Communications Internship

Communications Internship

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Fall/Spring Term: Immediate –  May 31, 2017.

Internships are full-time (40hrs/week) paid at $11.50 per hour with 3 paid vacation days.  Interns are ineligible for any other benefits.

Under the supervision of CNFA’s Executive Assistant, the Communications intern will provide assistance to the Director of Communications and the Communications Officer with writing, editing, and general communications tasks. 

Shared internship responsibilities:

  • Contribute to research, writing, editing, creation of graphic elements and recruiting efforts for proposal development;
  • Rotate receptionist duty and provide administrative support to staff as needed; and
  • Support the Executive Assistant in keeping the office running smoothly with a variety of office management responsibilities and event planning for CNFA headquarters. 

Specific responsibilities:

  • Collecting and editing news and success stories from the field for use in a variety of purposes and for a variety of audiences;
  • Writing press releases for distribution and follow up with relevant local media;
  • Providing website support both technical and editorial, updating content, publishing news stories and maintaining and administrating social networking site information;
  • Maintaining and creating social networking campaigns;
  • Assist in the recruitment of agribusiness experts and local staff for proposals as well as ongoing program needs;
  • Formatting of personnel documents to comply with proposal guidelines; and
  • Other tasks as needed.


  • Strong writing and editing skills, newsroom experience a plus;
  • Excellent computer skills, including knowledge of social media;
  • Experience in Adobe Creative Suite a plus; and
  • Strong sense of professionalism and good people skills.


  • Current US work authorization required, as CNFA does not sponsor work visas;
  • A college junior, senior, recent graduate or graduate student with a minimum GPA of 3.0;
  • Demonstrated interest in international development; and
  • Prior office experience is desired, travel experience and knowledge of another language is preferred. 

All internship applicants should submit their CV, Cover Letter and 3 Professional References.

Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be considered without the submission of all documents: cover letter, resume and professional references.

Communications Manager

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Position Summary: CNFA is seeking a Washington, D.C. based Communications Manager to drive the communications strategy and public image that bring CNFA’s vision, programs and mission to life. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Communications Manager will be responsible for developing key messages and brand strategy, and will play a leadership role in ensuring their consistent use throughout the organization.  The position requires strategic thinking, innovative ideas, exceptional writing and editing skills, and the ability to convey complex ideas clearly using consistent messaging and storytelling tactics.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the organization’s leadership team to develop an annual communications plan that will highlight CNFA’s programs while advancing organizational goals;
  • Strategize for and manage the creation of all organizational materials developed for annual meetings including annual reports, brochures newsletters and video content;
  • Develop message-driven communications content for media and digital platforms including press releases, blog posts, speeches, opinion pieces, one-pagers, executive scripts and supporting media relations activities;
  • Develop key messages and ensure consistent use of brand strategy and style guides throughout the organization;
  • Collaborate with the leadership team to design and implement organization-wide expectations and procedures for gathering stories, photos, and other content required to support communications efforts;
  • Establish and implement production timelines and envision and execute new types of creative content to bring CNFA’s work and history to life through video and print;
  • Strategically utilize website/blog and social media to increase levels of engagement with the organization, grow its base of supporters, and provide public education CNFA’s mission;
  • Identify and direct the organization’s participation in opportunities or events that will promote the importance of CNFA’s mission and attract new supporters;
  • Monitor news items and current events, and make recommendations for response, commentary, or involvement by CNFA;
  • Monitor and ensure compliance with the donor’s communications-related requirements for CNFA’s various initiatives; and
  • Manage field communications and public relations activities with CNFA’s program staff overseas.

Experience and Education

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Communications, International Relations/Public Affairs, Journalism, Marketing, Political Science or other relevant field, with a minimum of five (5) years of relevant experience in outreach and communications work, especially with media relations;
  • Thorough knowledge of and practical experience in full range of communications strategy, execution and measurement;
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of agriculture-related international development, including the issues, stakeholders, clients and communications landscape is preferred, but not required;
  • Proven planning and organizational skills, strong conceptual and research/analytical skills, ability to think strategically and rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources into conclusions and recommendations;
  • Excellent oral, written communication and presentation skills;
  • Spoken and written fluency required in English with fluency in French preferred, but not required;
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines, juggle multiple tasks and flexibility to work effectively under stress;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with internal and external partners in a multicultural environment;
  • Excellent computer skills and ability to use standard technology packages
  • Strong track record of developing innovative solutions and delivering results for clients;
  • Ability to travel internationally as needed up to approximately 20%; and
  • Authorization to work in the United States required.

