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River Director

The Ocean Cleanup


Posted over 30 days ago...


Lead the Charge Against Ocean Plastic as The Ocean Cleanup's River Director


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No salary declared 😔

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Coolsingel 6

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98% Remote- Worldwide

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Expires at anytime

Organisation summary

The Ocean Cleanup is on a mission to rid the oceans of plastic by developing cutting-edge technologies. With a dual strategy of cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and preventing plastic waste from entering the oceans via rivers, the organization has made significant strides with deployments in eight countries and more on the horizon. Join a team committed to preserving our planet's waters for future generations.

Role Summary

  • Global scaling of river solutions to prevent plastic from reaching the oceans.
  • Lead the River team through international expansion and team growth, primarily overseas.
  • Drive the transformation of the River organization into a results-driven entity.
  • Maintain a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.
  • Develop strategic partnerships and manage stakeholder relations.
  • Represent The Ocean Cleanup as an ambassador, communicating progress and rallying support.
  • Contribute to the Management Team with cross-functional insights and accountability.
  • Ensure the long-term sustainability of river projects in alignment with organizational goals.

Role Requirements

  • Proven global leadership experience in complex business environments.
  • Expertise in international team management, growth, P&L management, and complex service agreements.
  • Experience with public and private international stakeholder interactions.
  • Commitment to safety, with a data-driven mindset and strong analytical skills.
  • Track record of leading cross-functional and geographically dispersed teams.
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Proactive in identifying risks and dedicated to solving them.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.
  • Curious, driven, and intrinsically motivated to contribute to a significant, meaningful mission.

DATE OPEN: 28 February 2024
DATE CLOSING: 30 April 2024
STARTING DATE: As soon as possible 

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop scalable technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. To do this, we operate a dual strategy: cleaning up legacy floating plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch while in parallel deploying our Interceptors to extract plastic from the most highly polluting rivers around the world to stop the influx of waste into our oceans - with deployments in eight countries so far, and others arriving in early 2024. 

The River Team is scaling up the deployments of our technology to intercept plastic before it reaches the ocean. As River Director, you are part of the Management Team, acting as a thought partner and taking on a significant leadership role in guiding all River teams, projects, and operations and ensuring a fast global scale-up of the deployment of our innovative technologies to remove plastic waste from the water. 

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Maximize speed of scaling river solutions globally: You will be responsible for advancing and delivering our River Strategy by deploying our Interceptor solutions to halt plastic in rivers around the world - a key part of ridding the oceans of plastic. 

  • Internationalization and team expansion: To meet the pace of incoming deals, we foresee rapid growth of the river team will be required. As our projects are all over the world, we expect this growth will primarily take place overseas. You will be responsible for developing the strategy and executing this international expansion, determining trade-offs between local, regional, and our HQ, insourcing/outsourcing, and architecting the systems and processes through which your workforce is managed. 

  • Leadership of the river team: Lead the River team, inspiring people to achieve ambitious objectives and attracting top talent to the river team. You operate with an associated level of urgency; driving the team to focus on accomplishing things they don’t yet realize they are capable of. 

  • Transform our River organization into an execution machine: Drive the transformation of the river organization from one that is getting things to work and is figuring things out towards an oiled machine with a business mindset that is able to deliver on orders for river projects on time, on quality and on budget. You will ultimately be responsible for the management of the P&L of each of the river projects. You will look for opportunities to simplify and optimize the processes from project initiation to completion and manage the interfaces with sales, legal, and other internal stakeholders to avoid friction and misalignments. 

  • Maintain a culture of innovation: while we strive for operational excellence, we must continue to foster a culture of continuous improvement, systematizing learning and maximizing the speed of learning cycles. As we scale, we must continue to create room for testing new technologies and improved ways of working. 

  • Building strategic partnerships and stakeholder engagement: strong communication and interpersonal skills to grow relationships with external stakeholders at all levels, including government agencies, technology suppliers, environmental organizations, and local communities. Set the direction for optimizing global and regional supply chain management and logistics to ensure our technology's timely and efficient deployment. 

  • Able to communicate progress to the world: Is willing and able to be an ambassador and voice for The Ocean Cleanup’s work in rivers to the outside world (government officials, occasional media presence, etc.) to help create a global drive and movement to rally behind our mission. 

  • Member of the Management Team: A dynamic leader who brings their own perspective to the Management Team, adding value to cross-functional discussions and decisions. Accepts accountability for the whole of the organization, as opposed to being more of a ‘head of department’ only. 

  • Ensuring the long-term sustainability of river projects: Work together with the sales team to ensure the long-term sustainability of projects and contractual arrangements that are aligned with our objectives.


  • Proven leadership experience in complex businesses globally. 
  • Experience with international team management, rapid growth, P&L management, and creating complex service agreements. Ideally experienced in interacting with both public and private stakeholders internationally. 
  • Being an accomplished, mature, self-aware leader, able to put the mission first. Develops people’s potential and facilitates exciting careers. Has a natural need for speed and a can-do attitude. 
  • Ensures ‘Safety first’ culture. 
  • Being data-driven and in possession of strong analytical and problem-solving skills. Ability to engage in highly technical discussions around river data and solution performance, as well as possessing at least a basic understanding of the lifecycles of our solutions, from development to manufacturing to operations. 
  • Can show a track record of successfully leading and scaling cross-functional and geographically dispersed teams. Having a deep drive for improvement: open to transparently discussing issues and challenging each other.


  • Excellent communicator and able to work in a multi-disciplinary team 
  • A keen eye for potential risks and dedicated to addressing them 
  • Able to thrive in a fast-paced and highly dynamic environment 
  • Driven leader, curious, and solutions-oriented Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal

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