At the Island Institute, we work alongside Maine’s island and coastal leaders to catalyze community sustainability. Our commitment to the islands of Maine includes sharing what works among these diverse locations, so that other island and coastal communities can meet the unique challenges they face.

This work wouldn't be possible without a talented staff that brings a wide range of experience, skills, and passion to everything we do. If you are interested in working with us, please continue to check this site or the Maine Association of Nonprofits Job Board—we post open positions as they become available across all of our project areas.

Please refer to each job description for application guidelines, and contact Karen Burns, Chief Talent Officer, at, with any additional questions.

Current open positions

Chief Operating Officer

The Island Institute seeks experienced, visionary, and creative candidates for the position of Chief Operating Officer. The person in this position will build the Institute’s capacity to sustain effective processes over the long term and will bring the skills, guidance, and mentoring needed to implement a flexible, team-based operating model. Successful candidates will bring significant operations experience and wisdom to the organization, based on a career working in operations with similarly sized or larger organizations.

The Chief Operating Officer will be a “hands-on” business leader who will make recommendations to enhance the current processes, procedures, systems, and business disciplines necessary to allow staff to focus on their impact and achieve excellence in their work.

The ideal candidate is a collaborative, energetic leader capable of driving efficiencies and providing management guidance, direction, and support to employees at all levels of the organization. He or she will be flexible in their management approach, proactive in their interaction with others, and will partner with leaders throughout the organization to ensure that they have highly functioning, cross-organizational systems that can help them meet or exceed their impact targets.

The Chief Operating Officer position reports to the president of the Island Institute and is based in Rockland, Maine.

We have retained Robert Half Executive Search as our partner in this search.
For the full job description or more information on how to apply for the Chief Operating Officer position, please contact Erica O’Shaughnessy at

Chief Development Officer

The Island Institute seeks a passionate, mission-driven, strategic leader for the full-time position of Senior Development Officer

The Senior Development Officer will lead and coordinate a team of development officers and major gift officers, consultants, and volunteers to implement our comprehensive fundraising efforts at Island Institute. This role will also work closely with teams throughout the organization to develop and implement both short- and long-term strategies for philanthropic revenue growth. Successful candidates will be able to work cross-functionally to build-out the development infrastructure to meet the needs of the organization’s overall strategic initiatives.

The Senior Development Officer will report to the president, serve on the management committee of the organization, work closely with the Institute’s board of trustees, and serve as staff support for the board’s development committee. Responsibilities will include designing and executing the Island Institute’s fundraising plan; leading the development, execution and reporting of fundraising campaigns; managing the Development team, ensuring that staff have the resources and support needed to meet development targets; and managing key staff in cultivating and stewarding individual, foundation, corporate and other donors. 

The ideal candidate will have a bachelor's degree (master's degree preferred) with 10+ years of professional experience in a nonprofit organization and demonstrated success in a lead development function; expertise managing and forging relationships with multiple donor sources; tangible experience in expanding and cultivating existing donor relationships over time; demonstrated success leading a team of development professionals; and experience working with a board of trustees.

We have retained Robert Half Executive Search as our partner in this search.
For the full job description or more information on how to apply for the Senior Development Officer position, please contact Erica O’Shaughnessy at

Available Internships

2019 Summer Internship Program

Unpaid internships at the Island Institute provide opportunities for college students to learn more about careers in such fields as education, renewable energy and energy efficiency, climate change, community/economic development, publications/media, data management, development and more.

Benefits to students include:

  • Gaining valuable learning and career experience under the guidance of an Island Institute mentor;
  • Developing skills to match classroom-based theoretical learning;
  • Making connections that can lead to future career and academic opportunities;
  • Giving their résumés a boost with experiences relevant to career interests; and
  • Assessing their interest and abilities to make more informed decisions about their next steps.

Summer Events Internship

The 2019 Summer Events internship will focus on the successful planning and implementation of the Institute’s popular Summer Lecture Series,  a free five-week series that features authors, artists, and experts sharing insights into life on the Maine coast, as well as their perspectives, reflections, and insights on everything from art and aquaculture to modern-day challenges and connections. The anticipated weekly schedule is approximately 10 to 15 hours and the duration of the internship is from mid-June through early August. The intern will be expected to work at the Island Institute on the Wednesdays when the lecture series is being held; other work can be done remotely if needed  

For more information on the Summer Events internship or further details on how to apply, see the full description below:
2019 Summer Events Internship

Sea Level Rise Data Internship

The goal of the Island Institute’s Sea Level Rise team is that, by 2025, 120 island and coastal communities will have implemented infrastructure projects that improve resiliency to sea level rise and flooding effects. The Sea Level Rise (SLR) team needs to identify the current state of planning among the targeted 120 coastal communities and to identify those communities most at risk to rising seas. The purpose of this internship is to help the team assess the current, coastwide state of SLR planning and infrastructure improvements (completed, ongoing, or planned) within the 120 communities with which we work, and assess specific infrastructure needs with those 120 communities, allowing us to better target our planned outreach and support.

The anticipated weekly schedule is approximately 20-30 hours per week for up to 10 weeks, and the duration of the internship is from approximately June 1 to approximately August 15, based on the student’s availability. The intern will be expected to be at the Island Institute only one day a week for check-ins, debriefs, and work planning. The remainder of the time not spent traveling may be spent working remotely as long as the benchmarks set at the beginning of the internship are met.

For more information about the Sea Level Rise Data internship or further details on how to apply, see the full description below:
2019 Sea Level Rise Data Internship

Data Research Internship

The Data Research intern will transfer, collect, and update data for existing Education, Community Data, and Aquaculture projects into the Institute’s developing participant and impact tracking database. He/she will also develop tools for displaying and sharing those data. The anticipated weekly schedule is approximately 20-30 hours per week for up to 10 weeks, and the duration of the internship is from approximately June 1st to approximately August 9th, based on the student’s availability. The intern will work primarily in the Island Institute’s Rockland office, with limited opportunity to work remotely.

For more information about the Data Research internship or further details on how to apply, see the full description below:
2019 Data Research Internship

Island Fellows Program

Island Fellow

The Island Institute seeks qualified candidates for an Island Fellowship, a two-year placement in one of Maine’s 15 year-round communities and coastal communities.

The Island Fellows Program places college and master’s degree graduates in Maine’s coastal and year-round island communities for two years. Fellowships provide a unique opportunity for recent graduates to apply their skills and gain experience helping to build sustainability within communities whose way of life and identity face many challenges. Island Fellows work directly with a host organization within the community on a community identified priority project, while also contributing their own interests and energy to community they live in.

The Island Fellowship position is a two-year placement. After the first year, fellows will participate in work planning to determine the direction of the second year. Fellows are paid an hourly wage and are provided on-island housing, including utilities for no charge. Fellows are also eligible for health insurance and have access to professional development funds. 

For more information about becoming an Island Fellow, visit our website and see the full description below:
2019 Island Fellow