Creative Associates seeks a Chief of Party (COP) for an upcoming USAID-funded program in Laos. The purpose of Laos Enterprise Development Program is to support micro and small enterprise (MSE) development in Laos, including, but not limited to, in the agriculture sector. Program outcomes will seek to improve the capacity of MSEs, facilitate market linkages in key value chains and support an improved business enabling environment for MSEs in Laos. The activity will result in increased economic opportunity for poor communities and vulnerable populations.
The COP will be responsible for the overall implementation and provides supervisory and administrative oversight to the project. The COP will oversee coordination with key stakeholders (including the host government, NGOs, the private sector, and others). The COP is the leader of the entire project team, responsible for overall implementation, results, financial accounting, management and security for the project. The COP will be responsible for communications with USAID, for publicly representing the project, and for liaising with the Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Lao and other institutions/stakeholders on issues related to micro and small enterprise development, access to finance and broad-based economic growth.
Reporting & Supervision:
This position reports to the Program Director in the EG Division.
- In line with USAID’s stated goals in the RFI, the project will result in increased economic opportunity for poor communities, especially rural populations. The expected interventions may include capacity building for enterprises or individuals; support to cooperatives and producer companies; small-scale market infrastructure; increased access to finance for MSEs; and market linkages with local and/or regional markets. These interventions will also aid development and growth of MSEs by empowering their supplier or producer base. In addition to improving incomes, it is expected that this assistance will increase food security and improve health outcomes in some of Laos’ poorest communities.
- Strengthen MSEs’ capacity to support higher employment rates and increasing household incomes.
The Chief of Party will be responsible for the technical leadership and in-country management of the project. S/he will oversee the long-term expatriate and local staff and short-term experts in achieving project results. S/he will undertake regular assessments of the broader political environment within which the project operates to ensure flexibility and rapid reprioritization of activities when necessary.
Other responsibilities include:
- Serve as principal liaison with U.S. Government representatives, Lao PDR government counterparts and community stakeholders on program communications and technical implementation activities;
- Provide technical direction and leadership and oversight of all administrative matters;
- Provide technical support to the team in all program areas;
- Develop and implement work plans for project activities;
- Oversee implementation of project monitoring and evaluation activities and ensure that project results are met;
- Supervise development and submission of project deliverables and provide timely and accurate reporting and briefings to U.S. Government/Stakeholders on all program areas;
- Ensure compliance with all terms of the project contract and all relevant USAID and U.S. Government rules and regulations;
- Oversee implementation of Creative’s security protocols and provide leadership in handling security-related issues; and
- Manage the program team in a manner that is open and respectful and encourages professional development, and solicits constructive staff input.
Required Skills & Qualifications:
- At least a Masters’ degree in business, economics, international development, enterprise development, agriculture, rural development, or other relevant field (or, alternately, a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and 5 additional years of relevant experience);
- Minimum 10 years of experience implementing complex economic growth projects in developing countries, of which five years were in a senior leadership capacity of a project that involved managing a team;
- Minimum five-years’ experience in value chain development, agricultural value chains, private sector development, MSMEs strengthening, trade facilitation, export promotion, agriculture, or related field;
- Experience working collaboratively with host country governments and local and international private sector, building partnerships, and coordinating activities with those of other donors;
- Experience—five years minimum, as a Chief of Party, including financial management experience—i.e., budgeting; tracking, reporting and accounting; and procurement;
- Experience working with donor programs, particularly USAID, preferred experience in negotiating directly with the donor on contractual, financial, and communication issues;
- Previous experience working in Laos or the Greater Mekong Subregion preferred;
- Experience managing projects and/or an office with culturally diverse teams and working with counterparts from other cultures;
- Excellent interpersonal, supervision, problem-solving, and coordination skills; and
- Excellent oral and written English and communication skills.
About the Organization
Creative Associates International is a dynamic, fast-growing global development firm that specializes in education, economic growth, democratic development and post-crisis stabilization. Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has a field presence in more than 25 countries with a strong client portfolio that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, among others. Since its founding in 1977, Creative has earned a solid reputation among its clients and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.