Operations Associate, Marine Conservation Initiative

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Palo Alto, California
Competitive salary + benefits package
Dec 10, 2018
Jan 09, 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level

About the Foundation

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation works to find and support the bold ideas that will create an enduring impact in environmental conservation, science, and patient care.

Our approach

The opportunity to create lasting, meaningful change drives our team members and our approach to the work: we establish specific strategies based on input from experts in the sectors where we work, identify partners who share our goals and measure results along the way–all while making adjustments as needed. We build relationships and fund work in areas where we hope to make a significant impact, build and leverage knowledge within key fields and create networks intended to drive collaboration, learning and adaptation. We’re OK with failing, as long as we learn from our mistakes. And we know that working together expands our ability to drive meaningful change.

Our focus

We welcome ideas that map to the goals that we’re striving to reach–and the enduring impact that we’re working to create around the world and here at home.

We focus on work in the three areas that our founders are committed to improving: environmental conservation, science, and patient care. In addition, we support land conservation in the San Francisco Bay Area, which has provided for the quality of life that Gordon and Betty have enjoyed with their family.

Foundation facts

  • Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA
  • $6.5+ billion in assets
  • Annual Foundation budget of over $300 million
  • About 100 employees
  • Four program areas
    • Environmental Conservation
    • Science
    • Patient Care
    • San Francisco Bay Area, focusing on these same issues locally

Marine Conservation Initiative

The Marine Conservation Initiative (MCI) works to achieve healthy and resilient marine ecosystems in North America that support sustainable uses over the long-term, including food, jobs and recreation. MCI’s grantees protect key habitats, improve fisheries through ecosystem-based management, and help defend or establish policies and other conditions required to achieve and maintain conservation gains. MCI focuses on three priority ocean geographies – U.S. and Canadian Arctic, British Columbia, and U.S. West Coast – as well as the enabling conditions to achieve durable conservation outcomes. MCI’s grantmaking is built on the premise that aligning incentives – economic, legal, policy and social – with conservation goals will achieve lasting benefits for ocean ecosystems and the people who depend on them.

Operationally, MCI deploys over $15 million annually in over 100 active grants and maintains an operating budget of approximately $2 million. For more information please visit: https://www.moore.org/initiative-strategy-detail?initiativeId=marine-conservation-initiative

The Position

The Operations Associate is a team operations-focused position that provides key coordination and support for the Initiative staff and is accountable for enabling effective operations. This role reports to the Program Director, with a dotted line reporting relationship to the Program Manager on operational and financial management.

Key Responsibilities

Initiative Team Operations:

  • Track Initiative operating budget and grantmaking allocation, ensuring informed financial decision-making of the Program Director and regular coordination with the Program Manager.
  • Work proactively to develop and implement templates, timelines, analyses, and processes to support and enhance initiative operations, particularly pertaining to grant submissions, internal deadlines, team deliverables, initiative spending, and management of active grants. Use good judgment with understanding of Initiative context to identify priorities and enhancements in team operations.
  • Facilitate team coordination, work plans, internal functional relationships, and knowledge management.
  • Support Initiative team meetings by drafting and maintaining agendas; scribing and distributing meeting notes, action items, and synthesis documents; and coordinating follow-up with individuals and teams.
  • Collaborate with the Program Director and Program Officers in formulation and implementation of team processes, and with the Program Manager and other Environmental Conservation Program Operations Associates in development of cross-program processes (e.g., grant submission flow, Chief Program Officer sign-off, grant summary template development). 
  • Track and manage priorities within multiple work-streams to support the Program Director’s decision-making, the Program Manager’s oversight of Program operations, and the Program Officers’ grant development process – including data collection and entry, deadline tracking, and grant-requirement follow-up.
  • On occasion, provide additional support or serve as backup for the Administrative Assistant in the planning and coordination of internal/external meetings, events, and other convenings.

Grants Operations:

  • Coordinate the new grant submission process and documents for the Program Director and Program Officers, ensuring high quality, consistent, timely, and appropriate products for decision-makers.
  • Support the Program Director and Program Officers with proposal reviews, budgets, and active grant records, monitoring narrative and financial grant reports and grant payments.
  • Exercise judgment within defined internal grant procedures and practices to determine appropriate courses of action. Serve as key internal contact for the Initiative, problem solving and consulting with Grants Administration and Program Manager as needed.
  • Manage expenditure-responsibility and equivalency-determination requirements, working with grantees and foundation legal staff.
  • Communicate with grantees regarding procedures and grantee relationship management.

Experience and Education

  • University degree (B.S., B.A., etc.) preferred.
  • 3+ of relevant work experience preferred with proven experience in administration, program coordination, and/or project management.


The ideal candidate will also have:

  • Excellent project management and analytical skills.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to think critically and provide practical solutions based on thorough analysis in the face of real-time issues.
  • Ability to obtain knowledge in a variety of different fields.
  • Willingness to ask for help and identify appropriate resources to accomplish tasks, when necessary.
  • A strong team orientation, positive attitude, integrity, self-motivation, discipline, and reliability.
  • Proficiency with office productivity software (e.g., MS Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Strong written, oral, and graphic communication skills (e.g., phone inquiries, webpages, PowerPoint presentations, correspondence, and research summaries).
  • Experience in reviewing and managing budgets.
  • Ability to work independently, self-manage priorities and goals for projects, meet deadlines, and multi-task while working well under pressure.


The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following attributes that describe how we at the Foundation strive to do our work with each other and our partners.

  • Committed to Excellence
  • Passionate
  • Collegial
  • Open and Honest
  • Humble and Self-Aware

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation includes a competitive base salary and an excellent package of health, retirement savings and other benefits.

Application Process

To apply, please visit our careers page at http://www.moore.org/about/careers to submit your cover letter, resume and application.

Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States.  Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the ordinance.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. All correspondence will remain confidential.

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