Project: Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability
Position: Executive Director
Location: Work from Home Office* (position is open internationally)
The Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) is seeking a strategic, inspiring, and contemporary leader who enjoys working in a dynamic, start-up environment and is skilled at building a team and an organization now entering a critical phase of consolidation and growth. The Executive Director will provide strategic vision, entrepreneurial and fundraising acumen, and stakeholder engagement for our growing platform. This is a rare opportunity for an exceptional leader to strengthen and grow our organization into a fully-fledged entity and then take the reins to guide us through continued growth and sustained impact.
The Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) is an international business-to-business initiative established to advance seafood traceability in support of the long-term sustainability, social responsibility, and profitability of the seafood industry worldwide. In March 2020, after three years of intensive consensus-based drafting by more than sixty seafood industry companies, the GDST published the first-ever global standards for interoperable seafood traceability, known as GDST 1.0. (More info can be found about the standards on our website and at the end of this post). Since the launch of GDST 1.0, dozens of companies around the world have adopted the standards and begun implementing them. When widely utilized across the seafood sector, the GDST standards will transform seafood traceability, helping ensure the legal origin of all seafood products while reducing supply chain risk and increasing brand and product value.
The mission of the GDST places it at a critical juncture between core business operations (such as supply chain management and customer fulfillment) and the pursuit of corporate social and environmental responsibility, and the intersection of industry and NGOs. It works at the cutting edge of how digital information technology is transforming the seafood industry and is emerging as a reference point in national regulations and international norms governing the production and trade of seafood.
Originally convened as a “business-to-business” platform by two leading international NGOs, the GDST has already gained broad recognition as a game-changing initiative. It is now establishing itself as a permanent industry-based entity to own, maintain, and support the implementation of the GDST standards. As the uptake of the GDST 1.0 continues to grow internationally, the GDST is looking for an energetic and entrepreneurial Executive Director to lead the new GDST entity through its reorganizational phase and into the future.
The Executive Director will lead the GDST community in transitioning to a fully-fledged independent entity with a well-designed business plan. We seek an entrepreneurial, outcomes-driven, and well-connected Executive Director with a track record of collaborative experience in nonprofit standards, networking organizations, and/or the seafood industry. The Director will have a strong partnership with the GDST Steering Committee, engaging them as trusted stakeholders on strategy implementation and refinement, and collaborating to cultivate and manage relationships, communicate with funders, monitor and evaluate impact, and approve and implement budgets. The successful candidate will be well-poised to navigate tough conversations, build enthusiasm and momentum, set priorities, make strategic decisions, and champion the GDST both internally and externally. The candidate will also have experience working innovatively at the interface between not-for-profit activity and market-based action.
Organization and Establishment of the New GDST Entity
Working in partnership with the GDST Steering Committee, guiding the GDST through its organizational phase to set up, within 8-12 months, and effectively governed permanent GDST entity, including:
- cultivating relationships with funders to secure multi-year grants to help support the first phase of new entity operations, with a clear timeline for phase-out of philanthropic support
- developing a forward-facing business plan that includes: (1) a plan to deliver GDST products and services to drive and support the uptake of the GDST standards, including through the strategic use of revenue-generating activities; (2) An industry-supported membership model designed to maximize global uptake of the GDST standards and involvement in the GDST as a B2B platform; and (3) a viable and diversified revenue model to achieve financial independence and sustainability for the GDST entity.
