Senior Strategy Manager, Coral Reef Conservation, Vulcan Inc.

2017-12-29T12:37:21+00:00 December 29, 2017|

Applicants are strongly encouraged to include a cover letter outlining how they are uniquely qualified and what motivates them to apply.

Are you a senior subject matter expert in coral reef conservation? Paul Allen, Founder of Vulcan Inc, has identified saving coral reefs globally from climate change as a Grand Challenge to which he is personally committed. Vulcan is recruiting a senior subject matter expert in coral reef conservation advise how substantial additional investment could significantly improve the prognosis for the world’s reefs. Vulcan’s current philanthropic investments in coral reef conservation include support for Ruth Gates’ and Madeleine Van Oppen’s human assisted evolution research, support for 50 Reefs, photographic surveys of the coral triangle, and aerial hyper-spectral surveys in Hawaii.

The opportunity:

As the subject matter expert, you will guide strategy development and project ideation and development and advise on project execution. Your primary goal is to maximize impact towards achievement of Vulcan’s Grand Challenge of saving the world’s coral reefs from climate change by identifying game-changing strategies and project ideas and helping deliver impactful project design and implementation.

You will lead on project exploration, from landscaping subject areas to identifying Vulcan ways in to developing initial project designs and concept notes. For active projects, you will insure that decision-making and execution maximizes impact, serving on project teams for large initiatives and providing advice to the project lead for smaller ones (and occasionally acting as the project lead for Vulcan). You will partner with the execution teams and the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team to assess the cumulative impact of multiple projects, and feed learning from existing and past projects into ideation and design of future projects.

Based on your knowledge, research, and judgement, you will also provide advice and support to other Vulcan departments (e.g. Communications), responding to queries from Paul Allen and executive staff, and occasionally publication and help develop Vulcan’s expert reputation in the field including through press communications, conference presentations, etc.

In this role, key responsibilities and duties:

  • Subject and project exploration, strategy development, ideation, and design
    • Landscape subject areas within coral reef conservation (e.g. genetic engineering, remote sensing, coral farming), reviewing the state of the field and preeminent players and strategies
    • Identify “ways in” which maximize the impact return on investment and fit Vulcan’s criteria
    • Work with MEL team on theory of change and impact measures
    • Help identify good partners
    • Help design projects, prepare and pitch project proposals, etc.
  • Project execution
    • For large projects, serve on execution team as subject matter expert seeking to maximize conservation impact
    • For smaller projects, advise project leads also to help maximize impact (and in rare cases act as project lead)
    • For all projects within the domain but especially science ones, develop an expert level of understanding of the science and subject area in order to advise on implementation, identify next steps and future projects for Vulcan to achieve conservation objectives, and respond to internal and external queries about the project findings and material
  • Research
    • Stay abreast of developments in coral reef conservation
    • Carry out more intensive research as required for Vulcan strategy development and execution
    • Working with the MEL team, from time to time review the impact of projects and programs and assess progress towards achieving Grand Challenges
  • Deliver information
    • Present results and findings, briefings, concept notes, and proposals internally to Vulcan audiences including Paul Allen through consultations, oral briefings, written reports, etc. gauged so as to be maximally accessible and useful
    • Present results and findings externally through scientific and popular publications, press briefings, social media, presentations, etc. so as to publicize Vulcan and Paul Allen’s accomplishments, interests, and expertise in biodiversity conservation and to mobilize action towards Vulcan objectives

Key Qualifications:

  • PhD in coral reef biology or conservation, or in exceptional cases a Masters degree and equivalent experience
  • At least 5 years postdoctoral research experience relevant to the domain
  • At least 5 years’ experience applying domain expertise to practical impact-driven implementation (e.g. through government, NGO, foundation, or private sector)
  • Recognition within the domain area as a clear thinking, strategic and entrepreneurial expert, including scientific and popular publications, talks, and press work
  • An effective network of expert contacts within the domain area
  • Demonstrate ability to master scientific and subject matter detail in new areas within the domain area rapidly and effectively
  • Demonstrate ability to translate that understanding into strategic, out-of-the-box, practical advice for implementation, strategies, project opportunities, policies, etc.
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate that understanding effectively to experts and non-experts both orally and in writing and translate it into practical and policy advice
  • A track record of developing innovative,effective ways in and solutions to problems within the domain area
  • A track record of contributing to rapid, effective execution of impact-driven projects within the domain area
  • Experience measuring, evaluating, and reporting on the impact of projects and programs and drawing lessons learned
  • Experience leading strategic planning including landscape assessment, development of goals and objectives, and identification of effective strategies
  • Demonstrate ability to gain support from various stakeholders for project ideas and proposals
  • A track record of working effectively in teams, and leading them
  • A track record of providing supportive advice and expertise in furtherance of others’ professional objectives within an organization
  • Ability to understand Vulcan and Paul Allen’s strengths and perspectives, to apply those to the field of coral reef conservation, and to commit fully to a strategy that leverages those strengths and perspectives
  • Ability to thrive in a fast paced and complex environment with changing responsibilities and expectations
  • Demonstrate honesty, integrity and fulfillment of commitments

The Senior Strategy Manager, Coral Reef Conservation, reports to the Director of Biodiversity Conservation. It is a full-time position based at Vulcan’s headquarters in Seattle, with approximately 20% time travel.

Vulcan is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity at our company. We encourage people from all walks of life to apply without regard to race, age, gender, religion, disability, LGBTQ status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  Our management team does not tolerate discrimination or harassment at any point during our employees’ and applicants’ time with us, especially with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities, and general treatment during employment.

If you need accommodation during the application or hiring process, please contact Human Resources at or your recruiter.

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