Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Location: Washington, DC
Status: Full-Time, Exempt from Overtime
At the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI), we believe that sustainable forests are critical to our
collective future. SFI® is a sustainability leader through our work in standards, conservation,
community, and education. As an independent, non-profit organization, we collaborate with our
diverse network to provide solutions to local and global sustainability challenges. SFI works with the
forest sector, brand owners, conservation groups, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local
communities, Indigenous Peoples, governments, and universities. SFI Inc. is governed by an independent
three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social, and economic sectors equally.
PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE POSITION:
Reporting to the President and CEO, the Senior Vice President, Conservation (SVP) provides leadership
and oversight of all of SFI’s conservation programs. The SVP is the principal liaison with conservation
organizations and leads collaborative efforts to conserve forested landscapes; and additionally guides the
development of standards and programs to ensure the attainment of conservation objectives. The SVP
works to build partnerships, grow the network of conservation organizations involved in the SFI Program,
guide relevant research, and ensure the relevance of SFI’s work in promoting sustainable supply chains,
responsible sourcing and ESG outcomes. The SVP oversees implementation of SFI’s Conservation Impact
Project, and the Conservation Grants program, helping to conceive and negotiate projects, and
additionally engage external stakeholders through management of the Sounding Board.
Responsibilities include managing the Conservation Team at SFI, which currently includes five employees,
and contributing to over-arching organizational strategy and objectives beyond conservation. SFI places a
high priority on best practices toward Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and particularly acknowledges the
importance of ensuring indigenous engagement in conservation work and outcomes. The successful
candidate will come with an established trusted network in forest conservation, and proven leadership in
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
- Manage and develop the conservation team within SFI to ensure maximum impact relative to
conservation outcomes across the range of SFI’s programs;
- Develop and engage strategies to enhance relationships with key ENGOs relative to their perception of
the SFI Standards, and the value of SFI’s conservation initiatives;
- Conceive and implement a vision for conservation-related research, including the SFI Conservation Grants
program, to ensure efficiency of partnerships, effective leveraging of SFI funding, and a diversity of
projects which build the case for Conservation Impact outcomes, and in support of other key initiatives of
- Work closely with communications team and grantee partners to develop creative communications about
Conservation Impact, and other key conservation initiatives of SFI, to target priority audiences;
- Support relationships with the brandowner community, to build understanding of conservation outcomes,
and to advance acceptance of SFI Standards, including conceiving and negotiating projects which
enumerate specific supply-chain related outcomes;
- Manage and lead evolution of Sounding Board engagement to ensure relevance and credibility, and to
effectively engage the conservation community in both research and communications;
- Engage meaningfully in landscape conservation and other collaborative projects which illustrate the value
of sustainably managed forestlands, and provide a platform for advancing the role of SFI as a critical
- Ensure that research, grant and partnership programs of SFI generate meaningful outcomes that
advance the leadership role of SFI, and inure to the benefit of SFI Certified Organizations and other key
- Help frame and illustrate SFI contributions toward key Sustainable Development Goals, and ESG
outcomes, with focus on the role of forest certification in the attainment of these objectives;
- Monitor conservation research, and seek engagement in research activities and dialogues to support and
enhance SFI’s contribution to conservation outcomes; track developments in emerging markets
(ecosystem services, carbon, water) that pertain to forest management and conservation to identify
potential for SFI engagement;
- Actively participate and engage with the SFI Senior Leadership Team to develop strategic direction, and
to ensure effective implementation of the SFI Strategic Plan across all program areas;
- Work with other leadership staff and partners to conceive, identify and pursue partnership and funding
opportunities across program areas;
- Ensure SFI engagement in external venues, conferences, and initiatives which build the case for the
unique conservation contributions of SFI.
This position will supervise and support 2-5 direct reports and manage various consultant relationships to fulfill
essential job functions.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS / TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS:
Physical requirements include ability to work from a desk at a computer for prolonged periods of time; occasional
lifting/carrying of up to 10 pounds. Subject to sitting, standing, reaching, walking, twisting, and kneeling to
perform the essential functions.
This position requires occasional travel to the US and Canada, up to 30% of time.
Employees based in the Washington, DC and Ottawa, Ontario regions will be expected to report to the local
offices several days a week. We strongly encourage employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. You will be
asked to either provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or wear a mask while in SFI’s offices.
We recognize that few candidates are likely to possess all education, experience, knowledge, skills, qualifications
and characteristics. Well-qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. Alternative position titles will be considered
commensurate with skills and experience.
- University degree in natural resources, environmental management/policy, or related field; master’s
- Minimum of 10 years working in forest conservation or related fields
- Knowledge of forestry issues essential.
- Knowledge of forest certification an asset.
- Specific understanding and appreciation for the contributions of managed forests to critical conservation
- Extensive established network in the conservation or foundation community, preferably with direct
experience working for a conservation organization or foundation;
- Strong knowledge of natural resource management, including balancing environmental, social and
economic needs, particularly in the context of business and supply chains;
- Understanding and experience in climate science, and carbon values in managed forests preferred;
- Strong project, or grant, management skills;
- Proven skills and ability to plan, organize and compellingly present ideas and concepts to groups on
- Ability to assimilate information from a variety of sources, analyze information and make
recommendations for appropriate actions as necessary;
- Ability to direct and implement the development of written, oral and online communications linked to
meeting business objectives, responding to conservation issues and dealing with critical situations. May
include: position/policy papers, speeches, news releases, articles, brochures, webinars, websites,
promotional and technical literature, advertising, newsletters, etc.
- Excellent interpersonal, listening, facilitation and communication skills. Ability to work cooperatively and
strategically in a team environment with all levels of stakeholders or independently as required.
- Proven leadership in team development and management; ability to effectively motivate and manage a
diverse team in a fast-paced environment;
- Strong strategic planning and management skills including handling of budgets and company resources;
- Demonstrated ability to set priorities, counsel and effectively influence stakeholders. Strong leadership,
conflict resolution, facilitation and negotiation skills;
- Excellent writing, analytic and presentation skills with superior attention to detail.
- Ability to manage multiple high-visibility projects effectively and simultaneously.
- Well-organized and able to execute tactical activities such as press conferences, media appearances,
briefings, and related events.
- Dedication to the principles of DEI, and the value of indigenous knowledge and values toward forest
HOW TO APPLY
To apply for this position, email a resume and cover letter to the attention of Bettina Ring, at
[email protected] Subject line should say “Application: Senior Vice President, Conservation”.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
SFI Inc. is proud to provide our employees with a collaborative, dynamic, and rewarding professional
experience, with a competitive compensation and benefits package and growth opportunities. Our
benefits include (but are not limited to):
- Medical, dental, and vision coverage for you and your family.
- Retirement plan with generous employer contribution and additional matching contribution.
- Paid Time Off – generous vacation policy increasing with experience, 12 sick days annually, all
federal holidays, plus 4 floating holidays annually that may be used to observe additional
religious, cultural, or traditional occasions that are meaningful to you.
- Educational assistance and investment in professional development.
We are committed to creating a diverse environment and being an equal opportunity employer. Our team
represents a broad range of cultures, education, disciplines, and work and life experiences, and we strive
to leverage these differences in our daily work. We will not discriminate against any employee or
applicant on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity or expression,
sexual orientation, disability, or any other protected characteristic. We believe in creating an empowered
and supportive team that is committed to advancing sustainability through forest-focused collaborations.
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