Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer

Published
February 21, 2024
Location
Little Rock, AR, or Washington, DC (Remote), United States of America
Position type
Experience (minimum)
10+ Years
Education (minimum)
Bachelor's
Travel required?
Frequently
Base salary (minimum)
Above $180,000

Description

Inspired by the visionary spirit of Winthrop Rockefeller, Winrock International (“Winrock”) is a nonprofit organization and recognized thought leader in the U.S. and international development sector, providing solutions to some of the world’s most complex social, agricultural, and environmental challenges in over 40 countries. Winrock has long been a catalyst for change, focused on empowering the disadvantaged while sustaining natural resources, cultivating economic opportunities where they are needed most, and nurturing a thriving future for all.

Winrock seeks a visionary, dynamic, and experienced Chief Executive Officer to lead the organization into its next phase of work. The ideal candidate is a human-centric, respected, and visionary leader in international development work who possesses a proven track record as a strategic and effective executive in large and complex international organizations. They will demonstrate a commitment to driving positive impact and fostering meaningful collaborations internally and on a domestic and global scale. Reporting to the Board of Directors, he/she/they will join a mission-driven and passionate staff dedicated to addressing global challenges and an exciting moment of brimming opportunity for the organization.

The selected CEO will bring successful experience as a business leader and innovator who is able to leverage financial and business model understanding to help Winrock optimize for this next chapter of impact. They will demonstrate a deep understanding of organizational effectiveness and processes focusing on transparency, continuous learning, and inclusivity. They will be a powerful external voice for the organization, elevating Winrock’s mission and presence, bringing expertise in fundraising, and driving to cultivate new partnerships and donors. This is an exciting opportunity for the new CEO to add his or her contribution to Winrock’s renown for excellence as an organization and to lead Winrock into further success.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW

Created nearly 40 years ago through the philanthropy of Winthrop Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller III, Winrock International is a $110 million nonprofit organization that works to improve lives, livelihoods, and the planet through a combination of technical expertise and entrepreneurial innovation in partnership with governments and local, regional, and international partners.

Winrock has extensive on-the-ground experience in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Winrock’s mission is to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. They provide evidence-based solutions to some of the world’s most complex problems.

Winrock implements over 100 agriculture, environment, and social development projects in over 40 countries, including the U.S. Its 857 staff members, including project-based staff, span globally, and Winrock has offices in Little Rock, Washington D.C., Manila, and Nairobi, along with dozens of project offices.

Staff in the U.S. and around the world value engagement, accountability, and communication in meaningful work that makes a difference. Winrock aims to nurture a positive, healthy, respectful culture and is committed to four key principles: results-focused, human-centered, science-based, and market-driven. The focus on excellence is undergirded by Winrock’s Core Values and Code of Conduct.

Impact Areas

  • Agriculture, Resilience, and Water: This group partners with rural communities, businesses, and local leaders to develop market-oriented, climate-smart solutions at scale that increase food production and profitability, expand market access, conserve natural resources, and build resident livelihoods. Global and local expertise is applied using a systems lens to advance inclusive, equitable, and sustainable economic growth for all, especially the historically marginalized. This work includes:
    • Strengthening Climate-Smart Food Systems
    • Winrock’s Agriculture, Resilience, and Water Programs
    • Water Resource Management
  • Clean Energy and Environment: This group supports healthy natural environments by developing and implementing solutions to protect natural resources, enhance ecosystem services, address climate change, and scale up access to clean energy. This work is done by partnering with communities, governments, civil society, and the private sector to strengthen local capacity, increase equity, facilitate market-based innovations, and mobilize green finance, and includes the following teams:
    • Clean Energy
    • Ecosystem Services
    • Natural Resource Management – Forests, Fisheries, and Conservation
  • Climate Change: Winrock has created innovative solutions for the ongoing challenges related to urgent global climate needs, recognizing that solutions require optimized and equitable capital distribution and effective public-private sector collaboration. Their innovative solutions are based on decades of experience in carbon capture, clean energy, ecosystem services, forestry, and resilient agriculture in the U.S. and globally. Combining technical expertise with partnership development, innovative financing structures, and community engagement forges a holistic approach to climate change, addressing impacts and their underlying drivers, recognizing the significance of mitigation, adaptation, and resilience through their following focuses:
    • Carbon Accounting and Removal
    • Clean Energy
    • Forestry and Natural Resource Management
    • Regenerative Agriculture
    • Climate Equity
    • Net Zero Climate Services
  • Human Rights, Education, and Empowerment: This group partners with national and local governments, civil society, the private sector, and communities to ensure marginalized and at-risk populations can safely access their fundamental rights to freedom from trafficking and child labor, a quality education, and skills and opportunities for decent work. They engage and support their partners across the ecosystem to increase equity, inclusion, and agency through the following work:
    • Countering Trafficking in Persons
    • Promoting Access to Quality Education
    • Strengthening Resilience
    • Engaging the Private Sector

