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Senior Director, Programs

Rights and Resources Group
Washington, District of Columbia, US
Closing date
Oct 4, 2023

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Consultancy/Private Sector
Conservation science
Climate Change
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Job DescriptionJob Description
The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) is a global coalition of more than 150 organizations dedicated to advancing the forest, land, and resource rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, Afro-descendant Peoples, and in particular the women within these groups. RRI's members capitalize on each other's strengths, expertise, and geographic reach to achieve solutions more effectively and efficiently. RRI leverages the power of its global coalition to amplify the voices of local peoples and proactively engage governments, multilateral institutions, and private sector actors to adopt institutional and market reforms that support the realization of rights.

RRI is coordinated by the Rights and Resources Group (RRG), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC.

If you are passionate about working with Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendant Peoples to secure their rights; supporting women's rights and governance; and combatting climate change, this could be the place for you. RRI does meaningful work to make a positive difference at the global, national, and local scale. For more information about our inclusive and purpose-driven work, check out our current openings.

People of color, people from Indigenous and local communities, women, and LGBTQ+ persons are strongly encouraged to apply.

Senior Director, Programs

The Senior Director, Programs will hold primary responsibility for overseeing the strategic and operational programs of the Rights and Resources Group (RRG). The Senior Director will also partner with the RRG President in ensuring the development and execution of a comprehensive strategy across programs and teams to advance RRI's mission, goals, and targets.

The Senior Director will be a member of the Senior Management Team, a collaborative group of directors who jointly develop, lead, and manage program strategies, plans, and budgets for the organization. The Senior Director will contribute to global/international engagement to advance the coalition's goals and positions and to provide thought leadership to mobilize greater worldwide awareness and action for RRI's mission. The Senior Director will also support and guide the directors of RRG's Strategic Analysis and Global Engagement Program and its Regional Programs for Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

In coordination with program directors, the Senior Director will set priorities, monitor implementation, and track progress to ensure that programmatic and organizational objectives are met and aligned with the strategic program/framework. The Senior Director will develop deep knowledge of the global and regional plans and focus on integration and cross-team sharing, communicating results to external constituencies and supporting the supervision of teams and activities.

This is a full-time position based in Washington, DC. Applications will be accepted immediately and interviews conducted on a rolling basis.

Primary Responsibilities:

1. Strategic Leadership and Program Integration
  • Partner with the RRG President in overall organizational strategic thinking and coordinate with the program directors to build synergies across programs and initiatives, identify and define joint opportunities, support integrated planning and coordination, and stimulate learning.
  • Contribute to the organization's strategic leadership as a member of RRG's Executive and Senior Management Teams, with a particular focus on providing cross-programmatic and cross-team coordination to prevent silos and create synergy among teams and thematic areas.
  • Participate in creating and sustaining an organizational culture that attracts and motivates a diverse, exemplary staff and enables collaboration and innovation.
  • Guide efforts to identify and monitor emerging trends and issues that impact Indigenous, Afro-descendant and community rights and self-determination, and the relative position, relevance, and effectiveness of the coalition and specific programs.
  • In coordination with the President, the Senior Director will support engagement of the international community to elevate and strengthen the rights agenda and impact of RRI.
  • Share leadership and responsibility for fundraising and developing other resources necessary to support RRI's mission.

2. Monitoring and Reporting Results
  • Contribute to organizational learning through the design of processes and systems to facilitate more effective sharing of program results, approaches, partner feedback, and lessons across the organization, using these insights to shape future programs and improve organizational processes, capacities, and coordination.
  • Collaborate with program associates, facilitators, and directors to analyze and share practices and ideas from RRI's partners' work at the grassroots level.
  • Support the development and implementation of quality assurance and monitoring processes for regional-level data capturing and analysis, also improving the capturing and reporting of programmatic impact to beneficiaries and donors.
  • In coordination with program directors, increase the organization's standing in the philanthropic community and our credibility with public and private donors by improving our ability to collect and document results and program impact.
  • Lead the coordination and assembly of relevant sections of funding proposals to ensure alignment between partner capabilities and project requirements.

