Chief of Party, MSIKA

Land O'Lakes International Development


Land O’Lakes International Development is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening agriculture from farm-to-fork, helping businesses grow, and linking farmers to markets. Since our start in 1981, we have been leveraging nearly 100 years of expertise in crop inputs, agricultural insights, dairy and animal nutrition from our close affiliate, Land O’Lakes, Inc., a farmer-owned agribusiness committed to fulfilling its purpose of feeding human progress.

Our team is made up of nearly 350 employees who are committed to market-led approaches, and passionate about collaborating locally to create lasting inclusive economic growth. By unlocking the potential of agriculture for the last 36 years, the lives of more than 3 million people have been transformed through nearly 300 programs in more than 80 countries.

Position Summary:

The Chief of Party will provide overall leadership, oversight and day to day management to the MSIKA project in Malawi. This project is funded by USDA and will operate until 9/30/2021. MSIKA is focused on improving production and increasing local, regional and international trade of the fruit and vegetable sectors in Malawi with a significant access to finance component that focuses on extending sub-loans to participating farmers/processors/aggregators/input suppliers/transporters/FBOs. The Chief of Party is the primary liaison with USDA as well as other stakeholders that contribute to the project. The Chief of Party will manage staff and implementing partners to ensure that the project achieves the intended impact as outlined in the agreement with USDA. Additionally, the COP will provide management and oversight to staff and implementing partners to ensure proper use of financial resources, excellent and timely donor reporting and compliance with donor regulations.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic vision, overall leadership and technical direction to the MSIKA project, ensuring excellent and efficient running of office operations in Malawi to achieve donor targets.
  • Provide leadership to course correcting when certain components or project implementation strategies are not showing impact.
  • Ensure that the project meets its agreement deliverables on time and with the allotted budget.
  • Ensure that strong financial management exists within the project.
  • Drive the access to finance component of the project and working with MSIKA’s commercial bank partner, support qualifying MSIKA project participants to apply for, manage and repay sub-loans. This also includes working with the local financial institution to develop a repeatable model for providing loans to project participants.
  • Ensure strong donor relations exist.
  • Maintain continue dialogue with the donor to ensure that the donor understands the approach as well as project challenges.
  • Maintain regular calls with donor to ensure their involvement and understanding of the project.
  • Assist with New Business opportunities in Malawi as needed.

Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in international development, business administration, economics, social sciences, agriculture, or a closely related field is required.
  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience in designing, implementing and managing large, complex projects in/for developing countries, of which at least five years has been spent in the position of COP, Deputy COP or a similar role of a large development program of equivalent size and scope.
  • Strong leadership qualities and depth and breadth of technical and management expertise in Agriculture, Enterprise Development, Banking or Access to finance.
  • Strong leadership, communication and interpersonal skills, including proven ability to develop and communicate a common vision and lead a multi-disciplinary team.
  • At least two years of experience living or working in a developing country required.
  • Demonstrated ability to create and maintain effective working relations with host country government personnel, stakeholders, NGO partners, and international donor agencies.
  • Strong interpersonal, writing and oral presentation skills in English.
  • Ability to work independently and manage a high volume work flow.
  • Previous experience implementing similar projects in Africa, preferably in Malawi.
  • Prior experience with USAID, USDA or international development programming and practices.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. No phone calls will be accepted.

Land O’Lakes never requests money or payment from candidates for any position type. Please report any such requests to Land O’Lakes.

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