Head of Land Use Portfolio

Ref: 5297

FILE Foundation

Homebased/London (Regular presence in the London office required, when Covid restrictions allow)

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Role Managed by:

Teresa Phiri

Senior Research Associate

t: 020 7340 6273

e: Teresa.Phiri@perrettlaver.com

Primary Practice Group: Global Non-Profit and Social Impact Practice

Salary & Benefits: Highly competitive

Closing Date: 27/09/2021

Organisation Description

About FILE:

Founded in 2018, the Stichting Foundation for International Law for the Environment (FILE) is the major philanthropic initiative working to tackle climate change by scaling up environmental legal action globally. 

Driven by the urgent global transition to a net zero society, FILE funds world-leading global partners to deliver pioneering legal actions and emblematic precedent-setting cases with the aim of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees.  Our grant portfolio includes workstreams that cut across the natural systems including: Just Energy Transition; Land Use; Sustainable Finance; Future of Environmental Law; and Nature.

FILE’s Land Use Strategy seeks to unlock systemic change in the land use and food system by using legal strategies to hold corporate and investors to account for illegal and unsustainable extractive practices; protecting biodiverse hotspots through making and enforcing laws; protecting land tenure / indigenous land rights; and strengthening international commitments (eg trade and public investment architecture that governs deforestation free and biodiversity protective supply chains).

FILE supports the development of a strong, diverse, and empowered ecosystem of partners, enabling the co-development of strategy to collectively make a meaningful impact on climate change and the protection of biodiversity. We seek to grow the field, while increasing diversity, and facilitate successful legal outcomes through access to key research, capacity building, knowledge sharing, strategic communications and campaign alignment and learning.

The Position

Job Title: Head of Land Use Portfolio, (Senior Lawyer)
Reports to: Director, Global Legal Strategy 
Location: Homebased/London (Regular presence in the London office required, when Covid restrictions allow)

Salary: Highly competitive

About the role:

FILE is seeking to recruit a Head of Land Use Portfolio to lead FILE’s granting strategy within the Land Use Sector. This exciting and challenging position requires a highly experienced lawyer and leader in the Land Use space, who will play a pivotal role in developing a diverse programme of climate and Land Use sector work. 

The Head of Land Use Portfolio will report directly to the Director, Global Legal Strategy. You will be recognised as a leading subject-matter expert, developing and implementing cutting-edge, impactful, and evidence-based strategies and plans that ensure the Land Use strategy achieves transformational and lasting change. You will be directly responsible for FILE’s Land Use grant-making portfolio, working closely with the broader leadership team and aligned foundations to deliver change.

Key Responsibilities:

Strategic Leadership:

Working in collaboration with FILE’s legal and grant management teams, aligned funders and current/prospective grantees, develop and implement the Land Use strategy, including defining strategic legal priorities and a strategic granting approach, ensuring their alignment with foundation-wide strategy.
As a recognized subject-matter expert, provide up-to-date, professional advice to the Executive Team and Board to support the development of foundation strategies, policies, and initiatives.
Bringing catalytic and innovative thinking, develop the Land Use strategic plan and priorities to enable scale and to maximise impact in Land Use sector with the resources available. 
Working with FILE’s Donor Relations lead and Executive Team, engage with funders (e.g. major philanthropies) to secure increased funding support for FILE’s Land Use strategy.
Collaborate widely with leaders across the community of practice to drive legal and strategic innovation, enable strategic alignment and ensure knowledge-sharing. 
Stay connected to relevant financial, geopolitical, social trends and legal developments that could impact the strategy and reflect these appropriately with other organisations, including philanthropies and bilateral donors. 

Stakeholder and Partner Management:

Identify, cultivate and maintain excellent external relationships with the community of practice and philanthropic sector(s), acting as an ambassador for FILE’s Land Use portfolio.
Provide leadership to the wider philanthropic and donor community on the need for legal interventions within the global Land Use field.
Identify potential grantees for FILE to deliver key aspects of FILE’s strategy, due diligence their ability to deliver and lead on the development of compelling motivations for their funding.
Working with FILE’s Field-Building team, support the expansion of the community of practitioners to reinforce legal capacity, generate innovation and learning, and proactively influence global legal action.

