Jobs at Coastal States Organization

Executive Director

The Coastal States Organization (CSO) is seeking an Executive Director. CSO is a small, 501(c) 4 nonprofit, non-partisan organization founded in 1970. CSO represents the interests of the Governors of the nation’s 35 coastal and Great Lakes States and Territories on legislative, regulatory, policy and program matters related to the conservation, development and management of coastal and ocean resources. To learn more about CSO and its work, visit  

POSITION DESCRIPTION:  The Executive Director is responsible for advancing CSO’s mission by advocating for the shared state interests.  This position also assures the sound fiscal management of CSO and manages a small office of professional staff and contractors. The Executive Director reports to the Executive Committee comprised of Delegates appointed by the Governors of the coastal states and territories.


Federal Outreach and Communications:

  • Represent the interests of the Governors of coastal states and territories before federal agencies, state legislatures, state Boards and Commissions as needed to support federal policy goals and objectives of the Organization, as well as on select task forces which have the potential to advance CSO’s mission.
  • Conduct outreach on behalf of the coastal states before Congress in support of federal appropriation priorities and legislation such as the Coastal Zone Management Act, regional ocean governance, climate change, renewable energy, coastal hazards, public access, OCS revenue sharing and other issues of coastal and ocean policy.
  • Assist the states in developing and articulating consensus-based policy decisions.
  • Build coalitions of interest groups to advance major state coastal and ocean policy initiatives to develop a network of influential people and organizations at the national, state and local level that understand and can support mutually beneficial goals.
  • Assure the Executive Committee and Board is kept fully informed on a regular and timely basis of all relevant Congressional and Federal agency activities, the condition of the Organization and important factors influencing its mission and operations. Publicize the activities and accomplishments of the Organization.

Strategic Leadership:

  • Assure that the Organization implements its Strategic Plan which sets out clear goals, objectives and milestones that will advance the organization, state interests, as well as make consistent and timely progress.
  • Support technical and professional exchange of information among coastal states, including planning and organizing two membership meetings per year, monthly Executive Committee meetings, and other events as required.
  • Work with the Executive Committee to ensure active and participating Board members. This includes ensuring that the Board members are engaged in the organizational deliberations, decision-making and active in work groups.
  • Work closely with Board members to determine when work groups are needed to address emerging policy issues, develop clear tasks for the work groups that advance CSO’s mission, and solicit state membership and active participation in the work groups.
  • Serve as a leader in the field and maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends. Identify leadership opportunities for State representatives and promote active and broad participation of State representatives in all areas of CSO’s work.
  • Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with federal agencies, coastal and ocean partners, and other organizations. Be proactive in seeking to influence policy and legislation to reflect state recommendations.

Office and Staff Management: 

  • Maintain a professional and supportive climate which attracts, retains, and motivates a diverse staff of top quality employees. Encourage staff development and education, and assist program staff in relating their specialized work to achieve the CSO’s goals.
  • Be responsible for the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel, including paid staff, contractors and interns. Ensure that job descriptions are developed, that regular performance evaluations are held, and that sound human resource practices are in place.

Budget and Financial Management:

  • Work with the staff, CSO Treasurer and the Board to prepare budgets and assure that the Organization operates with adequate resources and within budget guidelines. Be responsible for developing and maintaining sound financial practices, grants management procedures, official records and documents, and compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
  • Secure and manage grants or other funds, as needed, to grow the organization, support project priorities identified by the Board or to supplement operational costs as needed.
  • Serve as a Secretary member of the Board of the Coastal States Stewardship Foundation an affiliated 501(c) 3 organization developed to seek additional foundation, private sector and other support for projects to improve state coastal and ocean management.


  • Demonstrated ability to be an organizational leader, reflecting the interests of a diverse Board and constituency groups, developing consensus, and establishing clear direction.
  • Experience and knowledge in federal governmental affairs and advocacy including working with Congress, NOAA and other federal agencies effectively to accomplish the legislative, policy and funding goals of CSO.
  • Excellent communications and interpersonal skills, including both written and oral presentations and office and personnel management.
  • Effective personal management style compatible with small office environment, including ability to coordinate and set priorities among multiple tasks, meet deadlines, and supervising and motivating a small staff of professionals and contractors.
  • Advanced degree or equivalent experience in law, natural resource, coastal or ocean policy, nonprofit management, law and familiarity with state government and resource management issues.
  • Experience developing and managing organizational budgets and ensuring all required financial and reporting documents are timely submitted. Experience in raising funds; meeting planning and grants management experience preferred.
  • Enthusiasm for the CSO mission and energy and commitment to achieving the strategic goals of the Organization.


$110,000 – 125, 000 annually depending on qualifications and experience. Excellent benefits package includes health, dental care, and disability.  


Submit cover letter, including short statement of interest and relevant experience, salary requirements, and resume by 5:00 pm EDT, April 30, 2018. Electronic applications strongly preferred. To ensure proper receipt, please submit materials with “Executive Director Search” in the subject line to:

Or, mail materials to: 

Executive Director Search

Coastal States Organization

444 N Capitol St. NW, Suite 638

Washington, DC  20001

Coastal States Organization is an equal opportunity employer.  Coastal States Organization provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and disability or genetic information. In addition to federal law requirements, CSO complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination.