination, and the Office of the Executive Director which includes Finance and Human Resources. The President/CEO is a member of, and reports directly to, the Board of Directors, and serves as chief staff person to support the Board of Directors in carrying out their responsibilities.

Key Responsibilities:

Leads overall strategic, operational, financial, and managerial responsibility for the Institute including oversight of an annual budget of ~$60 million and leading a team of ~200 staff.

Oversees creation and implementation of the Institute’s strategic vision and plans, in partnership with the Board, staff, and other key constituents, with an eye toward ensuring maximum impact. Bears final responsibility for decisions on all MBARI-sponsored initiatives, administrative and other policies, and operations, consistent with the Institute’s Bylaws.

Recruits, mentors, and retains top talent. Ensures the Institute centers diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its work, internally and externally. Instills a strong culture of trust, high performance, and organizational excellence.

Maintains the Institute’s founding emphasis on fostering peer relationships between scientists and engineers to advance technological innovations in connection with MBARI’s research and development programs. Maintains focus on the deep waters of the world with Monterey Bay and contiguous waters of the California Current as the Institute’s principal laboratory.

Provides advice and leadership to the larger oceanographic and scientific community. Engages in external programs and collaborations to share and advance MBARI technology, science, and information to benefit ocean science. Examples of such engagements include national and international societies and workshops, National Academy studies, consultations with private philanthropic entities, and environmental resource management bodies and advisory groups.

Works with universities, non-profit entities, government agencies, industry, and others to plan and implement collaborative research and educational initiatives, as appropriate and consistent with MBARI’s mission and strategic roadmap. Serves as an ex-officio member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation’s Board of Trustees and maintains close and productive collaborations with the Aquarium.

Educates the scientific community and general public through publishing and communicating the results and progress of research and technology developments at MBARI. Builds public awareness of marine systems and human impacts on ocean health through social media and other communication channels.

Maintains effective liaison with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, MBARI’s principal funding source. Obtains support from outside sources for projects that are consistent with MBARI’s overall long-range plans and funding strategies.


  • Ph.D., or equivalent, in a scientific or engineering discipline is required, plus minimum ten years demonstrated success in an oceanographic science, engineering or related management or leadership role.
  • Proven leadership abilities at both the national and international level and
    excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, are essential.
  • Must be able to work with, lead and mentor diverse groups of people.