Intergovernmental Ocean Policy Manager

  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Olympia, WA, USA
  • Feb 08, 2021
Full time Communication - Public Outreach Fisheries - Marine Science - Aquatic Biology Management Oceans - Estuaries - Coastal Resiliency Sustainability Wetlands - Coastlines - Floodplains

Job Description



                                         Intergovernmental Ocean Policy Manager-WMS-3-Fish Program                          Olympia, Washington 

Your ability to see the larger picture because you take time to understand the details and impact the details have on people and policy, make you well suited to serve as the lead for intergovernmental ocean policy and management issues. 

This position assists in the development and implementation of policies and management decisions for the long-term health of the Pacific Ocean, marine resources, and the sustainability of fisheries in state and federal waters, and broader West Coast-wide ecosystem protection.  


This is an opportunity to

Represent the Department and the state within federal, tribal, and international forums and organizations that affect the management of Washington’s marine resources and ocean policy. 

Here you will demonstrate and show your understanding of the importance of maintaining good working relationships with federal, state, local and tribal government officials, the media, special interest groups and other constituents and stakeholders.

Utilizing your leadership skills, you work together and guide staff demonstrating your work ethic, cooperation, and mutual regard for all. 

Picture yourself working with representatives of the Treaty Tribes and Executive Order Tribes, develop state-tribal management plans and/or manage state harvest activities in a manner that meets the requirements of federal court orders and treaties between the United States and tribal governments.    

With your experience, and in accordance with the public trust granted to the Department of Fish and Wildlife you will conserve the wildlife, fish, and shellfish resources in a manner that protects their long-term sustainability.  Develop and implement policies and programs to preserve, protect, perpetuate, and manage healthy and diverse populations of wildlife, fish, and shellfish in state waters and offshore waters.  Promote the economic well-being and stability of the fishing industry in the state and provide the public with recreational fishing opportunities for all citizens.  

Integrate good science with constituent values as the foundation for policy and management decisions affecting fish and wildlife and their habitats.  Develop strong partnerships, collaborative approaches, and effective communication internally and externally.  

In this roleyou are responsible for the fish and habitat resources within the state's marine waters and the offshore Pacific Ocean waters.

Specifically, this position oversees the conservation and management for Pacific halibut; federally managed fisheries for groundfish, highly migratory species (e.g., tunas, pelagic sharks, and billfish), coastal pelagic species (e.g., sardines, anchovy); state-managed shellfish fisheries (e.g., Dungeness crab, pink shrimp) in the ocean, and coastal razor clam co-managed fisheries. Additionally, this position serves as the agency's lead for ocean policy issues (e.g., marine spatial planning, marine protected areas, artificial reefs, offshore aquaculture).

Effectively represent the agency in coordinating and collaborating with tribal governments.  There are 28 Treaty Tribes with secured fishing rights within Washington and additional Executive Order tribes that have fishing rights on their respective reservations. The Department has a co-management relationship with the tribes relative to fishing, and the tribes have a management interest in habitat. The co-management nature of our relationship for fisheries has been guided by key federal court decisions for U.S. v. Washington. Specifically, the Boldt Decision in the mid-1970s and the Rafeedie Decision in 1998.  

You will provide representation in intergovernmental management forums serving as a State of Washington's designee on the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC). Manages coastal groundfish (e.g., Pacific cod, lingcod, Pacific whiting, sablefish, rockfish, flatfish--flounders and soles), coastal pelagic species (e.g., sardines, mackerel, anchovy), and highly migratory species (e.g., albacore tuna, pelagic sharks, billfish) fisheries from Canada to Mexico, which are valued at hundreds of millions of dollars annually. 

This involves contentious allocation issues and conservation decisions among fishing fleets, conservation interests and seafood processors. Coordinate with the Washington State Delegation for PFMC and internally with staff serving on PFMC's scientific, management, technical, and enforcement teams. Develop and execute the annual PFMC contract for services provided by WDFW, and coordinate across programs and divisions to ensure timely service delivery.

