Job Openings at Coastal States Organization


Research, Science and Program Director

The Coastal States Organization (CSO) is looking for an energetic, team-oriented person to advance the mission of CSO and its members on coastal, ocean and Great Lakes issues through integrated science and policy research projects.

We seek a person with an academic background and demonstrated success in synthesizing technical scientific and policy information to develop work products – reports, toolkits, trainings, workshops, etc. – for coastal managers. The candidate will have exemplary project management skills, excellent communication, and a good working knowledge of state and federal coastal program operations.

CSO is a 501(c)4 not-for-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1970.

Core Responsibilities:



  • Manage a multi-state coastal and nearshore habitat project under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, including:
    • Coordination with and project solicitation from 8 Great Lakes state coastal programs, and coordination with NOAA, EPA and relevant NGOs;
    • Contract and budget development and management
    • Project Planning and reporting.
  • Provide strategic direction to CSO on working with state coastal zone management programs and NOAA’s Office of Coastal Management (OCM), including:
    • Ensuring CSO and state coastal program goals are implemented as part of the NOAA coastal zone management strategic plan;
    • Monitoring administrative developments on CZMA and other coastal management-related laws; and
    • Providing input on OCM initiatives;
    • Supporting organizational cooperative agreement with NOAA.
  • Increase CSO’s partnerships with NGOs, Federal Agencies, and other partners broadly. This may include strategic partnerships, specific projects, or other undertakings.


  • In coordination with the Executive Director, develop and implement funding strategies for CSO programmatic work, including building and maintaining relationship with federal and private funders, and develop specific funding proposals.


  • Manage one or more CSO member-led issue-based Working Groups.
  • Potentially manage up to two full-time fellows, and additional interns.


  • Provide regular members-only and public communications about all CSO projects and initiatives, including in the CSO newsletter, fact sheets, social media, external publications, Hill testimony and legislator education materials, and other outlets as relevant.

Other Responsibilities:

  • Help plan and execute biannual members meetings.
  • Prepare and deliver presentations at coastal management conferences, briefings, and workshops in order to advance CSO priorities as needed.
  • Contribute to implementation and annual update of CSO’s strategic plan.
  • Ad hoc assignments of varying duration.
  • Up to 15% of time for domestic travel may be required for this position.


  • At least 5 years of research, program or project management experience, including drafting reports, scope development, budget management and project reporting.
  • Substantive knowledge of some/all of the following issue areas: the Coastal Zone Management Act and its implementation, National Ocean Policy and its implementation, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, coastal/ocean ecosystem restoration, climate change mitigation and adaptation, non-point source pollution, beach nourishment, ports and harbors, other relevant coastal policy and programs.
  • Excellent written and oral communication.
  • A sense of humor, high energy, facilitation capabilities, and excellent organizational and time management skills, including ability to work proactively and independently, meet deadlines, and participate as member of a team.
  • Enthusiasm for the CSO mission and the strategic goals of the organization.
  • Advance degree preferred (Bachelor’s degree minimum) in a field of coastal or natural science, policy or management.


  • Experience working on coastal or environmental issues with federal or state governments strongly preferred; work with coastal or environmental non-profits or companies is also helpful.
  • Demonstrated success in grant writing or business development.
  • PMP Certification or similar project management certification.
  • Experience leading partnership/coalition efforts.
  • Experience working on Great Lakes coastal issues.
  • Experience in media or communications.
  • Experience in marine/coastal science.


Salary will be based upon qualifications and experience.  Excellent benefits package includes 401(k), health, dental care, and long-term disability. This is an at-will position.

The Coastal States Organization is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to age, color, race, national origin, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or other characteristic protected by law.

TO APPLY: Applications accepted until 5 PM EDT on October 15th, and reviewed on a rolling basis. Please email cover letter, resume and salary expectations to:

LOCATION: Washington, DC (applicants will be able to start remotely, but will need to be in Washington DC once offices re-open).