Editor’s Note: A major change is coming to one of the industry’s most influential associations: At the end of 2013, Terry Townsend will step down from his position as executive director of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). Due to the importance of the position (and how challenging it will be to replace an industry icon and visionary like Townsend), ICAC has begun to search for his replacement and is currently accepting applications for the executive director position.Please see the statement below for more information.
The mission of the ICAC is to assist governments in fostering a healthy world cotton economy. The Committee achieves its mission by providing transparency to the world cotton market, by serving as a clearinghouse for technical information on cotton production and by serving as a forum for discussion of cotton issues of international significance. The role of the ICAC is to raise awareness of emerging issues, provide information relevant to the solving of problems and to foster cooperation in the achievement of common objectives. By serving as an objective statistical observer and by bringing together producing, consuming and trading countries and all segments of the cotton industry, the ICAC serves a unique role as a catalyst for constructive change.
There have been five executive directors of ICAC since 1946. The challenges for the sixth will be to provide strategic leadership and management acumen so as to enhance the effectiveness and thus the relevance of the organization. The ICAC must help member countries strengthen the cotton industry by serving as the premier forum in the world for discussion of cotton matters of international significance while strengthening the core functions of the Secretariat related to information gathering, analysis and dissemination.
The executive director must drive the ICAC forward by providing both strategic leadership and competent management to ensure that:
- The statistical reports of the organization are timely, accurate, relevant and accessible and increasingly serve as tools of industry and government decision making;
- The work of the Technical Information Section fosters improvements in cotton science through increased collaboration among researchers combined with timely dissemination of research results;
- Membership in ICAC increases to include all major countries involved in cotton production, consumption, and trade;
- Governments increasingly look to ICAC as the forum for discussion and as a clearinghouse for best practices in programs involving cotton production, processing, trade and consumption.
The executive director is:
- Treasurer of ICAC;
- Secretary General of the Advisory Committee;
- Secretary of the Standing Committee and its subordinate bodies,
- Custodian of all records of ICAC;
- Responsible for arrangements with host governments for plenary meetings; and
- Responsible for preparation and supervision of the budget of the Secretariat.
The executive director has:
- Full responsibility for the work program of the Secretariat;
- Responsibility for the preparation of the agenda, timetables, technical documents, proceedings, notices, and minutes of meetings;
- Responsibility for matters of protocol and for communication with governments, other international bodies, and with national bodies interested in the work of ICAC.
- Responsibility for such other duties or responsibilities as are assigned by the Advisory Committee or by the Standing Committee.
- The executive director reports to the Chair of the Standing Committee in Washington and works closely with all members of the Standing Committee and with officials from Member Countries. The executive director represents the ICAC before other multilateral organizations and before international and national commodity and cotton industry companies and organizations.
Requirements for Application
- Ten years of professional experience, including at least five years working with an agricultural commodity industry, preferably cotton;
- Experience in agricultural commodities, preferably cotton, including policy matters related to production, processing, trade, marketing, research and economic analysis;
- Executive managerial experience – a proven record of managing staff, programs and finances;
- International exposure – previous work dealing with governments and international organizations;
- An advanced degree; a degree in economics, science, engineering, commerce, business administration or law will be preferred; publications on cotton will be considered an advantage;
- Full command of the English language, including proven ability in written and oral communication; proficiency in one or more of the other official languages of the ICAC: Arabic, French, Russian, or Spanish, is desirable.
- Citizenship in an ICAC member country at the time of appointment.
Short-listed candidates will be invited to Washington for interviews during which they will be asked to present their vision for the future of the ICAC and an indicative plan of work;
Short-listed candidates will be required to provide references.
The contract of the Executive Director is governed by the Staff Regulations of the ICAC . The initial contract term for the position of Executive Director will be from September 1, 2013 until December 31, 2016. (The incoming executive director will join the Secretariat at the 72nd Plenary Meeting of the Committee in September 2013 in Colombia. He or she will spend three months with the Secretariat in Washington shadowing the outgoing executive director and will assume full responsibilities on January 1, 2014.) The initial contract will be renewable upon satisfactory performance.
The salary for the position is that of UN grade D-1, Step 1, with dependents, adjusted for Washington, DC. Contributions to a staff retirement plan are determined as under the UN system. Other employment benefits include a contributory life, disability and health insurance plan and provisions for annual and sick leave.
Applications should be sent to: ExecutiveDirectorApplication@ICAC.org
Applications will be compiled by the Secretariat and sent to members of the Search Committee for evaluation. The closing date for applications is February 28, 2013.