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CQI Seeks Director of Mission Engagement

June 9, 2024
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Coffee Quality Institute seeks a senior leader to serve as its first Director of Mission Engagement. This position is responsible for leading the organization’s cross-sector engagement, mobilizing and allocating resources to advance its mission, and monitoring and evaluating its impact.

CQI has worked with like-minded organizations on donor-funded projects overseas for more than 20 years; with active projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and new projects in development, we expect that work to expand in the years to come. As a complement to that work, CQI will be rolling out a new blended finance platform over the next year to engage the coffee industry and other allies more deeply in our mission. The Director of Mission engagement will lead both these work streams.

Externally, the Director of Mission Engagement will develop and manage relationships with a broad range of stakeholders, including but not limited to private-sector investors, public-sector leaders, project donors, academic and research institutions, and allied organizations. Internally, they are part of CQI’s senior management team, with team leadership and supervisory responsibilities.

Ideal candidates will have significant tenure and a track record of success, with substantial international experience, strong language and communications skills, power of persuasion, comfort leading people and projects, and a commitment to CQI’s mission, vision, and values. While candidates with experience in the coffee industry, the international development sector, impact investing, non-profit leadership, and/or social entrepreneurship would be natural fits for this opportunity, we welcome applications from extraordinary and purpose-driven people from all fields.

About CQI

CQI is a nonprofit organization working since 1996 to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of the people who produce it. We deliver our mission through education in cupping, sensory evaluation, and post-harvest processing, creating a common language for quality and helping to turn improvements in coffee quality into improvements in the lived realities of the people who produce coffee.

CQI is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to building, maintaining, and celebrating diversity, creating opportunities for members of historically disadvantaged groups, and creating a welcoming working environment for everyone.

Key Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the role include, but are not limited to:

  • Cultivate and manage relationships with a broad range of external stakeholders;
  • Represent CQI externaly with senior-level representatives of allied organizations and at industry and public events;
  • Work with the CEO and senior management team to develop and communicate mission-aligned priorities for project-level investments;
  • Actively monitor opportunities for project engagement and investment consistent with established priorities;
  • Mobilize resources for priority investment areas from both private-sector investors and traditional project donors;
  • Coordinate the development, implementation, and management of a comprehensive monitoring, evaluation, and learning system;
  • Play a leadership role within CQI as a member of the senior management team; and
  • Supervise and mentor junior colleagues in the Mission Engagement department.

Desired profile

Competitive candidates will have:

  • Demonstrated commitment to work for social inclusion, justice, and equity; evidence of entrepreneurial approaches to this work a plus;
  • High-level representation skills and relationship management experience;
  • Professional maturity and judgment;
  • Conspicuously strong communication skills, including speaking and writing for professional audiences, technical writing, and general audiences;
  • Overseas experience, preferably in a language other than your own;
  • Advanced English-language skills and professional competence in at least one other language relevant to CQI’s work, e.g., Spanish, Portuguese, French, Mandarin, Korean, Swahili, etc.
  • Four-year undergraduate degree in agriculture, business, economics, or related field; Master’s degree preferred;
  • Nuanced understanding of the economics and operations of the coffee supply stream, or other tropical agriculture systems;
  • Coffee industry experience, with work on green coffee sourcing and/or quality evaluation a distinct advantage;
  • International project experience, with work on smallholder engagement, quality improvement, market access, and/or monitoring, evaluation, and learning a plus;
  • Experience with project design, proposal development, grant writing, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, and operational planning a source of advantage;
  • Track record of successful team leadership and supervision;
  • Understanding of non-profit finances and culture; and
  • Commitment to CQI values.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and SharePoint is a plus; experience with similar web-based platforms and collaboration tools required.

Key Relationships

Internal: CEO, Director of Education Resources, Director of Marketing and Communications, CFO, Projects Manager

External: Board of Trustees, coffee sector leaders, donors, investors, non-profit leaders, research institutes and universities


  • 401(k)
  • Health Insurance Benefits
  • Life/STD/LTD Insurance
  • Worker's Compensation
  • Unlimited PTO
  • Professional Development Allowance after 1 year

Please apply through our Idealist listing here.