CNFA is a not-for-profit international agricultural development organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. and dedicated to increasing rural incomes by empowering farmers and rural entrepreneurs. CNFA assists smallholders in increasing household-level food security and nutrition through improved agricultural practices, introduction of new varieties, diversification of crop production, food preservation and storage, development of farmer-based organizations, and strengthened linkages to markets. CNFA has a successful track record of implementing agricultural development programs in 43 countries.
Brief Project Overview
The Laos Microenterprise Development Activity aims to drive rural economic growth through facilitating the emergence of a dynamic agribusiness sector by alleviating constraints to investment and increasing access to finance and credit for micro- and small enterprises (MSEs), resulting in broad economic opportunities and poverty reduction by providing productive employment for target rural populations.
CNFA is currently seeking applicants for a Chief of Party based in Laos from 2018 to 2023.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Chief of Party will be responsible for the overall management of the activity to achieve following anticipated objectives: (1) Increase private and commercial investment in micro- and small agribusinesses; (2) Expand the capacity of financial institutions to lend to and invest in micro- and small enterprises primarily in the agricultural sector; (3) Build strong market linkages between producer and suppliers and agricultural MSEs in local and regional markets; (4) Increase rural employment and improve health and nutritional outcomes in target communities.
- Provide overall leadership, management, and general technical direction of the activity, ensuring an integrated vision among different components and actors, and a focus on achieving the results defined in the contract
- Lead, coordinate, and advise the technical units to achieve program objectives throughout Laos
- Act as key liaison between USAID/RDMA and all other counterparts, implementing partners, and Government of Laos officials involved in the program.
- Oversee and approve work plans, budgets, reports, and other deliverables, ensuring quality and compliance
- Guide the Finance, Operations, and Compliance unit to ensure the alignment of technical, security, financial, and administrative requirements
- Ensure adherence to local laws, USAID rules and regulations, and CNFA policies and procedures
- Communicate regularly with the home office CNFA Program Director about activity progress against technical and financial objectives
- Work with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning unit to integrate findings and promote thought leadership and learning on off-farm agribusiness finance, investment, business development services, policy, and other relevant topics
- Manage local and international subcontractors to meet or exceed technical and financial contractual requirements
- Represent the Laos Microenterprise Development Activity at related meetings and events
The Ideal Candidate’s Experience
- Fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in the area of agribusiness, banking, business development service management, policy-making, or private sector development.
- Minimum of ten (10) years of management experience of projects of similar complexity with experience with direct supervision of professional managing teams and support staff
- Demonstrated experience in micro- and small enterprise (MSE) fund management, transaction facilitation, investment banking, financial modeling, public private partnerships facilitation, and public-private dialogue in the Southeast Asia context.
- Strong technical expertise in agricultural finance or development finance, experience in private sector work preferred
- Demonstrated knowledge of USAID rules and regulations required, experience managing a USAID funded program highly preferred, experience with other large donor programs an asset
- Demonstrated ability to engage senior level country counterparts, donor representatives, and senior-level staff to identify and resolve key barriers to progress
- Master’s degree or higher in a related field
- Experience working in Laos is highly preferred, regional experience also an asset
- Strong verbal and written skills in English are required; knowledge of Laotian and/or French is an asset