Job Opportunity: Chief Operating Officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute


The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) pioneers collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges.  Their scientists explore dynamic ocean systems from marine life to environmental conditions to coastal economies. GMRI infuses their discoveries into the policy arena and design solutions with fishermen and seafood business to protect fishery resources, harvest them responsibly, and market them as premium quality food. They share their discoveries with the public and nurture a culture of leadership in communities that depend on the sea. Their education programs cultivate science literacy and builds a foundation of collaborative problem-solving among the next generation of leaders, scientists, citizens, and stewards. Each year, they serve over 25,000 stakeholders from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia.

GMRI is locally focused and globally relevant. They are dedicated to the resilience of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities that depend on it. They support solutions that will broadly benefit the bioregion and its diverse communities over generations to come. They leverage the Gulf of Maine’s significance as a testbed for adaptation to environmental change and responses to global ocean and challenges.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) works with GMRI’s President/CEO and Management Team to implement GMRI’s strategic plan and focus their organization on maximizing their impact while upholding a culture of excellence.

Their COO supervises four functional managers (Chief Scientific Officer, Chief Education Officer, Chief Community Officer, and Chief Financial Officer) and a cross-functional manager (Climate Center Director).  The COO reports to their President/CEO.

Responsibilities/Tasks will include an evolving mix of:

Manage Implementation of Strategic Plan:  GMRI operates on a five-year strategy cycle.  Their current strategic plan was initiated in July 2017.  The COO oversees implementation and evolution of strategy as follows:

  • Works with Management Team to translate GMRI’s strategic plan into three-year program business plans and successive annual budgets to implement plans.
  • Maintains Management Team focus on goals and impacts, measures progress, and reports on annual progress to their Board, staff, and stakeholders.
  • Works with Management Team and Board to review, refine, and evolve the strategic plan on an annual basis.

Manage GMRI Operations:  GMRI operates with a $13 million annual budget and 75 talented staff. The COO provides overall management of GMRI’s program and supporting functional operations.

Other General Responsibilities:

Support GMRI’s Evolving Fundraising Efforts:  GMRI’s annual budgeting process involves sophisticated judgment about how to balance growth opportunities with financial risk.  Meeting annual revenue targets requires diligence and focus throughout the year.  The COO will work with the President/CEO, Chief Development Officer, and Development Team to support annual fundraising efforts.  

Engage and Support Board of Directors:  GMRI has a talented and committed Board of Directors.  The President and Management Team work together to support directors individually, in their committee work, and in their involvement with their strategic plan.  The COO helps to develop a calendar of engaging board meetings and ensure a transparent and productive exchange of ideas between board and staff.

Respond to Emerging Needs and Opportunities:  The COO will work closely with the President/CEO and Management Team to assess emerging needs and opportunities, identify which fit well with GMRI’s strategic plan, and develop the capacity to respond where there is strategic alignment.

Required Qualifications:


  • Proven ability to conceive and develop effective programs, secure funding, and build and manage a talented team to implement them
  • Demonstrated experience overseeing financial planning and reporting and nurturing a culture of fiscal responsibility
  • Demonstrated ability to provide subtle, facilitative leadership in a creative, disciplined, and periodically ambiguous environment
  • Deep understanding of at least two of GMRI’s three core program competencies:  marine science, science education, and community development

Education and Work Experience:

  • Master’s in Marine Policy or Science, Master’s in Business or Public Administration, Juris Doctor degree, or equivalent experience in marine science, marine conservation, science education, or community economic development
  • Demonstrated success at chief executive- or chief operating officer-level responsibility in an organization or program of similar scale to GMRI
  • Minimum of ten years of challenging operational and management experience
  • Final candidate may have the literal pedigree summarized above or an eclectic background that provides the insight, leadership, management, communication, and organizational skills, and entrepreneurial bent required to excel in this position

Application deadline: Friday, September 18, 2020.
For more information and how to apply, click here.

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