We are looking to fill this position immediately and will be interviewing qualified candidates on a rolling basis.

Please be advised that employment is contingent on your permanent and legal entitlement to work in the U.S. CNFA does not sponsor work visas.

Program Officer/Senior Program Officer

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CNFA is seeking a Washington, D.C.-based Program Officer/Senior Program Officer to oversee, manage and backstop a portfolio of international development programs in West Africa. Responsibilities include providing leadership related to project planning, providing administrative and technical support to field staff, and monitoring and evaluating field project activities and results. This position reports to the Vice President of Programs, works closely with program Chiefs of Party, partners and donor and supervises junior program staff.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Assist with program implementation by providing technical support that includes, but is not limited to: input toward program strategy development; assistance developing technical program materials and deliverables; monitoring and evaluation of program activities; fostering and maintaining strategic relationships with donors, implementing partners and other stakeholders; leadership in critiquing and reviewing project documents such as grant, procurement and project proposals; development of scopes of work for short-term assistance and other technical contributions;
  • Backstop programs, including reviewing/editing program documents and reports, tracking and reports program events;
  • Maintain electronic filing system of all program documentation, stakeholder contacts and key deliverables;
  • Coordinate field travel for long-term and short-term staff – including visa procurement and processing, travel and accommodation logistics, briefings related to security and travel;
  • Prepare or review project documentation that requires home office and USAID approval;
  • Support the Communications Department by ensuring production and updating of high quality project communication tools;
  • Monitor projects to ensure programmatic compliance and contractual and financial compliance in collaboration with the Operations and Compliance Department, as well as achievement of project deliverables and impact;
  • Field travel for site visits, temporary assignments to assist in field office work efforts, general evaluation of program progress and potential, and collection of program information will be required;
  • Manage sub-contractors contractual and technical deliverables;
  • When approved, liaising with USAID to provide timely updates on program activities and impact and engage donors on development and implementation of programs; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

Candidate Qualifications

  • Bachelors’ Degree in a relevant field (Business, agricultural economics, international relations) required; a Master’s Degree is strongly preferred;
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience backstopping complex international economic development programs is required; experience in francophone west Africa desired.
  • Experience managing USAID contracts of $20 million or more in value is strongly preferred;
  • Experience managing USAID compliance issues specific to contracts is required;
  • Demonstrated experience with backstopping in working with programs to build local partner capacity required;
  • Demonstrated expertise in project budget development and management, including experience conducting operational and financial audits of field offices;
  • Demonstrated strong interpersonal skills, and clear, concise written communication skills required;
  • Strong budgeting and analytical capacity is expected;
  • Outstanding organization skills with a high level of attention to detail;
  • Ability to maintain composure and flexibility under tight deadlines;
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize effectively and manage multiple competing priorities;
  • Ability to engage with organizations and individuals from various cross-cultural contexts;
  • Highly skilled in coordination and project management;
  • French language proficiency required;
  • MS Office proficiency required;
  • Authorization to work in the United States required.

We are looking to fill this position immediately and will be interviewing qualified candidates on a rolling basis.

Please be advised that employment is contingent on your permanent and legal entitlement to work in the U.S. CNFA does not sponsor work visas.

Staff Accountant – Payroll

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Position Summary

The Staff Accountant – Payroll will be based out of the DC Home Office and will be responsible for all payroll related activities. This position works closely under the direction and supervision of the Corporate Controller in order to carry out all necessary financial management and fiscal control policies and activities for administration. Performs all activities necessary to process payroll, including maintain related records, filing tax reports and voluntary deduction reports, processing involuntary deductions such as levies and garnishments, preparing accounting transactions and documents, documenting and updating procedures, and preparing special reports for management.

