MICS seeking Executive Director, Station Director

May 18, 2021

Organization: Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS)
Job Title: Executive Director, Station Director
Availability: Immediate
Status: Full-time

Description of the Organization

Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) is a non-profit, charitable research organization based in both Canada and the United States, dedicated to ecological studies of marine mammals and marine ecosystems. Founded in 1979 by Richard Sears, MICS was the first organization to carry out long-term research of cetaceans in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and first to carry out long-term studies of the endangered blue whale. The principal study areas include the Quebec North Shore in the Mingan Island / Anticosti region, the Gaspe Peninsula and St. Lawrence Estuary.

About MICS

The Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) is a non-profit research organization dedicated to ecological studies of marine mammals and marine ecosystems.   MICS is best known for being the first organization in the world to have carried out long term studies of the blue whale and also has established ongoing studies of humpback, fin, and Minke whales.

MICS has carried out fieldwork in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Sea of Cortez, and off Iceland and the Azores. Mr. Sears has also participated in cetacean research off New Zealand, New Caledonia, South Georgia (South Atlantic), Panama, Costa Rica, Greenland, and in the Gulf of Maine.

The MICS Mission

To promote stewardship and responsible use of our marine ecosystems and the conservation of biodiversity, by improving our understanding of  these  ecosystems through scientific research on marine mammals - sentinels of marine ecosystems - with emphasis on baleen whales in the North Atlantic,  particularly the endangered blue whale.

The guiding principles for the station’s mission are;

  • To gather scientific data
  • To advise and inform interested parties (public and private sector) with fact based information
  • To educate the general public on the status of marine ecosystems in it’s area of study

The Opportunity

Richard Sears having announced his retirement from his current role as CEO as of January 2023, MICS is currently seeking a dynamic, highly experienced, and motivated individual to assume the role of CEO/Station Director.  This individual will bring MICS to the next stage in it’s evolution as a world class research organization and will be responsible for creating the future vision and the action plan to make it happen.

This is an entrepreneurial opportunity with the benefit of starting with a strong existing foundation.  M.I.C.S. is a highly regarded organization in the field and has amassed an extraordinary amount of diverse, impeccable quality critical data over the last 25 years.


  • Define a vision for the future (3 to 5 year plan)
  • Develop a detailed plan for first 12 months
  • Financial Management and non-profit compliance
  • Stakeholder and Partner relationship management (government, private sector, universities, research institutions)
  • Overseeing the creation and management of budgets
  • Fundraising and donor development
  • Supervision of the creation of marketing materials
  • Managing the fundraising efforts of members of the board
  • Helping to create and oversee revenue generating activities
  • Eco Tours
  • Training
  • etc.

Minimum Qualifications

The following qualifications are required for candidates who wish to apply for this position.  Applicants without these minimum qualifications need not apply.

  • Excellent communication skills in both French and English
  • Resident in central and/or eastern Canada
  • Managerial experience with demonstrated excellence (non-profit experience a plus)
  • The desire and ability to embrace an entrepreneurial opportunity
  • A demonstrated ability in orchestrating successful fundraising activities
  • Ability to manage relationships with a Board of Directors
  • Strong financial management and business acumen

Additional Qualifications

The following qualifications would be considered an asset.

  • Personal network of potential donors
  • A strong knowledge of social media communications
  • Proven business development skills
  • Experience in managing a research station
  • A scientific academic background preferably in the biological sciences