Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

BTT Is Hiring a Vice President of Conservation and Public Policy

Vice President of Conservation and Public Policy

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust is recruiting an innovative, forward-looking individual to serve as the Vice President of Conservation and Public Policy

About Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust was founded 1997 with the mission to conserve bonefish, tarpon and permit—the species, their habitats, and the fisheries they comprise at scale. BTT serves it mission through science-based conservation initiatives, advocacy, and education across the Caribbean Basin, from the Bahamas and Florida to the Yucatan, and along the Southeastern United States. The organization’s science-based approaches and record of accomplishment distinguish it as a global leader in the conservation of these species and their habitats.

A recently completed strategic plan will guide BTT’s work over the next five years.BTT will implement a program of science-based initiatives to enhance and sustain healthy flats fisheries and reverse those in decline. This work will be accomplished through a comprehensive research program that builds knowledge while simultaneously supporting conservation priorities; engagement in policy and government affairs at local, state, and federal levels that focuses on habitat conservation and water quality; and implementation of conservation projects on-the-ground and in-the-water. Successful attainment of the plan’s science and conservation goals will result in robust outcomes benefitting the flats fishery.

To support its mission, BTT will conduct ambitious development, marketing, and membership programs. By 2025, organizational revenues will double to $7 million, membership will grow by 75%, and a strategic marketing program will secure BTT’s reputation as an effective, respected, and accomplished organization with extensive reach across its mission geography.

For more information on Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, please visit: www.BTT.org.


Vice President of Conservation and Public Policy

Reporting to the CEO and working with a dedicated Board of Directors, the Vice President of Conservation and Public Policy will occupy a new and strategically important position in the organization. In this role, the Vice President works across the organization to develop science-based conservation and public policy plans and is chiefly responsible for the execution of these plans through engagement with public sector leadership (state and federal), nonprofit, academic, philanthropic and the private sector stakeholders.

In 2021 and continuing over the next five years, BTT will conduct research to build its knowledge of the flats fishery and to frame science-based conservation initiatives that conserve bonefish, tarpon, and permit. These efforts will seek to identify, restore, and conserve critical habitats; improve water quality as it pertains to the health of habitats and species; and improve fisheries management in specific locations and at scale.

  • Habitat ConservationThe Vice President will work at state and federal levels to secure funding and policies to conserve coastal habitats that support bonefish, tarpon, and permit. This will include protection of habitats that are home ranges for bonefish, staging areas for bonefish spawning aggregations, nurseries for juvenile bonefish and tarpon, among others. This work will take BTT more deeply into restoration projects with state and federal partners, with many having overlapping climate resiliency objectives.
  • Fisheries Management– The Vice President will work at state and federal levels to improve fishery management in specific locations and at scale. Outcomes will include the securing of additional protections for spawning permit in Florida, improved management of tarpon in specific states and regionally across the species’ range, regional management plans for bonefish, and improved fisheries management in Belize, Mexico, and other international locations through collaboration with in-country partners.
  • Water Quality – The Vice President will work with local, state and federal levels on a broad range of water quality issues. These will include continued advocacy for Everglades restoration as well as increased investment in wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and new measures to address agricultural run-off. Recent research identifying pharmaceutical contaminants and heavy metals in both marine life and habitats will inform these efforts.

The new Vice President of Conservation and Public Policy will provide strategic leadership to achieve lasting conservation and public policy impact, focusing on the BTT’s scientific and research contributions to address the sustainability of bonefish, tarpon, and permit populations and their habitats. The Vice President is based in Miami, Florida. The current budget for the Conservation and Public Policy related activities is $750,000.

The broad strategic goals and responsibilities for the Vice President are the following:

Strategic Goals & Responsibilities:

  • Engages in policy issues at the federal level to conserve habitat, restore freshwater flows, improve water quality, and improve fisheries management in specific states and at larger spatial scales.
  • With board and staff leadership, develops and implements science-based conservation plans through state and federal advocacy.
  • Communicates a compelling vision for BTT’s work through personal influence and superlative communication abilities and does so effectively across a range of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Communicates and advocates BTT’s conservation priorities to local, regional, state, and national elected officials and agencies.
  • Supports the President/CEO and the Policy Committee of the BTT Board of Directors in their advocacy and policy roles, including the scheduling of legislative and agency meetings, briefings on issues and elected officials, and engagement with partner organizations.
  • Monitors legislation and policy activities; updates and advises BTT leadership and staff about relevant policy proposals and actions and analyzes potential impacts on the organization.
  • Plans events and other activities to support BTT’s government affairs objectives, including but not limited to field trips, town halls, news conferences and meetings. Oversees execution of lobbying events plans.
  • Builds strategic alliances, organizes, and collaborates with others to advocate on behalf of BTT’s objectives and develops materials to support BTT’s advocacy agenda, including “calls to action,” talking points, legislative summaries, factsheets, reports, and letters.
  • Serve as a strategic liaison with state and federal agencies responsible for fish and wildlife management and establishes and maintains effective relationships with key elected officials, agencies, and their senior staff on state and federal levels. 

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The ideal professional qualifications and personal attributes the Vice President of Conservation and Public Policy are the following:

  • A passionate commitment to BTT’s mission and an authentic conservation ethic.
  • Demonstrated experience working with federal and state regulatory and policy agency leadership at the federal and state level.
  • A record of success translating science into public policy and conservation program-related activities.
  • A capacity to engage, motivate and mobilize BTT’s major donors, corporate partners, and members in support of critical state and national public policy priorities.
  • An engaging personal presence, trustworthy, and possessing the highest level of personal and professional integrity and quality standards.
  • A commitment and demonstrated history of working collaboratively in a team environment and across disciplines with colleagues.
  • Successful experience in developing and managing a complex budget and working with a board that has governing oversight for the business enterprise.
  • A management style that is goal oriented, but flexible; a style that respects the capabilities and independence of volunteers and staff alike and provides them with a clear sense of direction.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; ability to share BTT’s mission, vision, and current work to diverse audiences.
  • Strong work ethic and willingness to travel extensively, often for weekend and evening meetings.


Compensation for the Vice President of Conservation and Public Policy includes a competitive salary, relocation, and a package of health and other employee benefits.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume responding specifically to the experience and qualifications being sought to: Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company at resumes@explorecompany.com. Refer to BTT/VPCPP in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust is an equal opportunity employerand invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience, and ideas to apply.

All correspondence will remain confidential.