United Nations Foundation

Director, Public Sector Engagement, Clean Cooking Alliance

United Nations Foundation - Remote - Full Time

Position Overview

The Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA), a program of the United Nations Foundation. works with a global network of partners to build an inclusive industry that makes clean cooking accessible to the three billion people who live each day without it. Established in 2010, CCA is driving consumer demand, mobilizing investment to build a pipeline of scalable businesses, and fostering an enabling environment that allows the sector to thrive. Clean cooking transforms lives by improving health, protecting the climate and environment, empowering women, and helping consumers save time and money. In alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, CCA is working to achieve universal access to clean cooking by 2030.
CCA seeks to make high-impact clean cooking solutions desirable, affordable, and accessible for consumers and viable for businesses to provide sustainably at scale. It supports companies that design, manufacture, distribute, and retail biomass, ethanol, biogas, and LPG-based clean cooking solutions in addition to more efficient wood and charcoal cookstoves. It also supports technology innovation with the aim to commercialize new technologies such as highly energy-efficient electric cookers for off-grid/mini-grid communities.

CCA has been leading a system-wide Strategy development process. Launched in mid-2020 and expected to continue throughout 2021, the Clean Cooking Systems Strategy aims to secure commitment and mobilize collective action toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 - access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. The emerging Strategy has been co-created with over one hundred stakeholders from the clean cooking ecosystem and adjacent spaces, including partners from the energy access, electricity, food systems, health, climate, and gender sectors.

The Market Strengthening team’s mission is to foster the development of a pipeline of sustainable, scalable, and investable clean cooking businesses that can attract capital to scale and replicate, accelerating the transition to cleaner cooking technologies that meet consumers’ needs. The three areas of intervention of the Market Strengthening team include the Venture Catalyst, the Market Catalyst, and the Demand Catalyst. The Venture Catalyst focuses on improving the pipeline of investment-ready businesses through business-level interventions; the Market Catalyst focuses on improving the enabling environment that helps such businesses succeed through market-level interventions and the Demand Catalyst focuses on understanding consumers and driving demand through interventions targeted at consumers. Gender is a core and cross-cutting theme of the three Catalysts.

The Director, Public Sector Engagement will join the Market Strengthening team to contribute to the identification, design, and implementations of interventions that seek to improve country-level enabling institutional and policy environments for strong and sustainable clean cooking markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Director, Public Sector Engagement will be expected to work heavily through partnerships so as to leverage other institutions and efforts and scale the reach and depth of CCA’s work. Partners might include country-level clean cooking associations, trade, manufacturing, and other industry bodies, civil society organizations, enterprises, advocacy organizations, and international organizations.

The Director, Public Sector Engagement will also work closely with the Strategy and Development team, the Evidence and Impact team as well as with the Chief of Staff and the Global Partnership team on strategic cross-cutting CCA government-related initiatives relevant to the work of the Market Strengthening team, such as the Delivery Units Network and the Evidence to Action Hub.

This position is a remote position based in the U.S. or U.K.

