CRS is seeking a Director for the Borderlands Coffee Project. The high profile, 5 year, $10 million project will assist 3,200 smallholder coffee farmers in conflict-affected communities along the Colombia-Ecuador border to expand high-value market opportunities and reduce their vulnerability to hunger and environmental degradation.
The project will be implemented in a complex bi-national operating environment. On the Colombian side, the project will target the Department of Nariño, an area characterized by narcotics production and trafficking; active conflict between the government, guerrilla movements and militias; and concentrations of internally displaced people in high-risk areas. On the Ecuadoran side of the border, the project will focus on the provinces of Orellana and Sucumbíos, areas populated by resettled Colombian refugees and Kichwa-speaking indigenous people living under conditions of extreme poverty. Borderlands will involve coordinated interventions with multiple stakeholders along strategic points of the coffee value chain, including local Church partners, private-sector processors and exporters, research institutes, management information systems providers, coffee importers and coffee roasters.

Borderlands will work in two programmatic areas: coffee value chains (sustainable production, eco-efficient post-harvest processing, market engagement and organizational capacity and livelihood diversification (micro-livestock management, farm system diversification, alternative energy and community-based financial services). The project also includes a learning-and-influence agenda designed to generate results-based evidence from the field on the social and economic returns to smallholder farm families, and to communicate those results to key stakeholders in the coffee industry and development community. CRS will be working with and through local Church partners and collaborating with key industry stakeholders to deliver best-in-class technical assistance to project participants.

In Colombia, the project will partner with the Diocese of Pasto and the Diocese of Ipiales in the Department of Nariño, as well as the specialty coffee exporter Empresas de Nariño. Starbucks will serve as lead technical advisor for all coffee value chain interventions in Colombia and provide information to support the project’s learning agenda. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), an agricultural research institute based in Cali, Colombia, will lead the field research that drives the learning-and-influence agenda. Cropster, a provider of web-based management information systems that specializes in coffee and other high-value agriculture chains, will provide data gathering, warehousing and analysis services. In Ecuador, the Diocese of Orellana and the Diocese of Sucumbíos are the implementing partners. In both countries, the project Director will also coordinate activities closely with other industry and Church stakeholders.

The project is fully funded for five years beginning on 1 April 2011.

The Borderlands Coffee Project Director will provide overall leadership and representation for the project, including the following: delivering technical assistance and assuring program quality; coordinating relationships with project partners, consultants and other key stakeholders; planning and facilitating multi-country meetings and trainings; coordinating the monitoring and evaluation of project implementation and impact; and communicating project advances and challenges through regular reports. The Project Director will report to the South America Zone Head of Programming based in La Paz, Bolivia. S/he will directly supervise five positions, two at the bi-national level based in Quito (one Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and one Financial Manager) and three national-level project staff (Project Coordinators in Colombia and Ecuador and a Conflict Sensitivity and Security Officer in Colombia). S/he will also collaborate and coordinate with the CRS/ LACRO Senior Advisor for Climate Change and the Regional Technical Advisor for Agro-Enterprise, who will provide technical support in select areas to the project.


1. Program Quality:

1. With national Project Coordinators, partner staff and other stakeholders in each country, ensure project’s strategic objectives and results are fully accomplished and meet expected technical quality and budget accountability standards in the development and coffee industries.
2. Advise partner staff as needed to ensure project deliverables and overall project success.
3. Manage relationships and orchestrate multi-stakeholder collaborations between partners, external consultants, collaborators and other key actors.
4. Ensure that vision and plans for the project are innovative and in line with CRS principles of partnership and program quality, as well as strategy in the South America Zone.
5. Oversee periodic technical reviews and manage adjustments in project direction and focus.
6. In collaboration with project and partner staff, as well as CIAT and other project stakeholders, provide guidance and technical oversight to partners and other collaborating agencies to ensure that lessons are documented and disseminated.
7. Oversee project’s monitoring and evaluation system. Ensure that M&E learning is incorporated into evolving project plans and provides broader learning for impact and influence with the broader development community and coffee industry.
8. Ensure integration of project interventions with other leveraged resources and other relevant projects.
9. Ensure the delivery of training, technical assistance and administrative and financial support to Borderlands partners, including the coordination of consultants.
10. Lead development of annual operating plans.

2. Management and Administration:

1. Supervise the Bi-National Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, the Bi-National Finance Manager, the Ecuador Project Coordinator, the Colombia Project Coordinator and the Conflict Sensitivity and Security Officer in Colombia.
2. In coordination with the Bi-National Finance Manager, ensure the effective management of project budgets, including tracking of financial and material resources in both Borderlands countries.
3. Ensure accurate and timely reporting of project finances and progress status, review actual financial performance against the budget, and explain variances on a regular basis.
4. Ensure necessary coordination and communication with SAZ Zonal Representative as well as SAZ/HOP
5. Ensure staff compliance with all CRS administrative and operational procedures and policies, as well as applicable donor regulations.
6. Approve project expenditures, budget adjustments, and cost modification requests to donor and submit these requests, as well as draft 6-month and annual reports on a timely basis to the SAZ HOP, the LACRO Senior Advisor and appropriate Donor Representative/s in Foundations and Corporate Giving for final review and donor submission.

