Associate Director, Policy & Campaigns

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $60,000
Maximum: $75,000




30151 Tomas
Rancho Santa Margarita
United States


Project AWARE (, a non-profit organization empowering a global community to be agents of positive change for the ocean, is seeking candidates for the role of Associate Director, Policy & Campaigns at our headquarters in Rancho Santa Margarita CA. We are a passionate and committed organization seeking employees that share that passion and commitment for our mission and vision.

Established in 1992, Project AWARE® is a global movement for ocean protection powered by a community of adventurers. Our mission is to connect the passion for ocean adventure with the purpose of marine conservation. We bring together a dedicated team of individuals around the world who share a passion for ocean protection and adventure to secure real and direct environmental victories. We collaborate, co-create and partner with individuals, governments, NGOS, and businesses who, like us, believe in a future where the ocean no longer needs protecting.

Reporting to the Director of Global Operations, the Associate Director, Policy & Campaigns is responsible for the overall strategic and operational execution of AWARE’s policy and advocacy work. The position will work closely with the Director to ensure policy outcomes for the organizations’ clean and healthy ocean objectives. S/he will drive overall policy work from a science and project management perspective, focusing on development, implementation and evaluation for overall success with a view to influencing policy developments and debates at local, national and global levels. S/he will work closely with the Global Communications and Community Engagement teams, providing guidance and oversight.


Strategy and Project Management

  • Lead the design, development and execution of strategies on campaigns and policy, whether independently or in partnership with Director.
  • Drive projects globally and across offices/pillars for the development and implementation of policy strategies for both a clean and healthy ocean.
  • Oversee the development, execution and evaluation of Project AWARE’s policy positions based on sound science.
  • Develop and maintain good working relations with key government agencies, local authorities, policy makers, relevant organisations and stakeholders at local and national levels.
  • Responsible for advancing AWARE’s healthy ocean policy goals, specifically protections for sharks and rays alongside key partners at international policy forums like CITES and ICCAT
  • In close partnership with the Clean Ocean Policy Specialist, responsible for advancing AWARE’s clean ocean policy goals, specifically for policy changes to prevent marine debris from entering the marine environment.
  • Drive the growth and credibility of AWARE’s citizen science programs across environmental issues.
  • In close partnership with the Digital Campaign Specialist, responsible for creating and advancing AWARE’s online campaign strategy and global campaign presence.
  • In close partnership with the Community Manager, lead on the development of relevant policy and campaign materials and resources. 
  • In close partnership with the Community Manager, organise events including round tables and conferences in line with Project AWARE’s work plan to influence policy and engage our global community.
  • Constructively evaluate incoming policy partnership requests and provide recommendations to the Director of Global Ops to help achieve the strategic goals of shaping the agenda on our issues.
  • Identify, foster and implement new initiatives to expand AWARE’s conservation policy work into other issue areas (specifically on coral conservation, climate change and overfishing).
  • Represent the organization in public fora and venues with a variety of audiences.
  • Develop and monitor relevant KPIs related to advocacy and campaigns.


Leadership & Operations:

  • As part of Project AWARE’s Executive Team, support decision-making, strategic analysis, planning and budgeting for the organization.
  • Foster a culture of change and innovation in a collaborative style to build consensus and influence support for- and knowledge of- Project AWARE’s policy and advocacy work across the organization.
  • Responsible for the Policy Pillar’s resources, cost sharing and allocation.
  • Lead global, cross-office teams. In collaboration with Executive Team, recruit, hire, and oversee training of staff and third party consultants.
  • Drive collaborative campaign and policy opportunities with AWARE’s key partner, PADI
  • Provide regular progress reports and strategic recommendations to Director of Global Operations.
  • Contribute to internal policy and strategy development, annual work plans, fundraising targets and donor reporting.
  • Warm revenue generating opportunities to support and grow policy programs. Work closely with Development to write policy proposals for donor opportunities.
  • Be a brand ambassador for Project AWARE® such as speaking, writing and networking.



  • Advanced degree in environmental sciences (environmental policy/marine science/sustainability) is required, with at least 5 years management and/or campaign experience.
  • Strategic, big picture thinker with the ability to think outside the box and work autonomously. Exceptional planning and organizational skills.
  • Strong ocean policy background, especially at the international level.
  • Proven track record of successful stakeholder engagement with government, advisory groups, NGOs, industry associations, foundations and corporations.
  • Track record of effectively leading local, regional and international campaigns to drive policy outcomes.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to handle multiple priorities and thrive in a high change, multinational, and virtual work environment
  • Ability to travel frequently (25% - 30% of the time)
  • Working knowledge of other languages as plus
  • Scuba Diving experience a plus

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

We offer our employees a unique culture driven by our shared passion for ocean health, competitive salaries, generous time off, outstanding benefits, flexible work week, onsite gym and pool, 401(k) with match and an opportunity to impact the planet for good.

For consideration please submit your letter of interest and resume.

Visit our website ad for additional details on the Foundation's environmental initiatives and activities.


Robust, low cost health insurance

9/80 flexible work week

401(k) with match

onsite gym and pool

casual workplace

Employee Assistance plan

Generous time off

Paid Volunteer days

Level of Language Proficiency

English proficient

Multi-lingual helpful

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply

Please submit a letter of interest and your resume