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Mission Manager

Operations | Alameda, CA | Full Time | From $105,000.00 to $120,000.00 per year

Job Description

About Us

At Saildrone, we sustainably explore, map, and monitor the oceans to understand, protect, and preserve our world. We provide real-time access to critical data from any ocean on earth, 24/7/365, and use proprietary software applications to transform that data into actionable insights and intelligence. Our fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs), powered by renewable wind and solar power, have a minimal carbon footprint and operate without the need for a crewed support vessel. Saildrone works with governments, civil agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas—from sailing into the eye of a category 4 hurricane to obtain new data about how storms intensify, collecting new CO2 data in hard-to-reach areas, and counting fish biomass to inform sustainable fishery management, to mapping the ocean floor and reducing illegal fishing and drug trafficking. As a result of our work, Saildrone has been included on Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, earned an Ocean Awards’ Innovation Award, won Best Tech For Good from the Timmy Awards, and was recognized by Andreessen Horowitz’s American Dynamism 50 list of the Top 50 Companies Kickstarting American Renewal. Our first-annual Atlantic hurricane mission with NOAA was included as one of The New York Times’ 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. Saildrone is 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 qualified Mission Managers to join the Mission Control Team, situated within the Operations Department at Saildrone, HQ.  Mission Managers’ primary responsibilities are to plan the operational aspects of our varied projects and to 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 with 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.  


  • 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.
  • Vehicle Management
    • Daily monitoring of vehicle and payload health: 
      • Passage planning routes that are safe, efficient and meet the mission requirements.
    • Mission Managers must be able to remotely pilot our fleet of saildrones around the globe, ensuring mission execution & safety. 
    • Daily monitoring of environmental conditions for areas of vehicle operation.
  • Authorities Liaison and Administrative
    • 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.
    • Actively contribute to the refinement and documentation of processes integral to Mission Control Operations.  

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Deep understanding of maritime operations, including navigation, COLREGS and safety procedures.
  • Deep intuitive understanding of how sailing vessels perform at sea.
  • Candidate must possess excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work periodically irregular hours, rotating weekends, and shift work.
  • Candidate is detail-oriented with a disciplined approach to communications, processes, and projects.
  • Experienced problem solver unafraid of learning new skills and technologies.
  • 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.

Desired Experience

  • Significant experience on deep sea vessels as officer in charge of a navigational watch.
  • Offshore sailing experience.
  • Experience within Command and Control Center environments.
  • 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. 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:

The Tiny Craft Mapping Superstorms at Sea – The New York Times

Saildrone Takes the Wraps Off its Voyager Autonomous Research Vehicle – TechCrunch

An Underwater Mountain was Newly Discovered off California Coast – San Francisco Chronicle

The Quest for CO2: You Can’t Capture What You Can’t Find – Inside Unmanned Systems

Hacking the Anthropocene with Survivalist Robots [VIDEO] – Freethink

Here’s What Hurricane Fiona’s Surf Looked Like, from Atop a 50-foot Wave – The Washington Post 

An Unprecedented View Inside a Hurricane – EOS 

Meet the sailing robots trying to solve climate change – The Hill 

They Sailed Into a Hurricane, Now These Unmanned Saildrones are Seeking Data on Our Carbon Uptake – CNN 

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.

Individual compensation packages are based on geographic location, scope of the role, relevant experience, and the ability to deal with complexity and problem solve within our organization, among other factors

Individuals who require employer sponsorship to remain employed in the United States now or in the future will not be considered for hire for certain positions.

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.