World Wildlife Fund (WWF)’s mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. Our vision is to build a future in which people and nature thrive.

Established in 1961, World Wildlife Fund works to help local communities conserve the natural resources they depend upon; transform markets and policies toward sustainability; and protect and restore species and their habitats. Our efforts ensure that the value of nature is reflected in decision-making from a local to a global scale.

WWF connects cutting-edge conservation science with the collective power of our work in the world’s most biodiverse places, with more than 1.3 million supporters in the United States and 5 million globally, and partnerships with communities, companies, and governments.

Since 1985, the international WWF Network has invested over $1.165 billion in more than 11,000 projects in 130 countries. Headquartered in Washington, DC, WWF-US is an independent affiliate of the international WWF Network and plays an important role in WWF’s conservation programs all over the world.

Program Associate, Oceans

Hybrid or Remote: Hybrid*
Supervisor: Senior Director


The Program Associate will work with WWF’s Oceans team and the Policy and Government Affairs team to explore how WWF’s sustainability work and innovations might be leveraged to help those addressing human rights and labor law violations in the global seafood industry. The Officer will report to the Senior Director, along with significant collaboration with other senior professionals on the Oceans and the Policy teams. The Program Associate will build a body of work around U.S. policy and law around corporate responsibility, sustainability, and labor and human rights. The scholar will work with the team on the following:

  • Review guidance put out by federal agencies on forced labor and consolidate it into a digestible report. This will include reviewing recent legislation relating to US import law around human and labor rights compliance by companies and reviewing guidance from the Department of Labor, NOAA, and Department of State around seafood imports to assimilate guidance into one report.
  • Gather recommendations from civil society by interviewing staff at WWF, and other NGO staff as recommended by the WWF team. This will include speaking with individual members of US-based NGOs and the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Labor Rights coalition that work on such issues, such as Greenpeace, Oceana, CSIS, WWF, and the Stimson Center. The recommendations from relevant staff will be consolidated into guidance for compliance by companies, as well as a gap analysis showing where legislation could be created or improved to reduce the risk of labor and human rights abuses in the seafood sector.
  • Develop recommendations for WWF to inform and strengthen our work on fisheries that might also help advance human rights protection. The Program Associate will interview WWF staff to understand WWF’s current approach to the issue and then, using the above reports, news media, law reviews, and other sources, craft a set of recommendations in report-form and slide-form that identifies ways WWF can train its staff, close existing gaps, or increase our awareness and responsiveness to the issues.


  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Highly collaborative and flexible
  • Background in marine or ecological science is a bonus, but not required


The Innovator is expected to reside for the period of the program in the D.C. area, and to work in-person at the WWF HQ building two days per week (Tuesday and Wednesdays for the Oceans team). Every-other-Friday is a paid day off (called Panda Friday).

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