Position Responsibilities & Duties:

  • Responsible for the preparation and processing of semi-monthly payroll;
  • review and ensure accuracy of approved timesheets; track and deduct all garnishments and other special payroll deductions;
  • Responsible for the coordination efforts between payroll, human resources, budget and other departments to ensure proper flow and maintenance of employee data (including preparation/distribution of detailed reports, e.g. labor” home” work, overtime, leave balances, head count, and retirement contribution reports);
  • Handle the administration of the electronic timekeeping system. Setup each employee, valid programs for each employee’s charges, and adherence to FLSA; monitor submissions of approved timesheets, ensure valid data transfers to/from payroll service;
  • Setting up new hires and processing terminations;
  • Establish/maintain employee records; ensure that employee changes are entered correctly and made on a timely basis; review changes for proper authorization and adherence to APA policy including compliance with federal/state/local regulations;
  • Keeps abreast with all US Government requirements and relevant changes associated to Post Deferential, Danger Pay, COLA and other allowances;
  • Keeps abreast of current payroll tax requirements and relevant laws associated with the processing of employee wage data, including payroll taxes, employee federal and state income and social security taxes, and other required reporting (SUI, worker’s compensation, deferred benefits, etc);
  • Conducts regular payroll reporting as required and assists with financial audits related to pay records and associated general ledger;
  • Performs other duties as assigned by Corporate Controller.


  • Associate Degree in Business Administration/Finance required, Accounting Degree preferred;
  • Three plus years in a Payroll Office performing all payroll functions;
  • Excellent skills using MS Word, Excel, Access,
  • Experience working in Deltek/Cost point preferred;
  • Strong skills using and understanding the flow of transactions in an integrated and automated payroll accounting system;
  • Excellent problem solving/judgment skills, and high level of attention to detail and accuracy;
  • Strong organizational skills, and the ability to work under pressure;
  • Ability to handle and prioritize multiple tasks and meet all deadlines;
  • Knowledge of payroll and payroll tax laws;
  • Possess a thorough understanding of the importance of confidentiality and non-disclosure according to the general standards set forth by HIPAA 6;
  • Must have the ability to exercise a high degree of diplomacy and tact; excellent customer services and interpersonal communication skills; Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work with diverse people groups;
  • US Work Authorization Required.

We are looking to fill this position immediately and will be interviewing qualified candidates on a rolling basis.

Please be advised that employment is contingent on your permanent and legal entitlement to work in the U.S. CNFA does not sponsor work visas.

Vice President , Business Development

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The Vice President , Business Development is a member of our executive team and reports directly to the President & Chief Executive Officer.  The incumbent will work closely with the entire executive team and other senior management staff to chart the course for CNFA over the coming years. The incumbent will lead the business development process, including identification of new opportunities, technical writing, and management of proposal teams. The incumbent will prepare winning proposals to enable CNFA to grow strategically. The incumbent is responsible for growing our portfolio of USAID, USDA, MCC, and foundation funded programs and for identifying and pursuing additional program opportunities.

1. Provides strategic leadership in business development:

  • Coordinates development of the department’s annual plan;
  • Develops systems for collecting, assessing, and organizing business development intelligence;
  • Leads the development of CNFA’s strategic priorities;
  • Oversees CNFA’s business development pipeline, including monitoring the release of RFAs and RFPs from key donor agencies including USAID, MCC, USDA, foundations and corporate clients;
  • Monitors emerging trends, programming priorities, such as Feed the Future, best practice guidelines, and promising innovations of major Food Security, Agriculture and Livelihoods donor agencies;

2. Manages program development team:

  • Provides management, guidance and leadership to a team of program officers, recruiters, technical writers, senior advisors, and support staff;
  • Oversees and assigns leadership roles for capture and proposal teams;
  • Trains and mentors field and HQ staff to improve their skills in identification of new opportunities, intelligence gathering, proposal development, representation to donor and partner organizations, and promotion of our core capabilities; and
  • Works with field and HQ teams to foster a mission-driven culture and a “winning” culture around program development

3. Leads the development of technical and cost proposals:

  • Makes partnering decisions and manages proposed subcontractors and sub-grantees with a view to developing long-term strategic partnerships;
  • Writes and edits proposals;
  • Conducts country and sector analysis;
  • Oversees recruitment of personnel and consultants;
  • Oversees proposal budgeting;
  • Monitors relevant regulatory revisions, proposal guidelines, and application requirements, together with other relevant departments, and ensures that proposals adhere to them; and
  • Leads or oversees negotiations of consortium arrangements in a fair but strategic manner.

4. Serves as a member of the executive team:

  • Helps lead our visioning and strategic planning;
  • Collaborates with the entire executive team and senior management to represent and promote CNFA – both domestically and internationally – as a leader in international agricultural development;
  • Collaborates closely with the Operations and Compliance senior management to ensure the efficient and optimal use of resources; and
  • Represents the organization at an executive level to clients, partners, and donors in meetings and conferences.

