Senior Associate, Ocean Governance

The Pew Charitable Trusts

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The Environment Portfolio

For more than 30 years, Pew has been a major force in engaging the public and policy makers about the causes, consequences, and solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Our environment work spans all seven continents with more than 250 professionals working at the local, national, and international levels to reduce the scope and severity of global environmental problems, such as the erosion of large natural ecosystems that contain a great part of the world’s remaining biodiversity, and the destruction of the marine environment. Pew’s global environmental program focuses on science-based, nonpartisan, and sustainable solutions to help protect the planet and people. We work in partnership with governments, Indigenous rights holders, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, local stakeholders, scientists, and other researchers to advance public policy so that nature and communities can thrive.

Since 1990, Pew has worked in North America, South America and Australia to protect large and critically important terrestrial ecosystems, including rivers and other freshwater resources, coastal temperate rainforests, interior mountain ranges, the northern boreal forests, Australia’s Outback, and Chilean Patagonia. We work to ensure these natural systems remain bountiful, functioning, and resilient, providing essential ecological services such as clean air and clean water, sustenance and food security for local communities and more broadly for the welfare of current and future generations. Our work relies on the sciences of conservation, sociology, biology, and economics to advocate for practical and durable solutions to the loss of biodiversity.

In the sea, reforms to how our oceans are managed are essential to address overfishing, pollution, and loss of habitat. Pew began its oceans program in the United States, focusing on ending overfishing and protecting fragile marine habitat. Starting in 2005, Pew’s ocean conservation program expanded around the world and played a significant role in reforming marine fisheries management in the European Union and on the high seas and creating large scale marine reserves around the world. Our work is grounded in the best available science and pursues domestic and international conservation measures that are long-term and provide permanent, durable protections for marine ecosystems. We also work to address systemic threats to the ocean, including from plastics, over-and-illegal fishing, seabed mining, and climate change.

Ocean Governance

The health of the ocean is in decline. Technological advancements have made nearly every inch of the world’s marine waters increasingly accessible and vulnerable to extractive activities, including large-scale fishing, energy development and deep-sea mining. Habitat destruction caused by human activities is further compounded by the impacts of a changing climate. To meaningfully change the way the ocean’s natural assets are respected and protected, Pew's Ocean Governance Project is working closely with governments, key stakeholders and partner organizations to develop policy mechanisms to address the negative human impacts on marine ecosystems.

Position Overview

The senior associate supports the delivery of Pew’s objectives on a multifaceted portfolio working to address the threat of human activity such as fishing, mining, and shipping on ocean life, and improve the resilience of ocean habitats and marine biodiversity to climate change by securing improved protection and management measures in international conservation agreements that address major gaps in ocean governance. Reporting to the director, ocean governance, the senior associate supports the production of campaign materials and coordinates with communications, government relations, and others on advocacy outreach and policy research and helps ensure the effective management of resources.

Located in Pew’s Washington, D.C. office, this position is eligible for up to 60% telework consistent with Pew guidelines. Candidates must be presently legally authorized to work in the country for which they are seeking employment without the need of visa sponsorship.


  • Foster a work environment that is diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible and in line with Pew and the project’s related goals.
  • Support the development and implementation of effective strategies and plans to deliver the project’s objectives, focusing on reducing harmful fisheries subsidies that promote overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices through the World Trade Organization, or WTO, fisheries agreement.
  • Assist in preparing and facilitating the internal review and approval of issue briefs, web features, newsletters, campaign updates and other materials.
  • Plan, organize, and represent Pew at stakeholder meetings, conferences, and other events; comfortably discuss complex subject matter with stakeholders, including government officials.
  • Conduct policy research and provide recommendations for policy and regulatory solutions.
  • Collaborate with Pew colleagues, including other environment staff, finance, institutional partnerships, communications, conservation science, and government relations.
  • Support the Director, Ocean Governance as needed.
  • Participate in activities that support program and Pew-wide objectives.


  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English; French is a plus.
  • Skilled at informing and influencing internal and external audiences through written and oral communications.
  • Time- and project-management skills.
  • Aptitude to apply a non-partisan, evidence-based approach to projects and campaigns that require support across the political spectrum.
  • Excellent applied research and analytical skills, including synthesizing large sets of information and identifying key themes.
  • Systems skills including proficiency with Microsoft Office suite products, in particular Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • Generally, four years of applicable experience.

Key attributes and preferred experience

  • Naturally develops and manages productive and collaborative relationships.
  • Skilled at developing and moving projects forward with a high degree of independence and autonomy.
  • Diplomatic skills, capable of working productively with a wide array of different people and institutions that may disagree with and are in competition with one another.
  • Experience with policy advocacy and campaigns.
  • Familiarity with international conservation issues and forum preferred.


Occasional domestic and international travel to meetings and conferences.

Total Rewards

We offer a competitive salary and benefit program, including: comprehensive, affordable health care through medical, dental, and vision coverage; financial security with life and disability insurance; opportunities to save using health savings and flexible spending accounts; retirement benefits to help prepare for the future; and work/life benefits to maintain a good balance.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Pew considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity, military/veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is an equal opportunity employer.