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Director, Forum for Future US

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Sustainability, Climate, CSR, EMS
Location New York - America North
Town/City Brooklyn, New York
Salary Additional Information Salary range US$114,670 to US$139,457 commensurate with experience
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 28/03/2016
Company Name Forum for the Future
Contact Name Sophie Kennedy
Telephone 020 7324 3630
Email recruitment@forumforthefuture.org
Website Further Details / Applications
Forum for the Future logo
Directory Entry : Most organisations now recognise that global challenges like climate change, food and energy security and population growth will mean big changes for the way they operate. Forum for the Future's role is to help them find their way to a sustainable and successful future.
Also Listing:
IMPORTANT:  This Advertiser has requested that applicants MUST be National Residents / Valid Work Permit-holders.  Other applicants need not apply.


Based in Brooklyn, NY, Forum for the Future US

Salary range US$114,670 to US$139,457 commensurate with experience

Applicants must be eligible to work in the US

Overview of the position

We are looking for an exceptional individual to take our US office into the next stage of its development.  Responsible for providing strategic leadership for Forum for the Future in the US, and assuring a high profile for the Forum and its mission in the US, the Director will be expected to devise and carry out a series of collaborative system innovation projects with Forum partners and other stakeholders, scale up innovative system change initiatives, and communicate transferable lessons from those projects. The Director of Forum US will work closely with Directors and Heads of other Forum programmes and offices to integrate the US programme with other aspects of Forum strategy.  The Director is also responsible for building the financial resources of Forum US, growing the staff and building a network of US partners and members committed to leadership in sustainable development and system change. The Director of Forum US will be a member of the Forum senior management team and report to the CEO.

The successful candidate must be eligible to work in the US.

Background to Forum for the Future US

Forum for the Future is celebrating our 20th year in 2016, and our 6th year in the US. Forum has a strategy to expand internationally; the US was the first office opened outside the UK, and we have subsequently opened an office in Singapore and are working on establishing an office in Mumbai.

Forum US has recently had 501(c)(3) status approved, and will spin off into a separate not for profit organisation in May 2016. Until that time the Tides Foundation will remain the fiscal sponsor of Forum for the Future US, to cover legal status, employment of staff and payroll. 

Forum US began as a separate entity started in January 2011. By the end of the first year key highlights were partnerships with Target, HP, Delhaize, Levis and Ingersoll Rand, projects with Verizon and Kimberly Clark and smaller pieces of work for PepsiCo, Balfour Beatty, and Ben & Jerry’s.  Our income that year was just over US$200k.

By the end of 2012 the team in the US had expanded to six members of staff.  The team were working on the first stage of Informal City Dialogues (a $1m project secured from the Rockefeller Foundation).  In addition a forum, funded by L’Oreal US, looked at ways of collaborating to rethink consumption, and involved Walmart, Patagonia, Lego and many others.

In 2013 the Informal City Dialogues project got going with workshops in Accra, Bangkok, Chennai, Lima, Manila, and Nairobi.  General Mills signed up for a strategic futures project and partnership work continued with Target, Dupont, Nike and Levi’s.  S C Johnson joined as partners and Coca Cola joined as members.

In 2014 strategy sessions continued with McDonald’s, Nike, DuPont and Target.  The process of “Futures into systems mapping” was trialled for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (a collaboration of over half of the global apparel sector).  A project was started with US retailer’s association, RILA, to create scenarios for the future of US retail, with sponsorship from Unilever and Target.  In addition, the “US Leadership Network” was launched, targeting practitioners within a small group of leading companies to help them implement their company’s sustainability strategy. Participants included Disney, Unilever, Levis, Hersheys and Annies, a small organic food company based on the West Coast.  The US team also delivered a very successful first project for Gap, as well as smaller projects for Disney, Burton Snowboards and the Outdoor Industry Association.  The Retail Horizons project generated a great profile for Forum’s work in the US.

With the team now at eight members of staff, towards the end of 2014 Forum US moved into new premises in Brooklyn, which is a more flexible space and offers meeting rooms and networking space. The staff includes a Global Communications Manager, a new international Forum role.

In 2015 a major project was a four-month scoping study for the Beauty and Personal Care Innovation Accelerator, a cross-industry collaborative project that evolved as the outcome of the summit run in 2014.  Walmart and Target funded the project, which delivered recommendations for a 3-year initiative to accelerate change in the sector.  In addition two members of the US team were involved in a Forum-wide project the Protein Challenge. The Leadership Network has continued to expand. Forum US achieved an income of just over $1million in 2015.

The current Director was appointed internally when Forum US was first established and has had a successful five years in growing the operation so that it can become an independent NGO. Her visa is due to expire in September 2016 and we are looking to recruit a new Director for the next phase of our development in the US.

Detailed Person Specification

  • Understanding of, and a commitment to, the mission of the Forum.
  • Excellent working knowledge of the current policy, regulatory and commercial drivers and development processes affecting the uptake of sustainable development in the US and globally. 
  • Proven experience defining, leading and delivering leading-edge projects in sustainable development and system innovation.
  • Specialist understanding and experience in one area of sustainable development, e.g. sustainable business, food, energy; as well as one key tool, eg futures, innovation.
  • Ability to think strategically at a business-wide level and on a global scale, to envision innovative ways of meeting global demands for energy, food, and other key systems, and to craft strategies that deliver system-wide change and influence. 
  • Proven ability to secure funding and deliver on time within budget.
  • Highly developed interpersonal and presentation skills and an ability to communicate at senior corporate level; and make full use of a range of communication vehicles and social media.
  • A skilled facilitator, able to build consensus within and across teams; ability to manage remotely.
  • Demonstrable knowledge in how change happens at a system level and how to deliberately intervene to create that change in innovative ways.
  • Able to build and lead effective teams, across Forum programmes and across organisations, and to accept accountability for team performance.
  • Competent at hiring, developing, managing, appraising and coaching staff.
  • Able to produce and contribute to a wide range of documents (for example business plans, consultancy reports, letters, articles, memos, briefs and presentations) to tight deadlines and to consistently high standard.
  • Self-motivated and able to take initiatives.
  • Self-supporting in ICT with a strategic understanding of its contribution to the organisational mission.
  • Experience working or delivering projects internationally is essential.  

Click here to download the full job description.


Salary in range of US$114,670 to US$139,457 commensurate with experience. Full-time employees receive an excellent benefits package including health and dental insurance, and 18 days’ vacation in year 1, rising to 23 days from year 2 onwards (plus 11 days public holidays).

Equal opportunities

Forum for the Future is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities.

To apply: please send your resume and a covering letter detailing how you meet the qualifications and experience requirements to Sophie Kennedy at recruitment@forumforthefuture.org.  

As applicants must be eligible to work in the US please confirm your eligibility in your application.

Closing date: Monday 28 March (5.00 pm EST / 10.00pm GMT)

Phone interviews:  Tuesday 5, Wednesday 6, Tuesday 12 or Wednesday 13 April
Second interviews:  Tuesday 19 or Wednesday 20 April
Final interviews: Thursday 5 May or Tuesday 10 May

Please note that due to the number of applications we receive we are unable to respond to all individually. Therefore if you have not heard from us by close of business on Tuesday 5 April we will not be taking your application further.

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