Job Opportunity: Chief Program Officer at Landesa | Land Portal

The Chief Program Officer (CPO) is the face and leader of Landesa’s programmatic work to the outside world and responsible for developing and overseeing programs, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and the training and mentoring of program staff, across all of Landesa’s work.  The CPO will also help develop new and growing areas of work.  The CPO serves as a vital member of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT).

Reporting and relationships:  The CPO reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), is part of Landesa’s Executive Leadership Team and supervises 3-5 direct reports. The CPO works closely with the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Development Officer, head of Finance, Regional and Program Directors, and other staff as relevant.

Availability:  The CPO will be expected to work a standard workweek of 40 hours plus additional hours as necessary to get the job done.  This position will require international and domestic travel of up to 65 days annually (assuming return to normal travel).  Currently, all staff are 100% virtual during the pandemic.  Post pandemic, this position will likely be located in Seattle or Washington, DC, but there  may be room for other locations.

Essential Job Functions

Program Leadership

  • Lead the development and implementation of programmatic work:
    • As part of the ELT, develop organizational strategy, including the development of annual goals, strategies, and desired outcomes, along with the development of corresponding budgets.
    • Actively work to develop, support and implement strategic organizational and programmatic activities;
    • Provide senior technical advise to ensure program activities align with best practices in land governance;
    • Forecast program resource and staffing needs and working closely with Resource Development and Program Operations to ensure those resources are available;
    • Approve allocation of available resources across programmatic needs.
  • Represent Landesa’s programmatic work
    • Support the CEO and colleagues in building relationships with international stakeholders, including government bodies, multilateral institutions, NGOs, and donors;
    • Present Program Reports to the Board of Directors and Board committees;
    • Represent Landesa at meetings within the nonprofit and philanthropic community and at conferences and other relevant meetings and events;
    • Actively promote land rights learnings and ideas through publications and social media. 
  • Supervise Directors and program teams:
    • Manage program leaders;
    • Foster a culture of openness, risk-taking, learning, and adaptability among program leaders and staff across all of Landesa offices;
    • Ensure program activities are strategic and consistent with and support Landesa’s mission;
    • Ensure that project deliverables are timely and of high quality;
    • Support work across teams to benefit from synergies and leverage expertise across the organization.
  • Provide direct management of certain programs or projects as necessary and agreed with the CEO.
  • Work with the Resource Development team to
    • Ensure resources are available to support programs and projects.
    • Identify and pursue new business development opportunities

Operational Leadership

  • In coordination with the COO, head of Finance, Regional and Program Directors, oversee financial management of programs, including: program budget development; authorizing and monitoring expenditure of contract funds; and identifying opportunities for cost savings and working with contracting partners and vendors to build strong relations.
  • In coordination with the CHRO, address personnel issues, staff empowerment and staff leadership development with a focus on increasing diversity, addressing equity and promoting inclusion among staff. 
  • Assist in the development, implementation, enforcement, and monitoring of program policies and procedures.
  • Develop and/or support initiatives to enhance internal communication, education, efficiency, and effectiveness.  
  • Lead efforts to identify and assess how emerging trends and issues in global development that may impact Landesa's work.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • A deep commitment to the mission of creating opportunity for the world’s poorest women and men through secure land rights and to Landesa’s values. 
  • Strong emotional intelligence and demonstrated ability to effectively manage people and communications with staff, board members and external partners. Demonstrated commitment to working collaboratively with a range of people at all levels and in many countries, with humility, respect and a focus on the results.
  • Commitment to addressing gender and social inclusion issues through programming and internally.
  • Ability and experience articulating a compelling vision, motivating people and leading strategically.
  • Ability to lead teams and individuals as a constructive, solutions-oriented problem solver. 
  • Extensive experience in international development and with private and public sector donors;
  • Nuanced knowledge of and interest in the broader land governance sector; 
  • Creative and independent thinker with a track record of success in achieving organizational objectives, including through conception and implementation of new ideas.
  • Ability to think creatively and strategically to mediate and negotiate successfully with individuals and groups internally and externally. Ability to overcome obstacles to cooperation and to foster harmonious relations.   
  • Strong time, program and project 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 multiple countries across multiple time zones.
  • 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 operations, human resources, finance, development, and communications.  Ability to serve effectively 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; and/or leadership development.  
  • Proficiency using Microsoft’s Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams and, ideally, SharePoint. Ability to quickly learn new technologies relevant to Landesa’s work environment.

Education and Experience

  • Graduate or professional degree in a relevant field (law, international studies, economics, social science, business, etc.) required. 
  • At least 15 years of relevant experience working in a leadership position in the international development arena. 
  • Deep knowledge of land tenure or rural development issues with experience working in multiple geographies.   
  • Significant international/cross-cultural work experience.

Physical and Environmental Conditions: Work is primarily performed indoors with some potential for exposure to safety and health hazards related to electronics work. This position does not require unusual demands for physical effort.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.  Work environment involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of places such as offices, meeting or training rooms, residences, or commercial vehicles; e.g., use of safe work place practices with office equipment, and/or avoidance of trips and falls, and observance of fire regulations and traffic signals.

Work Environment and Working Conditions for Travelers to Developing Countries: While performing the duties of this job, the employee may be exposed to working conditions and hazards which are prevalent for the location and/or country of assignment.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.  Work is primarily performed indoors with some potential for exposure to safety and health hazards related to electronics work.  The employee may be required to travel overseas and domestically.  When traveling overseas in a developing country, the employee may be exposed to:  Physical Hazards (illnesses, noise, extreme temperatures, wet or humid climates, etc.) Road Hazards (unfinished/dirt roads, potholes, traffic-related accidents, etc.), and Atmospheric Conditions (odors, dust, fumes, smog, etc.). 

Additional Comments:  The above job description is not intended as, nor should it be construed as, exhaustive of all responsibilities, skills, efforts, or working conditions associated with this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made in appropriate circumstances to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this job.

Equal employment opportunity has been, and will continue to be, a fundamental principle at Landesa. Landesa is committed to a work environment in which relationships are characterized by dignity, courtesy, and respect. We are committed to nondiscrimination in all of our business operations.

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