Regional Director, Latin America
- Experience Level
Title: Regional Director, Latin America
Location: Within the region of Latin America
Position: Full Time, Exempt
Team: Grassroots Partnership Team
Position Reports to: Director of Grassroots Partnerships
The Regional Director leads Thousand Currents’ programmatic efforts in Latin America, playing a crucial role as grassroots advocate, grant-maker, and network weaver. By nurturing strong relationships based on mutual trust, respect and integrity with grassroots partners, the Regional Director works to advance Thousand Currents’ commitment to deepen the core and turn up the volume as well as the Latin America regional strategy.
Reporting to the Director of Grassroots Partnerships and working closely with the Directors for Africa and Asia, the Regional Director co-designs our unique model of authentic partnership, builds alliances and shares learning about our work within philanthropy. The Regional Director supervises the Girls Fund Fellow, consultants, and interns, as needed. The Regional Director also collaborates closely with colleagues in Communications, Philanthropic Partnerships, and Operations to strengthen Thousand Currents’ work in alignment with our Theory of Change. The Regional Director brings to the role a strong commitment to human rights and social justice and to ensuring that Thousand Currents’ communications with donors and other stakeholders is consistent with our organization’s values, Fundraising Vision and with the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethics.
About Thousand Currents:
Thousand Currents is a public foundation that promotes grassroots solutions addressing the interdependent issues of food sovereignty, alternative economies, and climate justice in the Global South. Rooted in love, imagination, and joy, our work is inspired by our vision of a world in which self-determined and connected communities share and uphold the abundance of life. We pursue that vision through:
▪ Grassroots partnerships: Thousand Currents builds deep partnerships with visionary leaders and organizations in the Global South. Over the past 30 years, we have funded, connected, and humbly learned from over 750 grassroots initiatives led by women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples in over 35 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. We rely on those most impacted by food, economic, and climate injustice - to identify and respond to their own communities’ priorities. This means honoring their leadership, local knowledge and models, their transformative solutions to global challenges, and offering long-term flexible grants that have no strings or conditions attached and no arbitrary time frames. Alongside this funding, we strengthen our grassroots partners by working with them to scale their successes, build their capacity and leadership, and by linking them to broader social change movements at the regional, national, and global level.
▪ Philanthropic partnerships: Thousand Currents uses its position and influence to amplify the voice and wisdom of our partners, and to bridge emerging approaches and learning from the Global South with philanthropic models and practices from the Global North. We offer training to donors, foundations, affinity groups and other change-makers, including through our week-long Academy, and we create or support innovative models of investing, and collaborative funds all rooted in new models of partnership that dismantle unequal structures and center on collective liberation and well-being.
The foundational values that guide and inform our approach are courage, creativity, experimentation, humility, and interdependence. These are not just words to us. Our values are deeply embedded in our organizational DNA. They are at the core of our 2018-2020 Strategy and are put into practice in relationships with our grassroots partners, with each other, with our supporters, and with those systems we work to transform. And we seek out every opportunity for fun, joy, and connection along the way.
Through sustained and significant growth in recent years, we now have a budget of just under 5 million and a leader-full team of 21 staff, fellows, and artists-in-residence based across the U.S. and internationally, including in offices in Oakland and New York, as well as an engaged board. For more on our recent work and partner profiles, visit our 2018 Annual Report.
Position Essential Functions:
Promote organization-wide leadership, sustainability, and excellence:
1. Lead all Latin America Partnership Development, Grant-making & Capacity Building: (50% time)
Working under the supervision of the Director of Grassroots Partnerships, the Regional Director directs Thousand Currents’ program in Latin America in alignment with other regional areas and Thousand Currents’ theory of change. This includes but is not limited to:
· Develop and nurture strong partnerships with grassroots partners, allies and networks in Latin America
- Through regular ongoing communication and one to two extensive site visits per year, identify and nurture strong relationships with grassroots partners in accordance with Thousand Currents’ values and principles;
- Through regular dialogue with grantee partners, regional advisors and allies, develop deep contextual knowledge of regional issues around food sovereignty, alternative economies and climate justice; and
- Actively participate in regional networks, coalitions and alliances that are relevant to our priority issues and the work of Thousand Currents’ grantee partners.
