Associate Director, Women’s Economic Empowerment, Food Systems

Oxfam America
  • Location
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Jul 06

Position description

Sr. Program Advisor R4, Sr Advisor Financial and Inclusion, Program Advisor Saving for Change and Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Advisor  
COORDINATES WITH: Internally with Vice President, Programs; Director, Food Systems, Senior Director,International Programs; peer group of Associate Directors and Managers in the Food Systems and other departments and themes; Country, Regional and Affiliate peers, Oxfam International, and functional units including Finance, Human Resources, Communications, Policy, Campaigns, Institutional Support Department (ISD), and major donors. Externally with networks of professionals involved in women’s economic empowerment on issues such as women’s rights and leadership, gender justice, entrepreneurship, labor, financial inclusion and international development; with international institutions and donor organizations, governments, policy makers, and companies.

PURPOSE OF POSITION:  The Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Team as part of the Food Systems Theme will leverage learning and partnerships from the Oxfam’s community finance effort and will add new strands of focus on issues such as women’s rights, women’s leadership, women’s entrepreneurship and women’s decent employment. The Associate Directorwill lead and leverage Oxfam’s past and current experience and expertise, and network with women’s rights organizations, private sector, government, and other key stakeholders to achieve the ambitious goal of empowering 10 million women and youth by 2030 through programmatic and influencing work. The position will have a strategic leadership role in program conceptualization, delivery through partnership, ensuring program quality, thought leadership, innovation, fundraising and evidence-based influencing. The position will also play a co-leadership role on the Expanding Farmer’s Opportunities sub-theme and collaborate with the other 2 sub-theme leads: Inclusive Value Chain and Climate Change and Energy. 


Strategic Direction, Leadership and Impact at Scale:

  • Lead the Food Systems new flagship initiative Women’s Economic Empowerment, integrating learning from existing programs such as the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative and Savings for Change (SfC) and future programs to achieve  influence and impact at scale.
  • Guide thought leadership, policy and advocacy activities to raise the visibility and influence to create sustainable impact at scale.  
  • Identify and influence private sector, government, women’s rights organizations, civil society and other peer organizations and establish a strategy to engage them on policy change and adoption, and execution of successful program models.
  • Support select evaluations and learning exercises related to WEE and financial inclusion.
  • Effectively manage R4’s strategic partnerships with the World Food Programme (WFP), KFW and others key donors and partners.
  • Introduce technology and innovation for scale, impact and accountability.
  • In support of the Director, represent Oxfam’s Food Systems team in key external and internal functions.

Fundraising and Networking:

  • Raise the funds required to achieve the vision of the WEE Team and the Food Systems Theme, by developing and executing a strategy for fundraising on WEE and financial inclusion proactively targeting opportunities jointly identified with Food Systems Theme, Institutional Fundraising, Countries, Affiliates and others.
  • Promote Oxfam America’s innovative model of learning and sharing within the Oxfam Confederation, especially through Knowledge Hubs (Resilience, Women’s Economic Empowerment and others as needed) and multi-country initiatives.
  • Provide leadership within the confederation on specific areas of expertise, including savings-led microfinance, micro-insurance, women’s entrepreneurship, employment and rights.
  • Foster inter-affiliate collaboration by identifying and implementing opportunities for program collaboration and expansion in new geographies.
  • Participate in key international forums, networks on WEE and financial inclusion promoting Oxfam’s work externally.  
  • Develop strong collaboration with other sub-themes, as well as other themes (Accountable Development Finance, Humanitarian) and Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) within Oxfam America.
  • Develop and execute together with the Food Systems Theme an internal and external communication plan (impact heartbeat, storytelling, blogs, and newsletter).

Team and Budget Management:    

  • Promote collaboration among diverse teams by creating efficient communication links, and providing timely information on team and organization structure changes.
  • Recruit, supervise and assist WEE staff in team building and achieving performance goals through coaching, goal setting, staff development, and appraisal.  Provide for the continuity of managerial and specialized skills.
  • Provide bi-annual feedback to line management on matrix teams.
  • Create an environment where staff and team members are eager to acquire new skills and increase their responsibility.
  • Apply and promote Oxfam’s gender justice and safeguarding policies, practice and culture. 
  • Develop and manage the WEE Team budget in accordance with Food Systems and overall Oxfam budgeting practices.
  • Ensure responsible restricted fund management and reporting.


The incumbent will work effectively and collaboratively to:

  • Perform all duties appropriately for a multi-cultural environment, treating all persons with dignity and respect, and be familiar with and committed to Oxfam America’s mission and goals, including safeguarding practices
  • Maintain and encourage positive attitude and energy, assisting colleagues wherever possible in solving problems; and represent the WEE Team in a professional manner at all times.
  • Have an understanding of gender equity and diversity within key areas of responsibility and a commitment to promoting gender justice and diversity in our workplace and programs.
  • Have an understanding of the importance on investing in MEL and Social Accountability and to adapt the strategies of the programs based on the evidence produced. 
  • Travel for about 35% of time in the US and globally. 


Master’s degree in Business Administration, Economics, International Development, Women’s Rights, Public Policy, or equivalent combination of education, training and experience.   

Experience and Core Competencies:

  1. Ten or more years of progressively responsible work experience,  in the financial sector, economic development, entrepreneurship, women’s economic empowerment or other food systems related issues such as inclusive value chain development, climate change and gender justice.
  2. Strong leadership including at least three years in management, ability to motivate and manage team, to think strategically, develop compelling vision and ideas and inspire team and other audiences to take action to achieve impact.
  3. Ability to make sound independent decisions and judgment calls.
  4. Strong demonstrated written and verbal communication skills, writing for a variety of audiences.
  5. Versatility and ability to take the initiative on a variety of projects.
  6. Strong ability to prioritize tasks and ensure timely completion.
  7. Experience preparing budgets, cash flows, revenue projections, and overseeing expense budgets.
  8. Strong research, analytical and problem-solving skills; imagination and creativity to find information.
  9. Strong ability to be influential, to conduct policy analysis, and to include policy and advocacy in programming to achieve systemic changes.
  10. Collegial nature and ability to develop good relationships with multiple constituencies and work as a team member.
  11. Fluency in Spanish or French


1.    Knowledge of human resources concepts, practices, policies, and procedures. 
2.    Working experience in the global south.

3.    Knowledge of the field of international development and program planning. 
4.    Cross-cultural understanding of how an international development agency operates, communicate well cross-culturally. 

Application instructions

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