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Executive Director

International Cocoa Initiative
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Last Date: January 17, 2011

Position: Executive Director

Reporting to: ICI Board through Co-Presidents

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Direct reports: Programme Manager, Programme Officer, Partnership Development Manager,
Finance Manager, Board & Administrative Manager
Reports to: The ICI co- presidents, who are accountable to the Board

Salary: 190,000 to 210,000 Swiss Francs (gross) based on experience

1. The role

Based in Geneva, Switzerland with programme offices in Abidjan and Accra the International Cocoa Initiative seeks an Executive Director to serve, lead and grow its diverse membership.

With a team of dedicated professionals, the momentum of a strong mission progress and proven reputation, the Executive Director will manage the Secretariat, actively promote the vision, strategically lead the work, and direct the communication and be primarily responsible for organizational strategy, overall performance and relationships with the Board, international institutions, governments and partners.

This person will bring a deep understanding of development issues as well personal confidence and powerful communication and networking skills. They will complement, harness and channel the professional skills and standing of the Board and staff to achieve the mission of the organization. S/he will represent the organisation at the highest levels in international fora, along with the ICI co-presidents and have a crucial role in advocating for the ICI’s unique role in fighting the worst forms of child labour and forced labour in the cocoa sector.

2. Background

The presence of the worst forms of child labour (hazardous child labour, cases of trafficked children) and forced adult labour in the cocoa supply chain is a concern to many and the elimination of these practices is the reason behind the creation of the ICI Foundation, better known today as the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) was created to support.

The International Cocoa Initiative ( is dedicated to ending the worst forms of child labour and forced labour in cocoa-growing. It is a unique partnership between NGOs, labour unions, cocoa processors, the major chocolate brands in collaborative efforts that seek to eliminate child labour and forced labour from cocoa production.

Although there remains much to do, our programmes have proven successful in showing the way to combat this phenomenon.

3. Overall purpose of job

The International Cocoa Initiative’s Executive Director provides visionary leadership for the Foundation to achieve its objectives. Working closely with the Board and a smaller Executive Committee, s/he develops broad support for a well articulated vision and implementation Strategy. By recruiting, motivating and retaining a high performing team and establishing key relationships, the Executive Director ensures that this vision is translated into a programme and actions that clearly deliver measurable year on year progress and that these results are communicated.

The Executive Director must ensure that the ICI is well known and respected among key stakeholders as a leader in the efforts to combat child labour and forced labour in the cocoa sector. The Executive Director ensures that, within the Secretariat, there are relevant administrative processes, adequate controls and financial systems so that the Foundation is an effective steward of the funds placed at its disposal and meets high standards of accountability and transparency.

The Executive Director is the head of the ICI Secretariat and an ex-officio member of ICI’s Board and Executive Committee. S/he is responsible for the overall management of the organization, and is charged with implementing its strategic approved by the Board. The Executive Director reports directly to the ICI co- presidents, who are accountable to the Board.

Responsibilities of the Executive Director include the delivery of:

• Strategic leadership
• Programme Excellence
• Organizational effectiveness
• Resource and Financial management
• Communications
• Relationship building

4. Candidate Profile

In the next Executive Director, the ICI requires someone who understands the major issues in development, labour issues and the end of the worst forms of child labour in cocoa growing. S/he will be a credible and persuasive player at the highest levels and be recognized as a peer by senior colleagues in government; multi-lateral, scientific and civil society contexts.

Along with the leadership characteristics described below, the Executive Director also requires a flexibility of style and understanding of the Secretariat’s supporting role to the co-presidents and the Board. A sophisticated appreciation of the complexities and processes, including diplomacy, firmness and conflict resolution skills involved in multi-stakeholder initiatives is necessary.

5. Background and Experience

Candidates for the role will require:

• A thorough understanding of agricultural and development issues, this will include the social and political context in the response to the end of the worst forms of child labour and forced labour in cocoa growing, as well as an appreciation of the cultural contexts;
• A track record of achievement and leadership in the field and an active network;
• International experience, in particular as an Executive Director or senior manager in a non-profit organisation or corporation;
• Experience in working with major international donors and in public private partnerships.

6. Skills and Competencies

Candidates should have proven track record in leadership and:

• The ability to inspire and engage with a wide range of relevant audiences; personal presence; excellent influencing skills;
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills, this person will be an inspiring presenter and ambassador;
• Language skills: excellent level of verbal and written English and French are indispensable, other languages an asset;
• The capacity to convey complex messages to lay audiences, as well as interacting meaningfully with expert ones;
• The ability to lead, delegate, develop, retain and manage a diverse team of skilled professionals; good management and delegation skills; and quick and sound people judgment;
• Financial literacy; with the ability to set clear financial direction;
• Strong visionary leadership with demonstrated ability to foster integration and teamwork across a multi-stakeholder initiative;
• The breadth of mind to build partnerships across a multi-stakeholder sector;
• The willingness to travel extensively;
• Optimism and openness to new ideas;
• Sound negotiating skills.

A full Job Description is at the disposal of potential candidates on ICI website

To apply

Please send a letter of application stating the skills and approach that you would bring to the post with your CV/resume (no photos) in strict confidence by email only to: Diana Ruano at 

Please ensure that they are sent as Word documents with the titles “cover letter” and “CV” Please put “ICI Executive Director” in the email subject line. Also please let us know where you saw the post advertised.
The deadline for application is Monday 17th January 2011

It is expected that final interviews for short listed candidates will take place in Geneva, Switzerland in the week of 21-25 February 2011


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