Essential Functions

  • Country-level interventions
    • Assessing gaps and needs for national policy environments that support dynamic clean cooking markets in collaboration with the Evidence and Impact team, in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Designing and implementing CCA’s strategies for awareness-raising, policy reforms, institutional development, governance, and programmatic public interventions around clean cooking market development in specific countries, in collaboration with the Evidence and Impact team, in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Developing partnerships for engaging with national policymakers around clean cooking
    • Engaging in partnerships to support the mobilization of civil society and private sector actors and institutions around clean cooking policy issues in collaboration with the Evidence and Impact team, in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Mobilizing partnerships and funding from bilateral and international donors around clean cooking country initiatives in support of the Strategy and Development Team
    • Supporting the Haiti Country Director and government engagement team of CCA’s Haiti Cookstoves and Clean Energy Markets project
  • Multi-country Sub-Saharan Africa interventions
    • Designing and implementing multi-country initiatives
    • Identifying, scoping, and designing opportunities for new national policy initiatives for the Market Strengthening team and for cross-cutting CCA areas
    • Playing an important role in the development, roll-out, and implementation of a Clean Cooking Delivery Units Network. The locally-run delivery units will coordinate across relevant ministries, organize, and oversee funding, engage industry and private sector, establish policies and regulations related to clean cooking, and represent national interests in global events and dialogue
    • Developing public resources for clean cooking market development for policymakers, such as tools, platforms, databases, knowledge briefs, and networks as well as contributing to and acting as the main touchpoint and driver of the Evidence to Action Hub for policymakers in close collaboration with the Evidence and Impact team
  • General
    • Monitoring national clean cooking policy developments, government action, and market system initiatives and acting as an internal and external go-to point, knowledge disseminator, and thought leader in this area
    • Designing and facilitating workshops with key stakeholders for the purpose of multi-stakeholder coordination, multi-stakeholder problem-solving, and co-creation
    • Translating evidence into policy insights and recommendations through various means
    • Supporting the work of the Clean Cooking Evidence to Action Hub, including by providing insights on policymaker needs
    • Helping to shape CCA’s learning agenda around national policies and market system development
    • Support the implementation of the Clean Cooking System Strategy in the Market Strengthening Team
    • Other duties as assigned

Selection Criteria

  • Graduate degree required
  • At least 10 years of related professional experience required
  • Practical work experience with market development / industrial development / private sector development and trade policies and programs in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Practical experience with the mechanics of policy transformation processes, including policy prioritization, policy design, and policy implementation
  • Practical experience navigating complex policymaking and policy implementation environments in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Experience providing evidence-based policy advice to and interfacing with midd and high-level government officials (e.g., Minster level), particularly in areas of energy, health, and/or industrial development
  •  Solid foundation in economics and trade
  • Track record of designing tools for policymakers
  • Experience with the facilitation of multi-stakeholder collaboration and co-creation processes involving government, the private sector, and civil society
  • Ability to cultivate effective working relationships with people, internally and externally, from a wide variety of types of organizations, cultural backgrounds, and areas of expertise
  • Ability to translate technical reports and academic papers into concise policy implications and guidance
  • Demonstrated project management skills, including managing teams and budgets on a tight timeline
  • Experience working on market development, public health, policy development, energy access, clean cooking fuels, and cookstoves in low- and middle-income countries preferred
  • Demonstrated interest in the social and environmental impact dimensions of the products and business models that CCA supports, and the ability to liaise and collaborate with other colleagues within CCA and those in the sector at large
  • Experience using data to drive policy recommendations and action
  • Experience with public sector innovation preferred
  • Solutions-oriented and able to manage and advance multiple task and responsibilities in a dynamic, fast-paced environment
  • Ability to think stragetically
  • Attention to detail and strong organizational skills
  • Problem-solver with a proactive, no-task-is-too-small nature who takes initiative
  • Team-oriented, supportive work style, and able to work independently
  • Excellent communicator, able to synthesize and convey complex information clearly in written and oral form, in particular, development of visual assets to present design findings
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle stress
  • High ethical standards and ability to maintain confidentiality and discretion with sensitive information
  • Proficiency in Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint), with particular emphasis on ability to create compelling and professional PowerPoint materials
  • Ability to meet regular attendance/tardiness policy
  • Note, a case study assessment is part of the interview process

Benefits & Compensation 

For full-time, benefit eligible employees, UNF offers an excellent range of benefits, including:

  • a choice between two health plans through UnitedHealthcare (PPO or HDHP with HSA)
  • dental insurance
  • vision insurance
  • flexible spending accounts
  • 403b retirement savings plan with a generous matching contribution
  • group term and supplemental life insurance
  • short-term disability
  • long-term disability
  • health club discounts
  • commuter subsidy
  • back-up care
  • employee assistance program

Additionally, all benefit eligible employees have 12 paid holidays, 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, 3 personal days, and 8 weeks of family leave care.

The United Nations Foundation is proud to be an equal opportunity and affirmative-action employer. The United Nations Foundation provides equal employment opportunity to all employees and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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