Chief of Party (Regional Cashew Project)

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 15 April 2019

Job Description


CRS is seeking applications from qualified candidates for a Chief of Party (COP) position to lead the anticipated U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food for Progress (FFPr) West Africa Cashew Value Chain Project. The FFPr program aims to improve agricultural production and expand trade of agricultural products in developing countries through the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities. The countries included in the anticipated project are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. This regional value chain project will focus on improving cashew production and policy for West Africa for the period of 2020-2025. The project budget is estimated at US$20-$25 million.

Specifically, the USDA West Africa Cashew Project seeks:

  • Increased productivity and income for cashew farmers
  • Improved regional development of nurseries
  • Increased value added along the cashew value chain
  • Increased competitiveness and integration of the cashew value chain
  • Improved regional cashew policies
  • Improved and integrated data collection
  • Increased capacity of key stakeholder institutions


The COP will provide the vision and overall leadership to the program team. S/he will be responsible for overseeing management of the project including the quality of programmatic implementation (including monitoring, evaluation and learning) and administrative elements of the project, including the coordination of all consortium partners, and monitoring the budget. The COP will serve as the primary point of contact to USDA as well as public, private and non-government stakeholders. S/he will be responsible for ensuring compliance, including oversight of partner budgets, finance and administration, and reporting to USDA. The COP will ensure that project results are achieved on time and on budget, including strategies for phase out and sustainability, and that the budget is expended as planned.


  • Provide overall strategic guidance, leadership, management and general technical oversight of the entire program, with a strong focus on achieving defined results and ensuring donor compliance.
  • Act as the key liaison with USDA, government representatives, all implementing partners and stakeholders involved with the project.
  • Oversee the management of the relationship with partner organizations, ensure regular communication and organization of review/planning workshops
  • Coordinate with CRS’ Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEAL) department to oversee the design and implementation of the program’s MEAL system, using appropriate forms, procedures, and tools for data collection and analysis as the basis for measuring, documenting and reporting of project performance and outcomes.
  • Ensure that lessons learned from results of program monitoring and evaluation are incorporated into the design and execution of program activities to meet stated objectives and needs of the beneficiary populations.
  • In collaboration with project staff, provide guidance and technical oversight to partners and other collaborating agencies to ensure that best practices and lessons learned are documented and disseminated.
  • Ensure staff compliance with all CRS administrative and operational procedures and policies, as well as all applicable USDA regulations.
  • Ensure accurate and timely reporting of program finances and progress status, review actual financial performance against the budget and take corrective action to ensure that program expenses match the execution of activity plans and accurate effort reporting.
  • Proactively identify and address financial issues and concerns in concert with other staff and partners to ensure adherence to financial guidelines and maintain transparent systems and records.
  • Represent CRS and the project at external meetings with international and domestic stakeholders.
  • In specific instances, prepare and deliver presentations of the project ongoing activities, challenges/opportunities, and results achieved.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of project communication strategies and materials, including compliance with USDA branding and marketing requirements as well as CRS marketing and communication procedures.
  • Manage recruitment portfolio for the project; in collaboration with Human Resources and CRS country program management, orient, and support the professional development of supervisees, providing timely, respectful feedback.

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff)

These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.

  • Integrity
  • Accountability and Stewardship
  • Builds Relationships
  • Develops Talent
  • Continuous Improvement and Innovation
  • Strategic Mindset


  • Master’s in international development, management, agriculture, economics or other relevant field.
  • At least 7 years of international management experience.
  • At least 5 years’ experience in agriculture-based and rural development.
  • At least 5 years in a senior management role for USG-funded activities.
  • Prior experience managing USG-funded assistance projects of a similar size and scope in developing countries; experience managing projects in one or more of the following areas: livelihoods, agricultural development, market-based approaches to economic development, value chain competitiveness, private sector collaboration and development, and gender.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
  • Experience managing programmatic and financial reporting requirements.
  • Experience with USDA rules, regulations and requirements is preferred.
  • Experience working in sub-Saharan Africa required. Experience of working in West Africa, in particular in the area of cashew value chain or related sector, is strongly preferred. Prior experience in any of the project countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria) is preferred.
  • Experience managing multi-countries project is plus.
  • Fluency in spoken and written French and English is required

TRAVEL: The position will be based in West Africa (location TBD). The position will require travel (at least 30%) throughout project countries and trips to CRS headquarters in Baltimore, as necessary.

NOTE: Applications will be accepted until this position is filled.

About the Organization

Catholic Relief Services was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. Our mission is to assist the poor and disadvantaged, leveraging the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to alleviate human suffering, promote development of all people, and to foster charity and justice throughout the world. Working through local offices and an extensive network of partners, CRS operates on five continents and in 98 countries. We aid the poor by first providing direct assistance where needed, then encouraging people to help with their own development. Together, these approaches foster secure, productive, just communities that enable people to realize their potential. As the official international relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community, CRS is also committed to educating the people of the United States to fulfill their moral responsibilities toward our global brothers and sisters by helping the poor, working to remove the causes of poverty, and promoting social justice.

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