· Lead all grant-making support for Thousand Currents partners in Latin America
- Manage a portfolio of Latin America grantees, reviewing application materials and reports, and recommending grants aligned with Thousand Currents’ strategy and in compliance with international grant-making regulations;
- Recruit, manage, and supervise the Girls Fund Fellow for Latin America working with the Fellow to deepen and strengthen Thousand Currents’ work with groups that support the self-determination of adolescent girls and young women in the region.
- Supervise the administration of grants by the Grants Manager (agreements, expense requests, wife transfers);
- Support implementation of grants including documentation, monitoring and evaluation procedures, and implement partnership exit strategies if needed;
- Work with partners to undertake organizational development assessments, develop capacity strengthening resources, training and information to support partner priorities, and accompany organizational growth;
- Research and network to develop funding resources for Thousand Currents partners, including awards nominations, and support partners when needed with accessing these resources;
- Work closely with the Buen Vivir Fund and CLIMA Fund teams to identify partnerships with existing grantees and potential new investees, and to ensure synergy between these Funds’ investments and other support for Thousand Currents partners; and
- Provide quarterly written program development summary reports for Thousand Currents staff and board.
2. Contribute to learning and evaluation, knowledge sharing and alliance-building in the U.S. (25%)
Integrate learning from Latin America partners’ work and context into programmatic and organizational learning and strategy development at Thousand Currents and share with the field. This includes but is not limited to:
Contribute analysis and experience of Latin America partnerships to inform Learning and Evaluation activities
- Conduct and/or support up to two learning exchanges per year, as determined by Program Team, as well as site visits and regular communications with partners, and analyze and synthesize key learnings and themes that emerge;
- Share lessons internally through field reports and other transfer of information for board and staff, and externally through contributing to white papers, evaluations, blogs and presentations;
- Maintain and deepen understanding of trends in international development and social change and provide research on trends and opportunities in Thousand Currents’ funding areas in response to requests; and
- Work with communications staff to articulate Thousand Currents’ unique partnership model and share research, and lessons and stories from partners through blogs, webinars, conferences, events and public speaking opportunities.
Build alliances for Thousand Currents and our partners, within relevant movements and networks
- In partnership with communications and other pertinent staff, coordinate partner visits to the U.S. and ensure that partners remain at the center of Thousand Currents’ alliance building strategy through regular participation in our programs;
- Analyze, assess and create opportunities for strategic alliances with relevant movements and organizations, and build and maintain a solidarity network of US contacts for information sharing;
- Activate our networks and alliances to build linkages and promote increased engagement with, and support for, the work of our partners as well as that of Thousand Currents itself; and
- Work with the philanthropic partnerships team to influence allied funders in overlapping sectors.
3. Contribute to overall planning, management of, and funding for, all Regional Programs (15%)
Along with other program team members and under the leadership of the Director of Grassroots Partnerships, the Regional Director contributes to setting program policy and management systems, including but not limited to:
- Work collegially with other regional directors to ensure cross-regional alignment of program strategies, learnings, resource mobilization and communications;
- Contribute to periodic revisions of program processes, such as partner selection criteria and indicators, funding priorities, monitoring and evaluation procedures, site visit protocols;
- Provide guidance and support for the Grants Manager, and hire and supervise regional consultants, contractors, interns and volunteers as needed;
- Support setting funding priorities and allocating the annual budget among grant applicants, and participate in budgeting for program operations and track spending within budget parameters;
- Support Thousand Currents’ fundraising efforts by developing content for donor communications, and foundation proposals and reports, and nurturing relationships with donors and foundation partners;
- Undertake special projects as needed in a dynamic, cross-functional and fast-paced work environment.
