Director, Sustainable Food & Agriculture Markets

United States- Arlington, VA Headquarters
Apr 21, 2017
May 22, 2017
Executive, Director
Full Time

One of humanity’s greatest challenges is finding ways to produce the food we need for a growing global population and a rising middle class without destroying natural resources upon which food production, and ultimately humanity, depends. Consequently, agriculture is a central element of Conservation International (CI) sustainable Production strategy and soy and palm oil are focal commodities due to the impacts, both positive and negative, that production of these commodities can have on local economies, communities and the environment.  

CI’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business (CELB) leads the Sustainable Production strategy, and this Director position is situated within Sustainable Food and Agriculture Markets (SFAM) program of CELB.  CI’s strategies for sustainable palm oil and soy are built around: 1.) Generating Demand for sustainable palm oil and soy, 2.) Demonstrating sustainable production systems, 3.) Supporting good governance and policy mechanisms to guide the sectors towards sustainability. This strategy is implemented by a range of CI units and divisions. The primary function of this Director position is to lead implementation of CI’s global strategy for generating demand for sustainable palm oil and soy. This position will report to the Vice President, Sustainable Production.


Leading implementation of CI market strategy for the palm oil and soy sectors:  The Director will lead definition and implementation of CI’s market facing strategies for the palm oil and soy sectors. This will involve managing relationships with companies, NGOs and other stakeholders as well executing market research, creating market-facing tools and materials to guide market transformation, participating and engaging in industry events, and managing technical CI input to market standards such as the RSPO and RTRS. CI market strategies are closely linked to field demonstrations and the work of multiple units in CI, and the Director will need to manage extensive communication and engagement with these CI units to ensure appropriate synergies between different teams and the work they contribute to CI’s larger sustainable production strategies.

Managing partnerships and project implementation: The Director will be responsible for building and maintaining partnerships with companies and donors and managing these projects to ensure their successful implementation.  This requires anticipating project and partner needs, managing a range of parallel activities and projects, maintaining budgets and deadlines, and strong initiative.  In addition to managing and delivering key products to current partners, the Director will support the development of fundraising concepts and proposals and foster new partnerships through strong communication and outreach, positioning CI as leader in the areas of conservation and sustainable agriculture in the palm and soy sectors.   


This position will work from the CI-Virginia office. 

It will require travel to CI field offices, conferences, and partner facilities in the US and abroad. Estimated travel requirements would be ~20% of time.



  • 7-10 years of experience related to sustainable commodity production, business and environmental sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, business, international development, conservation or other related field
  • Knowledge and understanding of commodity value chains, certification and other sustainable supply chain systems relevant to the palm oil and soy sectors
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects or initiatives that involve multiple internal and external stakeholders across private and public sectors and civil society organizations
  • Proven ability to engage and establish partnerships with corporations
  • Proven ability to develop proposals, budgets and workplans
  • Proven ability to work effectively across cultures, establish and manage effective collaborations
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to synthesize and communicate information to businesses and other stakeholder groups


  • Direct experience in the palm oil and/or soy sectors
  • Foreign language abilities with preference for Bahasa Indonesia, Portuguese, Spanish, French or Mandarin
  • Experience in research and writing on CSR topics in business or academic settings through published reports, articles or contributions to significant company consulting projects

To apply, please submit Resume/CV and Cover Letter before May 17, 2017

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