Saildrone - Mission Manager

Saildrone Inc.
Alameda, CA 94501
United States

Sailing Management
Job Start Date
Manages Others
Experience Required
Degree Required
Security Clearance Required
No but clearances certainly welcome
Housing Provided
Employment Type
Full Time
Work Schedule
No Travel

Job Description

The Role

We are seeking qualified Mission Managers to join the Mission Control team, situated within the Operations Department at Saildrone, HQ. Mission Managers’ primary responsibility is to pilot and monitor on-the-water vehicle operations both internally and externally in service to our customers.

During missions, data and vehicle telemetry is streamed in real time to Saildrone Mission Control. Mission Managers monitor the health of the saildrone fleet and will develop a deep understanding of the vehicles’ payload sensors, including their capabilities and calibrations, as well as the vehicles’ performance in the challenging ocean environment.

The Mission Management team is positioned at a crucial crossroads in the organization and is constantly collaborating with various internal teams as well as Saildrone customers. Candidates for the Mission Management team can expect their day to day work to directly deliver the company’s primary mission of autonomously collecting and returning oceanographic data from remote corners of the world.


  • Vehicle Management

    • Daily remote piloting of saildrones around the globe, ensuring mission execution & safety.

    • Daily monitoring of vehicle and payload health:

      • Passage planning routes that are safe, efficient and meet the mission requirements.

    • Daily monitoring of environmental conditions for areas of vehicle operation.

  • Customer Management & Interactions

    • Participate in collaborative meetings with customers alongside the Mission Control Manager before, during, and after missions.

    • Provide and execute vehicle routing suggestions to optimize mission outcomes.

    • Communicate clearly and professionally on the Saildrone customer-facing Mission Portal.

      • Be able to effectively field a variety of mission-related inquiries from customers.

    • Efficiently refer technical questions to Saildrone internal subject-matter-experts.

  • Authorities Liaison

    • Assist Mission Control Manager with USCG & Vessel Traffic communications.

    • Submit special notices for inclusion in Local Notices to Mariners for relevant missions.

    • Monitor and report on Reserves and Sanctuaries requiring special access permissions.

Required skills and experience

  • Ability to work periodically irregular hours, rotating weekends, and shift work.

  • Deep understanding of maritime operations, including navigation, COLREGS and safety procedures.

  • Sailing experience on a sailboat is required (ideally offshore).

  • Candidate is detail-oriented with a disciplined approach to communications, processes, and projects.

  • Experienced problem solver unafraid of learning new skills and technologies.

  • Candidate must possess excellent oral and written communication skills.

  • Able to interact fluidly with multiple audiences, including governmental agency leadership, senior executives, Engineers, and Operations personnel.

  • Interest and passion for new technology applications for Maritime Awareness and Homeland Security.

  • Proficiency with technology (GSuite, Slack, etc.) a plus.

Desire skills and experience

  • Significant experience on deep sea vessels as officer in charge of a navigational watch.

  • Experience within Command and Control Center environments.

  • Deep intuitive understanding of how sailing vessels perform at sea.

  • Experience leading a team in a maritime environment.

  • Demonstrated record of success translating and prioritizing mission needs into actionable outcomes.

  • Active or prior Security Clearance is a plus.

  • Experience investigating and analyzing marine weather reports.

  • Bachelor’s Degree a plus; or equivalent work experience.

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 Paternal Leave Programs

  • Competitive benefits including excellent medical, life insurance, 401k plan

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.

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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.

Jack Kiernan
Alameda CA 94501
United States
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