U.S. Programs

Along with its globally recognized work, Winrock has a strong U.S. portfolio that focuses on community development and entrepreneurial ecosystems to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. Several unique programs operate within the organization, including the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, which supports entrepreneurship across the 8-state Delta region, and the Wallace Center, a nonprofit organization that promotes conservation management, soil health, and regenerative grazing with an emphasis on values-based supply chain development and the democratization of knowledge, tools, and relationships through accessible communities of practice.

Several entities operate as wholly owned subsidiaries under the Winrock International umbrella, including:

  • Environmental Resources Trust (ERT), which manages the American Carbon Registry (ACR), the world’s first private voluntary greenhouse gas emission reduction standards body and carbon offset registry, and climate-smart initiatives;
  • Winrock Solutions, which works with nonprofits, foundations, and primarily non-governmental partners; and
  • Winrock Foundation, the entity that manages the Winrock Fund.

 

YOUR OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPACT

Winrock International seeks a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to join at a pivotal moment brimming with opportunity. This is a period of positive change and introspection, fueled by the dedication of an exceptional staff and engaged Board. Winrock is embarking on a strategic refresh, crafting a refined vision for excellence, and the new CEO’s immediate focus will lie in these key responsibilities:

Vision and Strategy

The CEO will work across the organization to define the next chapter for Winrock. The CEO will implement the current strategic plan (including any refinements he or she may recommend) and assist in overseeing the cogent financial and operating plans to facilitate and ensure sustainable growth and scale. The CEO empowers Winrock’s executive team and staff’s decision-making and helps them align around the organization’s core strategies and priorities.

Financial Management and Business Diversification

In partnership with the Board and the Chief Financial Officer, the CEO will strengthen and expand Winrock’s core business processes as needed and ensure that Winrock’s resources are deployed effectively to ensure long-term organizational stability and growth.

Winrock’s revenue is over $100 million, and nearly 95% of that funding is from government agencies. Winrock, as have many other development agencies, has recently begun targeting new client sources in addition to government agencies. The next CEO will be tasked with securing diverse funding streams where available to ensure the long-term health of the organization and growing Winrock’s $50 million endowment fund to ensure programmatic and operational continuity when needed.

Innovation and Impact

The new CEO will bring creative thinking that sees opportunities and innovations beyond conventional solutions. They will exemplify curiosity and entrepreneurship to support the organization’s ability to address evolving and complex organizational challenges. The CEO will promote systems thinking with a vision that seeks to augment Winrock’s organizational foundation. The CEO will translate vision into action and build an organizational framework that measures progress on key performance indicators. They will drive strong functional integration across organizational teams, divisions, and subsidiaries and ensure consistent communication that provides essential role clarity and connection. The CEO will promote transparency, collaborative decision-making, and organizational prioritization that centers on excellence and focuses on the organizational impact.

Strong People Leader and Culture Builder

The new CEO will be a visionary, global leader who inspires, guides, and empowers a diverse, multinational, and talented team of professionals committed to solving some of the world’s most complex challenges. Across the U.S., Manila, and Nairobi central offices and Winrock’s constellation of project offices, the leader will enhance the organization’s culture of embracing inclusion at all levels – staff, leadership, and Board – reflecting the communities and people Winrock serves. Through authentic relationships and open dialogue, they will build on the current culture of trust, cohesion, and courageous spaces for dialogue where individuals have tended to thrive, enabling them to do their best work individually and collectively.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in a Global Context

The CEO will bring a deep personal commitment to advancing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) and the courage to elevate and engage in sensitive conversations that recognize and address organizational U.S. and global field power dynamics. Internally, they will champion a culture that actively centers on REDI principles. This includes establishing clear policies and practices that promote fairness, access, and belonging for all while remaining keenly aware of and addressing existing power imbalances. The CEO’s leadership will guide the development and implementation of impactful initiatives that dismantle any possible structural barriers and enhance the organization’s history of empowering all voices of lived and professional experience that is reflective of Winrock's global workforce and partners.

