Biocommerce Specialist III

  • Rainforest Alliance
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala Department, Guatemala
  • Apr 20, 2017
Full time Communication/Public Outreach Green Business Natural Resources Sustainability

Job Description

Project summary:

Rainforest Alliance is currently preparing a proposal for a competitive USAID RFA entitled “Regional Coastal Biodiversity Project”. This position will lead the Rainforest Alliance’s components of this CATIE-led project. S/he will ensure achievement of all project technical, financial and contractual deliverables under the project. In particular, s/he will provide leadership, strategic vision, technical guidance, and oversight of sustainable biocommerce strategies and activities (including capacity building, access to finance, and access to markets). S/he will build functional strategic partnerships and maintain results-based relationships with project partners, government agencies, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), companies and/or other key stakeholders to ensure the adoption and upscaling of project work products and deliver RA’s mission. S/he will coordinate daily with the component leads, site coordinators, the project´s Chief and Deputy Chief of Party and other counterparts at CATIE and WCS, as well as RA staff in order to ensure the overall strategic alignment and success of RA´s commitments, with a specific focus on sustainable biocommerce.

The Regional Coastal Biodiversity Project’s goal is to address threats to and conserve biodiversity in targeted coastal-marine areas and associated upland ecosystems throughout Central America, to decrease degradation of forest and mangrove landscapes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience to climate change, and to enhance climate-smart economic biocommerce opportunities and sustainable use of natural resources. The project requires a Biocommerce Specialist with a special technical expertise to lead biocommerce activities that conserve biodiversity and improve livelihoods through a sustainable, climate-smart approach. The Biocommerce Specialist will be focused on conservation but possess significant experience in developing environmentally sustainable economic opportunities, connecting to markets, and forming private sector partnerships.

This position is contingent on receipt of USAID funding for the proposal.


Leadership and team building (10%)

  • Contribute to building a high-performing, results-based team who shares a common vision for achieving the project’s goals and results as aligned with the RA´s strategic plan, foster a positive team-environment, and work in accordance with RA’s core values.

Project management (30%)

  • Deliver effective and impactful implementation of all components of the project according to RA´s scope of work and commitments;
  • Take full responsibility for RA´s participation in this project: including overall strategic direction and oversight; on-time project implementation, deliverables achievement and budgetary execution; preparation of donor reports as per contractual commitments; and relationship management with donors, as needed;
  • Ensure timely completion of progress reports and annual planning; oversee planning and budgeting, reporting and contractual compliance per USAID and RA requirements;
  • Conduct periodic site visits to assess project performance and adaptively manage accordingly; time in the field not less than 30%;
  • Supervise day-to-day project activity implementation and internal coordination of field staff, promote cross-functional and cross-project collaboration;
  • Ensure use of project management tools and contribute to effective institutional communications;
  • Guarantee strategic and technical quality of project work, in coordination with the RA´s country representatives, sector specialists, and with the Monitoring, Evaluation & Quality Assurance, the Markets Transformation and the Communications units; and
  • Ensure fluid communications with all project partners (international, regional and local).

Design and execution of sustainable biocommerce initiatives (50%)

  • Grow demand for responsibility produced products and services from target sites;
  • Provide strategic guidance, coaching/expertise and supervision to site coordinators and local partners on the design, execution, adoption and upscaling of biocommerce/climate smart initiatives;
  • Monitor and manage work of consultants and sub-grantees, including development of scopes of work, review and approval of work products, and provide on-going technical guidance;
  • Responsible for the development of new and innovative technical and institutional capacity building approaches related to bicommerce; and
  • Supervise implementation of priority activities and/or initiatives, including facilitation of access to finance, access to markets and capacity building (training of trainers, training and technical assistance for project beneficiaries).

Partnership Building and External Relations (10%)

  • Build functional strategic partnerships and maintain results-based relationships with government agencies, CSOs, local and international partners, companies and/or other key stakeholders to ensure the adoption and upscaling of bicommerce activities;
  • Facilitate the active participation of key stakeholders – particularly women, youth and minority groups– in the development and execution of bicommerce strategies and capacity building activities;
  • Coordinate with international and regional initiatives and build new alliances related to other biocommerce programs, to ensure that the project´s activities complement and build upon existing programs/projects led by other organizations, as well as alignment with national policies and programs;
  • In collaboration with the Communications Specialist, help position the consortium for thought-leadership on key issues related to biocommerce through developing publications and related materials, convening ‘thought leadership’ events, and driving results-based participation in strategic multistakeholder fora;
  • Responsible for establishing public-private partnerships and private sector sponsored activities to complement and upscale bicommerce activities and strategies, all coordinated with relevant Ministries;
  • Support intra and interinstitutional efforts to secure additional cost-share, leverage and other resources to complement and upscale bicommerce activities and strategies; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

This position will oversee staff.

Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.


  • Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree preferred) in economics, natural resource management, business administration, environmental management, ecology, environmental science, or another relevant field.
  • A minimum of 7 years’ experience in natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, economic growth, economic development, trade, or climate change, preferably including Latin America.
  • Extensive experience working in conservation and/or economic development with international donors.
  • Demonstrated familiarization with sustainability standards in key sectors (tourism, agriculture, cattle, forestry and fisheries).
  • Demonstrated ability to build functional partnerships; a strong network of influential contacts with the private sector, government, donor and NGO agencies.
  • Demonstrated ability to write professional, high-quality documents (i.e. donor reports, publications, etc.) for technical and non-technical audiences, in English and Spanish.
  • Demonstrated experience in biocommerce, including commercialization of sustainable products and services.
  • Practical experience in the use and application of sustainability best practice tools such as sustainability standards and others.
  • Experience in facilitating access to finance and training/capacity building for SMEs
  • Experience establishing alliances with private sector, including the establishment of public-private partnerships
  • Experience working with multiple sectors (agriculture, cattle ranching, tourism, forestry, fisheries).
  • Experience in project development, planning, report development for international donors.
  • Experience fundraising, and leveraging private sector support.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook and working knowledge in PowerPoint.
  • Written and verbal proficiency in English and Spanish.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to interact culturally, linguistically, and diplomatically with diverse internal and external individuals.
  • Initiative, self-motivated, resourceful, detail-oriented, dependability, strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to travel a minimum of 50% per year, nationally and internationally. This position requires intense travel, often to remote areas.


We believe that all employees, regardless of location or title, should have access to benefits. We strive to provide programs that provide the following:

  • Health/medical coverage for staff and family;
  • Retirement savings plans;
  • Paid time off for holidays/vacations, illness, and personal needs;
  • Assistance for adverse situations that might arise while on business travel; and
  • Insurance for unfortunate circumstances.

Benefits vary, depending on location. Please talk to your recruiter during your interview about specific benefits for your location.

Remember to say you found this opportunity at


Nonprofit- NGO


Commensurate with experience.