Senior Director, Mexico Oceans Program

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace where innovation and results are a way of life.


EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share our Core Values of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our Commitment to Diversity.  

Oceans Program


Healthy oceans are the lifeblood of our planet. But they’re in peril - from climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction and other threats. That’s why EDF’s Oceans program is working to safeguard the oceans and protect nature, while feeding the planet, creating more secure livelihoods and bolstering more equitable societies for human well-being. One of the greatest threats to the oceans is overfishing, which is why our dedicated team of scientists, economists and fishery management experts are collaborating with partners around the globe to make sustainable fishing the norm. Through our programs in the U.S., Latin America and Asia Pacific, we draw on strong science and economic principles to advance sustainable fishing practices, forward-looking policies and innovative tools that support the health of our oceans and the people who depend on them for food and their livelihoods.


Overall Function 


The Senior Director, Mexico Oceans Program, will lead the development and implementation of program strategy, working with pivotal government decision makers, fishing industry and NGO partners in Mexico to design sustainable and climate resilient fishery management programs and policies.


The Senior Director will be the Oceans Program’s principal representative in Mexico, leading, coordinating and developing EDF’s work on fishery management design, implementation, and public policy nationwide. The Senior Director will also be primarily responsible for fundraising for the Mexico program.  S/he will be a senior leader in the Oceans program and will liaise regularly with and contribute to EDF’s global Oceans initiatives. S/he should be based in Mexico, with the ability to travel to Mexico City as needed, as well as EDF Oceans Program’s project sites around the country.  The Senior Director, Mexico Oceans Program reports to the Associate Vice President, Latin America and Caribbean.


Key Responsibilities

  • Serve as the Oceans program’s primary representative in Mexico, acting as a resource for Mexican policy makers and fishery managers.
  • Lead coordination with other EDF Programs working through EDF de Mexico as needed.
  • Lead and mentor the Mexico Oceans team, which includes more than 20 staff and consultants, and set the team’s goals and objectives.
  • Provide timely and thorough communications to the Oceans Management Team on all significant program developments.
  • Lead EDF’s Mexico team in analyzing complex fishery challenges and developing strategies to eliminate overfishing, rebuild depleted fisheries and strengthen coastal communities through improved accountability, the adoption of rights-based management, and climate resilience measures.
  • Forge alliances among disparate interest groups and coordinate between citizen and environmental interests. Help build regional and national coalitions, and promote partnerships with leading fishermen, fishermen’s associations, and local community leaders.  
  • Build relationships with appropriate Mexican governing bodies including the Mexican Senate and Chamber of Deputies, SAGARPA, INAPESCA, CONAPESCA and other relevant entities.
  • Engage scientists, policy experts, and others to solve complex fishery management problems; represent the Oceans program in Latin American forums and other leadership efforts.
  • Engage the media to effectively advance project objectives and communicate project results to a broad array of audiences.
  • Work with EDF Development team to identify potential funding sources and secure grants and other funding to help maintain and expand the program’s funding base.
  • Manage the Oceans Program Mexico budget.
  • In coordination with the Oceans Management Team, provide leadership and strategic direction for the Mexico program to ensure the efficient use of resources and achievement of group and individual goals.
  • Support the work of the Oceans cross-functional teams by working collaboratively with them to identify projects and issues key to the work in Mexico, finding ways to integrate their findings, thinking and projects into Mexico work, and assigning Mexico project staff to serve as members of functional teams.
  • Take full responsibility for work planning and project implementation for the Mexico Oceans team.
  • Act as an effective spokesperson for the Mexico Oceans Program and EDF generally.
  • Liaise with EDF Board of Directors as needed.
  • Participates in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.



  • Bachelor’s Degree required. Law degree or a Masters or Ph.D. in marine biology, natural resource economics, or related discipline, highly preferred.
  • At least 12 years of progressively senior experience, working in natural resource policy, legal, or management experience, with a significant amount of time spent working with relevant Mexican governmental agencies, industries, and NGOs on natural resource or fisheries management.
  • Knowledge of Mexican oceans and natural resource conservation laws and regulations and an understanding of the relationship between marine resource management and social, economic, and political concerns.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage a growing program and staff.
  • Experience overseeing annual operating budgets in excess of $2M USD and a proven ability to fundraise at the seven-figure level.
  • Demonstrated expertise on the biological, economic, and management issues related to Mexican fisheries, especially commercial and recreational fisheries, or an analogous natural resource management issue.
  • Experience in strategic planning and research in support of strategic planning.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with nonprofit colleagues and partners, scientists, economists, industry leaders, regulators and public policy decision makers.
  • Ability to use science, law, economics and advocacy to initiate and win positive environmental change.
  • Experience achieving results in environmental policy and politics.
  • High level of creativity.
  • Excellent written and oral communications.
  • Excellent public speaking skills.
  • Fluency in English and Spanish.
  • Ability to travel internationally.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.