Senior Associate, Protecting our Oceans from Seabed Mining

Posted by: The Pew Charitable Trusts

Washington, DC, US

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and invigorate civic life.

We are an independent nonprofit organization – the sole beneficiary of seven individual trusts established between 1948 and 1979 by two sons and two daughters of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew and his wife, Mary Anderson Pew.

Our work lays the foundation for effective policy solutions by informing and engaging citizens, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause and insisting on tangible results. Our projects encourage efficient, responsive governments – at the local, state, national and international levels – serving the public interests.

With offices in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Brussels and London and staff in other regions of the United States as well as Australia, Pew provides an exciting learning environment and the opportunity to work with highly talented individuals. We are a dynamic, rapidly evolving organization that values creativity and innovative thinking and fosters strong teamwork with mutual respect.


For the past two decades, Pew has been a major force in educating the public and policy makers about the causes, consequences and solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Our work is focused on reducing the scope and severity of three major global environmental problems:

  • Dramatic changes to the Earth’s climate brought about by the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the planet’s atmosphere;
  • The erosion of large terrestrial wilderness ecosystems that contain a great part of the world’s remaining biodiversity; and,
  • The destruction of the world’s marine environment.

Protecting our Oceans from Seabed Mining

The waters far below the ocean’s surface, once thought to be dark, vast and void like outer space, are now known to be rich in biodiversity and brimming with life in many places. Mountains that rise sharply from the seafloor function like underwater islands, harboring a rich and diverse fauna and ancient genetic resources rivaling those of corals reefs and rainforests. Hydrothermal vents, discovered only in the late 1970s, gush warm mineral-rich waters that support a unique food chain dependent on chemical energy, rather than using photosynthesis to process it from sunlight. However, while they have been long-protected by their distance from the surface, advances in undersea technology now expose some of these ecosystems not only to deep-sea bottom trawling but also to the exploitation of the rich mineral deposits that can be found on the ocean floor.

This project is designed to capitalize on a comprehensive regulatory process for deep-sea mineral extraction being undertaken by the International Seabed Authority (ISA). This 167-member international body has the sole power to regulate mining of the ocean floor that lies beyond national jurisdiction, known as the high seas. This includes the authority to issue exploration contracts, set standards for mineral extraction, determine areas where mining is prohibited and enforce compliance with its policies. In March 2014, the ISA released a procedural framework for developing its regulations for seabed mining and is expected to issue draft rules in 2017, with final approval coming as early as 2018.

During the next two years, Pew will work with partners in the conservation community, scientists and technical experts to secure from the ISA by the end of 2017 a draft rule that establishes a process to identify ecologically sensitive areas to be excluded from mining and sets enforceable standards designed to minimize the environmental impact on marine ecosystems where extraction of minerals is allowed. The project will utilize Pew’s experience as a leader in the creation of science-based marine reserves and protected areas and international ocean policy to ensure that rules adopted for mining beneath the high seas protects the structure and functioning of deep-sea ecosystems.

Position Overview

The Senior Associate, Seabed Mining, will help develop and implement a global campaign to ensure that large, ecologically important areas of the deep-sea are protected from mining and that international rules are adopted to minimize the harm to deep-sea ecosystems where mining does occur. The campaign will collaborate with other organizations, including the coalition of 70-plus conservation organizations that comprise the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, to develop science-based technical and policy solutions and galvanize international support for a precautionary approach to seabed mining. The Senior Associate, Seabed Mining, will report to the Project Director, Seabed Mining.

This position will be based in Pew’s office in Washington, DC. It is expected that this position is for a term period through December 31, 2017, with the possibility of an extension pending the success of the program, funding sources and board decisions on continued support.

Job Requirements

  • Assist the Project Director and other campaign staff in developing and implementing effective campaign strategies that will result in the International Seabed Authority excluding large, ecologically sensitive areas of the deep seabed from mining and the adoption of precautionary rules to minimize environmental damage from mining where it does occur.
  • Assist in outreach to inform key national delegates to, and officers of, the ISA and its subsidiary bodies, regarding conservation measures needed to accompany seabed mining.
  • Develop and maintain working relationships with decision makers, government officials and national and international institutions, as well as relevant nongovernmental organizations, contractors, businesses and other partners of the campaign.
  • Assist in the development and management of grants, contracts and contractors to advance the goals of the project.
  • Research, write, and edit campaign materials such as reports, policy briefs, fact sheets, presentations, comment letters, and web content.
  • Help plan international workshops to build support for a precautionary approach to seabed mining.
  • Represent Pew publicly on conference calls and at meetings and events where related topics are being discussed.
  • Contribute to, and participate in, the tasks of the department as assigned, as well as broader Pew international oceans projects and activities, as needed.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; an advanced degree in public policy, international relations or environmental science, or equivalent experience, strongly preferred.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in conservation arena, with experience or familiarity with the international policy arena preferred.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills. Ability to synthesize materials and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue and the means to address it. Confident in presenting one’s own ideas and diplomatically persuading others as appropriate. Ability to communicate complex ideas for a general audience, with strong public speaking skills and an ability to persuasively engage individuals or groups in dialogue that results in a desire to take action.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including seasoned judgment, analytical capacity, and the ability to develop and manage productive relationships with staff, consultants, partners, grantees and others who contribute to the effectiveness of the project. Excellent listening skills.
  • Demonstrates a strong collaborative spirit. Ability to work productively with a wide array of different people and institutions that frequently disagree with and may be in competition with one another.
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills. Must be flexible, creative and consistent, and assume high accountability for all areas of responsibility. A strong commitment to producing measurable results.
  • Fluency in English essential and fluency in other languages desirable.
  • Prior to commencing employment with Pew, candidates for this position who were registered to lobby in any jurisdiction must certify termination of previous registration(s) and provide copies of termination notices with said jurisdiction(s) to Pew.


We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits package.


International travel for this position is anticipated.

Pew is an equal opportunity employer.

Apply Here:


Read more here:: Idealist