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10 Oct 2023

Executive Director at Sea Sense

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Job Description


Position:  Executive Director

Type:  Full time

Reports to:  Sea Sense Advisory Board

Length of contract:  Three years (reappointment based on performance and approval by the Board)

Salary:  Competitive salary based on skills and experience. Negotiable.

Location:  Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


  1. The Organisation

Sea Sense is a national NGO (registered in Tanzania) and our mission is to conserve and protect marine biodiversity and promote the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources.  A quarter of Tanzania’s population lives in the coastal zone and relies on the productivity associated with marine and coastal ecosystems for their income and food security.  This ‘natural capital’ contributes significantly to the welfare of coastal people and plays a critical role in sustainable economic development.

Over the past 20 years since Sea Sense first set out on its journey, originally with a narrower focus to address the myriad of threats facing endangered marine species in Tanzania, in particular marine turtles and dugong. Tens of thousands of coastal people have engaged in marine wildlife conservation and education initiatives led by Sea Sense. Marine turtle poachers of the past have become ambassadors for conservation in their communities today, and the central Tanzania coast has been declared a site of regional importance to marine turtles, thanks to the hard work and dedication of coastal communities.

Sea Sense’s community-based approach, now applied to a wider sphere of marine biodiversity conservation and sustainable artisanal fisheries co-management, as well as a firm commitment to conservation actions that provide benefits to people as well as biodiversity, have been at the root of its enduring success to date. More information about our current projects can be found on our website

Working with the Government of Tanzania and in partnership with coastal communities, Sea Sense designs and implements innovative work programmes to achieve national biodiversity targets and promote the sustainable management and development of the small-scale fisheries sector.  Targeted actions are implemented across four key programme areas:  research and conservation; education and outreach; capacity development; and governance and leadership.  Sea Sense work contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, poverty eradication (SDG#1); food security and improved nutrition (SDG#2); gender equality (SDG#5); decent work and sustainable economic growth (SDG#8); and sustainable use of ocean resources (SDG#14).


  1. Overview of the Role

The Executive Director is responsible for the overall management and strategic development of the organisation.  He/she manages a small, dynamic team of professionals who plan and implement conservation and community development work programmes in line with the Sea Sense mission and vision.  The Executive Director is also responsible for identifying and securing funds to support the implementation of the Sea Sense Five Year Strategic Plan; overseeing the smooth operation of the organization’s accounting and financial systems; reporting on programme outcomes to donors, supporters and the Advisory Board; and ensuring compliance with all NGO, finance and tax laws and regulations in Tanzania.

The Executive Director reports to the Sea Sense Advisory Board.

The position is located at the Sea Sense HQ in Dar es Salaam and involves occasional travel to rural coastal areas.


  1. Specific Responsibilities
  • Oversee the implementation of the Sea Sense 5-year Strategic Plan.
  • Coordinate the design and planning of marine conservation and community development programmes that include strategies for the engagement of women and youth.
  • Prepare annual and quarterly budgets and work plans.
  • Manage staff and ensure that all team and individual responsibilities are fulfilled in a professional and timely manner.
  • Manage donor contracts including technical and financial reporting.
  • Oversee financial and administrative operations of the organization.
  • Implement organizational policies and procedures established by the Advisory Board.
  • Ensure compliance with all laws and regulations pertaining to NGO operations including financial management and taxation.
  • Raise funds and mobilize resources to ensure the financial sustainability of Sea Sense.
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with all stakeholders including coastal communities, government authorities, research institutions, donors and funding agencies and relevant national, regional and international bodies.
  • Communicate Sea Sense success stories to partners, donors, stakeholders and the public through a range of media.
  • Manage Sea Sense website and social media accounts.
  • Monitor and evaluate the impact of Sea Sense work programmes to ensure organizational effectiveness, efficiency and value for money.
  • Perform duties as assigned by the Sea Sense Advisory Board.


  1. Qualifications

A minimum of a master’s degree, preferably in a field related to Environment or Natural Resource Management, Marine Sciences, Sustainable Development or Business Administration.


  1. Experience
  • At least five years of experience working at management level in the NGO sector, experience in Tanzania preferred.
  • Proven success in securing funds from development partners, charities and foundations and the private sector
  • Significant demonstrable experience of designing, developing and managing donor funded, multi-themed projects and/or work programmes with significant budget allocation (eg; > US$ 100,000).
  • Significant demonstrable experience of finance management including budgeting, expenditure analysis and financial reporting.
  • Significant demonstrable experience of managing and leading a team, setting targets and reviewing performance.
  • Proven track record of maintaining strong donor and other stakeholder relations.
  • Experience of working with a range of stakeholders including rural communities, government authorities, academic institutions and the private sector
  • Professional experience working in the field of environmental management and/or marine conservation or related areas is an added advantage.


  1. Skills
  • Strong leadership and organizational development skills.
  • Excellent writing skills (English) including proven technical report-writing skills (examples will be requested).
  • Excellent verbal communication skills. Fluency in English is a requirement and proficiency in Kiswahili would be an advantage.
  • Strong personnel and team management skills, including the ability to manage and mentor a diverse team of professionals.
  • Strong time management skills including ability to manage a workload with multiple demands, prioritize under pressure and meet strict deadlines.
  • Strong organizational skills for the efficient management of financial, human and material resources to deliver targeted outputs.
  • Ability to network and build strong working relationships with stakeholders, partners and interested parties.
  • Computer skills (Word, Excel, Power Point).
  • Proficiency in Accounting Software (QuickBooks) highly beneficial.


  1. Personal Attributes
  • Commitment to rights-based approaches to sustainable development.
  • Highly motivated, confident and ability to take initiative.
  • Presentable and professional.
  • High levels of honesty and integrity.


  1. Desirable attributes:
  • Knowledge and understanding of natural resource conservation and management in Tanzania.


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Method of Application

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Closing Date : 15th October, 2023.

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