Sr. Specialist, Corporate Engagement and Land Based Investment

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Landesa is currently seeking candidates with significant expertise in the policy, legal and regulatory arena of land access and tenure security. The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of the smallholder and scale agriculture, land formalization, expropriation, land use planning and land markets and the understanding of women’s land security and land access in relationship with land-based investments. Familiarity with dispute resolution, grounded in grievances born of land formalization, expropriation, land grabs, failure to adhere to good/best practices regarding land governance, investment and gender disadvantage along with expertise in informal/customary land rights around the global south, and especially realities in Africa is required. The candidate must have the ability to immediately design and manage small and large land-based investment projects with a convincing demeanor that stakeholders (corporations, national suppliers, NGOs, certification entities, international and bilateral donors (public and private), commodity roundtables, governments and communities can quickly trust their perspectives are understood and considered when Landesa recommends future courses of action affecting the various stakeholders.

Status: Regular, Full Time

Location: Seattle, Washington or Washington DC

Classification: Exempt (Not Eligible for Overtime Pay)

Job Summary: The Sr. Specialist, Corporate Engagement and Land Based Investment (Sr. Specialist), possesses land-based investment and corporate engagement specialization within a variety of developing country contexts. The Sr. Specialist provides policy, analytical, and implementation expertise on rural land tenure security, access to land, land rights formalization, land markets, land administration, land management, resolution of land disputes and related fields (e.g. food security, agricultural productivity, corporate services and partnerships, and natural resource management). The Sr. Specialist conducts analyses and both prepares and presents analytical reviews, research and briefing papers on land tenure policy and law, training modules, and other products. The Sr. Specialist also contributes to the pursuit of private donor funding, fee-for-service opportunities, and public sector grants.

Reporting and relationships: The Sr. Specialist will report to the Sr. Director, Corporate Engagement.

Availability: The Sr. Specialist will be expected to work a standard workweek of 40 hours plus additional hours as necessary to get the job done. The position requires significant international travel, 80 – 100 days per year.

Essential Job Functions:

Performs research, analysis, and synthesis of topics and issues related to Landesa’s land-based investment and corporate engagement work in Africa and other regions as assigned. Designs and manages small and large land-based investment projects.
Undertakes and, at times, supervises fieldwork (rapid rural appraisal, key informant interviews, public meetings, workshops, surveys) to gather information about current land tenure conditions and the prospects for reform. Familiarity with social, gender, livelihoods, and environment impact assessment and mitigation.

Makes policy, program and project recommendations given country realities and resources.

Contributes to the development of plans for implementation of selected recommendations, including ensuring gender considerations are addressed.

Engages with corporations to improve corporate policies and practices around farmland investments; and coordinates with corporations as allies in improving government policies, laws, and regulations where those improvements strengthen pro-poor, pro-women land rights.
Manages projects in conformance with Landesa procedures on budgeting, human resource allocation and work planning, cost monitoring and control, monitoring travel schedules, and product preparation and delivery.

Collaborates with foreign government officials, other counterpart country nationals, international aid agencies, and corporations in the work, advocates for key legal and policy changes consistent with Landesa’s research findings and mission in both country-specific and global contexts.

Manages relations and collaborates with donors, fee-for-service clients and public sector grantors. Prepares and presents funding, educational and communication material and reviews reports for these funders on a regular basis.
Performs other management and administrative tasks as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

A deep commitment to the mission of a better, safer future for the world’s poorest people through secure access to land.
Dedication and persistence working in a mission-driven environment as a constructive, solutions-oriented problem solver.

Strong research, analysis, synthesis, reasoning, and writing abilities. Skills in quantitative analysis are highly beneficial.

Significant expertise in the policy, legal, and regulatory landscape of land access and tenure security.Understanding of smallholder and scale agriculture, land formalization, expropriation, land use planning, and land markets.
Fluency with stakeholder engagement and consultation processes. Familiarity with dispute resolution that is grounded in grievances born of land formalization, expropriation, land grabs, failure to adhere to good/best practices re: land governance and investment, and gender disadvantage.

Familiarity with legal, economic, sociological, agricultural, political, institutional, geographic, and anthropological concepts and information. Expertise in informal/customary/women’s land rights, around the global south, specifically in Africa.

Ability to develop concrete work plans and manage tasks, teams, funds, products, and other elements so that work is performed according to agreed budgets, timelines and staffing plans.

Ability to work collaboratively with people at all levels, including those from host country governmental and non-governmental organizations, the private sector, clients, donors, and grantors. Must demonstrate cross-cultural sensitivity, tact, and poise. Possess management skills and acts as a mentor to junior staff.

Ability to engage and lead in high-level legal and policy advocacy with legislators, government officials, multilateral representatives, and private sector leaders.

Exceptional ability to communicate in English, both in writing and orally.

Proficiency using Microsoft Suite of products including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other software.

Education and Experience:

An advanced degree in law, social sciences, international policy/studies, economics, or related field.
A minimum of ten years of relevant international development work experience, engaging in policy research and in the design and implementation of projects, including significant focus (5+ years) on the types of land issues mentioned above.
Strong depth and breadth of field work experience.
High-level advocacy, human rights, and corporate CSR or sustainability expertise.
An understanding of women’s access and secure rights to land.
Prior work experience with USAID, DFID, the World Bank, and/or other multi/bi-lateral donor is highly beneficial.

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