3. Team Management
  • Develop and sustain a partnership-oriented supervisory relationship of directors without inhibiting their autonomy and decision rights over individual program activities.
  • Oversee supervisory responsibilities, including regular check-ins with direct reports/teams, conducting performance reviews/conversations, and, if necessary, coaching to address performance issues within program teams.
  • Support integration of RRI's regional programs and the cross-cutting global thematic initiatives, including tenure tracking, gender justice, rights & livelihoods, and rights, climate & conservation.
  • Coordinate resources and plans across multiple vital areas: cross-regional sharing, cross-thematic program sharing, local-to-global linkages, and program-to-administrative function integration.
  • Establish and monitor the progress of each program towards the five-year strategic objectives.
  • Manage the annual cycle of programmatic planning, from the aggregation of insights from regional planning to global strategy sessions, culminating in the production of a yearly plan shared with the coalition and board for final approval.
  • With the COO, facilitate weekly coordination meetings of the Senior Management Team.

Required Knowledge and Skills:
  • A deep personal and professional commitment to RRI's mission of transforming political economies to recognize and support the rights and self-determined development of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and Afro-descendant Peoples.
  • Strong research and analytical skills to guide the thinking around the global themes and the Tenure Tracking work. Experience in designing, planning, analyzing, and writing reports.
  • Experience in donor reporting.
  • Experience in team management.
  • Humility and commitment to listening to and learning from Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community leaders and organizations to help them design and develop their agendas and strategies while leveraging public, civil society, and private sector organizations to support those agendas.
  • Empathy and appreciation for the context and constraints of grassroots organizations in the Global South.
  • Ability to work independently, travel internationally when needed, and maintain a solid commitment to teamwork across multiple programs.
  • Creative and independent thinker with a track record of thought leadership and success in pursuing new ideas from conception through implementation.
  • Strong executive and program management skills. Ability to balance competing priorities; work effectively in complex situations and within tight deadlines.
  • Capacity to oversee programs and professional program staff located in remote geographies.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Exceptional public speaking ability.
  • Ability to work effectively and constructively with a range of internal and external partners; as a collaborative member of teams, including administration, development, communications, operations, and other programs. Expertise in one or more of the following areas is strongly desired: nonprofit performance measurement; ethics and accountability; or leadership development, particularly with marginalized populations.
  • Eagerness to join an enthusiastic team of passionate and hard-working individuals committed to supporting each other, relentlessly innovating, and holding each other to the highest standards.

Professional Qualifications:
  • Graduate or professional degree (or experience equivalent) in a relevant field (law, international studies, economics, social science, etc.) required. Ph.D. candidates encouraged and preferred.
  • At least 15 years of relevant experience in the international development arena.
  • Significant experience as an executive/leader in a civil society organization.
  • Existing strong relationships with Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and community leaders, donors active in the international forest, land, natural resources, and Indigenous rights arenas, and proven experience building trust and strategic coordination with these actors.
  • Solid, hands-on budget management skills, including preparation, analysis, decision-making, and reporting.
  • Strong organizational abilities, including planning, delegating, program development, and task facilitation.
  • Expertise in fundraising and donor relations unique to the nonprofit sector.
  • Ability to proficiently use Outlook, Word Excel, PowerPoint, and the web.
  • Fluency in English required. Professional proficiency in a second language relevant to our network (French, Spanish, Hindi, Bahasa, Nepali, or other South American, Asian, or African languages) would be a plus.


Rights and Resources Group recognizes the value of benefits to employees and their families. We take great pride in offering our dedicated and committed employees a competitive benefits package. Our comprehensive benefit programs provide you with a reliable, effective, and affordable array of choices that will meet your needs and those of your family.
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance; dependents and domestic partners eligible
  • 100% coverage of employee premiums for the following: short-term/long-term disability insurance, life insurance, travel insurance, and the employee assistant program
  • If eligible, 401(k) retirement plan with employer match
  • 25+ days of leave annually, in addition to paid holidays
  • Flextime, teleworking, and work from home options
  • Tuition reimbursement up to $1,500 per year after 1 full year of employment
  • Dynamic growth opportunities with merit-based promotion philosophy

Rights and Resources Group (RRG) is committed to creating and maintaining a workplace in which all employees have an opportunity to participate and contribute to the success of the organization and are valued for their skills, experience, and unique perspectives.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, RRG makes all employment-related decisions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, political affiliation or belief, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation or any other category protected by applicable law.

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