Director of Community Land and Climate Initiatives

Cadasta Foundation
  • Location
    Remote, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    May 18

Position description

Director of Community Land and Climate Initiatives

  • Reports to: President and CEO
  • Reports: Program Manager; team of Program Specialists located globally, whose scope of work includes contributing to Land for Climate,
  • Location: Virtual, with international travel; Open to global candidates
  • Cadasta offers a competitive compensation package with benefits based on applicable country location.


Founded in 2015, the Cadasta Foundation (Cadasta) is an award-winning, high-impact non-profit organization registered in the U.S. It is a leading technology and service provider supporting secure land and resource rights for a more sustainable and equitable planet. Cadasta creates high-impact partnerships with civil society and government agencies to provide technology, training, and technical support to help marginalized communities document and secure titles to their land, property, and resources, and to use the data for better decision-making regarding livelihoods, land use, climate, and community empowerment.

In the last five years, Cadasta has grown to reach over 100 partners in 46 countries, who have used community-led approaches to document and strengthen the land rights of over 6.4 million people living on 21 million hectares of land in cities, farms, rangelands, and forests.


The Director of Community Land and Climate initiatives will develop, lead, and manage Cadasta’s partnerships, program strategy, and implementation for our work to accompany Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ efforts to map, document, and secure land and resource rights as a strategy to protect their lands and mitigate the negative impacts of climate change. You will serve as the organizational GIS and mapping lead and manage and support the program team that is deploying technology and services to partners in the field. You will work collaboratively with Cadasta’s senior leadership and will guide our team’s collaboration with each partner to define and implement the scope of work. The role includes the following areas of responsibility:

Strategic and Operational Management

  • Provide strategic and operational leadership for partnerships and field team delivery of Cadasta’s Land for Climate program funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO);
  • Develop a clear strategy and plan for responsive, high-quality design and delivery of programs and services to IP and LCs, Afro-descendent, Tribal, and customary/traditional communities in target forest regions;
  • Develop and lead strategic partnerships with Indigenous Peoples (IP), Afro-descendent, and Local Community (LC) alliances, networks, and organizations;
  • Lead the co-design and implementation of partner services that strengthen IP and LC tenure rights and lead to outcomes in efforts to mitigate climate change and contribute to community sustainability efforts;
  • Work with the Director of Technology and team to help Cadasta further define and develop its strategy on technology deployment, including exploring a range of technology solutions that meet partner needs;
  • Ensure high-quality delivery of the partnership strategy and processes, including partner acquisition, onboarding, service delivery, and evaluation;
  • Support the strategy, design, and implementation of a responsive small grant mechanism to directly support partners with technology, training, and financial grants for their mapping, documentation, data monitoring, and legal recognition efforts;
  • Collaborate on technical design and implementation with Cadasta’s Land Administration lead on strategies to engage government land systems to secure formal tenure rights;
  • Support the development and implementation of Cadasta’s program development, operational plans, and budgets.
  • Serve as a senior leader contributing to Cadasta’s overall organizational strategy, development, and impact.

Technical Leadership

  • Provide technical leadership on approaches to map, document, and secure IP and LC land and resource rights that fulfill requirements for formal land recognition by the government, with technical collaboration from Cadasta’s Senior Land Administration lead;
  • Provide oversight, development, and support of field and project staff on technical approaches, knowledge, and skills in the mapping, climate, and IP sectors;
  • Work with the Programs Team to define grantee and partner' scopes of work;
  • With the Director of Technology and field and tech team, ensure effective deployment of the Esri ArcGIS technology stack and other relevant tools to ensure partner uptake and sustainability;
  • Work with the Project Management Unit (PMU) to ensure compliant contract and subcontract administration, procurement, reporting, and timely submission of reports, budgets, expenditures, and deliverables.
  • Serve as subject matter expert on Cadasta proposals and project delivery in the climate, IP, and data work;
  • Work with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) team to integrate results of learning and impact evaluations into organizational planning, learning, and documentation.

Outreach, Business Development, and Thought Leadership

  • Develop and lead outreach and partnership strategy to stakeholders and donors within the climate, conservation, Indigenous rights, natural resources, mapping, data monitoring, and related sectors;
  • Serve as Cadasta’s primary thought leader on Indigenous land tenure by internally and externally articulating how our work contributes to broader goals and global efforts on Indigenous and community rights, climate, gender equality, sustainable land use, conflict and peacebuilding, and use of data to advance community goals;
  • Represent Cadasta at conferences, and outside events, and external meetings with key donors, stakeholders, and potential partners and support communications and thought leadership through presentations, articles, blogs, and papers;
  • Identify and develop funding opportunities and support bids and proposals and other business development activities in collaboration with the CEO, Business Development team, and Program team.


The ideal candidate is a strategic and operational leader, with strong leadership, teamwork, management, and communication skills. The candidate will have expertise in program design and implementation and in deploying technology, training and services to Indigenous and local community organizations. This role requires deep experience in building local capacities for mapping, documenting, and managing community, land, and resource data using GIS and other tools. It requires skills in delivering services and technical support to increase partner success and impact. It also includes experience working with a range of donors and funding agencies, supporting business development, and managing teams and resources. Broad expertise in land rights is required, with some experience in fit-for-purpose land administration helpful. It requires familiarity with the use of technology to solve development challenges, cross-cultural skills, and experience working in the international development sector and in a developing economy context. The role will entail international travel to engage current and potential partners, train and support field teams, and attend sector-relevant forums and meetings.


  • At least ten years of experience working in an international development setting in the U.S. or abroad, preferably with experience in Latin American and Caribbean; sub-Saharan Africa; or South/SE Asia,
  • 7+ years of experience in international program/project management, preferably on a program that administered technical training, support, and direct grants to Indigenous and local partner organizations;
  • 7+ years of experience working with Indigenous or other local communities on mapping, land use planning, sustainable development, conservation, or other initiatives involving the implementation of technology;
  • 5+ years of designing, deploying, and using digital GIS systems, with a background in GIS data analysis and visualization, and strong user and trainer experience with ArcGIS mobile apps (Survey123, Field Maps, Workforce, etc), ArcGIS Pro, Dashboards, and other tools from the Esri suite; experience with other field mapping solutions or GIS tools a plus;
  • Experience designing and implementing land tenure, land use, and/or resources management projects in complex environments in emerging economies;
  • Demonstrated successful team management experience, including remotely managing teams composed of a staff of varying cultural backgrounds;
  • Experience working with technologists, GIS experts, trainers, and developers, and communicating field-level needs and system requirements to ensure responsive technology solutions and services;
  • Experience developing and delivering training materials for team and partner training on GIS tools, other technologies, and participatory mapping and development processes;
  • Solid understanding of donor requirements and grant and contract management and compliance, preferably including bilateral and multilateral grants and contracts;
  • Experience designing and managing project budgets and implementation plans;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills in English with experience presenting complex land rights issues to a wide range of individuals,
  • The ability to speak languages other than English (in particular Spanish, French, or Portuguese) is a plus;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a global team; and
  • Strategic, operational, and results-oriented with an ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines, and coach team members to do the same.


Cadasta is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to equal employment opportunity for all employees and applicants. We believe in harnessing the power of diversity to create a culture of belonging where individuals are celebrated and valued for their unique ideas, perspectives, and strengths as a means to achieving personal excellence and organizational success. Cadasta also provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities, except where such an accommodation would cause an undue hardship.

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