- Formalizing the entity’s corporate and governance structures to maximize industry leadership along with the continued engagement of civil society experts and stakeholders
- overseeing the formal documentation and legal processes necessary to establish the new entity
Industry and Stakeholder Engagement
- Overseeing ongoing industry engagement work by the GDST Secretariat to promote and provide technical support for the adoption of the GDST standards
- Spearheading an initial membership drive to convert a critical mass of current GDST member companies into paying members of the newly-organized GDST
- Building and maintaining partnerships with key global industry associations
- Maintaining effective relationships with related non-industry stakeholders, including environmental and social NGOs
- Representing the GDST in public and industry-facing communications, and with relevant governments and intergovernmental organizations
Other Additional Responsibilities, including:
- Overseeing the development of additional GDST tools and processes to maintain and accelerate the uptake and implementation of GDST standards
- Onboarding and supervising support staff for the new entity
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
- is a passionate leader with a strong track record of fostering collaborations and supporting the incubation of ideas and strategies across organizations/companies
- has superb interpersonal and communication skills, and is equally comfortable with diplomacy and member‐supported advocacy
- is well-connected in the seafood industry and has a reputation for honesty, fairness, and high ethical standards in all aspects of professional work
- has proven success in creating relationships and building momentum with funders to secure multi-year grants
- has an entrepreneurial spirit and is “at home” in a lean start-up environment, yet also comfortable navigating within larger, hierarchical institutional structures
- is flexible and able to work internationally, with comfort and competence navigating across cultural and time zone differences.
- is knowledgeable about innovative approaches to hybrid “for-profit/not-for-profit” enterprises, and has experience building new organizations or businesses.
- is comfortable working with technical as well as business-oriented clients, partners, and stakeholders.
- has prior experience in supply chain management, food traceability, and/or corporate social responsibility
If located in the United States, the successful candidate will receive a competitive salary and benefits package, including but not limited to health, dental, vision, and retirement benefits. If located outside the United States, arrangements will be made to ensure competitive compensation and benefits consistent with norms and applicable laws.
HOW TO APPLY
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Applicant review will begin on October 18, 2021. Send the GDST Hiring Committee your résumé and cover letter to GDST@multiplier.org with “GDST/Executive Director” in the subject line explaining why you are interested in this position. Please describe your relevant experience, qualifications, and include your salary requirements. We respectfully request no follow-up calls or emails. We understand that the sustainable seafood community is small and closely connected and all expressions of interest will be considered confidential.
*Position is available for work from a home office in the following states unless otherwise specified: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
During this transition period to an independent entity, GDST is receiving transitional operating support through Multiplier, a nationally recognized nonprofit with a growing portfolio of innovative initiatives that conserve and protect a sustainable and resilient world (www.multiplier.org)
Multiplier and GDST celebrate diversity and are committed to building teams and partnerships that represent a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. Multiplier and GDST are also committed to providing an environment of mutual respect that is free from discrimination and harassment. Multiplier and GDST prohibit discrimination in its governance, programs, and activities based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, marital status, amnesty, status as a covered veteran because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from public assistance, or for any other non-merit based factor.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GDST 1.0 STANDARDS
Several market and regulatory factors have increased the need for both standardizing business practices and harmonizing regulations to promote interoperable traceability within the seafood sector. These include:
- growing consumer and regulatory demands for more information about the origins of seafood products
- rising concerns about the marketing of seafood that is sourced from illegal, unsustainable, or socially irresponsible practices (including slavery at sea)
- increased business interest in improving transparency within seafood supply chains
- emerging regulations in major seafood markets state that increasingly require successful digital traceability and proof of legal origin of seafood products
To address these needs, the GDST brought together companies from across the globe to develop industry standards (known officially as GDST 1.0) to enable interoperability that will improve the reliability of seafood sourcing data, reduce the cost of seafood traceability, enable supply chain risk reduction, and contribute to securing the long-term social and environmental sustainability of the sector.
The GDST enables interoperability by establishing standards that include:
- Internationally agreed key data elements (KDEs) to be routinely associated with seafood products (defining what minimum information is to be included in seafood traceability systems);
- Critical Tracking Events (CTEs) that describe who is responsible for capturing KDEs at different points along the supply chain; and
- Technical specifications for interoperable traceability systems, along with standard legal and business formats facilitating business-to-business information exchange.
The GDST’s vision for a robust international framework for seafood traceability also includes the development of agreed benchmarks for verifying data validity, along with harmonization of business-smart national regulations to help reduce compliance burdens and increase the reliability of government-sourced KDEs.
The pillars of the GDST approach are similar to those that have helped create interoperable business-to-business traceability and information systems within other globalized industries, including banking, telecommunications, and pharmaceuticals.