Director of Programs via Idealist


Lago Agrio, Ecuador 🇪🇨

Clearwater supports an indigenous-led movement for clean water, cultural survival and rainforest protection in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon. We are seeking a Director of Programs to work closely with our international and local indigenous staff in the implementation of all program activities.

About ClearWater

Clearwater works closely with indigenous peoples to achieve our goal – to empower individuals and communities and strengthen their capacity to improve their health and defend their lands and cultures against the threat of industrial destruction. ClearWater began in 2011 as a project to provide materials and train local indigenous community members affected by oil contamination in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon to install family–sized rainwater catchment systems in their communities. We have provided more than 1,000 families with access to clean drinking water. The project brought together members of four indigenous nationalities— the Cofán, Siona, Secoya, and Waorani— in a spirit of collaboration. As the project expanded, needs beyond access to clean water became clear, as did the means to build solutions. In 2014 ClearWater supported the founding of the region’s first working alliance of the four nationalities: the Ceibo Alliance. ClearWater has since become the international 501c3 organization supporting the critical work being carried out by the Ceibo Alliance in the region. Ceibo Alliance is a non-profit organization whose goal is the improvement of the physical, social, and spiritual health and wellbeing of the four nationalities and the conservation of their rainforest territories through community-led initiatives. Ceibo is currently managing 8 programs: rainwater catchment system installations, solar panel installations, territorial mapping, water quality monitoring, legal accompaniment, communications and community film, cultural recuperation and preservation, and women’s empowerment.

The Position

As a member of the ClearWater leadership team, the Director of Programs shares in the overall responsibility for the direction and coordination of ClearWater’s organizational and programmatic operations. The Director of Programs supports all members of the ClearWater and Ceibo teams in working in collaboration to advance programs and the organization. Our ideal candidate is humble, highly self-reliant, and inspired by and committed to the struggles of indigenous peoples.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide ongoing strategic advising to all of ClearWater/Ceibo’s core programs.
  • Coordinate special projects and activities with members of the four nationalities and the international support team.
  • Conduct regular check-ins with Ceibo coordinating team members and international coordinators; hold regular meetings with ClearWater’s executive director.
  • Lead the public relations efforts for ClearWater, including managing media relationships and building strategic partnerships both in Ecuador and abroad.
  • Oversee proposal development and reporting for major donors.
  • Oversee monitoring and evaluation efforts and reports on the impact of ClearWater and Ceibo’s programs.
  • Oversee program budgeting and work planning in collaboration with coordinating teams, Ceibo leadership council, and ClearWater’s ED.
  • Play an active role in strategic planning and ongoing organizational development, including but not limited to: accounting oversight, gaps analysis and evaluation of partnerships.
  • Work with the ED on the ongoing development of fundraising strategies and initiatives.
  • Facilitate open and clear communication channels and practices among the members of ClearWater’s team and the Ceibo Alliance.

Skills & Attributes:

  • Flexible, patient and adaptable to changing environments and complex program challenges
  • Ability to analyze information, evaluate options and think and plan strategically in complex cross-cultural settings
  • Ability to analyze needs and establish strategic partnerships to support the Ceibo Alliance’s program goals
  • Strong, savvy communications skills both relating to internal communication within the organization and media outreach externally
  • Hold an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing the indigenous nationalities in the Ecuadorian Amazon
  • Commitment to, and understanding of, ClearWater and Ceibo’s values and mission, including the importance of autonomous indigenous decision-making and empowering community-led processes
  • Self-starter with the ability to work and thrive unsupervised
  • High proficiency in written and spoken English and Spanish required
  • Humility, patience, a passion for learning
  • Strong inter-personal skills

Professional Experience:

  • Program management experience in a nonprofit environment
  • Experience working in rural Latin American communities; indigenous communities a plus, preferably in the Amazon
  • Experience in working with grassroots movements and organizations, especially indigenous movements/organizations
  • Knowledge and understanding of monitoring and evaluation practices
  • Experience with budget planning and design; basic understanding of accounting systems
  • Good understanding of and prior engagement with some or all of ClearWater’s program priorities: clean water, solar energy, legal defense, territorial mapping, women’s empowerment and cultural survival.
  • Experience with mediation and conflict resolution a plus
  • Fundraising experience: including researching opportunities, outreach, and grant writing and reporting
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and other programs

ClearWater is a quickly growing and dedicated team. The responsibilities for this position will vary and evolve.

The Director of Programs will be based in Lago Agrio full time for the first 6 months; with the possibility to be based out of Quito thereafter but with frequent trips to Lago Agrio and communities where ClearWater and Ceibo work.