The Director, West Africa (WA) provides strategic and technical leadership and manages the strategic planning and implementation of all activities in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria. The Director WA harnesses institutional strategy to define the strategic direction and annual plans in those countries, lead integrated program design and implementation to high quality standards and build partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders, especially producers, civil society organizations, corporations and governments. The Director WA will represent the Rainforest Alliance (RA) and lead a high-performing team, creating a culture that is aligned with RA’s values, The Director WA will maintain effective coordination with colleagues in other functional areas, especially Standards & Assurance, Markets, Communications, Institutional Relations, Global Internal Compliance, HR and Finance & Accounting.
Leadership and management
- Align programmatic work in West Africa with RA’s strategic plans (global, regional, sector-based, etc) through developing sub-regional and country strategies and annual plans.
- Build, in close collaboration with the country directors of West Africa, a high performing, results-oriented and mission driven team that reflects RA’s vision and culture, creating a positive work environment for staff.
- Guide, motivate and develop staff, seeking opportunities for professional advancement and ensuring they understand how their work relates to RA’s global mission strategy.
- Foster structures and processes for effective collaboration and sharing of knowledge and capacity within West Africa and with all other relevant RA units, at the regional and global level.
- Engage and cooperate on major sustainability and landscape issues with main private and public sectors at sub-regional and national levels.
- Oversee the design and implementation of sub-regional annual plans and budgets.
Advocacy and External Engagement:
- Develop and maintain functional partnerships with Rainforest Alliance clients, farmers, partners, platforms, NGOs, governments, certification bodies and other stakeholders.
- Enhance RA’s reputation, credibility and positioning in West Africa.
- Contribute to sector transformation and advocacy for sustainable landscape management by supporting RA and other selected certification programs, advancing a positive enabling environment, and engaging key stakeholders.
- Represent RA at key events, presentations, policy forums and roundtables.
- In collaboration with the Communications department, develop and disseminate communications materials on work in West Africa.
Fundraising and business development:
- Engage key businesses to stimulate demand for Rainforest Alliance products and develop potential for public-private partnerships;
- Develop and implement a long-term West-Africa regional budget and financial plan, in collaboration with Finance, Institutional Relations and other relevant units.
- Contribute and/or oversee design, writing and budgeting of fundraising proposals to secure long-term funding for Landscapes and Communities Programs in West Africa.
- Identify funding opportunities in close collaboration with Director Strategic Projects and cultivate long-term relationships with senior leads and decision makers from governments, companies, aid agencies and CFR donors;
- Masters ‘degree in natural resource management, forestry, agriculture or a related field, or equivalent professional experience.
- At least 15 years’ experience in the development and execution of sustainability programs.
- At least 5 years of experience in people management.
- At least 7 years of working experience in the cocoa sector.
- Ability to develop and maintain strong relationships of trust and confidence with national and international stakeholders and relevant platforms.
- Experience with regional strategy and budget development and implementation.
- Knowledge and understanding of certification and verification standards and systems.
- At least 5 years of direct experience in preparing and implementing grants funded by bi-lateral and multi-lateral organizations and companies;
- Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills in French and English, both written and verbal;
- Ability and willingness to travel at least 30% of the time nationally and internationally.
- Demonstrated commitment to the RA mission and values.