Communications and Knowledge Management Director

Oxford, Oxfordshire
£55-70,000 dependent on experience
Closing date
9 Aug 2020
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Communications and Knowledge Management Director

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced and passionate communications leader who wants to take a leadership role in building our communications and knowledge management strategy and delivery to a new level. As an organisation that supports the delivery of environmental protection and respect for human rights in commodity supply chains around the world and we are looking for someone who can help us transform the way we work, allowing us to make an even greater positive impact.

About Proforest

Proforest is a mission driven organisation whose vision is that ‘Commodity agriculture and forest supply chains contribute to sustainable livelihoods in sustainable landscapes’. We have a 20-year track record of supporting the transition to sustainable production and sourcing of agricultural and forest commodities. We are a not-for-profit group with a global presence across Europe, Asia, Africa and South America and work with governments, the private sector and civil society to deliver positive social and environmental outcomes in the places agricultural commodities are produced, ranging from protecting forests to recognising the land rights of indigenous peoples to improving conditions for workers.

Our clients are well-known consumer brands, such as Unilever, Nestle, PepsiCo and Mars, retailers such as Target and Ikea and the world’s largest traders and integrated producers including Cargill, Olam, Wilmar and Cofco. We combine our work for companies with longer-term programmes supported by institutional funders such as DfID, GIZ, Norad and the Global Environment Facility. At the heart of much of our work is building collaboration and we work closely with many of the world’s leading multi-stakeholder initiatives in the agriculture commodities and forestry sectors, including the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Rainforest Alliance and Bonsucro, as well as global and local non-governmental and civil society organisations, such as WWF, Forest Peoples Programme and IUCN.

Position summary

The successful candidate will oversee our communications team and our external communications and outreach activities. They will provide leadership on integrating our training and capacity development and build our own capacity to manage and visualise data and information. There will be significant scope to shape the strategy and actions in close collaboration with the directors and existing team members.

We believe that positive change only happens when people understand the issues and have the capacity and tools to take action. In Proforest, we have two decades of experience supporting companies, governments, and civil society to understand the sustainability issues around commodity production and how they can have more positive environmental and social impacts. We need to build on this experience, consolidate our own knowledge and share it better with our clients and partners. 
This means we need to become more strategic  and effective in our use of communication tools and avenues and be better at integrating our knowledge sharing activities including training and capacity building and managing and visualising our vast resource of data on sustainability.

We are looking for someone to lead this work. This person will be interested and competent in not only taking oversight across multiple strands of work, including communications, visualisation and information management, and having the ability to lead a communications team, but moreover will be someone to help raise our profile and help us understand and deploy the right tools to support the implementation of our mission.

In addition to leading the communications team, the communications and knowledge management director will support colleagues from technical teams in developing and delivering a range of outcomes and products for audiences ranging from training course participants and conference attendees to government policy makers, company managers or smallholder farmers across a wide range of cultures and languages. As a practical and efficient organisation, we also need someone who can move from strategic oversight to hands-on delivery where needed.

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced and passionate communications leader to take our communications and knowledge management strategies and delivery to a new level. This person will be instrumental in helping us transform the way we work, allowing us to make an even greater positive impact.


Strong leadership skills are a given for this role, accompanied with a proven track record in developing and executing communications and knowledge management strategies for a global organisation. Success will also require outstanding interpersonal skills to influence a wide range of internal and external stakeholders from different backgrounds, excellent communication and writing skills and the ability to articulate complex issues to a variety of audiences. Proforest is a multi-national, multi-cultural organisation and the successful candidate will be able to work across cultures and regions through both face-to-face and remote contact.


  • The successful candidate will work both with the direct communications team and extensively with the wider Proforest technical team. You will need an ability to:
  • Understand Proforest’s work, across both consultancy projects and donor-funded programmes. This will require some previous experience of sustainability issues in agricultural commodity production (such as forest conservation and rural development) in Africa, Southeast Asia and/or Latin America.
  • Develop and drive the overall strategy for bringing together communications, knowledge management and capacity building. Previous experience in developing communications and/or capacity building strategy will be an asset.
  • Manage a communications team to produce a range of products including publications, on-line communications, website, social media, and infographics.
  • Support staff to communicate clearly about their work in writing, infographics and visualisations, through training, mentoring and feedback.
  • Support the technical team in the development and roll-out of on-line and physical capacity building and training.
  • Collaborate closely with colleagues from other teams who are developing communications materials, data visualisations, training courses, mentoring processes, and knowledge resources.

Qualifications & Experience

  • Degree or higher degree in Communications or other relevant discipline.
  • Excellent written English and strong oral communication skills
  • A minimum of 10 years’ relevant work experience
  • Demonstrable ability to lead the development and implementation of a communications strategy to support engagement with partners and business development 
  • First-hand experience of communication for not-for-profit organizations, large commercial organizations, international development donors or government organizations
  • Ability to manage and negotiate with external service providers
  • Strong project and team management skills
  • Proficiency in website content management systems; social media, Microsoft Office
  • Proficiency in another Proforest working language (Portuguese, Spanish, French, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia) is very welcome though not essential.

Our work environment

Proforest has an amazing global team of highly motivated staff from over 20 countries working out of offices in the UK, Netherlands, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ghana, Brazil and Colombia. The UK office is in Oxford with a friendly work environment where colleagues work very collaboratively and also socialise outside of the office. Regular internal exchange events (paused during the Covid-19 pandemic, but eagerly awaited for 2021) bring together colleagues from all the offices for learning and exchange, ensuring a strong sense of a belonging to a global team. We have encouraged flexible working for many years which made us very resilient to Covid-19, and will continue to combine some home-working with working in the office when restrictions end.

Terms and conditions

Salary:  £55-70,000 dependent on experience
Full-time, permanent position based in Oxford, UK
Benefits include flexible working, company pension, life insurance

To apply

Please send us your CV, a cover letter and a confirmation that you are eligible to work in the UK.

Closing Date: 31st July 2020

Proforest is a not-for-profit group that works with governments, producers, private sector, civil society organisations and NGOs throughout agricultural & forest product supply chains and helps to manage and source natural resources sustainably


Contact Us
  • South Suite
  • Frewin Chambers
  • Oxford
  • OX1 3HZ
  • United Kingdom
  • 01865 243439
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