Program Lead for Business Partnerships and Indigenous Economies

Program Lead
Panama City, Republic of Panama
Deadline for application

August 4, 2020

Program Lead for Business Partnerships and Indigenous Economies: Indigenous Peoples Alliance for Rights and Development (IPARD)

FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) has established an operational office for the Permanent Indigenous Peoples’ Committee (PIPC). In 2019 the FSC Indigenous Foundation (FSC IF) was established as a private interest foundation pursuant to Law No. 25 of June 12, 1995 of the Republic of Panama. The mission of the FSC Indigenous Foundation is to unlock the enabling environment to secure Indigenous Peoples’ rights, and promote sustainable forest-based solutions within 300 million hectares of Indigenous forests on the planet. The vision is that the global value of Indigenous Peoples and their rights, livelihoods, ecosystem services & natural capital and territories are recognized and incorporated into forest governance, climate change governance, and market systems.

The FSC IF will be the implementing agency for an upcoming five-year USAID Global Development Alliance (GDA) Program: Indigenous Peoples Alliance for Rights and Development (IPARD).

The FSC IF seeks a strategic and results-driven Program Lead for Business Partnerships and Indigenous Economies (PL-BPIE) for the IPARD that will report to the Program Director, and will have the following responsabilities: 

  Support the IPARD Program Director by providing strategic and technical leadership for ensuring effective business development and partnerships to strengthen Indigenous economies through innovative economic models.

  Lead assessments and analysis at community, sub-national, and national levels of the effectiveness of Indigenous economic strategies and Indigenous business strategies to improve community-based development, indigenous livelihood practices, and community wellbeing with successful integration to national and international markets.

  Provide strategic and technical leadership in the analysis, development, and promotion of rights-based Indigenous-led economic models for enabling Indigenous Peoples to balance their self-determination objectives and enhance their economic and social wellbeing through their business enterprises and the sustainable management of their natural and cultural resources.

  Build alliances for promoting sustainable Indigenous value chains through partnership with the private sector to implement voluntary certification and sustainability standards including ISEAL Alliance and FSC Certification system.

  Work in collaboration with the Capacity Development and Inclusion Head and relevant partners in the development and implementation of capacity development alliances for improving the entrepreneurial, organizational, and business management capacities of IPOs with strengthening of their governance, performance, development management, marketing, benefit-sharing, and gender equity.

  Build and manage partnerships to design and implement country-level business and economic development programs to support Indigenous Peoples by conducting business analysis, providing business advice, engaging private partners, mobilizing funds, and incubating business ideas, as well as providing guidance on licensing, market research, trade regulations, credit finance, and management plans.

  Work with partners to develop protocols and partnership models to assist the effective collaboration between companies and local communities to foster responsible market-based solutions to enhance community-based development with safeguards of Indigenous rights and self-determination.

  Build and manage strong relationships with key public and private sectors as well as investors, donors, financial sectors, and other relevant stakeholders to create willingness for partnering with local communities to projects and investments consistent with Indigenous Peoples traditional practices, visions, and objectives as well as recognized safeguard mechanism and FPIC.

  Conduct or oversee analysis to support community decisions, anticipate long-term financial and economic returns and risks of community business and identify alternatives to improve financial returns and socioeconomic benefits of Indigenous economic models.

  Provide thought leadership on a broad range of business, indigenous economy, and partnership development to support the IPGRD partners and beneficiaries.

  Oversee partners, grantees, and contractors in all aspects of activities planning, monitoring, and implementation related to his/her areas of responsibilities.

  Support the development of work plans, performance monitoring, lessons & learning, and periodic reports.

  Oversee grantees and contractors in the area of his/her responsibility ensuring timely, consistent, and adequate compliance with the work plans, budget, and FSC-IF performance management system related to IPGRD Program and USAID.


Your Profile

  University degree in business, finance, administration, economics, international development or a relevant field or equivalent experience.

  At least 7 years of relevant experience with 4 years of demonstrated ability to successfully manage day-to-day activities as head or manager related to business development and administration,   community    development,   cooperatives,    and                                 community    businesses.

Experience with Indigenous business will be considered a plus.

  Extensive and strong network of contacts in the field.

  Strong negotiation skills and ability to build long-term partnerships, multi-sectoral collaboration.

  Effective communication skills with experience preparing for and engaging with senior management and business teams.

  Good ability to mentor and coach small organisations and businesses.

  Strong knowledge of safeguard policies, indigenous economies, and market-based responsible business including FPIC and voluntary market certification.

  Excellent written and spoken English AND Spanish is required. Portuguese will be considered a plus.

  Demonstrated cultural awareness and sensitivity to the diversity of values, views and approaches to issues relevant to the FSC IF. 

  Familiarity with international projects or programs oriented for Indigenous Peoples and/or Local communities in Latin America, Africa or Asia.

  Ability to respond adequately and efficiently to pressure meeting deadlines with delivery of exceptional products.

How to Apply

Please submit by August 30, 2020 (5pm, Panama) to


Cover letter (two page maximum) including salary proposal and two professional references.

This position is contingent upon award and approval by USAID. Qualified members of Indigenous Peoples are encouraged to apply. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Salary for the position will be negotiated according to qualifications and relevant experience.