Saildrone – Sr. Program Manager – Ocean Data Missions

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About Us

At Saildrone, we sustainably explore, map and monitor the oceans to understand, preserve, and protect our world. Saildrone designs and manufactures wind and solar powered autonomous surface vehicles called Saildrones, which make cost-effective ocean data collection possible at scale. We work with governments, civic agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas – be it in sailing drones into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane to obtain new scientific storm data, mapping out the ocean floor, collecting new CO2 data in hard-to-reach areas, counting biomass to establish fishing quotas, or detecting and stopping illegal fishing and drug trafficking. As a result of our work, we have been selected as one of the “Forbes Top 10 Wonders of 2021”, as well as the Smithsonian Institute’s “Top 10 Ocean Stories of 2021”, New York Times’ “Top 21 Things that happened (for the first time) in 2021”, and Popular Science’s “100 Greatest Innovations of 2021”. We are based in Alameda, CA, with offices in Washington DC and St. Petersburg, FL and operate our missions worldwide. We are backed by top-tier investors in the frontier-tech and sustainability sectors, including Social Capital, Capricorn, Lux Capital, BOND Capital, and Emerson Collective.

This is an exciting opportunity with a fast-growing team at the cutting-edge intersection of big data services and autonomous hardware. You will be an integral part of a high-performing multi-disciplinary delivering high impact for humanity and future generations.

The Role

We are seeking a senior, hands-on Program Manager to own the end-to-end implementation of missions which gather oceanographic and atmospheric data. You will work closely with our external customers, including federal agencies, commercial companies, universities, and not-for-profit organizations, and will closely coordinate internally with product managers, mission managers, engineers, technicians, vendors and BD teams, to ensure successful mission outcomes, with the highest standards of data quality.

This critical role will have many varied duties, from internal coordination, to customer communication and long term program management, culminating in the successful delivery of high-quality data to our customers.

You will ultimately be responsible for customer success, on our ocean data missions.


  • Operate as Customer Success Manager for our environmental data missions from inception, to successful completion and delivery of data. (oceanographic, atmospheric and fisheries related data)
  • Partner with Sales and BD teams to help ensure accurate and achievable scientific mission objectives are included in contractual deliverables.
  • Facilitate customer on-boarding, management, and clear communication of mission objectives to the company, enabling successful mission delivery.
  • Serve as customer technical point of contact, from post-contract through to mission completion, including reporting and follow-up projects.
  • Understand project milestones and dependencies, communicate them to the engineering, production and operations teams throughout the project cycle.
  • Track project status and achievements, while predicting blockers and facilitating solutions.
  • Help drive a strategic plan and technology roadmap, based on known upcoming customer requirements.
  • Participate in and represent Saildrone at scientific and marine conservation conferences and working groups, staying abreast of relevant literature, papers and publications
  • Leading and mentoring research assistants, sensor technicians, etc.

Desired skills and Experience:

  • 10+ years experience in physical oceanography, ocean data measurement, or closely related field
  • Ability to quickly pick up new concepts, and dive into a problem with a solutions-oriented, outcome-focused mindset
  • Ability to craft and execute a vision with an interdisciplinary team
  • Exceptional organizational and communication skills. Clear and concise in verbal and written communications
  • Minimum of five years of experience in ocean related program management
  • Willingness to both solicit and give honest feedback
  • Ability to thrive within a fast-paced startup environment
  • Self-managing style, able to leverage cross-functional resources while starting off as “team of one” (and able to grow that team as business demand grows)
  • Capable of prioritizing effectively and multi-tasking across multiple projects at once

Location: This position is a full time position based out of our headquarters in Alameda, CA. Only candidates with proper permits to work in the United States can be considered. Our waterfront office offers beautiful views of San Francisco Bay in always sunny Alameda. Even our walls have good karma, our offices mix software development with a hardware production line in the former airplane hangar used to film ‘The Matrix’.


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents.
  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents
  • Enhanced Paternal Leave Programs
  • Competitive benefits including excellent medical, life insurance, 401k plan

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

In accordance with Saildrone’s mandatory employee COVID-19 vaccination policy, please be advised that all employees are required to be vaccinated and boosted to safeguard the health of our employees and their families, our customers and visitors and the community at large.

Any unsolicited resumes/candidate profiles submitted through our website or to personal email accounts of employees of Saildrone are considered property of Saildrone and are not subject to payment of agency fees.