Program Development, Delivery & Performance:

Together with FILE’s Learning and Impact and Grant Management teams, develop and direct the delivery of an evidence-based grant making portfolio, including setting out a theory of change, clear goals, and applicable metrics related to the Land Use strategy.
Working with FILE’s Grant Management team, deliver an operational plan to ensure effective prioritisation of resources, ensuring quality timeliness and alignment to wider foundation priorities and objectives.
As a recognized subject-matter expert, provide advice, specialist guidance, and mentoring support to colleagues (within and beyond the team) to deepen the skills, capability, and professionalism of the foundation.
Manage a small team and provide compelling, consistent, and united leadership, which creates clarity for staff and builds a sense of shared accountability for its success and that of the organization.

Sector Knowledge and Profile-Building:

Proactively maintain and develop extensive external networks to ensure that legal strategies remain cutting edge, are shaped by the most up-to-date research and that knowledge is shared widely.
Contribute to the development and promotion of high-quality thought leadership and communications materials to share the Land Use work within the Land Use and legal community.
Undertake or commission sector-relevant research and analysis to inform the effective development, delivery, and evaluation of programmes and initiatives.

The Talented Individual

The successful candidate will be an accomplished, seasoned Land Use sector lawyer who is driven to accelerate the transition to a decarbonised and biodiverse economy. The Head of Land Use Portfolio will have significant experience working in the Land Use sector, either inhouse or as a private practitioner, with excellent networks, and the ability to develop and deliver an innovative legal granting strategy.

FILE is seeking a strategic thinker who can consider the broad and complex geopolitical dimensions of the Land Use sector and define a clear path to action that delivers impact and system-wide change. Ideally, this person will possess a deep understanding of the problematic issues driving the Land Use sector within a high-carbon, extractive economy, experience working with both public and private land use sector actors, and a working understanding of the non-profit eco-system.  Key characteristics will include:

Legal and strategy

Extensive professional experience as a lawyer working in the land use, forests and/or biodiversity sector.
Experience working in or with partners in tropical forest regions is desirable.Demonstrable record of developing and executing sophisticated legal and / or organisational strategies, including the effective allocation of resources to achieve ambitious goals

Outstanding intellectual agility and the ability to analyse, think critically and understand emerging issues and opportunities in the Land Use sector.
Ability to weigh the risks against the potential for lasting results, make decisions accordingly, and effectively evaluate constraints and critical trade-offs.
An entrepreneurial and creative approach to developing new, innovative ideas that will stretch the organization and push the boundaries within the field.
Lifelong learner who is inquisitive and solves problems with bold thinking, innovation and displays a strong intellectual curiosity.

Executing for Results 

Adept at setting clear and challenging goals and committed to improved performance, coupled with a willingness to be accountable for the oversight of implementation.

Tenacious and accountable in driving results, yet flexible and open-minded to new approaches.

Experienced in developing an organizational results-oriented learning culture.
Highly comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty; the ability to adapt nimbly and lead others through complex situations.
Exceptional project management, prioritisation, and planning skills, with demonstrated success producing high-quality deliverables on time and within budget.

Relationships, Influence, and Communications

Naturally connects and builds strong relationships with diverse internal and external audiences, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.
An ability to inspire trust in others through compelling presentation of evidence, influence, charisma, and passion in their beliefs.
Proven capacity to initiate and foster strategic partnerships with key external constituencies, including the legal community of practice, government, philanthropy, media, academia and civil society.
Highly collaborative with a partnership mindset. Encourages others to share the spotlight and visibly celebrates and supports the success of the team, external partners, and grantees.
Experience of line management, inspiring others to grow and develop.


Please send us your CV and covering letter explaining your interest in joining FILE and the contribution that you think you could make to the Foundation’s overall mission in this space, quoting reference 5297.

This role is open for applications immediately, closing date 9am BST Monday 27th September 2021. 

Diversity and Inclusion

FILE is committed to challenging inequality, valuing diversity in all areas of life.  We firmly believe that we are strengthened by the diversity of our staff.  We actively work to ensure an inclusive culture where colleagues feel welcomed and supported to succeed and thrive. FILE strongly encourages applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds and experiences, particularly those from under-represented or historically disadvantaged communities. 

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