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 provides real-time access to critical data from any ocean on earth, 24/7/365, and uses proprietary software applications to transform that data into actionable insights and intelligence. Saildrone’s fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs), powered by renewable wind and solar power, have a minimal carbon footprint and operate 24/7/365, without the need for a crewed support vehicle. We work with governments, civil agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas—from sailing drones into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane to obtain new scientific storm data, mapping 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 included on Fast Company’s annual list of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2022” and earned the 2022 Ocean Awards’ Innovation Award, presented by the Blue Marine Foundation. Saildrone’s hurricane mission was included as one of the 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, St. Petersburg, FL, and Fall River, MA, 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 hands-on Program Manager to own the end-to-end implementation of our Oceanographic and Atmospheric Data missions. This is an exciting opportunity to champion and ensure the success of our missions for the company and our customers. In this role, 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. If you are someone who thrives in a cross-functional and cross-collaborative environment, this position is for you.

This is a critical role with 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 the customer success point person, on all of 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

  • Minimum of five years of experience performing critical path project management and/or managing scientific programs/missions
  • Five years of experience in physical oceanography, ocean data measurement, or closely related field (preferred)
  • 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
  • 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 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 Parental Leave Programs
  • Competitive benefits including excellent medical, life insurance, 401k plan

Catch up on the latest news about us:

An Unprecedented View Inside a Hurricane – EOS (May 6, 2022)

Meet the sailing robots trying to solve climate change – The Hill (Mar. 18, 2022)

They Sailed Into a Hurricane, Now these Unmanned Saildrones are Seeking Data on Our Carbon Uptake – CNN (Dec. 9, 2021)

Saildrone Catches a $100M C Breeze to Build More Robo-boats – TechCrunch (Oct. 18, 2021)

With A Sight, Sound And Radar Picture, Saildrone Could Build An AI Database Of Everything In The Ocean – Forbes (Aug. 16, 2021)

Changing Arctic Environment Could Also Change Technologies Needed to Protect It, Experts Say – SeaPower Magazine (Aug. 2, 2021)

Autonomous Research Vehicle Completes Ocean Crossing from San Francisco to Hawaii – Hydro International (July 13, 2021)

Saildrone Featured Videos Playlist

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.