Rainforest Alliance – Senior Director, East and Southern Africa.

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The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities. To achieve our mission, we partner with diverse allies around the world to drive positive change across global supply chains and in many of our most critically important natural landscapes.

Our alliance spans 70 countries and includes farmers and forest communities, companies, governments, civil society, and millions of individuals. Together we work to protect forests  and biodiversity, take action on climate, and promote the rights and improve the livelihoods of rural people.

As an international nonprofit organization with more than 30 years of experience in sustainability transformation, we understand that the social and economic well-being of rural communities is tightly connected to ecosystem health. This knowledge has shaped our rigorous programs to advance sustainable land-use and commodity production.

At the Rainforest Alliance we combat climate change, protect forests and biodiversity, promote human rights, and improve livelihoods. The enormity of the social and environmental challenges we are facing requires working together in a broad alliance. This is why we bring farmers, forest communities, companies, and consumers together to change the way the world produces, sources, and consumes.


To protect nature and improve lives it’s becoming increasingly urgent that we approach the way we use our land and produce food and other products in more sustainable ways. For this to succeed we need to fundamentally change the way that businesses operate and source, and the choices we all make as consumers.


Our growing global alliance aims to transform our relationship with our natural resources and each other, to create a better future for people and nature together.

The Rainforest Alliance encourages diversity and inclusion across the global organization. With this commitment to diversity, we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ages, disability and any other protected group.

Position summary:

The Sr Director, East and Southern Africa provides leadership and manages the strategic planning, fundraising and implementation of Rainforest Alliance’s work in East and Southern Africa: to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers, workers and forest communities. This person connects the institutional strategies of driving landscape and sector transformation and leads program design and implementation, with a focus on Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malawi and South Africa.

The Sr Director is responsible for representing the Rainforest Alliance and building alliances with a wide range of stakeholders, including governments, bilateral and multilateral agencies, the private sector, multi-stakeholder organizations, industry associations, civil society organizations and regional bodies. The position integrates the Landscapes & Communities programs, the certification program and wider sector transformation work, coordinating with other Rainforest Alliance departments and partners to maximize impact and delivery on the institutional strategic priorities in the region.

This position supervises two subregional and three country directors in the region and specialist staff providing key services to the region.


Leadership and Management

  • The Rainforest Alliance’s Core Values are Impact, Change, Collaboration, Openness and Trust and as such they form the basis of the behaviours we demonstrate;
  • Lead, support, motivate and inspire the East and Southern Africa team, building the confidence of colleagues to take initiatives and accept responsibility;
  • Bring the East and Southern Africa work of the Rainforest Alliance together in a dynamic regional, strategic approach, enabling its growing impact; 
  • Support the teams in developing their strategies, annual plans and budgets, in line with institutional priorities and local context. Develop the departmental annual work plan and budget;
  • Enable effective and impactful design and implementation of Rainforest Alliance programs, fostering a culture of excellence, innovation, compliance, and learning;  
  • Collaborate with other departments to achieve the effective design, embedding and implementation of their work in the region;
  • Work closely with the other regional directors to ensure consistency of Rainforest Alliance’s strategic and operational approach across regions and to share learning;
  • Identify and manage financial, legal, and technical risks in coordination with respective departments and escalate issues where appropriate;
  • Keep Chief Program Officer and wider organization informed of key developments, opportunities and challenges in the region; and
  • Carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include hiring; mentoring and evaluating; guiding professional development opportunities; and addressing employee relations issues;

External Engagement, Fundraising and Business Development

  • Develop and maintain relationships with key external contacts, including governments, bilateral and multilateral agencies, the private sector, multi-stakeholder organizations, industry associations, civil society organizations, certification bodies and regional groupings;
  • Promote Rainforest Alliance’s service offerings and impacts to stakeholders in a compelling way that resonates with their interests;
  • Represent Rainforest Alliance at key events, presentations, policy forums and roundtables in the region;
  • Develop and secure long-term funding for the agreed priority Landscapes & Communities’ programs, securing the integration of certification and programmatic initiatives and ensuring a transformative and socially inclusive approach;
  • Support the implementation of the certification program to increase impact for farmers and workers;
  • Other duties as assigned. 


  • Master’s degree in agriculture, environment, business administration, economy, or another relevant international development discipline;
  • Enterprise and servant leadership with proven record of collaboration and teamwork;
  • At least 15 years of experience developing and executing department level strategy and budgets and leading senior staff in multiple countries;
  • Experience working with farmers (small, medium and large) and forest communities in East and Southern Africa;
  • At least 10 years direct experience in preparing and implementing grants funded by bilateral and multilateral organizations and companies;
  • Demonstrated track record of effective partnerships at the regional level to build joint initiatives;  
  • Extensive knowledge of bilateral and multilateral donors, the private sector and foundations;
  • Knowledge and understanding of voluntary certification programs and sustainable finance;
  • Working knowledge of international commodity supply chains, including, coffee, cocoa, palm oil, fruits, and forest products;
  • Experience facilitating industry collaboration, cross-sector coalition building, and systems change methodologies;
  • Key competencies: Transformational leadership, innovation, adaptability, persuasion, critical and reflective thinking, public speaking, resourcefulness, relationship builder based on trust, empathy and openness, and strong organizational skills to manage multiple priorities in a time sensitive manner; 
  • Excellent writing, editing and verbal communication skills, written and verbal proficiency in English is required;
  • Ability to travel a minimum of 25% per year, in the region and beyond.


Commensurate with experience.

Deadline: June 30, 2022



Only candidates authorized to work in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malawi, or South Africa will be considered.




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