The Senior Director, Programs will hold primary responsibility for leading the design and implementation of the strategic and operational programs of the Rights and Resources Group (RRG), the coordination mechanism of the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a global coalition dedicated to dramatically scaling-up global recognition and support of the rights and livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The Senior Director will also support the President of RRG in ensuring the development and execution a comprehensive strategy across the (RRI) Coalition to advance RRI’s mission, goals, and targets.

The incumbent will join the President and Chief Operating Officer as a member of the Executive Team to provide overall oversight and leadership to RRG. S/he will also be a member of the Senior Management Team, the group of Program Directors who jointly develop, lead, and manage program strategies, plans, and budgets, for RRG and RRI. The Senior Director will represent RRG and RRI internationally to advance RRI’s goals and position and to provide thought leadership towards mobilizing greater global awareness and action for RRI’s mission. S/he will support and manage the Directors of RRG’s Strategic Analysis and Global Engagement, and Regional Programs for Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The Senior Director sets goals, monitors work, and evaluates results to ensure that departmental and organizational objectives are met and are in line with the needs and mission of the Coalition. This full-time position will be based in either Washington D.C. or Montreal, Québec.

The Senior Director, Programs will develop deep knowledge of program and regional plans and will focus on the following three areas: strategic program leadership, external relationships, and team and program management.

1. Strategic Leadership

  • Support the President in developing and implementing overall program strategy for the RRI Coalition, and partner with the RRG Program Directors to ensure the development and implementation of international, regional, and country program strategies and work plans.
  • Share leadership for organizational strategy as a member of RRG’s Executive Team and Senior Management Team, including: the development of organization-wide and departmental annual goals, strategies, and desired outcomes, along with the development of corresponding budgets; and for creating and sustaining an organizational culture that attracts and motivates a diverse, exemplary staff, enables collaboration and strategic innovation.
  • Responsibility for overall work quality and integration of learning and best practices in all programs at the organizational and Coalition levels.
  • Lead efforts to identify and assess how emerging trends and issues may impact the cause of Indigenous Peoples and community rights and self-determination, and the relative position, relevance, and effectiveness of the RRI Coalition and the specific programs of RRG.
  • Responsibility for catalyzing and mobilizing support for new strategic initiatives to further strengthen the field of indigenous and community rights globally.
  • Ensure the development and execution of RRG’s global engagement strategy and play a leading role implementing this strategy in the international arena.

2. External Relationships/Engagement

  • Represent RRG and RRI at international conferences and other relevant events and provide thought leadership regarding RRI’s mission. Share leadership and responsibility for fundraising and developing other resources necessary to support RRI’s mission.
  • Ensure strategic engagement with RRI Coalition Partners, Affiliated Networks, Collaborators, Fellows, and other international organizations and leaders, to optimize RRI’s effectiveness and contributions to global development.
  • Support the RRG President and Program Directors in building relationships with international stakeholders, including indigenous and community leaders, government officials, fellow NGOs, and donors, and increase RRI’s visibility within the international development, investment, and intergovernmental communities.
  • Present Program Management Reports to the Board of Directors and/or Board committees and donors; prepare and present other reports to the Board or President as requested.

3. Team and Program Management

  • Support, learn from, train, and mentor Program Directors on development of program strategy, program management, and project-level management of program staff; ensure resources are available and utilized to develop strong technical leadership for each program area.
  • Establish and monitor progress of each program towards the five-year strategic objectives.
  • Support development and integration of regional and cross-cutting global thematic initiatives including, Gender Justice, Alternative Tenure and Economic Models, and Rights and Climate.
  • Conduct site visits to the extent necessary to measure program performance, ensure quality, and track outcomes.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • A deep personal and professional commitment to RRI’s mission of transforming political economies globally to recognize and support the rights and self-determined development of the world’s Indigenous Peoples, and marginalized ethnic minorities and local communities through secure collective land and resource rights.
  • Demonstrated humility and commitment to listening to, learning from, and then supporting indigenous and local community leaders, members, and organizations to help them design and develop their own agendas and strategies, and leveraging public, civil, and private sector organizations to support those agendas.
  • Demonstrated expertise in developing and leading strategic analyses and effective advocacy campaigns that respond to local indigenous or community demands and strategically mobilize and coordinate diverse organizations to leverage globally significant impact.
  • Highly energetic with an ability to work independently, travel internationally up to 25% of the time, and maintain a strong commitment to teamwork across multiple organizations.
  • Creative and independent thinker with a track record of thought leadership and success in achieving organizational objectives, including through conception and implementation of new ideas.
  • Strong executive and program management skills. Ability to balance competing priorities; work effectively in complex situations and within tight deadlines. Capacity to oversee programs and professional program staff located in remote geographies.
  • Excellent communication skills, including written, verbal and non-verbal. Superior public speaking skills with an ability to make and use distinctions as to types, frequency, tenor and levels of communications, depending upon circumstances, audience, recipient, and content.
  • Ability to work effectively and constructively with a range of internal and external partners; work as a collaborative member of teams including administration, development, communications, operations and other program teams. Ability to lead, motivate and direct others, both as a team leader and a team member in support of the team leader.
  • Expertise in one or more of the following areas strongly desired: nonprofit performance measurement; ethics and accountability, particularly when working with marginalized populations; and/or leadership development.
  • Eagerness to join an enthusiastic team of passionate and hard-working individuals who are committed to: doing their best to help Indigenous Peoples, and local communities advance their rights and aspirations, relentlessly innovating, holding each other to the highest standards, and supporting each other in the quest to make this world a better place.

Professional Qualifications:

  • Graduate or professional degree (or experience equivalent) in a relevant field (law, international studies, economics, social science, business, etc.) strongly desired.
  • At least 15 years of relevant experience working in the international development arena. Significant experience as an executive/leader in a civil society organization.
  • Existing, strong, relationships with Indigenous and community leaders, and leaders of other organizations and donors active in the international forest, land, natural resources and indigenous rights arenas, and proven ability to build trust and strategic coordination towards common goals.
  • Transparent and high integrity leadership.
  • Solid, hands-on, budget management skills, including budget preparation, analysis, decision-making and reporting.
  • Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation.
  • Expertise in fundraising and donor relations, knowledgeable of fundraising strategies and donor relations unique to nonprofit sector.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Exceptional public speaking ability, as both a researcher and as an advocate.
  • Strong software skills; proven ability to proficiently use Outlook Work, Excel, PowerPoint, and the Internet.
  • Fluency in either Spanish or French strongly desired, fluency in other additional languages desired.

To apply:

Please apply here with resume and cover letter. Alternatively send both to hr [at] with the Subject line: “Senior Director, Programs”. Applications will be accepted immediately through May 31, 2019 and interviews conducted on a rolling basis.