Represent the Department in the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) process. Coordinate and communicate with Canada, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Alaska, and other West Coast states on the management of Washington's halibut fisheries within the context of IPHC Management Area 2A, and with the Pacific Fishery Management Council on their Pacific Halibut Catch Sharing Plan.  

Oversee the Department's coordination of activities relative to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC), including Tri-State Dungeness crab management, PacFIN and RecFIN data issues, and marine fish priorities. PSMFC is an organization that promotes, organizes, and coordinates policies and actions to conserve, develop, and manage marine fishery resources in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska.

Oversee the Department's representation on the Washington Marine Coastal Advisory Council, State Ocean Caucus, and the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary's Intergovernmental Policy Council, which includes representatives from the four coastal treaty tribes and the Governor's Office, to coordinate resource management within the Sanctuary's marine waters. Serve as the Department's representative on ocean policy-related matters in coordination with the Governor's Office, Departments of Ecology and Natural Resources, and other West Coast states.

Coordinate and communicate regularly with stakeholders, including commercial and recreational fishermen, commercial fishery buyers and processors, fishing associations, conservation groups, non-governmental organizations, and the general public on fishery policy and management issues, strategic planning, and proposed regulatory changes.

Coordinate the development and analysis of state requests for federal fisheries disaster relief funds internally; coordinate the development and implementation of funded fisheries disaster relief programs with NMFS, PSMFC, the Governor's Office, and affected stakeholders, which may include the establishment of qualifying criteria and the application of those criteria in determining eligibility.


Work Setting, including hazards: Position's assigned duty station is Olympia, Washington. Work performed almost exclusively indoors in an office environment with frequent travel required. Currently this position is working from home until COVID restrictions have been removed.  

 Schedule (i.e., hours and days): Position is overtime exempt. Incumbent expected to schedule their time within a typical 40-hour work week; however, incumbent expected to adjust schedule and work additional hours as needed to meet business demands and deadlines.

Travel Requirements: This position must travel to meetings of week-long and longer duration along the West Coast about 8 times per year.   Meetings of shorter duration, yet still requiring overnight and often out-of-state travel, occur 4-5 times per year. This policy position is relied upon to resolve complex, and sometimes contentious, issues involving multiple agencies and competing stakeholder interests. Travel for extended periods, long hours, and strict deadlines may also result in higher stress. 

Tools and Equipment: Office duties require use of standard office furniture and equipment (desks, files, cabinets, computers, projects, phone, copy machines, etc.) 

Customer Relations: The incumbent regularly communicates and interacts with representatives from the tribes, other federal and state agencies, stakeholders, and the general public. 


Required Qualifications

A bachelor's degree or higher in Natural Resources or related field.


A minimum of five years of progressively responsible natural resource management experience with a demonstrated ability to establish and accomplish goals and objectives, and communicate clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing.


9 Years of recent professional experience in progressively responsible natural resource management experience with a demonstrated ability to establish and accomplish goals and objectives, and communicate clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing. 


  • A demonstrated commitment to fish, wildlife, and resource conservation and management.
  • A demonstrated ability to establish and maintain good working relationships with federal, state, local, and tribal government officials, elected officials, the media, special interest groups, and other constituents and stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of federal and state laws as they apply to tribal treaty rights.


  • Understanding of managing natural resources for long term sustainability; ability to evaluate and identify scientific, legal, economic, and social dimensions of natural resource issues.
  • Knowledge of state-tribal co-management relationships; sensitivity to and appreciation of important issues to tribes.
  • Knowledge of and experience with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and experience with the regional fishery management council process. 
  • Understanding of assessment and monitoring of marine fisheries, familiarity with fishery-dependent and fishery-independent data collection methods.
  • Knowledge of and experience with the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act.
  • Experience connecting and building trust; working collaboratively and constructively with interest groups and colleagues.

Remember to say you found this opportunity at


Government- State/Provincial


$94,800.00 - $107,124.00 Annually