4. Participate in organization-wide learning, cross-program partnership and administrative efficiency (10%)
Along with all other staff, this position contributes to Thousand Currents’ culture of entrepreneurship, teamwork and continuous learning and does what it takes to ensure that Thousand Currents staff collaborate and support each other within and across programs and excel in an environment where every member takes care of their own basic administrative needs. This includes but is not limited to:
- Showing up fully for learning and planning activities, including staff meetings, retreats, trainings, planning and strategy sessions.
- Pitching in when needed for organization-wide activities, such as the Thousand Currents Academy, annual events, fundraising drives, partner visits etc.
- Supervising and project management of volunteers and interns, and ensuring that they have a positive learning experience at Thousand Currents.
- Managing our own regular administration, including timely submission of receipts, reimbursement requests, scheduling, travel planning, filing HR paperwork etc.
Note: Thousand Currents is committed to responding flexibly to changing circumstances and priorities which means that the expectations of every position are dynamic. This description reflects the assignment of essential functions, but does not proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.
Ideal experience, qualifications, and attributes: Our ideal candidate will bring as many of the following areas of experience, skill, knowledge and attributes as possible. The must-haves include:
- Passionate about Thousand Currents’ mission and values, with a strong commitment to social justice and equity and experience and with the ability
- Commitment to grassroots organizations and social movements, with lived and professional experience in Latin America, particularly with or on grassroots groups and social movements
- At least six years of experience within social sector organizations in Latin America; demonstrated organizational development and capacity building experience; at least three years of experience supervising staff and volunteers.
- Outstanding critical thinking skills and the mental flexibility to change course as needed;
- Excellent research and analytical skills to ensure strong learning, evaluation and impact assessment;
- Strong communication skills, particularly writing, editing and synthesizing complex information;
- Excellent organizational skills with the ability to manage multiple priorities and work under deadlines;
- Experience and desire to work cooperatively within a team environment with an emphasis on learning and continuous improvement;
- Familiarity with general database systems; proficiency in MS Office and Social Media;
- Ability to travel domestically, and internationally for periods of up to a month, one to two times per year;
- Fluent in written and spoken Spanish and English;
- Committed to learning Portuguese, if not fluent in written and spoken Portuguese.
Compensation, benefits, location: This is a full-time, exempt, salaried position. Exact salary will be determined upon hiring, in the range of $75,000 to $85,000. Benefits include 100% employer paid health insurance premiums, partner/child coverage, a health reimbursement arrangement, sick and vacation leave, flexible holidays, and internal systems that engender a culture of mutual accountability to personal ecology, transparency, open communication, and opportunities for professional, personal, and leadership development.
The Regional Director, Latin America will ideally be located within the Latin American region. The Regional Director must have the capacity and willingness to travel both nationally and globally to interface with team members, funders, and partners, with travel being anticipated to be on average 30% of time. Maintenance of a valid passport is required.
How to apply: Applicants must submit a substantive and thoughtful cover letter describing their interest in the position and making the case for the relevance of their experience to the key areas of focus.
The cover letter can be submitted together with a current resume to: email@example.com. “Latin America, Regional Program Director” should be entered in the subject line. Applications will be received through July 3rd, 2019 - early applications are encouraged. The position will remain open until filled.
Equal opportunity: Thousand Currents is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: The physical demands of this position are light with the expectation that the staff person can exert up to 20 lbs. of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 lbs. of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. Light work usually requires walking or standing to a significant degree. Physical demands are in excess of those of sedentary work. The position requires frequent computer use at a workstation. As Thousand Currents staff work in a number of locations and come together for meetings on occasion, all staff must be able to travel by car and plane to meetings at locations nationally and internationally. Availability to travel and maintenance of a valid passport is required. National or international travel represents approximately 20% of the time for this position. Thousand Currents will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This job description and its physical requirements will be reviewed periodically as duties and responsibilities change with business necessity. Essential and marginal job functions are subject to modification.
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: Thousand Currents is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions.