Want to publish your content on the SIETAR USA blog? See how to submit a blog post for consideration. 

Program Manager @ Earthwatch Institute

22 Jul 2019 2:01 PM | Karen Fouts (Administrator)


Location: Boston, MA

Position Type: Full-time, Salaried, Exempt

Department: Program Delivery

Reporting to: Director of Program Delivery

Direct Reports: 0 – 3 Program Coordinators, dependent on organizational need and experience

Salary Grade: $47,895-$57,165

Position Summary

The Program Manager (PM) role is key to the successful delivery of the Earthwatch mission. The PM is responsible for managing partner relationships and delivering programs to time, budget, global mission priorities and protocols and a high standard of quality. Program Managers hold responsibility for the management and delivery of a portfolio of field research projects, grant programs, or a combination of both.

The successful Program Manager is responsible and accountable, with an ongoing drive for improvement. He or she is an excellent relationship manager, able to understand the needs of different audiences, with a keen focus on delivering high standards of customer service. He or she communicates priorities effectively and continuously strives to find better ways to support his/her scientists, funders and colleagues. The ability to collaborate effectively, internally and externally, across regions and functions, is essential.  

Position Responsibilities

Note: Specific tasks, projects and programs are distributed across Program Managers as needed for organizational effectiveness.

Grant Management

For a portfolio of programs, including the Ignite L.A. High School Student Fellowship Program, funded by individuals, foundations, corporations or other partners:

·         Provide excellent relationship management with funding partners, in collaboration with the Development team

·         Manage all aspects of funded program delivery to a high standard, including:

o    Establishing clear program goals, objectives, deliverables, and delivery timeline

o    Agreeing and managing appropriate partner communication and reporting processes

o    Creating and managing grant budgets; approving and tracking all associated expenses

o    Supporting the expansion of programs to other audiences including: teachers, students, scientists, NGOs, universities, corporations and foundations

o    Overseeing successful learning programs for students, teachers and corporate audiences.

o    Delivering in-field programs, as required and depending on experience.

·         Work closely with the Development team on the creation and renewal of funded programs, including:

o    Supporting or leading the writing of grant proposals

o    Seeking and applying for alternate funding for existing programs

o    Seeking ways to align mission and funder priorities for mutual benefit

o    Providing feedback on new program ideas, particularly in the areas of program cost, resource utilization, and interaction with existing programs

Field Project Management

For a portfolio of domestic, field-based research projects:

·         Serve as the primary liaison between Earthwatch and the project Scientists, acting as the ‘go to’ contact point and advocate for each project

·         Manage all aspects of field project delivery to a high standard, including:

o    Finances – program/project budgets, scientist and partner payments

o    Logistics

o    Health and safety – risk assessments, emergency response plans, etc.

o    Contract negotiation, including setting annual team dates and budgets

o    Site visits, as required and depending on experience

o    Training project and Earthwatch staff on Earthwatch protocols as needed

·         Create and annually revise detailed expedition Briefings to disclose risk, describe research and prepare volunteers for fielding

·         Develop, renew and retire projects in accordance with Earthwatch protocols and industry standards

·         Provide internal evaluation and feedback on each project

·         Work closely with the Research, Communications and FRE teams to support each project’s success

Incident Management

·         Serve as an active member of the International Incident Management Team

·         Promote a culture of safety internally and externally

·         Serve as 24-hour on call Duty Officer 3-6 weeks per year

·         Coordinate incident management associated with projects managed; participate in incident management for other programs as needed.

Line Management

The Program Manager  will manage two direct reports, such as Program Coordinator(s), consultants, interns or volunteers.  Line management includes recruiting, retaining and developing talent within the team, as well as engaging and inspiring them around Earthwatch’s mission and business goals with clear objectives and constructive feedback.

Position Requirements

·         Bachelors’ degree (science, environmental studies, international business, non-profit management or related field preferred)

·         3-5 years of experience in NGO sector, including working globally across regions

·         Proven track record in managing complex projects and programs

·         Ability to communicate with and develop good relationships at all levels, presenting information in varying degrees of technicality/ detail as the audience dictates

·         Experience supervising or managing people, preferably as a direct line manager providing professional guidance and supporting staff development

·         Excellent written communication skills in English, and ability to communicate effectively with remote audiences (PIs, partners, and colleagues)

·         Experience working with people from diverse backgrounds; preferably high school students and/or families

·         Ability to work effectively and collaboratively as a member of a culturally diverse, multidisciplinary team

·         Ability to find creative ideas and solutions which overcome obstacles and add value

·         Ability to meet deadlines, set priorities and work in fast-pace environment

·         A ‘can-do’ positive attitude and collaborative, ‘team-player’ approach

·         Commitment to Earthwatch’s mission and values


·         Fluency/High level of proficiency in another language

·         Demonstrated interest in making science more accessible to diverse audiences

·         Experience with presenting information to the public and facilitating groups in a field setting

·         Strong interest in learning about and working with individual, corporate, and foundation funders and partners

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter via the form on the following page: https://earthwatch.org/About/Job-Details/program-manager1

Earthwatch is an equal opportunity employer with a strong commitment to create a diverse and inclusive organization that is reflective of the global communities with whom we work. We actively seek individuals of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and culture. We encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, sexes, religions, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or any other status protected by law.

No phone calls please. Due to limited resources, we are only able to accept applicants who are already eligible to work in the United States.

Contact Us
P.O. Box 548
Wheaton, IL 60187-4729


Wild Apricot theme design and development by Webbright