• Interviews started
  • Closing date: 21 January 2021


The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop advanced technology to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. To do so, we need to learn by doing and ensure all lessons we learn are making our technology, processes, and people better equipped to achieve the mission. In the role of Head of Quality & Continuous Improvement, you will contribute to this mission by being responsible for: 

  • Leading the way towards quality and compliance with appropriate standards 
  • Developing comprehensive processes for Management of Change, continuous improvement, and a culture of safety
  • Driving testing programs and learning initiatives to accelerate the development and design of our product, organization, and technology

You will have succeeded when we have a proven track record in improved learning, lower cost of failure, and an increased shared understanding of how to reach our objectives fast and safely.

“At The Ocean Cleanup, we are driven to achieve a positive impact on our oceans. We have great ambitions and an in-depth understanding of the problem, we believe anything is possible, and we learn by doing. Our teams are focused on getting things done, but we need to improve in evaluating and anticipating, and better foresight to continuously improve our performance. Are you that professional with passion and drive, as well as the peace of mind to make us see how we can do things (even) better? ” - Lonneke Holierhoek, Director of Science & Outsourced Operations


The Head of Quality & Continuous (Q&CI) improvement will work in the team of Science & Outsourced Operations, servicing the various projects and departments in the organization, and you will report to the Director of Science & Outsourced Operations.

The Head of Q&CI will be responsible for developing methods and initiating projects to support the continuous improvement engineers and quality and testing engineers involved in the various projects towards improvement programs and maximize learning. You will also be responsible for maintaining and ensuring compliance with the quality management system needed for the chain of custody certificate; the certificate will be used in relation to the collected plastic and its use. In addition to this, you will drive a culture of safety, adequately address management of change, and define standards for quality control of outsourced manufacturing and operations.

Your responsibilities include:

  • Processing learning, improvements, and findings leading to minimal impact on business operations but maximal impact for our cleaning operations
  • Managing compliance with the QMS and applicable standard for the chain of custody
  • Driving the culture of safety and embed the management of change protocols in activities and operations
  • Supporting the Head of Manufacturing and the Head of Outsourced Operations by appropriate standards on quality assurance and quality control with our (international) execution partners.
  • Supporting performance on testing programs and Learning & Continuous Improvement objectives by guiding resources not directly reporting to you


  • Master's or Bachelor's degree in process engineering or equivalent
  • At least 8 years of relevant work experience in a matrix organization, facilitating quality assurance or testing & development management
  • Seniority in improving business processes 
  • Fluent in English (verbal and written)
  • Experienced in chain of custody applications is a plus


  • Natural leadership qualities, inspirational management style
  • Able to perform well in a fast-paced and highly challenging environment
  • Ability to venture outside well-traveled paths
  • Result-driven and self-motivated, also in the face of adversity and setbacks
  • Passionate about learning & development
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful mission

Please note: because we are a non-profit, our salaries reflect that of an organization fully reliant on donations, rather than that of a commercial entity.

Starting from:
January 2021
Work permit needed:
European Union

Interviews have started, but please feel free to apply, as we might consider new applications.