Director of Contracting



Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Friday, April 26, 2024

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

  • Reporting to the VP of Business Development, the position is responsible for designing and managing the execution processes of our Federal and commercial contracts, from inception to signature.
  • You will support the Proposals team in the review and preparation of solicitations, proposals and bids, as well as negotiate and execute contracts, contract modifications, teaming agreements, subcontracting agreements, and consortium agreements.
  • You will closely partner with our VP, Head of Legal to review contracts and proposals for compliance with internal policies and applicable Federal Acquisition Regulations and to develop compliance programs for our growing business.
  • You will collaborate and ensure seamless communication with our Account Executives, Program Managers, and Operations teams, to understand how we serve our customers and to transition closed opportunities to those teams for implementation and delivery.
  • You will leverage your existing strong working relationships with government contracting officers and Government stakeholders, as well as your knowledge of Federal contracting practices, to support the Sales team in their efforts to capture opportunities.
  • You will maintain our Federal registrations, develop practices for sales on our GSA schedule, and maintain our contracts database.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required skills and experience

10+ years of hands-on experience in negotiating and executing Federal contracts

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Intimate knowledge of multiple contract types and formats governed by Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations (DFAR), General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR), and Other Transactions Authority (OTA)
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a TOP SECRET / SCI security clearance
  • Desired skills and experience
  • Contract Management Certifications (e.g. DAWIA, CFCM)
  • Active TOP SECRET / SCI security clearance
  • Strong, pre-existing working relationships with Federal contracting organizations
  • Deep knowledge of and experience with GSA schedules
  • Excellent negotiation and influencing skills
  • Executive presence and professional demeanor
  • Impeccable judgment
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to adjust quickly and adapt to changing priorities
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
  • Strong computer skills in MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as the ability to learn new computer applications

Physical Requirements

  • Availability to travel to corporate headquarters in Alameda at least once every 6 months. Work is performed on a computer and requires ability to operate a keyboard and other peripheral device

Location: This position is based in Washington, D.C. Saildrone’s DC office is conveniently located at Metro Center in downtown Washington, D.C., between the White House and Capitol Hill. Only candidates with proper permits to work in the United States and a willingness to report to the office in-person will be considered.


  • 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

A reasonable estimate of the current range is $198,000-$230,000 annually.

Catch up on the latest news about us:

The Tiny Craft Mapping Superstorms at Sea – The New York Times
An Underwater Mountain was Newly Discovered off California Coast – San Francisco Chronicle
Hacking the Anthropocene with Survivalist Robots [VIDEO] – Freethink
An Unprecedented View Inside a Hurricane – EOS
Saildrone’s First Aluminum Surveyor Autonomous Vessel Splashes Down for Navy Testing – TechCrunch
USVs Could Deter IUU Fishing – USNI Proceedings
Saildrone Vehicles Track Whales around Offshore Wind Power – Workboat
Mullen, Former Joint Chiefs Chairman, to Lead Board for Unmanned Tech Firm Saildrone – Breaking Defense
The Navy Is Using Robot Ships to Deter Human Smuggling out of Haiti – Defense One
Saildrone's Quiet Voyage: Autonomous Vehicle Aids Great Lakes Fish Stock Study – Up North Live
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.