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Director of Global External Affairs

The Ocean Cleanup


Posted over 30 days ago...

Join The Ocean Cleanup as the Director of Global External Affairs and Lead the Fight Against Plastic Pollution


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No salary declared 😔

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Coolsingel 6

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98% Remote- Europe

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Expires at anytime

Organisation summary

The Ocean Cleanup is on a formidable mission to develop cutting-edge technology to eliminate plastic from our oceans and rivers. As a beacon of innovation and environmental stewardship, the organization is a thrilling place to work for anyone passionate about making a tangible impact on the health of our planet. By joining this team, you will be part of a dynamic and meaningful journey to restore our waterways and protect the marine ecosystem.

Role Summary

  • Provide strategic guidance on public affairs to support The Ocean Cleanup's mission.
  • Build strong relationships with governments, international organizations, and NGOs.
  • Represent the organization at high-level international meetings and media engagements.
  • Lead The Ocean Cleanup's involvement in UN negotiations on marine plastic pollution.
  • Establish local partnerships and engage with authorities in countries of operation.
  • Manage the Department of Global External Affairs and secure institutional funding.

Role Requirements

  • At least 20 years of international and external affairs leadership experience.
  • Advanced degree in a relevant field is advantageous.
  • Fluency in English, additional languages are a bonus.
  • Proven track record in leading an external affairs/policy program.
  • Strong communication skills and experience with senior officials and corporate leaders.
  • Familiarity with laws and regulations relevant to the organization's mission.
  • Ability to manage ambiguity, build relationships, and influence at all organizational levels.
  • Resilience, team player mentality, and willingness to travel.
  • Self-motivated with a results-driven approach and commercial acumen.

DATE OPEN: 14 February 2024
DATE CLOSING: 30 April 2024
STARTING DATE: As soon as possible

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop technology to rid the world’s oceans and rivers of plastic. You will support our mission by strengthening our relationships with governments, international organizations, and civil society.  
The Director of Global External Affairs is expected to lead institutional engagement, including representation and fundraising, with Governments, International Organisations, and like-minded non-governmental organizations reporting to the Chief Development Officer. He/she also provides strategic guidance, consultation, and support to the Management Team on global external affairs issues involved in carrying out the mission of The Ocean Cleanup.

  • Provide expert advice on public affairs, including on how to sustain and expand a favorable institutional environment (among sovereigns, international organizations, and like-minded), to prompt institutional funding, to generate inclusion and respectability among the blue community, to enhance policy and political support, and to establish The Ocean Cleanup as a not-for-profit global project and organization.
  • Lead contacts with local and national governments, Diplomatic Corp in The Hague, international organizations, multilateral and bilateral development banks, foundations, NGOs, and other external affairs stakeholders.
  • Represent The Ocean Cleanup in international meetings, conferences, seminars, and media (when needed). 
  • Lead and coordinate the representation of The Ocean Cleanup in the United Nations intergovernmental negotiating committee, with a mandate to develop a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment.
  • Enable the formation of local partnerships/consortia in all countries of operation and lead the preparation of new country engagement with the highest level of authority and/or governments
  • Lead the Department of Global External Affairs, enabling all operational and support teams to deliver including any institutional and government grants application.


  • A minimum of 20 years of combined international and external affairs leadership experience. 
  • Advanced university degree in political science, international relations, international economics, law, sociology of corruption, public administration or other related is a plus.
  • Professional fluency in English (knowledge of other languages is a plus).
  • Proven ability to successfully lead an external affairs/policy program in an international context
  • Demonstrated leadership experience over high-performing global affairs teams operating in diverse geographies and confidence in delegation of management of key strategies and functions.
  • Superb written and oral communication skills in English with great attention to detail and experience and comfort before senior officials and corporate leaders.
  • Ability and proven track record to identify and establish productive contacts and alliances with governments, international organizations, and like-minded institutions. 
  • Familiarity with laws and regulations impacting the mission of The Ocean Cleanup. 
  • Ability to anticipate and identify emerging relevant policies and trends.
  • Ability to bring structure to ambiguity, cultivate collaborative client relationships, and demonstrate resilience under pressure in a diverse, agile, and high-growth organization.
  • Ability to gain trust, build productive relationships, and influence key leaders and multiple stakeholders across the organization at all levels. 


  • Pragmatic where possible, but thorough when needed
  • Team player with high cultural awareness and excellent communication skills
  • Thrives in fast-paced, international environments
  • Willingness to travel regularly
  • Self-motivated, “can do” mentality
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal
  • Focus and persistence allied with diplomacy
  • Committed to deliver tangible results
  • Commercial acumen

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