3. Representation and Advocacy:

1. Act as the primary project contact internally before CRS/LACRO and other agency stakeholders, including but not limited to the Program Quality and Support Department, Foundation and Corporate Giving, the Fair Trade Coffee Project, Web Unit, etc.
2. Represent the project and the agency externally before project partners and collaborators, including Church partners, Starbucks, Empresas de Nariño, CIAT, Cropster, and other local and international coffee industry stakeholders, including the Colombian National Coffee Growers’ Federation, Banexport (Colombia), Escoffee (Ecuador), FEDECAFE (Ecuador), the Specialty Coffee Association of America, U.S.-based importers and roasters, etc.
3. Through close coordination with LACRO senior leadership, represent CRS before the donor, adhering fully to established LACRO and agency protocols for communication with this donor.
4. Represent participating farmer organizations externally before industry audiences, the development community, policymakers and other relevant stakeholder organizations.

4. Human Resource Management:

1. Supervise five project staff, including three in Ecuador (Bi-National Financial Manager, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and Ecuador Project Coordinator) and two in Colombia (Colombia Project Coordinator and Conflict Sensitivity and Security Officer).
2. Conduct annual performance planning and reviews of staff performance in keeping with CRS’ performance management system. Mentor staff to ensure high levels of motivation, commitment, capacity, and teamwork.
3. Coordinate consulting and advisory services by CIAT, Cropster and Starbucks.

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.
– Serves with Integrity
– Models Stewardship
– Cultivates Constructive Relationships
– Promotes Learning

Program Manager Competencies
These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each program manager to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.
– Sets clear goals and manages toward them
– Collaborates effectively with staff and stakeholders
– Manages financial resources with integrity
– Applies program quality standards to project design and organizational learning


Internal: Overseas Operations. CRS/LACRO Senior Advisor for Climate Change and Natural Resources, CRS/LACRO Deputy Regional Director for Program Quality, CRS/LACRO Regional Technical Advisor for Agro-Enterprise and Climate Change, CRS/LACRO Deputy Regional Director for Management Quality, CRS/LACRO Regional Finance Officer, CRS/South America Zone Director, CRS/South America Zone Head of Programming, CRS/EC Country Manager, Borderlands Project Coordinators in Colombia and Ecuador, Borderlands Monitoring Evaluation Officers in Colombia and Ecuador, Borderlands Bi-National Financial Manager, Borderlands Accountant, Borderlands Office Assistant. HQ/U.S. Operations. Director of Communications, Foundations and Corporations Unit, Domestic Programs Director, Economic Justice Advisors, other CRS/HQ support departments.

External: Project donor, Diocese of Ipiales, Diocese of Pasto, Diocese of Orellana, Diocese of Sucumbíos, Empresas de Nariño, Banexport, Colombia Coffee Growers’ Federation, Starbucks, Intelligentsia Coffee, FEDECAFES, Escoffee, CIAT, Cropster, other coffee industry stakeholders, relevant local/state/national governments in Colombia and Ecuador, other government stakeholders, civic organizations and other project stakeholders in Ecuador and Colombia.


1. Minimum Masters Degree in business, international development, agriculture or related field.
2. Significant previous experience working with smallholder coffee farmers in agriculture, agroenterprise, marketing or related field. Experience in organic, Fair Trade and/or specialty coffee industries preferred.
3. Minimum 5 years experience managing projects focused on one or more of the elements identified above. Experience with development projects, significant field-based technical expertise and training in Latin America. Experience in conflict situations and managing multi-country initiatives preferred.
4. Exceptional leadership, judgment and inter-personal skills and ability to build and motivate diverse and talented teams.
5. Proven experience working with the private sector to build and sustain mutually beneficial market linkages.
6. Experience with participatory methods, institutional partnerships and diplomacy in communication.
7. Proven ability to think strategically.
8. Flexibility to work effectively both in a team and independently.
9. Cultural sensitivity, patience and flexibility.
10. Demonstrated personal accountability, driven to serve others and achieve results.
11. Maturity required to perform effectively under long-distance supervision.
12. Ability to travel up to 40% of time in first year of project, 30% in subsequent years.
13. Outstanding communications skills, including professional proficiency and excellent verbal and written communication skills in both Spanish and English.
14. Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, and web-based information and communications technologies.

Disclaimer Clause: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.


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