• Director, Mesoamerican Reef Program

    Job Locations MX
    Job ID
    Employment Type
    Employee (Full-Time)
  • Position Overview

    Rare inspires change, so people and nature thrive.  Our culture is results-oriented and entrepreneurial, committed to working towards ambitious goals and creating measurable results. 

    It’s never been a better time to join the Rare team!  Rare is growing and expanding our impact through a range of exciting programs, including watershed protection, and Fish Forever (FF) – our global initiative to restore near-shore fisheries in the developing tropics.  Global demand for fish has pushed the oceans to their limits. We believe that the adoption of rights-based fishery management systems will help turnaround the oceanic crisis, resulting in transformative impact for both people and nature. Our innovative coastal fisheries resource management solution marries managed access of fisheries with marine reserves. We envision a future in which 100% of coastal fisheries are sustainably managed. And, we are committed to working toward this ambition until it becomes reality.  Fish Forever will improve fishery productivity, profitability and sustainability while also boosting livelihoods, protecting habitats and enhancing coastal resilience to climate change.

    Fish Forever is currently searching for a Director of its Mesoamerican Reef program (MAR).  This is an exciting chance to create a vision for this region, from scoping sites in Mesoamerica to implementation. The ambition is to demonstrate rights-based management in Mesoamerica and chart the regulatory pathways necessary to embed rights-based management at the community and state level while simultaneously identifying and testing incentives to sustain and finance this management regime in perpetuity.

    Rare’s Mesoamerican Reef program has “sister” projects using similar methods to accelerate adoption of sustainable fisheries management in Brazil, Mozambique, Indonesia and the Philippines.



    The Director, Mesoamerican Reef Program (MAR) has the unique opportunity to lead a team of 2-3 professionals in Central America to contribute significantly to the Fish Forever program within the region as well as global goals and outcomes. S/he will be responsible for coordinating ongoing project implementation in MAR and sharing lessons-learned on global teams with Rare managers of “sister” projects in the other geographies where the Fish Forever program operates.

    Major responsibilities include oversight and management of Rare’s MAR Program that spans Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Guatemala, restore sustainable coastal fisheries through the use of Rare’s Pride Campaign program in support of community-management of artisanal fisheries. The individual will be expected to have experience in building and managing professional teams focused on achieving measurable results for people and nature and will be well-versed in global policy initiatives of relevance to Rare’s mission and support organizational public funding goals by influencing policy priorities and building government demand for community-based solutions being supported by Rare. S/he will work with a wide range of stakeholders, both internal and external, to engage governments in successful policy and funding initiatives and represent Rare at targeted national or international forums.

    This individual will be comfortable working in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial organization, and enjoy managing projects and teams and use strong project management and policy skills to accomplish the following key objectives: 1) help develop, manage and implement work plans that will help secure government support for conservation and development solutions at local, national and international levels, 2) build and manage key internal and external relationships, 3) lead the development of strategies for priority policy initiatives and events and 4) ensure strong alignment between policy and funding strategies and plans.

    Based in Quintana Roo (preferred, however other geographies may be considered), the individual selected for this position must have complete fluency in spoken and written Spanish and English.


    Essential Functions:

    Conservation Outcomes

    • Oversee the selection of future sites, including the selection, recruitment and contracting of coastal fisheries partners, who are staff members of partner organizations. Under agreements negotiated with Rare, partners dedicate staff members’ time to a Rare supervised training program.

    • Develop a structure of roles and responsibilities for Rare and partner organizations for staff training in a deliberative yet expeditious decision-making process.

    • Oversee high quality delivery of Pride and training, including teaching, monitoring visits, and general program reporting.

    • Supervise and inspire Rare’s team who are mentoring the implementation teams that are responsible for ensuring that fisheries technical support and social marketing campaign implementation are integrated through continual alignment with partner and site needs in the existing and future locations within Mesoamerica.

    • Oversee and facilitate communication and lessons learned sharing information between MAR projects and with Fish Forever teams working in other regions.

    • Supervise Rare staff who mentor the implementation team trainees and ensure day-to-day alignment with governments as well as partner organizations to the fishing communities.

    • Assist local implementation teams when developing long-term follow-up strategies and financing efforts to turn initial momentum into lasting conservation results.

    • Participate in Pride monitoring visits to support staff training and address specific issues and opportunities.

    • Escalate decisions affecting success of site training and campaigns to Vice President for sign-off.

    • Collaborate closely with Senior VP to oversee monitoring efforts at marine sites and support the monitoring planning and management


    • Manage roll-out of Rare’s Fish Forever Program strategy for building widespread adoption of solutions through building government demand in the MAR

    • Develop a implementation plan for Rare’s policy engagement strategies.

