Advisor - Commodity Operations Unit

  • Posted on 26 February 2020
  • United States | Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, United States
  • Closing on 29 June 2020

Job Description


The Advisor, Commodity Operations Unit (COU) will lead in the development and implementation of Save the Children’s commodity management strategy for Save the Children’s growing USDA McGovern-Dole Food for Education (FFE) portfolio. The position will represent Save the Children’s commodity management and school feeding work in the field of food aid programming both internally and externally, and will collaborate with COU and other colleagues in sharing learning, fostering collaboration, and influencing the adoption of best practices globally.

The Advisor will lead country offices and technical experts in the positioning for and development of competitive proposals highlighting Save the Children’s organizational capacity in commodity management and direct distribution in support of education and nutrition objectives. The Advisor will lead efforts to minimize both financial and reputational risks for Save the Children associated with large commodity losses. The Advisor will provide technical assistance and best practices to active FFE programs to ensure Save the Children exceeds donor expectations in the delivery of daily school meals to thousands of children every year across multiple countries and in challenging environments.

What You’ll Be Doing (Essential Duties)

Commodity Operations Technical Support (55%)

  • Provide strategic solutions and strategies related to commodity selection and management at the country level and work with country leadership on commodity-related project design and innovation.
  • Provide a high level of technical assistance for commodity operations, with a particular focus on risk mitigation, to the growing USDA FFE portfolio that currently includes projects in Guatemala, Liberia, and Sri Lanka.
  • Collaborate with colleagues across Save the Children, as appropriate to: (a) continue to support the uptake of commodity management best practices at the country level; (b) develop USDA specific guidance on supply chain management for the school feeding context.
  • Travel to program implementation areas to support startup activities and to conduct reviews of program implementation, looking particularly at limiting SC’s exposure to risk as related to the importation, storage, transport and distribution of food stocks.
  • Develop tools and standard operating procedures to minimize organizational and financial risks associated with large commodity losses, including but not limited to review of applicable regulations, leading as the primary point of contact on engagement with external commodity stakeholders and communication with USDA Washington, DC and Kansas City.

New Business Development (30%)

  • Play a key role in new business development, designing competitive and comprehensive commodity management plans as a component of integrated food aid proposals particular to USDA, USAID, and WFP opportunities.
  • Work with other business unit technical advisors to develop appropriate commodity rations for the targeted population, with particular attention paid to local context acceptance, dietary requirements, and price competitiveness.
  • Conduct desk research and travel during capture and active proposal phases to collect critical country specific information regarding import requirements, duty free tax status, commodity preferences, primary and secondary warehouse availability, and local in country transport options.

Continuous Improvement, Thought Leadership, and Representation (15%)

  • In collaboration with the Department of Education and Child Protection (DECP) USDA Director and Department of Humanitarian Response (DHR) senior management, the Advisor will develop and communicate an overall strategy to establish and ensure proper commodity management procedures across the growing USDA portfolio. The Advisor will then be responsible for setting clear objectives and measures for self and others in the execution of the portfolio strategy.
  • Work with COU colleagues and SCUS program award managers to engage with COs on new or evolving commodity systems or processes, emerging supply-chain technology, monetization, Local and Regional Procurement (LRP), and the development of local and regional commodity producers/suppliers and associated value-chains.
  • Represent Save the Children’s work on commodity management for school meals internally and externally, sharing learning, fostering collaboration, and influencing the adoption of best practices across the field.
  • Collaborate with COU team members and other Business Teams as appropriate in the development of a COU team strategy that supports enhanced services, innovation and growth across Save the Children commodity awards

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or relevant equivalent experience is required.
  • Minimum of 7-10 years of experience with USDA McGovern Dole Food for Education, PL-480 Title II, and/or WFP commodity management in country offices, in a development and/or emergency context.
  • Willingness and ability to travel up to 30% of the time, primarily internationally.
  • Professional level of technical or managerial knowledge, skills, and experience to manage the operational activities of a unit or team, or provide the technical and management support related to various size programs, grants or projects.
  • Experience in the development and implementation of monitoring systems (including complaints mechanisms), commodity management risk mitigation procedures and practices, and the establishment and delivery of training modules.
  • Thorough knowledge of USDA, USAID, WFP donor requirements, policies and procedures, especially as they relate to commodity management. Conversant with Code of Federal Regulations, 1599, 211, and 216.
  • Thorough understanding of all aspects of the commodity supply-chain from ordering commodities from various donors, trans-ocean shipment, customs clearance and working with freight-forwarders, beneficiary targeting and verification, commodity storage (warehouse operations), distribution methodologies and end use monitoring techniques of USDA, USAID, and WFP commodity programs.
  • Proven ability to make key decisions independently.
  • Ability to set objectives and meet milestones; proven project management skills.
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with key senior leaders inside and across the movement
  • Excellent communication skills to include experience working with persons whose first language is not English.
  • Experience developing successful strategies and project plans.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Proficiency in Spanish and/or French
  • Prior experience in implementing and advising USDA FFE and USAID Title-II programs
  • Knowledge of USCFR Sec. 226 and 228 is an advantage

Why you should join the Save the Children Team

Save the Children US offers outstanding benefits that include health, dental, vision and life insurances, pet insurance, short-term and long-term disability coverage, an Employee Assistance Program, 403(b), generous vacation, personal sick leave, family leave, parental/adoption leave, commuter benefits, dress for your day, and much more.

Click here to learn more about how Save the Children US will invest in YOU!

About the Organization

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.

Save the Children is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for the children it serves and helping protect the children with whom Save the Children is in contact. All Save the Children representatives are explicitly prohibited from engaging in any activity that may result in any kind of child abuse. In addition, it is Save the Children’s policy to create and proactively maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter any actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that place children at the risk of any kind of child abuse. All our representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this commitment and obligation. Any violations of this policy will be treated as a serious issue.

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap, disability, marital status, or status as a veteran. Save the Children complies with all applicable laws.

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