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Senior Director, Government Engagement, Clean Cooking Alliance

Position Overview

The Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) works with a global network of partners to build an inclusive industry that makes clean cooking accessible to the three billion people who live each day without it. Established in 2010, the CCA is driving consumer demand, mobilizing investment to build a pipeline of scalable businesses, and fostering an enabling environment that allows the sector to thrive. Clean cooking transforms lives by improving health, protecting the climate and environment, empowering women, and helping consumers save time and money. In alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, CCA is working to achieve universal access to clean cooking by 2030.

CCA seeks to make high-impact clean cooking solutions desirable, affordable, and accessible for consumers and viable for businesses to provide sustainably at scale. It supports companies that design, manufacture, distribute, and retail biomass, ethanol, biogas, and LPG-based clean cooking solutions in addition to more efficient wood and charcoal cookstoves. It also supports technology innovation with the aim to commercialize new technologies such as highly energy-efficient electric cookers for off-grid/mini-grid communities.

CCA has been leading a system-wide Strategy development process. Launched in mid-2020 and expected to continue throughout 2021, the Clean Cooking Systems Strategy aims to secure commitment and mobilize collective action toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 - access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. The emerging Strategy has been co-created with over one hundred stakeholders from the clean cooking ecosystem and adjacent spaces, including partners from the energy access, electricity, food systems, health, climate, and gender sectors.

The Market Strengthening team’s mission is to foster the development of a pipeline of sustainable, scalable, and investable clean cooking businesses that can attract capital to scale and replicate, accelerating the transition to cleaner cooking technologies that meet consumers’ needs. The three areas of interventions of the Market Strengthening team include the Venture Catalyst, the Market Catalyst, and the Demand Catalyst. The Venture Catalyst focuses on improving the pipeline of investment-ready businesses through business-level interventions; the Market Catalyst focuses on improving the enabling environment that helps such businesses succeed through market-level interventions; and the Demand Catalyst focuses on understanding consumers and driving demand through interventions targeted at consumers. Gender is a core and cross-cutting theme of the three Catalysts.

The Government Engagement Lead will join the Market Strengthening team to contribute to the identification, design, and implementation of interventions that seek to improve country-level enabling institutional and policy environments for strong and sustainable clean cooking markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Government Engagement Lead will be expected to work heavily through partnerships so as to leverage other institutions and efforts and scale the reach and depth of CCA’s work. Partners might include country-level clean cooking associations, trade, manufacturing, and other industry bodies, civil society organizations, enterprises, advocacy organizations, and international organizations.

The Senior Director, Government Engagement Lead will join the Market Strengthening team to contribute to the identification, design, and implementations of interventions that seek to improve country-level enabling institutional and policy environments for strong and sustainable clean cooking markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Senior Director, Government Engagement Lead will be expected to work heavily through partnerships so as to leverage other institutions and efforts and scale the reach and depth of CCA’s work. Partners might include country level clean cooking associations, trade, manufacturing and other industry bodies, civil society organizations, enterprises, advocacy organizations, and international organizations.

The Senior Director, Government Engagement Lead will also work closely with the Strategy and Development team, the Evidence and Impact team as well as with the Chief of Staff on strategic cross-cutting CCA government-related initiatives relevant to the work of the Market Strengthening team.

This role is based in Washington D.C. or London.

