Practice Area Director, Strengthening Cooperatives and Producer Groups

  • Senior-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 19 April 2019
  • Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, United States
  • Closing on 21 August 2019
  • Current

Job Description


NCBA CLUSA works in the areas of Building Resilient Communities, Promoting Economic Opportunities and Strengthening Cooperatives and Producer Groups. This position strategically oversees and directs NCBA CLUSA’s Strengthening Cooperatives and Producer Groups practice area. This position provides leadership and direction to the Practice Area in the design and implementation of high-quality, innovative programs ensuring that organizational values, methodology and standards are being uniformly implemented across projects. The Practice Area Director will provide leadership in the identification and integration of new ideas and evidence-based learning to enhance NCBA CLUSA’s visibility, credibility, and advancement of thought leadership.

This position is responsible for four primary activities: new business/program development, program quality; supervising a team of global professional staff and, periodically, technical experts; and representing NCBA CLUSA to external partners and donors.

Specifically, this position leads the Strengthening Cooperative and Producer Groups practice area. As a 100 + year old cooperative trade association, NCBA CLUSA has unique knowledge of the cooperative space both domestically and internationally. This position will lead the Strengthening Cooperatives and Producer Groups practice area, including HQ and field-based staff, to promote the cooperative business model as an important and resilient development solution.


  • Provide leadership, management and oversight to NCBA’s CLUSA Strengthening Cooperative and Producer Groups program portfolio, including quality assurance, program management and performance. In addition, work with M&E staff to ensure project deliverables are monitored and course corrections are identified and implemented as appropriate.
  • Lead compelling strategic vision for the growth of the Practice Area; oversee the planning of clear short and long-term program priorities in alignment with strategy to promote NCBA CLUSA as innovative leader in Strengthening Cooperative and Producer Groups.
  • Lead efforts to develop and refine tools to analyze and address issues in the cooperative-enabling environment, identify and groom local institutions and organizations to support practice-area development, and provide targeted level support in areas such as governance, management, finance, and operations.
  • Position and shape the organization’s prominent role in Strengthening Cooperative and Producer Groups by promoting the cooperative business model as an important development solution through collaboration with the new business team, ensure the growth and sustainability of the practice area through support of intelligence gathering and proposal development.
  • Position and shape the organization’s prominent role in Strengthening Cooperative and Producer Groups through development of innovative programs; as a representative at various fora and symposia with funders, partners, donors, governments; in collaborating on technical briefs and papers reflecting the organization’s program expertise.


  • Stay abreast of major trends and seminal projects in Strengthening Cooperative and Producer Groups and related areas to identify best practices and share key findings internally.
  • Collaborate with Communications and Knowledge Management to develop compelling statements on activities, document and present the success stories, lessons learned, etc.
  • Liaise between headquarters and field operations and donors.
  • Develop systems, processes and a collaborative management approach to address operational challenges and ensure that NCBA CLUSA is following contractual and donor requirements.


To perform this job successfully the individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and abilities required. easonable accommodations may be made to enable individual with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.



  • Master’s degree required in business, international development, agriculture, , natural resources management, political science, economics or related field.


  • Minimum twelve years of increasing responsibility in relevant program and technical work experience in the cooperative development or related area; including a minimum of three years of field experience.
  • Accomplished in leading and/or contributing to new business development; excellent proposal writing skills.
  • Successful program management experience required including: work plan management, planning programs and monitoring progress, resolving cross-program and strategic issues, overseeing practice area budget; aligning the deliverables (outputs) to the program’s outcome.
  • Experience in design and/or delivery of training and technical assistance programs for Strengthening Cooperative and Producer Groups.
  • Promote evidence-based learning and leverage insights for program and organizational performance improvement.

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Strategic thinker with strong organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated problem analysis and resolution at a functional and strategic level.
  • Prior experience working with federally-funded awards such as USAID and USDA and knowledge of applicable donor rules and regulations.
  • Knowledge of Learning and Adaptive Management principles and models; may include USAID’s Collaboration, Learning and Adapting (CLA).
  • Extensive knowledge of the cooperative business model in theory and practice.
  • Prior usage of MS Windows and MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), and Web Conferencing Applications.

Behavioral Competencies:

  • An entrepreneurial spirit with excellent leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Innovative and creative thinker, proactive, resourceful, solutions and results oriented.
  • Demonstrated success in motivating, mentoring, team building and supervising diverse teams of employees; as well as, work collaboratively and productively with a variety of individuals at different levels within and outside the organization.
  • Sensitivity and appreciation of cultural differences and in working with a multicultural workforce.
  • Ability to quickly adapt and be flexible; as well as support teams in adapting to changing contexts.

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS: Excellent communication skills and fluency in English required; Spanish, French, or Portuguese preferred.

TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS: Generally, 40% travel expected, including international travel.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:

None required

RELATIONSHIPS: The Practice Area Director, Strengthening Cooperative and Producer Groups works closely with the senior leadership team, Chiefs of Party, Country Directors, project teams, technical specialists, and the senior leadership team. The incumbent is expected to work in a positive, professional manner with all NCBA CLUSA staff, former staff, members, potential members, vendors and the public.

About the Organization

NCBA CLUSA is the primary voice in the United States for people who use cooperatives to build a better world. By strengthening cooperatives, building resilient communities and providing economic opportunities, NCBA CLUSA, through its international and US programs, works through the cooperatives principles in more than 20 countries. Since 1916, NCBA CLUSA has shared the cooperative advantage, highlighting the impact cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals, families and communities. Through its advocacy program, NCBA CLUSA educations lawmakers and promotes the cooperative business model, working with public and private thought leaders.

NCBA CLUSA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a commitment to diversity. All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, and legally protected characteristics for non-merit factors.

NCBA CLUSA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities in all facets of employment, including the employment application and selection process. If you have a disability that affects your ability to use our online system to apply for a position at NCBA CLUSA, please send an email to Brian Gunning or call 202.383-5464.

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