Careers Vacancy

Managing Director, FSC Indigenous Foundation


Title: Managing Director

Location: Ideally Panama, but open to other locations for exceptional candidates

Reporting to: FSC Indigenous Foundation Council through the Council Chairperson

Work Percentage: 100%


In 2019, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) established the FSC Indigenous Foundation (FSC IF) as the operational office of the Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee (PIPC). The FSC IF is a private interest foundation in accordance with the Republic of Panama’s Law No. 25 of June 12, 1995. The mission of FSC IF is to foster an enabling environment to guarantee the rights of Indigenous Peoples and promote sustainable forest-based solutions within the 300 million hectares of forests claimed and managed by Indigenous Peoples on the Planet. The vision is that Indigenous Peoples’ global values, rights, livelihoods, ecosystem services, natural capital and communities are incorporated into forest governance, climate change governance, and market systems.

FSC IF Mission:

We work to elevate Indigenous Peoples in their contribution to the protection of Mother Earth and recognize them as providers of solutions to global challenges.

FSC IF Vision:

We envision a future where Indigenous-based solutions and Indigenous-led actions generated within one quarter of the Planet safeguard everyone’s future and Mother Earth.

FSC IF Governing Principles:

RESPECT AND RECOGNITION: Our actions respect and recognize the cultural, spiritual, and traditional identities, landscape diversities, and customary rights for the self- determined development of Indigenous peoples and communities.

TRUST: We drive our actions and partnerships by commitment to trust- building and adopting long-term reciprocal, transparent, accountable, and shared values guided by our ancestors and traditions.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION: We promote diversity and inclusion in all interactions and across all aspects of our organization. We use our Indigenous cosmovision and practices to prevent any type of racism, discrimination, violence, or oppression.

EQUITY: We promote and value actions and efforts to produce more equitable, diverse, and inclusive results and collective benefit-sharing with equal balance and respect for cultural, gender, ecological, and traditional diversities.

We are committed to work driven by our mission of being guided by and supporting Indigenous Peoples’ values of:

Respect for Mother Earth: Managing our lands, waters, and ecosystems with great respect for nature and care by recognizing that we only borrow Mother Earth’s gifts from future generations.

Respect for ancestral knowledge: Keeping our promises to our ancestors to manage nature and the resources provided by Mother Earth in a sustainable and respectful way.


The Managing Director assumes the overall responsibility for developing, overseeing, and executing the Foundation’s vision as outlined in its Global Strategy 2023-2027. The Managing Director will lead the executive decision-making for the organization, in coordination with the FSC IF Council Chairperson and members. The Managing Director is supported directly by a Manager of Indigenous Engagement. Driven by and accountable to the FSC IF Indigenous mission, vision, principles, values, and governance, the Managing Director will lead and manage a diverse, global, qualified, and experienced team to ensure FSC IF best fulfills its mission, goals, objectives, and deliverables as approved by the Council as well as agreed with its founding partner, the Forest Stewardship Council, and Indigenous partners worldwide. The Managing Director leads a senior management team in FSC-IF, consisting of the Director of Finance & Administration and the future Director of Development & Partnerships and the future Director of Technical Operations. The Managing Director is accountable for planning, developing, deploying, and monitoring the operational, financial, and human resources of the organization within a strong Indigenous framework of governance and risk management. Any risks identified should be communicated to and addressed with the FSC IF Council as soon as possible.

The Managing Director provides: 1) strategic and political guidance and clear goals for the technical work of the organization (standard-setting and updates, assessing programs and projects, ongoing oversight, and enforcement), and 2) interaction and engagement with external stakeholders, providing an Indigenous vision and setting a roadmap for responsible growth of the FSC IF with clear plans, key performance indicators, milestones, and revenue models to consolidate and scale-up Indigenous-led actions by, for, and with Indigenous Peoples worldwide.

Driven by the FSC IF Global Strategy 2023-2027, the Managing Director will lead, in co-ordination with the FSC IF Council, and working closely with the Director of Finance & Administration, the future Director of Development & Partnerships and the future Director of Technical Operations, a new phase of consolidation and growth of the organization as a global Indigenous-led entity by expanding strategic partnerships with funding partners, the private sector, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the United Nations organizations, and other stakeholders.


The Managing Director’s specific responsibilities are defined in four areas: strategic leadership, external stakeholders, overseeing technical work, and effective governance as outlined below.

Strategic Leadership
Lead the development and growth phases of the FSC IF as follows:

  • In coordination with the FSC IF Council, develop, execute, and monitor a long-term plan for the FSC IF by ensuring strategic direction and scalable finance and partnerships for future activities of the organization, with clear goals, key performance indicators, and milestones linked to the FSC IF Global Strategy and additional plans.
  • Develop and oversee the FSC IF’s long-term self-sustaining business model that creates more financial resilience and sustainability, enabling the organization to move beyond its current reliance on a small number of funding partners.
  • Define a roadmap for the responsible growth of the FSC IF in line with existing and future trends, challenges, opportunities, and priorities related to Indigenous Peoples and FSC IF’s mission and long-term goals and objectives.

