Program Manager, Ocean Innovation & Human Rights

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Conservation International

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30+ days ago

Program Manager, Ocean Innovation & Human Rights

Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork, and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, biodiversity, and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples, and local communities to help people and nature thrive together.

POSITION SUMMARY - This position is open to US CI offices (Arlington-VA, Seattle-WA, Honolulu- HI) or remote is possible within the US.

One of the greatest challenges associated with the global fisheries sector is its opacity. Modern fisheries still rely on a largely analog model. This opacity and lack of digital infrastructure have long created the conditions under which illegality, criminality, and fraud can thrive. Approximately 11-26 million tonnes of seafood are caught each year through illegal or unreported fishing, creating significant global impacts on fisheries and loss of revenue and livelihood opportunities. Illegality in the sector also encompasses a wide range of human rights violations, which have been widely documented by researchers and journalists globally. Fishers at sea are especially vulnerable to labor exploitation and human rights abuses. The violations of human rights at sea are widely acknowledged by regulatory authorities, multilateral institutions, the private sector, and nongovernmental actors. The same factors that drive human rights abuses in the sector (rising global demand for seafood, marginal profitability, opaque industry practices, and weak governance) also enable vicious cycles of fisheries overexploitation

Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous, and more productive planet. The Ocean Innovation and Human Rights Program Manager will support CI’s efforts to enhance transparency and accountability in global fisheries through new technologies, monitoring systems, and management systems to drive sustainable and just outcomes to protect ocean ecosystems and human rights. The Program Manager joins a growing fisheries and aquaculture team in CI’s Center for Oceans and will work closely with a range of partners and divisions at CI, including the Moore Science Center’s Technology Initiatives, the Center for Sustainable Land and Waters (CSLW), the Conservation Finance Division, and CI’s diverse and vibrant field programs in the Asia-Pacific, Americas, and Africa regions.

Through a science-driven and human-centered approach, the Program Manager will build upon a knowledge base in Electronic Monitoring systems, human rights due diligence tools, and remote observation and artificial intelligence to oversee the implementation of an initiative to prototype and trial electronic monitoring technologies in the fisheries sector to combat both illegal fishing practices and human rights abuses. This work has the potential to have a profound impact on previously invisible impacted communities – fishers at sea – and to usher in a new set of digital approaches to ensure sustainable practices in fisheries, which are currently one of the most analog sectors in the global economy. This is a time-bound position through June 30, 2024.


  • Lead CI’s engagement in a collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, Global Fishing Watch, and in-region partners to scope, prototype, and trial electronic monitoring (EM) technologies in the fisheries sector to combat both illegal fishing practices and human rights abuses. Oversee and implement program activities and manage technical and program staff to support the collaboration.
  • Support the development of targeted assessments of engineering solutions (data systems and technologies) that can reduce opacity in seafood supply chains to better safeguard human rights at sea and ensure compliance with environmental best practices, in accordance with international standards, laws, and existing policy regimes.
  • Coordinate the design of an EM Performance Standard that parameterizes decent work at sea in consultation with fish workers and representative organizations.
  • Manage the installation and pilot of 2 modified EM systems on tuna longline vessels to monitor environmental and social compliance.
  • Conduct an analysis of the conditions under which the EM solution can scale via market adoption and regulatory mechanisms.
  • Conduct a technical evaluation of advantages, opportunities for innovation (i.e., edge computing on vessels), and potential limitations of using EM to support human rights risk assessment processes alongside fisheries science and compliance monitoring.


  • Monitor, measure, and provide periodic progress and metric reports.
  • Facilitate grants and contracts with technical partners.
  • Ensure compliance with CI policies, funding agreements, and local requirements.
  • Promote information sharing and knowledge exchange. Build stakeholder understanding and support by developing fact sheets, statistics, and related communication materials. Hold workshops and other events to share best practices and lessons learned.
  • Effectively engage stakeholders including donors, government and NGOs, technical colleagues, and other partners important to program success.
  • Represent the organization externally and serve as a trusted point of contact for CI.
  • Identify opportunities for program growth and development.
  • Support program financial sustainability by identifying funding opportunities. Partner with CI and HQ staff on funding proposals and contribute to regional/global fundraising efforts.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.


  • Occasional travel of 20% or more as needed.
  • Ability to work in remote locations or under difficult working conditions.
  • Guidance on flexible work arrangements will be shared during the interview process.
  • For the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our community, all US-based Conservation International staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This mandatory vaccine requirement applies to all staff working remotely, in a hybrid work arrangement, and on-site in CI US offices. CI follows CDC recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines. Requests for reasonable accommodations or exceptions related to medical or religious reasons will be considered. Candidates are NOT required to state their COVID-19 vaccine status in their application.



  • Bachelor’s Degree and 4- 6 years or more related work experience in conservation technology, human rights, fisheries science and management, international development, conservation, or other related fields.
  • Knowledge of regulatory and governance mechanisms, and market commitments to increase seafood traceability, protect human rights and reduce fisheries exploitation and human rights abuses in key fisheries jurisdictions.
  • Experience in traceability and risk identification services for seafood companies.
  • Experience engaging environmental, human rights, and labor advocacy groups.
  • Sectoral expertise in conservation technology, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility issues, and achieving social change in the seafood sector through technology solutions.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex projects or initiatives involving multiple internal and external stakeholders. Superb oral and written communication skills.
  • Global understanding of conservation technology, marine conservation, and/or socioeconomic development issues.
  • Excellent technical and analytical skills, including demonstrated experience in project management.
  • Demonstrated organizational and time management skills, with proven ability to turn vision and strategies into outcomes.
  • Proven ability to prioritize and meet deadlines. Adept at working in a fast-paced environment with changing priorities with limited supervision.
  • Fluency in English is required.


  • Master’s degree or higher.
  • Experience designing, developing, or deploying innovative technologies (e.g. remote monitoring, AI, data integration, etc)
  • Familiarity with innovation or design processes
  • Knowledge of labor issues in the seafood industry, and/or familiarity ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (No. 87, 98, 29, 105, 138, 182, 100, and 111) and the Convention on Work in Fishing (ILO C188).
  • Foreign language abilities.
  • Established track record in research and writing on human rights, fisheries, and technology topics in business or academic settings through published reports, articles, or contributions to significant company consulting projects.

To apply for this position please submit a resume and cover letter.

See all Conservation International Career Opportunities HERE

Conservation International is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled