Chief of Party - Food for Education Program

Chief of Party - Food for Education Program

CRS - Catholic Relief Services

Managua, Nicaragua

Job Description

Job Summary

The Chief of Party (COP) will provide leadership and overall management of the Nicaragua Food for Education (FFE) program whose goal is to improve access to quality education for students and improve the nutrition of mothers and children in rural areas. S/he will be responsible for planning, managing, monitoring, and reporting on project activities in coordination with other technical staff and managers (both CRS and partner staff). S/he will also manage sub-awards to local partners and government partnerships with an emphasis on building capacity for sustainability of interventions. The COP will ensure that final program results are achieved and that a responsible exit strategy/scale-down is developed and implemented in close collaboration with CRS staff and partners.

Roles and Key Responsibilities

  • Lead all aspects of the implementation and consolidation of the FFE project, including sharing how the project contributes to the thought leadership of the industry. Serve as the primary point of contact to USDA in Nicaragua as well as public, private and non-government stakeholders.
  • Ensure the project is implemented to meet donor expectations in terms of timely and quality results and budget, including strategies for phase out and sustainability. Ensure coordination between program and operations leads, particularly for commodity management. Ensure the CRS project management and program quality standards are adhered to as well as Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) policy and procedures.
  • Effectively manage senior programming and operations talent. Manage team dynamics and staff well-being. Provide coaching and mentoring. Strategically tailor individual development plans and complete performance assessments for direct reports. Oversee the development of staffing plans and the recruitment process of senior staff.
  • Manage, mitigate and report risk through monitoring national and regional issues that may impact staff and programming. Ensure all staff understand and adhere to CRS staff safety and security policies and plans and ensure the updating of such plans.
  • Promote, uphold and model a commitment to the efficient use of agency and donor resources. Ensure compliance with USDA grants, including financial tracking and oversight of partner budgets, finance, administration and reporting to USDA. Approve program expenditures, budget adjustments, and cost modification requests to donors.
  • Oversee the development of communication strategies and materials, complying with donor and CRS' branding and marketing requirements and procedures.
  • Coordinate relationships with consortium partner organizations, including organization of review/planning workshops. Contribute to coordination of the roles and activities of staff from other consortium member organizations, applying CRS partnership principles, tools and approaches.
  • Participate in strategic reflection and planning for CRS/Nicaragua in education and nutrition programming in general, as well as in external meetings with the Ministry of Education and other actors developing strategic approaches in these sectors and bring in Private Sector support for the project.
  • Create and maintain proper conditions for learning. Establish a safe environment for sharing of ideas, solutions, and difficulties and the capacity to detect, analyze and respond quickly to deficiencies. Identify performance gaps and training opportunities for CRS and partner staff and ensure the design and delivery of high-quality training and technical assistance.

Basic Qualifications (BQs)

Education and Experience

  • Master's degree in Education, Health/Nutrition, International Development, or related field. PhD preferred.
  • 7 or more years' relevant management and technical experience in Nicaragua or in a development or transitional setting outside country of origin, with experience in school feeding, education, and school health preferred.
  • 5 years' experience managing donor funds and multi-activity projects, preferably in Education. Strong knowledge and experience in budget management.
  • Nicaraguan national or Nicaraguan resident preferred.
  • Recognized leader in Education as demonstrated by peer reviewed publications, conference presentations, etc.
  • Experience with commodities-related projects, with complicated logistics, and U.S. government-funded projects.
  • 5 years of staff management experience and abilities that are conducive to a learning environment. Experience coaching senior program staff.
  • Experience engaging partners and strengthening partnerships. Knowledge of CRS partnership strategy a plus.
  • Ability to represent and present at high levels.
  • Experience in MS Office package (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio), Web Conferencing Applications, and information and budget management systems.

Skills, Knowledge and Abilities (SKAs)

  • Strong strategic, analytical, systems thinking, and problem-solving skills, with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment and decisions.
  • Strong relations management abilities. Ability to relate to people at all levels internally and externally. Strategic in the approach to each relationship.
  • Team leadership abilities with diverse/multi-disciplinary teams. Coaching skills.
  • Strong communications and presentation skills; able to develop tailored and persuasive messaging for varied audiences.
  • Proactive, resourceful, solutions-oriented and results-oriented.

Required Languages

  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Spanish.


  • approximately 25% travel to supervise field staff and activities.

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© EuroJobsites 2019

EuroJobsites is a UK registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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