National Fisheries Institute

National Fisheries Institute Logo

President & CEO

The Opportunity

NFI is a nonprofit industry trade association focused on promoting sustainable and affordable seafood as the daily protein food choice for feeding the world. From vessels at sea to seafood restaurants, NFI’s diverse member companies bring fish and shellfish “water to table.” With members from all areas of the seafood industry’s supply chain, NFI’s mission is to create an environment for its members to sell more seafood more profitably.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the President & CEO serves as the Chief Executive Officer of NFI and is central to the continued growth and success of the National Fisheries Institute and its ability to deliver value for its membership. Key responsibilities include the ongoing achievement of NFI’s mission, strategic objectives, and financial goals as determined by the Board of Directors, in addition to organizing, leading, and directing the staff in conjunction with the efficient management of NFI’s programs and activities. He or she must effectively represent NFI’s diverse seafood industry membership base across an ever-changing global economic, environmental, regulatory, and political environment while remaining in tune with shifting trends and attitudes towards seafood.

About NFI

A 501(c)(6) organization based in McLean, VA, NFI’s budget is approximately $4.5M, with its affiliated organization adding another $7M. NFI’s primary areas of focus are legislative and regulatory advocacy, media communications and marketing, including research, and providing industry support for developing technical data needed to support advocacy positions and member needs. Due to the global and diverse nature of the industry, NFI works extensively with a variety of both domestic and international companies and affiliated organizations operating across multiple points in the seafood supply chain.

NFI and its members are committed to the sustainable management of our oceans and being stewards of our environment by endorsing the United Nations Principles for Responsible Fisheries. Investment in our oceans today will provide our children and future generations the enjoyment and health benefits of a plentiful supply of fish and seafood tomorrow. From responsible aquaculture to a marketplace supporting free trade, to ensuring the media and consumers have the facts about the health benefits of fish and shellfish, NFI and its members support and promote sound public policy grounded in science.

The President & CEO Role

As NFI’s chief staff executive, the President & CEO role will give the right candidate the opportunity to build on NFI’s strong foundation and global influence to further the Association’s strategic objectives, in concert with the Board of Directors. The ideal candidate will be able to quickly integrate into the Association as well as build trust and credibility with staff, the Board, the overall NFI membership, and across a wide range of external stakeholder groups, including government, non-government, trade, media, and various private organizations.The ideal candidate will lead with a charismatic and passionate style, a curious mindset, and a high level of emotional intelligence in order to foster engagement and strong relationships across all stakeholder groups. He or she will have a demonstrated track record of delivering results while playing an integral role in building unity through a collaborative approach to problem solving.

Strategic Objectives for the President & CEO

  • Broadly engage membership base to foster active member participation across NFI’s key strategic initiatives, ongoing activities, and membership programs. Through both proactive and responsive lobbying, marketing, and media relations efforts, help convey the seafood industry’s critical role in sustainably and safely feeding a growing global population.
  • In conjunction with Board input and direction, enhance value created for NFI members through the execution, refinement and/or development of various programs, services, resources, and member forums.
  • Effectively and efficiently manage NFI’s operations and activities in order to consistently achieve annual budgetary objectives.
  • Represent member companies with governmental, non-governmental, trade, media, and other key stakeholder groups to promote increased access to seafood supply and the growth of seafood consumption in the US.
  • Leverage strategic relationships with external stakeholders to effectively extend resources available for members and the impact of NFI’s overall mission.
  • Grow NFI membership through proactive recruitment and effective marketing efforts.
  • Attract, retain, and develop NFI staff in service of member needs and objectives and in such a way as to promote an exciting, challenging, and rewarding professional environment.

Key Responsibilities

The President & CEO reports to the Board of Directors through the Officers and Executive Committee, from whom he or she receives general administrative guidance and direction. He or she is tasked with developing, directing, controlling, evaluating, and operating within areas of responsibility set by the Board, and assists the Board in setting strategic priorities and in formulating various policies and procedures. During periods between Board of Directors meetings, the President & CEO seeks guidance from the Chairperson, meets regularly with the Officers, and convenes quarterly with the Executive Committee.


