Vice President of Certification

Location: Oakland, CA
Job Term: Regular
Duration: Full-time


This position is responsible for the strategic development and operational implementation of the Fair Trade USA Certification system.  Working across all programs, including agriculture, seafood, apparel and home goods, and trade, the Vice President of Certification will help transform the Fair Trade Certification system into a best-in-class system positioned to deliver on the ambitious scale and growth objectives of the organization.  Managing a highly motivated and talented team of certification professionals, the Vice President will help transform our model from a traditional certification approach to one using cutting edge innovative approaches.  Acting as a leader and senior management expert in assurance, the Vice President will help design the future certification model in partnership with other functional leaders in the organization.  Exploring ways that Certification and producer support related activities can add more value for producers and business partners will be a key objective for this role, ensuring the program is one that drives change and creates positive impact for key stakeholders of Fair Trade.  Aligning Certification with the Producer Support activities (trainings, capacity building etc.) Fair Trade USA provides, and helping to create a consistent approach to creating impact in partnership with producers in the Fair Trade system will be a key expectation of this position.  This is a unique and exciting opportunity for an inspiring leader who is passionate about working for a high growth, innovative organization helping to improve the lives of farmers, fishermen and workers around the world.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead the strategic planning process for the Certification Department and contribute to cross organizational strategy and planning
  • Support team members by fostering a collaborative, motivating and positive environment for the highly skilled and passionate Certification team members
  • Lead the Certification department in building, implementing, and innovating a more impactful certification program from origin to shelf
  • Develop strategies to enable scale, including building constructive relationships with certification bodies across multiple products and regions, and partnering with the Technology, Data and Quality Teams to streamline and improve processes
  • Align the certification activities at Fair Trade USA with the producer support activities, working to ensure close collaboration and partnership across all teams
  • Enable positive collaboration across the organization in partnership with the Fair Trade USA business category leads
  • Ensure high quality customer service to both internal staff and external customers
  • Partner with other leaders in the organization to ensure the Certification team supports our business growth objectives and key account needs
  • Communicate the role and value of Fair Trade Certification internally and externally
  • Represent certification externally in conferences and partner meeting, acting as a content expert in the industry and working to raise the profile of Fair Trade USA Certification
  • Manage the department budget, set and monitor OKRs to best meet the strategic objectives of the department
  • Support the Chief of Standards, Certification and Impact in engaging the Fair Trade USA Board


  • A minimum of ten years' management experience leading large teams in a complex service-oriented work environment
  • Multiple years’ experience working in certification or producer support (extension services, capacity building, farmer/worker training etc.) organizations
  • Demonstrated track record in developing policies and procedures to enable scale across multiple products and regions while ensuring credibility across the supply chain
  • Experience in designing and implementing innovative services aimed at building greater business value for customers
  • A strategic thinker with the ability to engage in whole of business strategies and operations
  • Strong leader and communicator with track record of building relationships and instilling confidence in senior management, the organization and with external stakeholders
  • Strong track record of managing and developing team members
  • A strong aptitude for the foundations of business, and experience of working in a high growth environment
  • High integrity, sound judgment, comfort with ambiguity, and the ability to lead in a changing environment
  • Auditor management and training, and interpretation of social and environmental standards desirable, preferably including work in the Global South
  • Technologically competent, with experience using certification and auditing software, as well as CRM systems
  • A positive can-do attitude, and the ability to deliver under pressure
  • Passion for Fair Trade USA’s mission, vision, and values
  • Oral and written Spanish skills preferred

To Apply:


Please submit a resume and cover letter to the attention of Clay Brown, Chief of Standards, Certification & Impact Assessment. 

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