Vice President of Conservation

Organization: National Aquarium (AZA Member)
Location: Baltimore, MD, United States
Job or Internship: Job

The Vice President is responsible for overall leadership of the National Aquarium’s Conservation and Science Division and is a member of the Leadership Team. The division comprises the following teams: Field Conservation, Biological Programs, Legislative Advocacy, Guest Engagement/Education, Environmental Outreach, Husbandry, Animal Care/Veterinary Science, Water Quality, Life Support, and Marine Animal Rescue. The total program includes a professional team of 130 and an annual operating budget of approximately $10 million. The Vice President will report to the CEO and will be based in Baltimore, Maryland.

Through its work in conservation and science, the National Aquarium has helped redefine the role of public aquaria as catalysts for tangible change in how people care for oceans and aquatic systems. The Aquarium’s role as a trusted source of information and its ability to communicate with millions of people annually provide significant opportunities to influence public policy and personal behavior on behalf of sustainable ocean conservation. Building on this role, the Vice President will help accelerate and connect disparate parts of the community and help the National Aquarium pursue a strategic priority to reach over 100 million people in the next five years, with heavy emphasis on “Gen Y” Millennials.

In the ocean policy arena, the National Aquarium has focused its efforts on a targeted policy agenda designed to maximize impact and avoid duplicating the work of others. The Aquarium has recently taken the lead in a number of public policy initiatives, including a ban on the sale and trade in shark fins, offshore wind development, plastic and beverage container deposits, and watershed conservation. The Vice President will play a leading role in positioning the National Aquarium to take a more forthright position in addressing conservation issues that affect aquatic ecosystems worldwide, starting with its own Chesapeake Bay.

The broad objectives for the Vice President of Conservation are as follows:

• Provide strategic vision and leadership to achieve ocean conservation impact, focusing on the National Aquarium’s unique contributions to conservation, consistent with its mission and values, and working in close collaboration with the senior leadership and Board.

• Lead and support development of a high functioning team, integrating the Conservation Division as an effective team-oriented work group and strategic catalyst in support of the National Aquarium’s mission.

• Collaborate with CEO and Chief Development Officer in helping to capture private and public philanthropic support for the National Aquarium.

• Effectively engage internal and external stakeholders in planning and execution of the National Aquarium’s conservation program strategies and participate as an active member of the senior leadership team.

• Support the CEO as a leader in global marine conservation and act as a spokesperson and content expert on matters relating to ocean conservation, working in close collaboration with the communications, marketing and development teams.

• Enhance internal and external collaborative relationships and partnerships that advance the National Aquarium’s conservation priority areas.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The Vice President of Conservation ideally should possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

• Demonstrated passion for the National Aquarium’s mission and goals.

• Ability to communicate a compelling vision for the National Aquarium’s work through personal influence and superlative communication abilities, and to do so effectively across a range of internal and external stakeholders.

• Demonstrated leadership qualities and success in leading a motivated, team-oriented group to do their best work.

• Exceptional written and public speaking skills, and ability to present ideas in a clear and compelling way.

• Strong scientific background, particularly in the areas of ecology, marine biology, or conservation science. An advanced degree in Ecology, Biology, Natural Resources, Environmental Science or a closely related field is desirable.

• Demonstrated experience working with and engaging individuals from academic, private and public sector in advancing the conservation goals of the National Aquarium.

• Highly collaborative and team-oriented to enable conservation programs to fully integrate with other aquarium programs and external organizations with whom it collaborates. An ability to listen to others and learn from their best ideas - a sense of inquisitiveness and intellectual curiosity.

• Fund development talent and experience, including personal solicitations and grant writing.

• Proficiency in budget and finance matters to enable strong financial management of the division as well as preparation and monitoring of grant requests.


Compensation for the Vice President of Conservation includes a competitive base salary, and an excellent package of health and other employee benefits.

Interested candidates should email a cover letter explaining how their skills and background fit this position and a resume to: Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company at Refer to National Aquarium/VP in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

The National Aquarium is committed to diversity and invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply. All correspondence will remain confidential.

The National Aquarium is an Equal Opportunity Employer