Organizational Overview 

Founded in 1994, The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is committed to saving the world’s coral reefs. CORAL works at local, regional, and global levels to keep coral reefs  healthy, so they can survive for generations to come. Focused exclusively on coral reefs, CORAL has used cutting-edge science and community engagement for nearly 30  years to reduce direct threats to reefs and to promote scalable and effective solutions for their protection. 

The team at CORAL currently numbers ~30 and is made up of dedicated, passionate,  and outcome-oriented staff spread across the U.S., as well as at project sites in Hawai‘i, Mexico, and Honduras. Governed by an eleven-member Board of Directors and supported by a flourishing group of conservation leaders and donors, CORAL has an annual budget that has grown to $4.5M. 

Programs

CORAL works on local levels to promote habitat protection, clean water, and healthy fisheries. At the regional levels, CORAL builds partnerships and advocates for policies  that protect coral reefs across geographic and political boundaries. CORAL collaborates with global partners to share knowledge and scientific research and build alliances that are critical to the future survival of coral reefs. Additional information on CORAL’s programs can be found here: https://coral.org/en/what-we-do 

Partners

CORAL works with a network of experts and thought leaders in coral reef conservation to integrate the results of their scientific research into conservation interventions and policies. CORAL also partners with local communities to educate, organize, increase resilience, and nurture long-term, high-impact conservation programs. Key partners include scientists, local organizations, NGOs, governments, community members, and corporations. 

Additional information about CORAL can be found here: www.coral.org

Key Relationships

Reports to: Board of Directors 

Direct Reports: Conservation Program Director, Conservation Science Director, Finance and Operations Director, Development and Marketing Director 

Location: Based in the U.S., authorization to work in US required 

Primary Scope of Duties 

CORAL is seeking its next Executive Director (ED) who will advance its ambitious mission to save the world’s coral reefs. The next ED will be taking the helm of a dynamic leader in coral reef conservation and guiding it into its next phase. Key responsibilities of the ED will include: 

  • Execution of organizational mission and strategy: Ensure that CORAL is  effectively pursuing its mission, working with the staff and the Board to develop,  refine, and implement strategic interventions that achieve measurable outcomes. 
  • Vision: Articulate CORAL’s vision internally and externally, driving action to  successfully achieve the organization’s goals. 
  • Fundraising: Identify, cultivate, and sustain relationships with individual and  institutional donors so that CORAL has sufficient resources to maintain and grow  programs and internal operations. 
  • Team management:  
    • Successfully inspire and lead a team of four direct reports and their teams.
    • Advise a diverse set of domain experts on topics including fundraising, internal policy, branding, budgeting, marketing, human resources, conservation science, and program strategy. 
    • Attract and retain top talent while consistently raising the bar for the organization. 
    • Create and foster a culture of teamwork and inclusivity with a focus on organizational mission and vision.
  • Financial management: Lead the organization in setting and meeting ambitious budgets and fundraising goals, while monitoring progress continuously to identify when to change course to keep the organization financially healthy.  
  • Culture: Articulate and foster a transparent and collaborative internal culture aligned with CORAL’s mission. 
  • External relations: Ensure that CORAL is recognized and respected by its peers, stakeholders, and funders by building CORAL’s external brand and reputation, including by showcasing CORAL’s programs and staff expertise. 
  • Governance: Ensure that CORAL complies with relevant state, federal and international laws and regulations as well as non-profit governance best practices.  
  • Board partnership: Partner with a diverse and talented governance Board to identify and resolve issues that require Board input, setting organizational priorities and implementing strategy, navigating challenging tradeoff decisions, and holding the entire organization accountable for meeting objectives. 

Key Experience and Skill Set  

  • Ten years of experience in leadership positions, including at least three years of senior non-profit management experience; experience within conservation a plus.
  • A track record of successful administrative leadership and the ability to manage functional areas within a mission driven organization. 
  • Demonstrated experience growing an organization while maintaining a cohesive organizational culture. 
  • Expertise developing and implementing collaborative strategic plans.
  • Experience working effectively with a Board of Directors. 
  • The ability to envision and convey CORAL’s impact and goals to the staff, Board, partners, and donors. 
  • Proven success building an organization’s external brand. 
  • Strong financial management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision making, and reporting. 
  • Proficiency in Spanish is a plus.

Key Personal Characteristics 

  • A facilitative and transparent leadership style with demonstrated ability to build and motivate high-performing, passionate and committed teams. 
  • Exceptional organizational abilities, including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation.
  • Excellent donor relations skills, understanding of the funding community, and demonstrated fundraising success. 
  • The ability to effectively prioritize and manage multiple initiatives and projects.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including public speaking.
  • Exceptional people management and communication skills. 
  • Agile and able to handle uncertainties and opportunities in a fast-paced  environment. 
  • A prideful attention to detail, a robust work ethic and commitment to individual and organizational excellence. 
  • Ability and desire to serve as the external face of the organization.
  • A deep curiosity and affinity for CORAL’s mission and conservation overall. 

Compensation

A competitive compensation package commensurate with industry sector and organization size.

Applications

Nominations and applications, including resume and cover letter, should be directed to cdisston@disstonsearch.com.

The Coral Reef Alliance is committed to workforce diversity. Qualified applicants  will receive full consideration without regard to age, race, color, religion, gender  identity, sexual orientation, health status, or national origin.

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