External Stakeholders

  • In close coordination with the FSC IF Director of Finance & Administration and the Director of Development & Partnerships, act as an ambassador for the FSC IF with a wide range of key multisectoral stakeholders, especially Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, to consolidate, scale, and operationalize the FSC IF’s mission, strategies, and objectives in line with the Council’s decisions and guidance.
  • Working closely with the FSC-IF Indigenous Peoples Alliance for Rights and Development (IPARD) Program Director to maintain, consolidate, and expand collaboration with strategic and funding partners and to diversify the investments of FSC IF based on its global commitment and objectives of serving as an Indigenous strategic and operating hub for Indigenous Peoples worldwide.
  • Lead, facilitate, build, and maintain long-term collaboration and dialogues with representatives of Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations at global, regional, national, subnational, and community levels ensuring accountability, transparency, and Indigenous values, principles, vision, knowledge, and traditions.
  • Work in close collaboration with FSC International and relevant FSC regional and national offices, as the Founder and a partner organization, for the achievement of FSC IF’s strategic objectives.
  • In close collaboration and coordination with the FSC IF Council Chairperson and members, as well as FSC IF senior staff, oversee the FSC IF communications and outreach to the media and other organizations to promote the FSC IF brand and the Indigenous business-model of FSC IF as a global and innovative Indigenous-led entity.

Oversee Technical Work

  • Give strategic and political guidance to FSC IF and Program Directors and ensure that the FSC IF curates and continually improves and strengthens Indigenous values, principles, knowledge, vision, and management into programs and projects, including through targeted multistakeholder work programs as spelled out in the FSC IF Global Strategy 2023-2027.
  • Ensure collaborative, Indigenous goal-oriented and seamless support and management of the FSC IF multi-stakeholder partners, FSC IF governing bodies, and FSC IF Indigenous partners.

Effective Governance

  • In close collaboration with the Council Chairperson, provide thoughtful, strategic, and visionary leadership for the FSC IF Council.
  • Shape the Council’s agenda to cover the FSC IF’s strategic and political goals and relevant operating issues.
  • Assist the FSC IF Council Chairperson to facilitate effective and efficient Council decision making based on best governance and reporting practices, with a focus on Indigenous governance models.
  • Oversee, monitor, follow-up, and report on Council decisions and actions.
  • In close collaboration with the Director of Finance and Administration, identify potential risks and oversee the development of mitigation plans for FSC IF operations and investments.
  • Undergo an annual performance review assessed against the goals spelled out in the FSC IF’s Global Strategy 2023-2027 to be carried out by the FSC IF Council.
  • Assist the Chairperson to engage and manage the Council’s relationships with other governing bodies and committees.
  • Manage relationships with other Indigenous bodies and collaborate with other organizations and strategic partners to develop a shared narrative.


  • Member of an Indigenous People highly preferred.
  • Previous senior or executive level experience leading similar Indigenous-led organizations or with deep knowledge of Indigenous Peoples working with key organizations in areas related to FSC IF’s mission, objectives, and programmatic areas.
  • Experience leading global or cross-regional teams and scaling up an organization.
  • Existing network and connection with Indigenous Peoples Organizations or initiatives involving Indigenous Peoples.
  • Experience in working collaboratively and effectively with multiple sectors and stakeholders including funding partners, companies, governments, United Nations bodies, and others.
  • At least 15 years’ technical and management experience, at senior and executive levels, in areas related to Indigenous Peoples including but not limited to Indigenous rights and development, Indigenous forests, climate, finance, business, education, or natural resource management.
  • Strong multisectoral engagement capability to design, execute, and scale up partnerships and finance with evidence of the ability to support organizational growth.
  • Experience and success in motivating, recruiting, developing, retaining, and mentoring high performance, mission-driven, and results-oriented teams.
  • Excellent written, oral, and public speaking skills being a persuasive and passionate communicator with strong interpersonal and multidisciplinary skills.
  • Demonstrated cultural awareness and sensitivity to the diversity of values, views, and approaches to issues relevant to the FSC IF and its partners and donors.
  • Demonstrated cultural awareness and sensitivity to the diversity of values, views, and approaches to issues relevant to Indigenous Peoples.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that underrepresented groups are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet every single qualification. If you are excited about this role but your past experience does not align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.


FSC Indigenous Foundation has appointed Millar Cameron to manage this search. Please share your profile, along with a motivation letter and contact details, with Victoria Bowden and Giorgia Sculco at who will contact you to discuss your interest in more detail.

This position posting will expire at the close of business on November 24th.