Program Associate, Accountability Framework Initiative

Rainforest Alliance
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Mar 20

Position description

This position supports the implementation of all components of the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi), including: 1) promoting and supporting use of the Accountability Framework by companies and others to achieve ethical supply chains that protect forests and natural ecosystems and fully respect human rights; 2) communications to effectively articulate the value of applying the Framework and guide users in doing so; and 3) updating the Framework to reflect emerging best practice and key trends related to sustainable commodity production and trade. 

The AFi is a collaborative initiative – co-led by a diverse global coalition of environmental and social NGOs – to accelerate progress and improve accountability toward achieving ethical production and trade of agricultural and forestry commodities. The initiative engages private companies (across the entire value chain) as well as civil society, government, and other stakeholders to mainstream ethical supply chains with the goal of minimize commodity-driven deforestation and ecosystem conversion and ensuring full respect for the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, and workers. The Rainforest Alliance co-leads the AFi Backbone Team (Secretariat) in conjunction with the Meridian Institute, on behalf of the full NGO coalition. This position is part of the AFi Backbone Team.


The Program Associate will contribute to the work of the AFi Backbone Team in the following three main areas.

Support and track adoption of the Accountability Framework by target user groups

  • Engage with the AFi’s partners who are promoting adoption of the Accountability Framework to seek progress updates, identify feedback and challenges, and support them to work more effectively;
  • Implement the AFi’s knowledge management system for tracking objectives and progress related to the adoption of the Accountability Framework by target user groups including companies, NGOs, other sustainability initiatives, and government policy-setting processes;
  • Establish and operate a system for collecting user feedback on the Accountability Framework, synthesizing key feedback themes, and developing options or recommendations for improving the Framework and its use cases and communication based on this feedback;
  • Develop quarterly progress reports for the AFi’s partners and funders based on synthesis of information from the knowledge management system, user feedback system, and other sources; 

Contribute to AFi communications

  • Support the AFi communications team to develop communications materials (such as videos, podcasts, case examples, and user testimonials), disseminate these materials, and track website and social media analytics; 
  • Coordinate and support AFi presence at key events, including conducting research, preparing presentations, and attending meetings;
  • Coordinate or support management of communications contractors for document translations, graphics, and document production;

Contribute to other AFi program priorities

  • Conduct research and analysis, e.g., on trends in company sustainability commitments and reporting, to support the development of Framework materials and the advancement of the AFi overall;
  • Organize and manage stakeholder consultations on draft Framework materials with companies, NGOs, and other organizations;
  • Liaise with regional teams and partners in Southeast Asia, West and Central Africa, and South America to coordinate activities and Framework adoption between the global team and regional efforts; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

Only candidates authorized to work in the United States are eligible for the position. 

The Rainforest Alliance is an equal opportunity employer. 



  • Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, forestry, international development, social sciences, economics, ecology, or a related field; Master’s degree preferred; 
  • At least two years of progressively responsible professional work experience, or equivalent experience;
  • Strong understanding of sustainability issues and initiatives related to commodity supply chains, land use and governance, climate change mitigation, and human rights and livelihoods;
  • Superior English speaking and writing skills;
  • Strong analytical skills;
  • Ability to synthesize complex and technical topics for a variety of audiences and to present ideas in clear and compelling terms;
  • High level of attention of detail; 
  • Strong organizational skills with an ability to prioritize tasks, maintain focus, and deliver results in a dynamic working environment;
  • Self-motivated with a desire to take initiative and learn new skills and topic areas;
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues from diverse organizations and cultural backgrounds;
  • Willingness to travel domestically and internationally up to 15%;
  • Work experience in tropical developing countries is a plus;
  • Work experience with private sector companies (e.g., agribusiness, forest products sector and/or finance sector) is a plus; and
  • Proficiency in Bahasa Indonesia, French, Portuguese, or Spanish is a plus. 

Application instructions

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