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Jun 13 / BARD CEP

Special Assistant, Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning – Washington, DC

Organization: Ocean Conservancy

Position Title: Special Assistant, Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning

Location: Washington, DC

Hours & Compensation: Full-time. Salary Commensurate with experience.

Application Deadline: None posted.

Organization Overview:

Our country’s ocean and coasts today face an era of unprecedented activity. Different uses are all competing to stake their claims on the ocean without proper planning that puts conservation first. In fact, the way the United States currently manages its ocean is fundamentally flawed. More than 20 federal agencies apply 140 laws in pursuit of their departmental mandates, often in isolation from each other. Ocean Conservancy is working to remedy this situation by promoting coastal and marine spatial planning to protect, maintain, and restore healthy marine ecosystems while allowing sustainable economic development. Ocean Conservancy led efforts that resulted in coastal and marine spatial planning’s being included in the National Ocean Policy promulgated by President Barack Obama by Executive Order in July 2010.


The Special Assistant is responsible for working with the Senior Manager and Team Lead to manage day-to-day operational aspects of the CMSP Program. The Special Assistant will work with the team to and coordinate and manage the program’s work to secure policy that advances coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) to protect, restore and maintain ecosystem health.


  • Supports the Team Lead and Senior Manager in tracking programmatic work for internal and grant reporting purposes, including monitoring of comprehensive work plans; orchestration and tracking of deliverables; monitoring of goals, expenditures and available resources; assessment of results and impact; and assistance in grant reporting to communicate success and effectiveness.
  • Provides logistical and administrative support to the CMSP team: manages the administration of Ocean Conservancy’s CMSP program through scheduling important meetings, circulating action items and meeting minutes and coordinating internal team follow up and other activities.
  • Works with CMSP team and Government Relations to provide support for developing and executing legislative and advocacy work relating to CMSP.
  • Manages flow of information among program team members to ensure and enhance communication within the team and achieve maximum effectiveness.
  • Helps manage recruitment, tracking and retention of key-stakeholders for Hill visits and other advocacy, using Raiser’s Edge (RE) software to pull lists, update and track stakeholder information.
  • Manages logistics, scheduling and communications for the Healthy Oceans Coalition/CMSP Working Group.
  • Works with Senior Manager to recruit, train, and supervise program interns.


  • Experience in project management preferred; with proven experience in fiduciary management.
  • Working knowledge or experience preferred in one or more of the following: working with Congress, the federal government, state or local governments or environmental non-governmental organizations on marine or environmental issues, marine spatial planning or land use planning, marine/coastal ecosystems, human impacts and threats to oceans/coasts, ecosystem protection and management, program management strategic communication methods. Familiarity with U.S. ocean policy preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse teams; integrate across disciplines, work collaboratively with a wide variety of stakeholders and communicate both in writing and orally about complex issues.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft office products required.
  • Proficiency in Raiser’s Edge or related software preferred.
  • Scheduling and assistant experience strongly preferred.
  • Excellent organizational skills and a strong attention to detail are essential. Ability to be flexible and work under pressure.
  • Ability to communicate complex issues effectively in both written and oral form.
  • Excellent multi-tasking skills with the ability to see the big picture and remain attentive to details, deadlines and deliverables.
  • Highly collaborative with an appreciation of the benefit of a multi-disciplinary team approach; willing to take on a variety of tasks to further the program goals.
  • Strong interest in environmental policy and congressional politics. Commitment to Ocean Conservancy’s mission and goals.
  • Bachelor’s degree required (advanced degree preferred) in a relevant interdisciplinary specialty, management, communications, public policy, or another field closely related to coastal/marine affairs or environmental protection.

How to Apply:

If you think you have what it takes to join Ocean Conservancy’s team, please send a cover letter speaking to your qualifications and abilities along with your resume and salary expectations to: and note your name and “Special Assistant, CMSP #1304” in the subject line.

Contact Information:

Ocean Conservancy,

1300 19th Street NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20036

Job URL:

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