Program Director (Water)

Boston, MA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
10+ Years


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization leading the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through our powerful networks and advocacy, we tackle the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and human rights abuses.

For more information about Ceres, please visit our web site (

Description & Responsibilities

Ceres’ Water Program promotes capital market solutions to the global water crisis by accelerating private sector leadership on sustainable water management, through cutting-edge research, investor mobilization and advocacy.  Ultimately our work is about changing the way the world’s largest economic actors value and manage water.

Ceres advances its work to protect freshwater through a number of complementary initiatives, including the Ceres Investor Water Hub, a working group of over 100 institutional investors with $24 trillion in assets under management, with whom Ceres partners to accelerate deeper integration of water into investment decision-making and corporate engagement. Ceres also works with some of the biggest companies in the world to improve their water stewardship. We are particularly focused on improving practices in the food sector, which uses 70 percent of the world’s freshwater, largely in agricultural supply chains. Finally, through our California Connect the Drops campaign, we coordinate a coalition of 35 companies to urge policymakers to advance resilient water solutions that ensure sustainable management of the state’s water supplies.

The Program Director, Water will play a pivotal role in Ceres’ efforts to reduce the water impacts of large companies, including in the food and agriculture sector, and to improve how water is valued within the investment, and corporate communities and beyond. The position will supervise and mentor a team of issue experts and support staff to develop and implement effective strategies, initiatives, and campaigns that advance Ceres’ advocacy mission. S/he will play a critical role in budget and resource management, fundraising efforts, communicating Ceres’ Water Program impact and successes, and managing special projects to grow or enhance Water Program priorities.  The Program Director, Water is a full-time, Boston-based position, reporting to the Vice President of Initiatives & Campaigns.

Specific duties include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Oversee development and execution of the Water Program’s overall strategies and goals.
  • Lead a team of 8, ensuring they are resourced and empowered to lead on program, staff and budget management to achieve the objectives of their initiatives.
  • Supervise 4 staff including hiring, training, setting goals, assessing performance, and supporting professional development.    
  • Guide and mentor senior staff in strategy development and execution.
  • Work in partnership with the Development team to manage and advance relationships and fundraising efforts with current and prospective foundations and major donors to the Water Program.
  • Oversee strategic communication efforts of the program, including working with Ceres’ Communications and Marketing department to identify and advance strategic opportunities to elevate the profile and impact of the Water Program’s work.
  • Maintain a dotted-line relationship to the Director, California Policy and Partnerships, providing strategic input and mentorship and ensuring alignment and synergy between the Water Program and Ceres’ Connect the Drops Campaign.
  • Ensure strong coordination between Ceres’ Water Program and other key programs and departments, including the Food and Forests team, the Government Relations team, Communications and Marketing and the Investor and Company Networks teams.  
  • Ensure that the Water Program’s strategies maximize the impacts of our work through a lens of social justice and racial equity.
  • Represent Ceres at conferences, seminars, press conferences and senior-level meetings as spokesperson for project or program work.


  • At least 10 years of relevant program management experience and 3 years of management and strategy development experience.
  • Demonstrated record of supervising senior staff to achieve organizational programmatic and supporting them in professional development.
  • Experience advancing programmatic strategy and advocacy work essential.
  • Experience cultivating effective supervisory relationships (across gender identity, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic background) with direct reports and managing senior level to do the same.
  • Demonstrated success in both halves of the resource equation—cultivating and closing revenue prospects, and managing and deploying staff and budgets.
  • Familiarity with non-profit fundraising approaches and experience in crafting proposals and managing grants is a plus
  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written essential and experienced public speaker, blogger and social media writing desirable
  • Substantial expertise on freshwater sustainability/sustainable water management a bonus.
  • Experience working with or within private sector institutions on sustainability issues a bonus.
  • Knowledge of institutional investing practices and corporate social responsibility and shareholder engagement practices a bonus. 
  • Willingness to travel as needed to accomplish duties noted above. 

How to Apply

We encourage all applicants to review our website to familiarize themselves with Ceres before applying:  If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit a resume, cover letter, and a list of three references, as well as complete the additional information as instructed.