Science & Policy Director

Heal the Bay

Santa Monica , California

Heal the Bay is an environmental nonprofit organization dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds of greater L.A. safe, healthy, and clean. To fulfill our mission, we use science, education, community action, and advocacy.

Position Summary:

The Science & Policy Director is a key position at Heal the Bay. We are seeking a leader who is passionate about water quality, resource protection and environmental justice and equity throughout southern California. The Science & Policy Director reports to the CEO and manages a staff of approximately seven scientists, engineers, policy experts, and educators to advance the mission of Heal the Bay. S/he works with the CEO to set strategic goals, and prioritizes our issues and activities to achieve them. S/he has a strong background in environmental policy, law and/or science.

Heal the Bay’s Science & Policy Director is responsible for developing campaigns; tracking agencies and issues; and planning and overseeing studies, reports and comment letters. The Science & Policy Director provides direction to department staff on research, policy, and regulatory analyses and legislative campaigns. S/he assigns tasks and manages the time and performance of the Department staff. S/he works with external partners including NGOs, foundations, businesses and others. S/he must be an excellent speaker and writer and represents Heal the Bay to the public at hearings, meetings, conferences and other events.

The successful candidate will apply technical expertise to solving environmental problems in the watersheds and coastal waters of southern California, especially in communities carrying a disproportionate share of environmental health burdens. A strong policy and technical background in water quality and water supply are required. An important focus of this position is advocating for science-based integrated water management approaches to improving water quality. Coastal and ocean related policy experience is a plus. The successful candidate will have more than five years of managerial experience. Heal the Bay offers a dynamic work environment with highly motivated colleagues including other staff and volunteers.

Functions Include:

  • Provide science, policy, and advocacy leadership on water quality and coastal resources issues that implement Heal the Bay’s strategic initiatives;
  • Manage a team of policy and technical experts;
  • Create and maintain relationships with government agency staff, local and statewide decision-makers, advocacy groups, scientific researchers, and other environmental stakeholders;
  • Track and research water quality, water supply, and ocean policies, regulations, legislation and other issues at regional and state levels, and recommend Heal the Bay positions;
  • Analyze and provide written comments on scientific, technical, regulatory and policy documents related to our water issues;
  • Develop and implement campaigns to advance Heal the Bay's mission;
  • Distill technical information into easily understandable written materials and presentations;
  • Develop advocacy and communications materials (such as fact sheets, web content, policy briefs, newsletter articles, op-eds, etc.);
  • Represent Heal the Bay’s positions at public meetings, hearings, stakeholder groups, media events and other forums;
  • Work closely with other Heal the Bay department directors on inter-departmental projects and programs;
  • Manage grants and budgets and contribute to organizational fundraising;
  • Actively engage and inform Board Members on positions on major issues;
  • Manage Policy Department staff including hiring, reviews, and professional development.

Experience and Skills Required:

  • Passion for Heal the Bay’s mission and environmental health in southern California;
  • Strong background in environmental science, policy or law, and 5+ years’ experience in environmental policy, water management, coastal and ocean management or a related field required;
  • Advanced degree is preferred;
  • Broad understanding of California water issues, including the legal and policy frameworks as well as technical aspects of stormwater, water supply, environmental justice and other issues;
  • Strong leadership and interpersonal skills, and ability to inspire staff, volunteers, and partner groups about Heal the Bay’s policy and science work;
  • Ability to promote an organizational culture of equity and inclusion;
  • Ability to excel under pressure and meet deadlines while balancing multiple projects;
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, project management, problem solving and communication skills;
  • An enthusiastic willingness to work over-time and on weekends from time to time;
  • Passion for water, the ocean, and the people who depend on them.

This is a full-time, salaried position with health, dental, vision and vacation benefits. Participation in some weekend and evening events, as well as regional and statewide travel, are necessary.

Salary Range: $75,000 - $90,000 based on experience

Benefits: Heal the Bay offers full benefits


Please apply online at

No phone calls, please.

Latest Research News