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Masters preferred. Concentration in agriculture, business or a related field highly desirable;
  • Minimum of five years working directly in business development and proposal management, with USAID experience preferred;
  • At least ten years of international development experience, including at least four years in a developing country;
  • Strong and demonstrated commitment to CNFA’s mission of stimulating economic growth and improving rural livelihoods;
  • Strong leadership skills and outstanding interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent writing and editing skills;
  • Technical skills in at least one of CNFA’s core capability areas: Productivity, Food Security and Nutrition; Value Chain Development; Input Supply and Farm Services; Economic Resilience and Rapid Recovery; and Access to Finance;
  • Excellent analytical abilities;
  • Successful track record in business development, including experience in managing and writing winning proposals;
  • Knowledge of USAID business development guidelines and of other players in the field;
  • Ability to oversee multiple proposal teams at one time and to ensure quality control over both the technical design and proposal production processes;
  • Ability to build teams and unite team members in pursuit of a common goal;
  • Ability to work effectively and to project calm and confidence in the face of deadlines;
  • Articulate, professional, and able to communicate in a clear, positive manner;
  • Keen attention to detail;
  • Ability and willingness to travel overseas as needed, up to 25% of job time; and
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, Outlook, and Internet) required; experience with Access or other database programs a plus.

We are seeking to fill this position immediately and will be interviewing qualified candidates on a rolling basis.

Please be advised that employment is contingent on your current permanent and legal entitlement to work in the U.S. CNFA does not sponsor work visas.

Business Development Manager

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The Business Development Manager (BDM) is an integral member of CNFA’s New Business Development Team contributing to the business development process in the construction of winning proposals enabling the organization to grow strategically.

General Responsibilities:

  • Lead proposal teams and manage the entire proposal development process including facilitation of proposal design and writing; management of high-level partner and staff identification, recruitment, selection and negotiations; support to pricing; and high-level review and consolidation of proposal inputs with a particular focus on ensuring compliance and competitiveness
  • Contribute to writing of management, personnel, and past performance sections of proposals as well as technical and other sections, as needed
  • Manage the drafting and completion all proposal annexes
  • Contribute to and lead business planning and capture activities including networking, research, and analysis to collect information that contributes to our ability to: make strategic and informed decisions regarding new business ventures; position CNFA given evolving trends in agriculture sector development; and identify upcoming opportunities
  • Assist with the creation of institutional systems related to (1) improving methods of forecasting upcoming business opportunities and developing plans at the country and regional levels; (2) ensuring processes and tools/templates for proposal development increase efficiencies and competitiveness (and contribute to staff training related to these processes and tools); (3) increasing collaboration across the organization in capture and proposal development; and (4) ensuring proper adherence to good proposal management practices
  • Ensure final submission of complete, compliant, and competitive technical and cost proposals and addenda (including owning formatting, stylistics, and other presentation functions associated with production and delivery)
  • Coordinate and facilitate critical meetings throughout the proposal process including kick-off meetings, design sessions, review panel discussions, and post-submission debriefs and after action reviews
  • Represent CNFA at conferences workshops, client meetings, and other relevant industry gatherings
  • Perform a variety of other related duties as required


  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in international development, business, economics, agriculture, or similar field; Masters in a related field preferred.  
  • Minimum of 5-7 years of progressively responsible experience in international development
  • Minimum of 3 years of USAID or similar donor proposal management experience
  • Excellent conceptual, verbal, and written communication skills
  • Proven experience new business development and/or fundraising
  • Ability to motivate teams to produce quality materials within tight time frames and simultaneously manage several projects
  • Ability to actively participate in and facilitate group meetings with a diversity of participants
  • Ability to develop strong trusting relationships with internal and external stakeholders, in order to gain support and achieve results
  • Ability to manage multiple, conflicting priorities
  • Ability to work in an environment with international objectives
  • Ability to be flexible and interpersonal skills to interact with employees at all levels
  • Ability to travel as required
  • Proficiency with MS Office suite required
  • US work Authorization Required.

We are looking to fill this position immediately and will be interviewing qualified candidates on a rolling basis.

Please be advised that employment is contingent on your permanent and legal entitlement to work in the U.S. CNFA does not sponsor work visas.