Operations Director

Future of Fish
Seattle, WA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


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Operations Director


Future of Fish is a systems-change non-profit that provides strategy, design, and research services to NGOs, foundations, investors, businesses, and government officials working to build a world where fisheries and people thrive together. Our mission is to catalyze innovation, investment, and collaboration to end overfishing while improving economic opportunity and social equity for resource-dependent communities.

We are a team of 12+ staff with a diverse set of expertise ranging from international development, investment finance, seafood markets, fisheries social science, technology, and marine science. Our combined expertise allows us to take a holistic systems approach to complex problem-solving. We know that no one business or individual can shift the system alone and so at Future of Fish we focus on empowering, coordinating, and building the collective impact of stakeholders to drive the end to overfishing.

Future of Fish is a virtual team with staff working remotely from locations throughout the world but primarily based in US Pacific Time hours. This position will be located in Seattle, Washington with consideration for remote locations based upon exceptional qualifications and fit.


Future of Fish is seeking a strategic and collaborative leader to join our team. The Operations Director will be integral in developing a next-generation global NGO seeking to transform seafood systems worldwide. The role requires strong interpersonal and communication skills with an open-mindedness relating to organizational structure and human development pathways best suited to the organization. The Operations Director will be contributing at the highest levels to help realize the strategic direction of the organization.  The ideal candidate will take on the following responsibilities:

  • General Operations - Lead in developing, maintaining, and evolving the overarching operating system of Future of Fish including:
    • Lead on the development and evolution of organizational structure, processes, and policies based on the principles of empowerment, strategic alignment, clear expectations, and decentralized decision-making.
    • Lead in ensuring an effective ecosystem of tools are in place (e.g. GSuite, Asana, Slack, etc.) and utilized consistently to promote team effectiveness and professional development.
    • Design and maintain internal control procedures and policies to manage risk, optimize the use of resources, and ensure accordance with IRS and philanthropic grant guidelines.
    • Be the primary liaison with our fiscal sponsor on legal and financial reporting
    • Serve as lead liaison with legal counsel on a wide range of issues including international contracts and satellite offices
    • Manage grants and contracts to ensure timely delivery of reports, financials, and deliverables
    • Create and manage contracts with FoF’s 10+ ecosystem of auxiliary contractors in ways that minimize risk and maximize resources
  • Human Development - Lead in the development of systems to enhance recruitment and retention at Future of Fish, this includes:
    • Establishing, cultivating, and enforcing an organizational culture rooted in our values and principles
    • Developing a bi-annual in person team retreat focused on strategy, human development, and culture
    • Ensure systems and processes are in place to define team member roles/contribution, establish accountability, and evaluate performance
    • Collaborate with organizational development consultants to design and implement leadership development strategies
  • Finance - Support in the financial management and health of Future of Fish including:
    • Lead in annual internal budgeting processes to support fundraising goals
    • Maintain annual organizational budgets through forecasting and budget allocations.
    • Support budget creation for grant proposals balancing staff resources across all organizational projects.
    • Oversight of the expense processing and reconciliation system
    • Oversight and management of timesheet systems to inform monthly team payroll


We are seeking someone who excels at cultivating and growing a virtual based global team operating in an emergent industry. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated:

  • Deep commitment to Future of Fish’s mission and values
  • 4+ years of operational management of small to medium size organizations with budgets of $2M+
  • Experience in establishing systems/processes to keep team members connected in a virtual based organization
  • A strong self-starter that takes the initiative to resolve pain points in a collaborative yet directive way
  • Strong emotional intelligence and effective listening skills as well as the ability to honestly and compassionately deliver different types of feedback
  • Experience developing and retaining a diverse team of leaders and demonstrated success in empowering team members to elevate their level of responsibility and performance.
  • Strong project and team management skills with experience managing complex and emergent projects resulting in measurable success.
  • Experience developing, reviewing, and negotiating contracts
  • Experience in financial management with a non-profit organization a plus
  • Experience in developing financial accounting workbooks and models
  • Strong communicator both verbal and written
  • You are interested in sustainable seafood, community development, and ocean and environmental issues
  • Your colleagues would describe you as a strong problem solver and critical thinker
  • You have a high level of professionalism and collaborative spirit
  • You recognize vagueness in systems and work to resolve it


Please provide:

  • A cover letter that should clearly explain how your skills, experience, and interests fit this position, as well as:
    • How you identify with and have demonstrated commitment to Future of Fish’s organizational values
    • Requested salary requirement
    • Possible start date
  • CV or resume with references
  • Links to any businesses, organizations, or projects you have helped build

Please send these materials to Cheryl Chen, Future of Fish (cchen@futureoffish.org) by May 6, 2019. This position will be a full-time independent contractor position. Anticipated position start date is May 27, 2019