The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) pioneers collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges. Our scientists explore dynamic ocean systems from marine life to environmental conditions to coastal economies. We infuse our discoveries into the policy arena and design solutions with fishermen and seafood business to protect fishery resources, harvest them responsibly, and market them as premium quality food. We share our discoveries with the public and nurture a culture of leadership in communities that depend on the sea. Our education programs cultivate science literacy and builds a foundation of collaborative problem-solving among our next generation of leaders, scientists, citizens, and stewards. Each year, we serve over 25,000 stakeholders from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia.
GMRI is locally focused and globally relevant. We are dedicated to the resilience of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities that depend on it. We support solutions that will broadly benefit the bioregion and its diverse communities over generations to come. We leverage the Gulf of Maine’s significance as a testbed for adaptation to environmental change and responses to global ocean and challenges.
We are committed to the principles of independence and objectivity. We engage deeply in complex and often controversial marine issues. Our research is evidence-based, transparent, and nonpartisan. We convene diverse and often competing stakeholders to solve complex problems. We work with partners and networks to leverage knowledge, relationships, and resources to increase shared impact. Our commitment to excellence ensures that thoughtful, entrepreneurial, and persistent staff who aspire to high levels of impact are recruited and empowered.
Our Chief Operating Officer (COO) works with GMRI’s President/CEO and Management Team to implement GMRI’s strategic plan and focus our organization on maximizing our impact while upholding a culture of excellence.
Our COO supervises four functional managers (Chief Scientific Officer, Chief Education Officer, Chief Community Officer, and Chief Financial Officer) and a cross-functional manager (Climate Center Director).
The COO reports to our President/CEO.
Responsibilities/Tasks will include an evolving mix of:
Manage Implementation of Strategic Plan: GMRI operates on a five-year strategy cycle. Our current strategic plan was initiated in July, 2017. The COO oversees implementation and evolution of strategy as follows:
- Works with Management Team to translate GMRI’s strategic plan into three-year program business plans and successive annual budgets to implement plans.
- Maintains Management Team focus on goals and impacts, measures progress, and reports on annual progress to our Board, staff, and stakeholders.
- Works with Management Team and Board to review, refine, and evolve our strategic plan on an annual basis.
Manage GMRI Operations: GMRI operates with a $13 million annual budget and 75 talented staff. The COO provides overall management of GMRI’s program and supporting functional operations as follows:
- Provides leadership of our Management Team to ensure integrated management of operations and clear and consistent communication between the Management Team and staff.
- Provides leadership in organization-wide activities to uphold a culture of excellence, including assessing and implementing improved processes, encouraging participation and collaboration, facilitating staff committees (e.g., Culture Club), sustaining employee performance and retention, supporting acquisition of and training with enabling technologies, and supporting GMRI as a world-class employer.
- Supports and supervises our Chief Scientific Officer to nurture a vibrant scientific tradition at GMRI, hire and retain a competitive research team, identify emerging research needs and opportunities, complete research that is relevant and useful in the Gulf of Maine bioregion, and translate such research for use by target audiences and the interested public.
- Supports and supervises our Chief Education Officer to nurture an outward-looking innovation tradition at GMRI, hire and retain a cutting-edge education team, deepen the science literacy impact of our middle school program continuum, and develop partnerships to deepen our science literacy reach in Maine.
- Supports and supervises our Chief Community Officer to hire and retain a sophisticated community team, develop a suite of programs that address ongoing and emerging stewardship and economic development opportunities, and communicate with targeted audiences to nurture community support for exploration of and investment in new marine economy and sustainability paradigms.
- Supports and supervises our new Climate Center Director to engage internal and external stakeholders to refine our climate adaptation and mitigation strategy, secure financial support to pursue our strategy, and manage collaborative cross-functional partnerships to implement our strategy.
- Support and supervise our Chief Financial Officer to nurture a culture of fiscal responsibility and prudence at GMRI, manage GMRI’s finances, develop and maintain a user-friendly accounting and reporting system, manage and improve our human resources practices, assess and enhance IT resources, ensure safe operations in the lab, at sea, and in the community, and manage GMRI’s facility, technology, lab and equipment assets.
- Collaborate with our Chief Ventures Officer to facilitate appropriate communication between our non-profit and for-profit operations, support staff entrepreneurs inspired to apply our know-how and advance our mission through commercial markets, and supervise policy development that serves the interests of our entire organization.
- Manages up to engage the President/CEO in operational opportunities and challenges as appropriate.
Other General Responsibilities:
Support GMRI’s Evolving Fundraising Efforts: Our annual budgeting process involves sophisticated judgment about how to balance growth opportunities with financial risk. Meeting annual revenue targets requires diligence and focus throughout the year.
The COO will work with the President/CEO, Chief Development Officer, and Development Team to support annual fundraising efforts. The COO:
- Provides leadership of GMRI’s annual programmatic risk management process and focuses on meeting annual programmatic revenue goals to fill unfunded budget gaps.
- Supports our program and institutional philanthropic fundraising efforts.
- Assists our President/CEO and Management Team with state and federal legislative initiatives to secure public agency line item funding, state bond funding, and federal competitive funding.
Engage and Support Board of Directors: GMRI has a talented and committed Board of Directors. The President and Management Team work together to support directors individually, in their committee work, and in their involvement with our strategic plan. The COO helps to develop a calendar of engaging board meetings and ensure a transparent and productive exchange of ideas between board and staff. The COO:
- Works with President/CEO and Management Team to staff board committees and support their productivity as volunteers with significant fiduciary responsibility and resources to extend GMRI’s impact.
- Attends Board, Executive Committee, Finance and Investment Committees, Business Development Committee, Nominating Committee, Real Estate Committee, Scientific Advisory Committee, and Education Advisory Committee meetings, and provides periodic reports to our board and committees.
Respond to Emerging Needs and Opportunities: The COO will work closely with the President/CEO and Management Team to assess emerging needs and opportunities, identify which fit well with GMRI’s strategic plan, and develop the capacity to respond where there is strategic alignment.