Managing Director, UC Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, CA

Position Title: Managing Director

Organization: UC Santa Cruz

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Organization Overview: UC Santa Cruz is a public university like no other in California, combining the experience of a small, liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university. It’s known as an unconventional place where innovation and experimentation is part of the campus’s DNA. That playful, bold spirit still thrives today, all on a campus renowned as among the most beautiful in the world. 

Sitting on the edge of the Monterey Bay and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, UC Santa Cruz is nationally recognized for its marine science and coastal sustainability research. Our internationally renowned faculty and researchers bring important and varied expertise connecting research and technology, community engagement and social justice, and climate policy. The Center for Coastal Climate Resilience is supported by the UC Santa Cruz Office of Research which is led by the Vice Chancellor for Research. The center has been established with a state budget allocation of $20 million. The center aims to advance campus research and to partner with state and federal agencies as well as private foundations to address coastal climate change, resilience, and sustainability.

Position Overview: The Managing Director (MD) reports to the Director of the new Center for Coastal Climate Resilience, a complex research program of high visibility. The MD will work with the Director to develop the long-term vision and goals, policies and procedures, and staffing structure to meet the Center’s vision and objectives. The Managing Director oversees a fairly large operational budget to achieve objectives and manages all operations of the Center. The MD is responsible for recruiting and retaining leaders with the Center to achieve Center goals. They will oversee all strategic elements of program administration. With the Director, the Managing Director will identify and advance work with partners on campus and establish partnerships with agencies, businesses, tribes, environmental and social organizations. Uses highly specialized expertise in relevant fields including climate research, coastal policy, environmental justice and related fields to support the strategic development and growth of the Center. Cultivates relationships with foundations and private donors and supports fundraising development. Coordinates work with other campus units, including, but not limited to, the Institute for Marine Sciences, the Seymour Center, and the Coastal Science and Policy program. Coordinates and facilitates a campus Coastal Climate Resilience grant program as well as ongoing projects, working groups, and proposal teams. The MD will help to communicate the developing research and solutions-driven outcomes from the Center.


50% – Program Development and Management

  • In coordination with the scientific director, manages the design and development of a major research center.
  • Ensures through subordinates varied and competing requirements associated with managing an innovative research program.
  • Develops and manages strategic staffing model to meet center goals
  • Develops and implements research programs that reflect faculty interests.
  • Ensures the assessment and success of the program(s) effectiveness, and recommends changes to program’s content, policies and strategic goals accordingly.
  • Develops ideas and options to support decision-making.

25% – Strategic Financial Management

  • Identifies and develops continuance of funding from multiple external sources, including fundraising and donor development, and support for foundation and government agency funding.
  • Develops and executes strategic plan for financing program activities and ensuring ongoing sustainability of program.
  • Plans, directs and controls program budget(s) and manages financial, HR, technical and other supporting resources.

25% – Public Engagement and Communications

  • Develops and maintains liaisons with advisory board, and ensures representation of the program to governing boards, outside agencies, and the public.
  • Leads public events, professional conferences and provides public relations support.
  • Coordinates center communications including website, newsletter, and social media.



  • Advanced degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training.
  • Topical expertise in climate research, coastal policy, environmental justice or related field.
  • Expert oral communication skills.
  • Expert written communication skills.
  • Leadership experience in academic institution and / or government agencies.
  • Demonstrated expertise in building collaborations between academia, community organizations, business and / or governmental agencies.
  • Demonstrated expertise with program building, administrative operations, budgetary, human resources and financial principles and practices.
  • Expert ability to work with dynamic and diverse group of faculty, staff and students.
  • Managerial experience and proven success in managing a complex research or academic program(s).
  • Skills in organization and customer service to effectively manage multiple important priorities.


  • Terminal degree in a related field (PhD, JD, MD, etc.).
  • Strong fundraising experience.
  • Strong negotiation skills with the ability to influence / persuade all levels of staff.
  • Demonstrated expertise working with legislators, or local officials to move forward policy agendas.
  • Experience managing communications for a department or organization.

Salary/Pay: $130,000 – $160,000/year

How to Apply: Please use the online application to view the full job description as well as how to apply.