    • Engage with relevant Small-scale fisheries policy initiatives at national and sub-national levels of government

    • Influence and partner with senior leaders to define local, national and regional policy strategy aligned with Rare’s Fish Forever Program.

    • Build and lead high-impact policy team; define objectives and processes.

    • Oversee and coordinate research activities to support targeted advocacy efforts and develop internal capacity to conduct independent research and policy analysis.

    • Remain informed and responsive in strategy and communication to policy developments that impact the Small-scale fisheries in the MAR and present opportunities for Rare to take a leadership position.

    • Effectively collaborate with the Rare’s Communications and Development teams to enable and facilitate Rare’s positioning and increase engagement of stakeholders through the effective use of diverse media platforms.

    • Serve as ambassador of Rare’s mission and program priorities in the MAR region to build Rare’s reputation within a targeted set of priorities for national governments, including fisheries, climate change, and food security

    Operational Management

    • Oversee and ensure that the relevant parts of the annual program plan are developed and delivered in the timeline established.

    • Responsible for management and reporting to donors on project activities and deliverables in collaboration with Vice President.

    • Report to the VP weekly and as needed with full openness and candor concerning any issues and challenges and ensure timely reporting on key business metrics.

    • Develop, mentor, and motivate staff, individually and as a group; understand and support diversity; and establish an effective and high-performing team that is engaged and committed to Rare’s mission and their work.

    • Work with staff to develop clear goals and performance measurements and ensure regular feedback for your staff during Rare’s mid-year and year-end performance review cycle as well as on a more informal basis. 

    • Ensure new colleagues get integrated to Rare and that they have the needed support and the team to learn technical and functional aspects of working at Rare, as well as the cultural norms of how we work at Rare.

    • Help staff understand and live Rare’s 5 Core Values, as well as contribute to a culture that is entrepreneurial, agile and collaborative.

    Relationship Management

    • Development of a full partnership plan and strategy that will include the scoping of potential partners to advance widespread adoption and/ or development objectives of the organization and developing the strategy and tactics in engaging a wide – range of organizations and institutions from various sectors of the society (e.g. the private sector, academe, networks, nonprofit organizations, alliances, etc.).

    • Design, secure and execute at least 3- 5 national partnerships that will support the country strategy. This can include the expansion of co-deliver partners/ scalers, private sector engagement for markets-related work, advance programmatic impact through use of technology, etc.

    • Help design and secure at least 3- 5 regional partnerships in the identified areas of the regional strategy to scale the work and deepen impact in key geographies.

    • Together with other members of the organization, co-lead the execution of various elements of the partnerships strategy including; the prioritization, exercise and organization of pursuing partnerships, implementing partnerships reviews and incorporating lessons to the strategy.

    • Working with the Global Development Network to make sure that partnership strategy complements with the coalition/ government engagement work of the organization and the Development and Communications Unit to help advance resource mobilization and profile building goals.

    • Manage partnerships with local and national partners and government, with input as needed from regional staff and others, while identifying lessons, challenges, and highlights that can be shared and incorporated in local, regional engagements and other Rare country offices.

    • Maintain regular communications with regional governments, as well as partner organizations and Fish Forever stakeholder institutions to ensure that communication and problem solving is timely and effective.

    • In close coordination with the Vice President, evaluate actions needed to ensure activities move forward smoothly and when problems arise, discuss and solve issues in a timely fashion.

    • Manage local levels of some national relationships as agreed with the Vice President.

    • Identify new opportunities for partnership.

    • Help to raise profile of Rare with local and national media.

    • Track and manage emerging issues with engaged partners including; conflict and reputation management.

    Financial Management/Fundraising

    Oversee the MAR program budget.

    • Responsible for maintaining relationships with donors in collaboration with Vice President and the program development director.

    • Implement fundraising tasks and targets as agreed with Vice President (approx. 10% of time) and in coordination with the Global Development, including negotiations with local partners to secure their contributions to campaign funding.

    • Help to identify new opportunities for funding in close collaboration with the Director, Program Development.

    • Help write and review proposals in an effort to secure additional funding in close collaboration with the Director, Program Development.

    • Participate in some donor trips.

    • Help to ensure fundraising activity is well-coordinated with Rare's Arlington, VA, based development staff

    Experience and Education:

    • A minimum of 10-12 years experience in program management with complex projects involving multiple stakeholders, partnerships and contracts in marine conservation environment with a specific experience working on conservation and/or development policy issues (e.g. climate change, fisheries or water) with demonstrated success in engaging governments.

    • Strong understanding of global environment and development issues that influence resource allocation by governments and public donors as well as national and sub-national policies related to coastal fisheries in the countries of the MAR region.

    • Proven ability to network and develop partnerships across a range of stakeholders and track record of managing complex multi-stakeholder strategies and plans.

    Rare is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes all to apply; EOE/M/F/D/V



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