Essential Functions

  • Country-level interventions
    • Assessing gaps and needs for national policy environments that support dynamic clean cooking markets in collaboration with the Evidence and Impact team, in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Designing and implementation of CCA’s Government Engagement strategies for awareness-raising, policy reforms, institutional development, governance and programmatic public interventions around clean cooking market development in specific countries, in collaboration with the Evidence and Impact team, in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Engaging with and supporting the mobilization of civil society and private sector actors and institutions around clean cooking policy issues in collaboration with the Evidence and Impact team, in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Supporting the Country Director and government engagement team of CCA’s Haiti Cookstoves and Clean Energy Markets project
  • Multi-country Sub-Saharan Africa interventions
    • Identifying, scoping, and designing opportunities for new national policy initiatives for the Market Strengthening team and for cross-cutting CCA areas
    • Playing an important role in the development, roll-out and implementation of a Clean Cooking Delivery Units Network. The locally run delivery units will coordinate across relevant ministries, organize, and oversee funding, engage industry and private sector, establish policies and regulations related to clean cooking, and represent national interests in global events and dialogue.
    • Developing public resources for clean cooking market development for policymakers, such as tools, platforms, databases, knowledge briefs and networks as well as contributing to and acting as the main touchpoint and driver of the User Insights Lab for policymakers in close collaboration with the Evidence and Impact team.
  • General
    • Developing a strategy for the Market Strengthening team’s support to Sub-Saharan Africa governments, in line with the Clean Cooking Sector Strategy
    • Monitoring national clean cooking policy developments and government action and acting as an internal and external go-to point, knowledge disseminator, and thought leader in this area
    • Developing partnerships for engaging with national policymakers around clean cooking
    • Designing and facilitating workshops with key stakeholders for the purpose of multi-stakeholder coordination, multi-stakeholder problem-solving, and co-creation
    • Translating evidence into policy insights and recommendations through various means
    • Supporting the work of the Clean Cooking Evidence and Action Hub, including by providing insights on policymaker needs
    • Support the implementation of the Clean Cooking System Strategy in the Market Strengthening Team
    • Other duties as assigned
  • Market Strengthening Team Leadership
    • Managing part of the Market Strengthening team’s program focused on finance, investments and public funding for clean cooking, including:
      • Supervising staff from the Market Strengthening team 
      • Supervising procurement, compliance and financial management processes related to the Market
      • Quality management over internal and external activities and outputs
      • Overseeing program implementation, including activity delivery timelines, disbursements, M&E, and compliance
      • Work planning, budget planning and new activity development
      • Work planning reporting
    • Participating in the Market Strengthening leadership team and contributing to Market Strengthening strategy and organizational development

Selection Criteria

  • Graduate degree and 10-12 years of related professional experience required
  • Practical work experience with market development / industrial development / private sector development policies and programs in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Practical experience with the mechanics of policy transformation processes, including policy prioritization, policy design, and policy implementation
  • Practical experience navigating complex policymaking and policy implementation environments in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Experience providing policy advice to and interfacing with mid-and high-level government officials (e.g., Minister level), particularly in areas of energy, health, and/or industrial development
  • Experience with the facilitation of multi-stakeholder collaboration and co-creation processes involving government, the private sector, and civil society
  • Ability to cultivate effective working relationships with people, internally and externally, from a wide variety of types of organizations, cultural backgrounds, and areas of expertise
  • Ability to translate technical reports and academic papers into concise policy implications and guidance
  • Demonstrated project management skills, including managing teams and budgets on a tight timeline
  • Experience in low- and middle-income countries, that conveys credibility amongst stakeholders including senior management teams of companies, investors, government officials, and other ecosystem professionals, particularly among those working towards social and environmental impact
  • Demonstrated interest in the social and environmental impact dimensions of the products and business models that CCA supports, and the ability to liaise and collaborate with other colleagues within CCA and those in the sector at large
  • Energetic and positive attitude
  • Experience using data to drive policy recommendation and action
  • Solutions-oriented and able to manage and advance multiple tasks and responsibilities in a dynamic, fast-paced environment
  • Strategic thinking and leadership skills
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skills
  • Problem-solver with a proactive, no-task-is-too-small nature who takes initiative
  • Team-oriented, supportive work style, and able to work independently
  • Excellent communicator, able to synthesize and convey complex information clearly in written and oral form, in particular, development of visual assets to present design findings
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle stress
  • High ethical standards and ability to maintain confidentiality and discretion with sensitive information
  • Ability to learn new systems and collaboration platforms efficiently
  • Proficiency in Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint), with particular emphasis on the ability to create compelling and professional PowerPoint materials
  • A track record of designing tools for policymakers
  • Ability to meet regular attendance/tardiness policy
  • Experience with design thinking preferred
  • Experience working on market development, public health, policy development, energy access, clean cooking fuels, and cookstoves in low- and middle-income countries preferred
  • Experience working in a government agency and as a policy entrepreneur preferred
  • Experience with public sector innovation preferred
  • Entrepreneurial experience in the private or non-profit sectors preferred
  • A case study is part of the interview process
  • Ability to work in French preferred

Benefits & Compensation 

For full-time, benefit eligible employees, UNF offers an excellent range of benefits, including:

  • a choice between two health plans through UnitedHealthcare (PPO or HDHP with HSA)
  • dental insurance
  • vision insurance
  • flexible spending accounts
  • 403b retirement savings plan with a generous matching contribution
  • group term and supplemental life insurance
  • short-term disability
  • long-term disability
  • health club discounts
  • commuter subsidy
  • back-up care
  • employee assistance program

Additionally, all benefit eligible employees have 12 paid holidays, 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, 3 personal days, and 8 weeks of family leave care.

The United Nations Foundation is proud to be an equal opportunity and affirmative-action employer. The United Nations Foundation provides equal employment opportunity to all employees and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

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