Board Relations and Governance

The CEO will cultivate a strong partnership with the Board Chair and members, engaging and informing this body while receiving guidance and direction on the stewardship of the organization. The CEO will ensure the Board’s involvement in strategic thinking, oversight, planning, and risk management and will effectively leverage the strengths and assets of a multi-sectoral Board to support Winrock’s organization’s strategy development, network building, and funding diversification. The CEO will leverage an understanding of effective board governance models and communication best practices and bring a commitment to building a diverse Board while fostering dialogue across wide-ranging perspectives. Finally, the new CEO will support the Board’s collective capacity to champion and advance Winrock’s mission.

 

QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE

While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the CEO of Winrock will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

Vision, Values, and Leadership

  • A field leader and visionary with 15+ years of leadership experience and a demonstrated track record of executive leadership in government, international development, nonprofits, or social and mission-driven corporate sectors.
  • Excellence in organizational management of a geographically dispersed staff, with the ability to coach, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading a complex organization that is responsive to varied stakeholders and that requires navigating complex geopolitical, social, and economic realities.
  • A demonstrated track record in guiding teams through organizational change moments, fostering open communication, building consensus, and clearly articulating the value and vision behind change initiatives that foster a cohesive and supportive transition.
  • Proven expertise working in partnership with others to translate a vision into clearly defined priorities and results; comfort working through iterative design to drive clarity and measure impact.
  • Pragmatic and entrepreneurial organizational skills combined with the ability to bring intellectual rigor, clarity, and data to decision-making processes.
  • Financial acumen and ability to manage budgets, track, and forecast effectively. Exposure to NICRA, USG grants, and contracts and comfort working with the CFO to manage indirect rates and cost allocations.
  • Success in building, scaling, and developing sustainable organizational growth strategies across programs, enterprises, and/or geographies.
  • Thoughtful, timely decision-maker with experience using data and evidence effectively to inform strategy and promote continuous learning and improvement.

Cultural Leadership & Management Style

  • A culturally inclusive and sophisticated leader who values and embraces diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and is energized by an organization that embodies a rich tapestry of lived and professional experience that is reflective of Winrock's global workforce and partners.
  • A leader who prioritizes a relational work environment that builds trust and seeks to foster a culture of transparency, accountability, and integrity. Strong relationship-building skills and an authentic interest in listening to and learning from others; the ability to act intentionally, establish trust, engage stakeholders, and cultivate belonging.
  • Emotional intelligence and proven ability to drive impactful change in diverse, mission-oriented environments through strong management skills. Adept at building participatory systems and data-driven decision structures that cultivate mutual accountability and foster growth.
  • Collaborative leadership style demonstrated by knowing when to step in and direct, when to delegate, and when to share leadership.
  • Powerful communicator one-on-one, in small group settings, and with large audiences.

The Basics

  • 15+ years of related work experience in the government, nonprofit, private sector organization, or related field. Prior CEO experience within a large and complex organization.
  • A bachelor’s degree or master’s degree (preferred) in business, public administration, or related field or equivalent experience with demonstrated progressive expertise in administration, financial management, and program development.
  • Experience successfully working with a multi-sectoral board to support an organization’s strategy development, deepen organizational networks, and fund development.
  • Familiarity with the landscape of communities, unique assets, and challenges across the Winrock ecosystem, or the desire to gain this knowledge.
  • Willingness to travel at least 40% across Winrock’s Arkansas, DC, Nairobi, and global offices.
  • Demonstrated progressive leadership experience in a nonprofit, human services, mission-driven organization, or governmental institution.

 

TO APPLY

More information about Winrock International can be found at: winrock.org.

This full-time, exempt role offers a competitive salary of $420,000 and a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision coverage, a 403(b) plan, income protection, flexible work arrangements, time-off benefits, paid parental leave, and mental well-being support. While Winrock staff are primarily remote, this role may require headquarters presence and travel expectations for specific projects and conferences, team building, and other necessary in-person meetings.

This search is being conducted by Katherine Jacobs, Julian Jackson, Alejandra Villa, and Sharon Gerstman of the national search firm NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

Winrock is an equal opportunity employer. The organization is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all people and value diversity and inclusiveness. Winrock recruits, employs, trains, promotes, and compensates regardless of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, family care status, or any other basis protected by law.

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