Executive Director and Waterkeeper
WFH Flexible San Diego, CA
Job Type

Total Package Professional Services is excited to partner with San Diego Coastkeeper in their search for an Executive Director and Waterkeeper.

San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable, drinkable water for San Diego County. The nonprofit organization uses advocacy, science, education, and community engagement to tackle persistent and emerging water quality, water supply, and climate resilience issues across the San Diego region. This challenging - but rewarding - position integrates a dual role of both the executive director of a non-profit organization, and Regional Waterkeeper of the greater San Diego City and County. 

***Application Details*** 

Please include a cover letter and resume. Please also include a two brief writing samples, each no more than 1.5 pages each: 

  1. A fundraising related writing sample
  2. A brief policy-related writing sample 

Position Overview

Reporting to the Board of Directors, This Executive Director & Waterkeeper serves as the chief executive officer and leading spokesperson and advocate for the region’s water. The position directs strategy and operations for the organization, leads our advocacy work, and oversees our campaigns and programs. The Waterkeeper is the primary spokesperson and advocate for the waters of San Diego County. This role is responsible for the development, implementation, management, supervision, and evaluation of  Coastkeeper’s programs in order to help the organization achieve its mission. This position is also responsible for ensuring proper processes and infrastructure are in place to ensure organizational efficiency and effectiveness, overseeing budgeting and planning, managing Board of Director relations, and supporting all aspects of fundraising.


Leadership and Strategy  

  • Lead, develop, and inspire a committed team of staff to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization, and sustain a transparent, accessible, and professional organization.  
  • Ensure programs and campaigns are fully integrated and consistent with the organization’s strategic plan, fundraising plan, communications plan, and budget.  
  • Develop, maintain, and build relationships and alliances with key decision-makers, agencies, nonprofit partners, officials, and other stakeholders involved in water quality or water supply protection and restoration. 
  • Serve as a public spokesperson for the organization and the waterways of the San Diego. 
  • Work with program and advocacy staff to develop goals, strategies, objectives, work plans, and budgets, and provide oversight and support. 

Legal and Policy 

  • Work with the organization’s senior attorney and advocacy staff, develop legal and policy strategies to support and advance Coastkeeper’s mission.  
  • Develop and maintain partnerships with diverse agencies and community organizations in order to ensure organizational priorities are integrated into regional planning efforts, and to maximize the success of regional initiatives. 
  • Conduct and oversee detailed research and draft comment letters and petitions for review on policies, permits, and regulations related to water quality, water supply, and climate resilience issues, and represent Coastkeeper at administrative agency hearings and other advocacy meetings and events. 
  • Analyze and comment on environmental remediation and climate resiliency projects throughout San Diego. 
  • Document, investigate when necessary, and report pollution to enforcement agencies. 

Management and Operations  

  • Oversee all organizational operations, including facilities, equipment, and technology.  
  • Lead human resources, and routinely review and adjust staff compensation and benefits, consistent with policy, best practices, merit, and evaluations.  
  • Provide staff with opportunities for professional development and advancement. 
  • Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations. 

Financial Management

  • Develop and manage program and organizational budgets. 
  • Ensure timely and accurate financial reporting to the Board of Directors and manage receivables and payables. 
  • Work with the Board of Directors and outside auditor to ensure policies and procedures are in place, understood and followed by the organization to maintain proper financial controls and reporting. 

Fundraising and Development  

  • Achieve annual fundraising goals from diverse funding sources, including major donors, foundations, corporations, government entities, membership, and earned income, to enable the organization to carry out its mission with overall financial stability.  
  • Develop, expand, and maintain relationships with current, lapsed, past, and prospective major donors, members, foundations, corporate partners, government agencies, and other funders. 
  • Work with staff and Board to prepare and execute an annual fundraising plan that aligns with the budget, strategic plan, and annual work plans. 
  • Work with staff to develop, write, and execute formal and informal funding proposals and timely, accurate reports.  
  • Drive the high-level concepts for all fundraising events, including the annual Seaside Soiree, and serve as a major spokesperson at the events. 

Board Relations  

  • Provide the bridge between staff and the Board, such that the organization works as a unified, cohesive unit.  
  • Regularly report to the Board on various successes, challenges, activities and emerging areas of note (especially those that may require Board input or action) through routine and ad hoc communication, to include strategic planning, board meeting reports, and participation in the Executive Committee. 
  • Provide opportunities for the Board to contribute to the operational, financial, and fundraising success of the organization. 
  • A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field required. Advanced degree preferred. Juris Doctorate huge plus, but not required.
  • Five+ years of professional management experience in an Executive Director (or similar) role. 
  • Three+ years of litigation or policy advocacy experience, preferably in the environmental nonprofit sector.  
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with diverse external organizations, agencies, and stakeholders.  
  • Proven fundraising and development experience, including cultivation of new major and institutional funders. 
  • Demonstrated management capabilities, including staff supervision and development, budget development and administration, and financial management.  
  • Dynamic interpersonal skills with demonstrated success as an inspirational manager who has successfully motivated staff to achieve and sustain excellence, and ability to collaborate with colleagues and work autonomously.  
  • Experience working with a Board of Directors and volunteers on fundraising and development activities.  
  • Analytical and organized mindset with demonstrated research skills, initiative, good judgement, and strong work ethic.  
  • Advanced communication skills, both written and verbal, including presentation, public speaking and media experience. 
  • Intermediate to advanced computer skills including proficiency with Google Apps (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, etc.) and Microsoft Office Suite. 
  • Demonstrated passion for and commitment to protecting and restoring environmental and human health; familiarity with local San Diego water and climate issues a major plus.  

Physical Requirements 

  • Ability to work in a standard office environment using office equipment. 
  • Must be able to sit for long periods of time and engage in basic movements such as bending, standing, and lifting weight up to 30 pounds. 
  • Must have reliable transportation for travel to various meetings and events throughout the county. 

Salary, Benefits, and Terms 

  • Compensation commensurate with experience. 
  • This is a full-time, permanent, and exempt/salaried position. 
  • Schedule: 40 hours per week with varying hours, including occasional evenings and weekends. 
  • Work site: Presently, all Coastkeeper staff are working predominantly remotely. Once office-based work resumes, this position is based at San Diego Coastkeeper’s office in Hillcrest, with meetings, funder and donor visits, and events throughout the county.
  • Applicants must live in or be willing to relocate to the San Diego region. 
  • Benefits: Medical, dental, and vision insurance; paid vacation, holidays, and sick leave. 
  • This is a direct hire position with SD Coastkeeper.  

San Diego Coastkeeper is committed to diversity in the workplace and is an equal opportunity employer. Coastkeeper maintains a policy of non-discrimination with regard to age, ancestry, color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other class protected by applicable state or federal law.


***Application Details*** 

Please include a cover letter and resume. Please also include a two brief writing samples, each no more than 1.5 pages each: 

  1. A fundraising related writing sample
  2. A brief policy-related writing sample