  • Serve as a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
  • Assist NFI Officers in implementing effective governance processes, and in conducting all governance-related meetings, including drafting meeting agendas, relevant materials, and meeting minutes.
  • Assist the Board in formulating policy and procedures and act to implement those policies across the Association.
  • Provide input as to Board and Executive Committee composition.
  • Ensure compliance with Association policies, procedures, and bylaws.
  • Complete other duties as assigned by the Board, Executive Committee, and Officers.


  • Under Board direction, develop annual strategic and operating priorities and provide regular updates to Board and membership on progress against goals and objectives.
  • Represent NFI and its members as primary liaison with various strategic partners.
  • Oversee all research initiatives and scientific/technical data creation and aggregation in support of membership needs and priorities.
  • Manage and direct all day-to-day Association administration, operations, and events.
  • Ensure staff has clarity of roles, responsibilities, and key expectations and is held accountable for achieving goals and objectives.
  • Develop staff members’ abilities while looking for and capitalizing on opportunities to motivate, celebrate, and reward performance that achieves objectives.
  • Manage NFI’s annual budget, cashflow, investments, and reserves.
  • Direct and oversee activities contracted for with external service providers (e.g., legal counsel).

Member Engagement

  • Oversee member recruitment and retention efforts, including screening companies for commitment to NFI’s mission, goals, and ethical standards.
  • Lead and direct all member engagement and outreach efforts.
  • Ensure members’ inquiries, concerns, and needs are addressed and resourced in a timely manner and as appropriate.
  • Oversee the development and execution of all Association sponsored events.

Advocacy, Government Relations & Communications

  • Direct and oversee all state, national, and international government affairs and advocacy efforts.
  • Under Board direction, lead Association efforts to affect a regulatory environment favorable to NFI members.
  • Serve as advocate on behalf of members with various governmental bodies and political associations.
  • Craft, recommend, and implement communications strategies that advance NFI’s advocacy goals.
  • Direct and oversee all media relations and outreach activities.
  • Direct and oversee all Association marketing activities.
  • Represent NFI and its members at key industry conferences and speaking engagements.
  • Serve as liaison, representative, director, or in an equivalent role of affiliated industry organizations, as approved by the Board and in support of NFI’s mission.

Required Skills, Experience, and Qualifications

  • Broad experience in legislative and government affairs and advocacy. Comprehensive understanding of state, federal, and global government relations.
  • Bachelor’s degree with requisite experience.
  • At least 10 years of service with an association or in an industry with a complex, international supply chain, or in a senior-level seafood industry position.
  •  A combination of 15 years of progressive experience in general administrative, financial and/or other fields appropriate to association management.
  • International trade experience, in addition to demonstrated success in managing across various stakeholders in a global industry is strongly preferred.
  • Ten years of substantial supervisory experience.
  • Ability to travel up to 30% of the time, domestically and internationally.

Personal Qualities, Skills, and Competencies

  • A positive outlook, emotional maturity, and even-keeled demeanor.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to effectively work across a wide spectrum of constituents and enable the development of trusting relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Ability to translate complex problems clearly and in nontechnical terms.
  • Demonstrated proactive approach to problem-solving with strong decision-making and critical thinking capabilities.
  • Conflict management experience and skills.
  • Experience working across diverse constituent base to drive results.
  • High emotional quotient — the ability to understand, use, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.
  • Ability to manage across divergent interests and track record of being able to say “no” while still fostering ongoing engagement.
  • Demonstrated ability to achieve results through others.
  • Curious nature; passionate life-long learner.
  • Demonstrable humility.
  • Resiliency, agility, and resourcefulness.


A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate.

To Apply

To apply, please send a cover letter and current résumé (Microsoft Word® format preferred) here. The cover letter should outline how your experience fits the requirements of the position as this will be an important factor in considering your candidacy.

The National Fisheries Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Disclaimer: This job description identifies the general duties and minimum level of skills required to perform this job. It is not intended to represent a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.

Sterling Martin Associates is committed to providing equal opportunity for employees and applicants in all aspects of the employment relationship, without regard to race, religion, color, age, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, political affiliation, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.