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 Waitt Foundation
Executive Director

Explore Company PosterThe Waitt Foundation seeks to recruit an energetic, collegial and results-oriented individual to serve as Executive Director.

Mission and Background

The Waitt foundation was founded in 1993 and has approximately $150 million in assets. Since 2008, the Waitt Foundation has been focused on ocean conservation. It serves as grant making foundation. The Waitt Foundation’s sister organization, The Waitt Institute, is an operating foundation. The Waitt Institute performs marine spatial planning, which includes scientific assessments, community consultations, legal and political assistance. The Waitt Foundation has been the primary funder of the Institute and has granted over $75 million to various ocean conservation initiatives to a comprehensive network of global ocean conservation organizations. The primary success metric of the Foundation is cost per sq. km protected. The Waitt Foundation operates in a highly collaborative fashion, primarily behind the scenes where its primary goal is achieving sustainable results.

The Waitt Foundation has recently completed a year-long strategic visioning and planning process and is beginning the thoughtful execution of the plan. The outcome of the planning process is the following:

  • A commitment to establish a significant number of 5-year partnerships with governments willing to designate and implement 20-30% marine protection in exchange for assistance with development and implementation of a comprehensive plan.

  • A commitment to create a sustainable “blue economy” plan based on marine spatial planning conservation effort. The goal is to simultaneously improve the environment and the economy of partner nations.

  • An Investment in the development the Blue Prosperity Coalition (BPC). BPC is comprised primarily of nonprofit organizations, funders, academic institutions, experts, and businesses who all work together as a team to provide the tools and support to governments willing to sign up via a formal MOU to engage in a 5-year long process of planning and implementation.

The Waitt Foundation is poised for a period of rapid expansion and execution. The Waitt Foundation is willing to dramatically exceed a normal 5% spend rate if it delivers results. For more information on The Waitt Foundation, please review their website at www.waittfoundation.org.

Executive Director

The new Executive Director joins the Waitt Foundation at an exciting and important moment of global engagement. The Executive Director will provide staff leadership, execution of the Foundation’s strategic plan and engage in key governmental negotiations leading to MOU agreements with host governments. The Executive Director will serve as a key liaison with partner governments, nonprofit organizations and other critical stakeholders. The ideal candidate will proactively solicit and engage beyond the project sites with other governments, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations to advance the Waitt Foundation’s mission to ensure the success of the ocean conservation efforts. The Executive Director will work in a highly collaborative manner with the Waitt Institute leadership and staff and with a broad global network of committed partners. The Executive Director will continue to build a vibrant and positive workplace culture. The Executive Director reports to the Waitt Foundation Board and will work very closely with Ted Waitt, the founder and chairman of the Waitt Foundation.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The Executive Director ideally should possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Professional Qualifications:

  • Capacity to lead, inspire and mobilize people -- particularly leaders, staff, partners, and other key stakeholders.

  • Possessing a management style that is results-oriented, but flexible; that respects the capabilities and independence of staff but provides them with a clear sense of direction.

  • Proven record of success creating sustainable transactions and guiding a business or nonprofit enterprise.

  • Ability to negotiate beneficial agreements on behalf of the Waitt Foundation and Waitt Institute.

  • Skill at establishing and cultivating strong, long-term relationships with partners and government officials.

  • Excellent written, verbal and public speaking communications skills.

  • Ability to handle multiple projects and meet established timelines.

  • Master’s degree in public policy, preferred. But can be from a variety of disciplines.

  • Experience working with developing countries and international organizations.

Personal Attributes:

  • Passionate commitment to the values and mission of the Waitt Foundation and a demonstrated conservation ethic.

  • Ability to inspire trust, lead and facilitate with strong interpersonal skills and move from ideas to action.

  • A compelling professional presence and possessing a positive outlook on life.

  • A creative problem solver and possessing a “can do” urgency to achieve outcomes.


Compensation for the Executive Director includes a competitive base salary, and a package of health and employee benefits.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter in Word or PDF format responding specifically to the experience and qualifications being sought to: Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company at resumes@explorecompany.com. Refer to WF/ED in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

The Waitt Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and
invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.

All correspondence will remain confidential.


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