Vice President for Environmental Sustainability, Accra

General Description:

Established in 2000, the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is the world’s leading organization for

cocoa sustainability.   The long-term goals of WCF are set out in our new strategy:

  • Prosperous cocoa farmers become truly sustainable and profitable, with transformation of traditional smallholder farming into modern business that deliver sustainable livelihoods for farmers and their families;
  • Empowered cocoa-growing communities lead their own development, human rights are protected, and safety and wellbeing of children and families are strengthened; and
  • A healthy planet is conserved and enhanced, with resilient and biodiverse landscapes in cocoa geographies, and the carbon footprint of the sector is reduced.

WCF works in six areas:

  1. Convene cocoa and chocolate industry in collective action – to build an aligned, motivated, and knowledgeable membership engaged in collective action;
  2. Facilitate multi-stakeholder partnerships – to engage and leverage the knowledge, financing, skills, and power of different stakeholders to jointly identify and solve key sustainability challenges in the cocoa sector;
  3. Facilitate industry engagement in policy dialogue with government – to identify and address key barriers in the enabling business and policy environment in cocoa producing countries;
  4. Promote industry learning, knowledge sharing, and monitoring and evaluation – in order to identify industry-wide lessons learned and good practices to accelerate science, innovation and impact within companies and across the sector, and strengthen transparency and accountability of industry results and performance;
  5. Help mobilize resources from development partners and financial and capital market institutions – to leverage the additional financing that industry will require to successfully implement collective action initiatives; and
  6. Communicate industry investment and impact and manage reputational risks – to showcase industry’s sustainability efforts and results while identifying and proactively managing risks, particularly related to human rights and environment.

WCF is a membership organization open to private sector companies engaged in all aspects of the cocoa supply chain.  WCF is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.  WCF has an annual budget of about $10 million and a staff of about 40 people.


Position Summary:

The Vice President for Environmental Sustainability provides strategic and technical leadership for the Healthy Planet pillar of the WCF strategy, with a focus on the landmark public-private partnership of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative.

The position reports to the WCF President, and works closely with the senior leadership team, particularly the Vice President for Country Relations, Vice President for Communications and Membership, and the Chief Financial Officer.  The position leads the WCF Environment Team comprising a Technical Director, three Program Managers, and one Program Associate.  The location is flexible among West Africa, Europe, or Washington, D.C. (with a preference for West Africa).


The salary for this role will be commensurate with experience.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


Key responsibilities include:


  • Design strategy and action plan to implement the Healthy Planet pillar of the new WCF strategy, and ensure achievement of key goals and targets related to a deforestation-free supply chain, forest protection and restoration, and climate smart cocoa production;


  • Lead WCF implementation of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI), in collaboration with WCF member companies and partner governments, and ensure achievement of key commitments and outcomes set out in the Framework for Actions;


  • Lead technical policy dialogue with cocoa producing and consuming governments, and inter-governmental organizations, on key environmental sustainability issues to support an effective and efficient enabling business environment for CFI implementation and climate smart cocoa production, in collaboration with the Country Relations Vice President;


  • Oversee development of collaborative external partnerships related to CFI, climate-smart cocoa, and environmental sustainability issues (including with industry, government, technical, donor, and civil society, and media stakeholders) to deepen WCF results and impact;


  • Serve as lead expert on environmental sustainability to WCF Members and staff, and ensure delivery of the latest thinking, innovation, research, and science to accelerate environmental outcomes in CFI and WCF work;


  • Foster external learning, knowledge sharing, and communications on environmental sustainability, to ensure that WCF members and stakeholders receive the highest quality support and knowledge they need, in collaboration with the Vice President for Communications and Membership;


  • Build and sustain strong relationships with current and potential donors interested in providing support to CFI and WCF’s environmental sustainability work, including leading on fundraising and resource mobilization, in collaboration with the WCF President;


  • Ensure effective leadership of the WCF Environment Team, including delivery of annual budget and work program through cost-effective use of resources in compliance with internal controls and policies;


  • Contribute to WCF Leadership Team, and provide cross-support as needed to support implementation of environmental dimensions of the Prosperous Farmers and Empowered Communities pillars of the new WCF strategy; and


  • Serve as lead external spokesperson on environmental issues, in collaboration with the Communications and Membership Team.

Required Skills and Experience:


  • Minimum 15 years of full-time relevant professional experience in global environment, natural resource management, or agriculture and rural development issues, with significant experience in strategic leadership, program delivery, and private sector engagement.


  • Advanced degree in relevant discipline preferred, including environmental sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, development economics, or related field (or 2 years of additional experience).


  • Deep substantive knowledge of investment and policy issues related to global environment, natural resource management, and sustainable agriculture issues (e.g., climate smart agriculture, sustainable food systems, sustainable land use, forest management, biodiversity, landscapes, and carbon finance).


  • Significant experience working with the private sector, and the development and management of high-level public-private partnerships, including developing annual work plans and budgets, monitoring and reporting progress, and identifying and managing risks in partnerships.


  • Track record of working effectively on policy dialogue on complex environmental and natural resource management issues with private sector and public sector partners.


  • Strong familiarity with institutional frameworks, research and financial institutions, and multi-stakeholder and civil society organizations relevant to global environmental work.


  • Strong understanding of developing country context, with experience living and working in Africa preferred.


  • Demonstrated fundraising experience with multilateral and bilateral organizations, and foundations.


  • Experience managing and mentoring staff and contributing to a leadership team in a matrixed organization; and collaborative spirit, with a strong commitment to teamwork with internal colleagues and external partners.


  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a fast-paced office environment, including adaptability to rapidly changing priorities, and ability to manage multiple deadlines and deliver high quality work products.


  • Outstanding oral and written communications skills.


  • Fluency in English, with French as a strongly preferred additional language. How to Apply:

Interested and eligible candidates are requested to upload their cover letter describing their interest in this role and résumé to:


Please address the letter to “Human Resources” and name your files using the following convention: ‘J.Doe Cover and ‘J.Doe Resume’.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until position is filled.  No phone calls please.  Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


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