Vice President Science, Fish Forever

Job Locations US-VA-Arlington
Job ID
Employment Type
Employee (Full-Time)

Position Overview

About Rare

Rare is committed to evidence-based practice: ensuring that our program implementation both draws on and adds to the existing body of evidence connecting behavior change with durable  conservation outcomes. We are equally committed to grounding all of our programs in the best available conservation science for planning, executing, monitoring and evaluating our conservation interventions while integrating this science with local, traditional and community knowledge.


Rare’s Fish Forever program is an innovative global movement to transform near-shore fisheries (www.fishforever.org). Fish Forever has ambitious objectives to combat chronic overfishing: recovering fish stocks; increasing the economic value of local fisheries; ensuring food security to vulnerable communities; protecting the most biologically diverse marine habitats; contributing to climate change resilience; and building local leadership capacity to ensure sustainability. Fish Forever focuses on implementing managed access areas that secures tenure for local fishing communities and within these areas establish fully protected reserves to enable fish populations to recover and replenish surrounding fishing areas. Having partnered with over 1700 communities in over 10 countries, in 2023 Rare seeks to further scale Fish Forever over the next five years.


Position Overview

Fish Forever is currently being delivered by field-based country teams, together with program’s Global Hub for Learning and Collaboration, which provides implementation guidance, tools and resources and its Global Operations team, which oversees Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning as well as Data Management. The VP Science reports to the Fish Forever Managing Director and will work closely with Fish Forever teams to provide strategic science direction, scientific thought leadership and meaningful partnership with external stakeholders.


The successful candidate in this position will be excited about working in a practitioner-oriented, solution-focused culture where science is core to advancing our conservation objective.  The position will require ongoing problem solving and iterative learning across global programs and with a large array of local and global partners. In this environment, the candidate will have the unique opportunity to drive the application of science to drive change across thousands of coastal communities around the world.



The Fish Forever VP Science will have primary responsibility and exercise independent judgment regarding the following areas of significance:


Program Strategy, Design and Implementation Support

  • Drawing from developments in science as well as lessons learned from the first two phases of program implementation, and in partnership with the Fish Forever leadership team, guide the evolution of Fish Forever’s approach, especially through scientific leadership in the areas of:
    • Climate adaptation and resilience
    • Marine spatial planning, emphasis on marine reserve design
    • Small-scale demersal and pelagic fisheries
    • Blue carbon ecosystems
    • Coral reef ecology
    • Community based fisheries management
  • Collaborate with Rare’s other subject matter experts on strategies and initiatives related to behavior change, policy, innovative finance and socio-economic drivers and impacts of fishing
  • Through the Global Hub, provide technical advice, guidance or troubleshooting support to the design of networks of marine reserves/geospatial analyses, fisheries management strategies, climate adaptation recommendations and other science-related outputs

Research and Innovation 

  • Working closely with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning lead, supervise data analyses needed to support monitoring and evaluation, reporting and communications (e.g., donor reporting, website updates, etc.) and ensure data and analyses are robust and scientifically sound
  • Author or co-author peer-reviewed publications, reports, presentations, and other knowledge products to share and publicize findings
  • Assist the Hub and country teams with data analysis and interpretation to support community and local government decision-making processes
  • Provide guidance to the design of evaluations, applied research studies, and other research projects
  • Develop collaborative research to evaluate impact of the Fish Forever program
  • Leverage innovative technology solutions to build efficiency into Fish Forever data collection, analysis and synthesis
  • Spearhead scientific innovation both within and beyond Fish Forever

Thought Leadership, External Partnerships and Fundraising Support 

  • Identify, develop or support the management of partnerships with organizations collecting, collating, and analyzing data relevant for marine reserve network design and fisheries management
  • Represent the organization with professional associations, partnerships, and alliances
  • Represent the organization at conferences, meetings and other events, including supporting the preparation of materials for distribution to internal and external audiences
  • Support the organization’s executive leadership, communications, and fundraising functions by providing data and concepts, and ensuring accurate, evidence-based claims about Rare’s work

Organizational Capacity Building 

  • Help foster an organizational culture of understanding and respect for evidence-based stories using data and explaining confidence
  • Help maintain the organizational culture of respect for data and evidence as a basis for decisions and communications
  • Maintain and disseminate current knowledge of scientific issues and emerging topics of relevance to Fish Forever or wider marine conservation topics
  • Conduct knowledge or skills building for program staff and stakeholders on relevant topics

Experience & Education

  • PhD in marine science, ecology, fisheries management, marine spatial planning, or similar
    Demonstrated excellent research design skills making extensive use of quantitative data in tropical marine environments
  • Demonstrated superior data management and data analysis skills including the use of complex data sets and modelling including informing marine spatial planning
  • Demonstrated leadership ability and effective interpersonal and communication skills, strong collaborative skills, and experience guiding and motivating diverse staff
  • Extensive familiarity, with large data sources relevant to environmental conservation, livelihoods, resilience and natural resource management that can be integrated into decision frameworks during conservation strategy planning, implementation and management
  • High proficiency with statistical programs including R.
  • Desirable proficiency, or the ability to develop a working proficiency, with other relevant software that Rare uses for the purposes of extracting data and transferring them to analysis software.
  • Familiarity with GIS and sources for geospatial data
  • Strong familiarity with mixed methods and qualitative methods and data handling
  • Familiarity with issues pertaining to long-term data management, e.g. data-sharing policies of academic journals, funding agencies and governments
  • Experience representing organizations at professional conferences and delivering presentations, including preparing papers, posters and other materials for conferences and panels
  • Capacity to thrive in a practitioner-oriented, pragmatic-minded organization, and to respond effectively to changing needs and priorities
  • Demonstrated ability in managing client relationships across departments of the organization and with partner organizations
  • Superior interpersonal, organizational, planning and analytical skills, project management, and writing skills
  • A focus on results and solutions with flexibility.
  • Fluency in English is essential; Fluency in a Fish Forever country program language would be a plus (Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish )
  • Ability to travel, including to implementation sites where primary data collection is carried out, up to 30% of the time

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




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