US Native American and Indigenous Learning Exchange Initiative Appointment opportunity
The Inter-American Foundation (IAF), with headquarters based in Washington, D.C., is an independent agency of the U.S. government responsible for supporting grassroots development initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The agency engages local leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in underserved areas to support efforts to make their communities more prosperous, peaceful, and democratic. The IAF awards grants to community-based grassroots organizations, civil society organizations, and both nascent and established associations and networks that foster grassroots development, with an average investment of $300,000 over four years. The IAF works primarily with grassroots development organizations from LAC. See www.iaf.gov for more information.
The IAF is small, with approximately 50 direct-hire employees and additional overseas field contractors. We seek the services of an expert with extensive knowledge of the various and distinct U.S. Native American communities and Tribal Nationals (Appointee) to design and implement a strategy for engaging a diverse group of Native American and Indigenous stakeholders to launch a new pilot exchange program with our grantees in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) (the Pilot Exchange).
The Pilot Exchange is still in an early phase of development and the activities of the Appointee will help to shape and define it. The Pilot Exchange will consist of a number of learning exchanges that will take place in settings and times to be determined, over the next 6-18 months. Currently, all learning exchanges are planned for virtual settings, though hybrid and/or in-person exchanges may be considered as Covid-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted. Translations and interpretation, if/when required, will be provided through the IAF language services contractor.
Under the supervision of the Managing Director of External Affairs, the Appointee will work with the IAF Management Team and the agency Native American-Indigenous Initiative Task Force to facilitate learning exchanges between Indigenous Peoples in LAC and Native American communities and Tribal Nations in the United States to promote trade, economic prosperity, and the exchange of ideas “to share best practices in successful business enterprises and to explore the development of mutually beneficial trade and investment relationships.” These efforts will work to further the IAF’s mission and fulfill a specific Congressional request to leverage IAF resources to promote this engagement and learning. (FY20 Congressional Appropriations Committee guidance: “The Committee encourages the IAF to support exchanges between Native American tribes in the United States and indigenous groups across Latin America to share best practices in successful business enterprises and to explore the development of mutually beneficial trade and investment relationships.”)
The IAF has a robust network of relationships with Indigenous community leaders and groups throughout LAC, but has not yet engaged with U.S. Native American communities and Tribal Nations extensively. The Appointee must possess the knowledge and skills to successfully build agency capacity by conducting research, managing stakeholder relationships, and facilitating learning exchanges between lead stakeholders in virtual/remote and/or in-person settings.
Duties and Responsibilities
a. Serves as agency expert and advisor for the development of the Pilot Exchange. (50%)
● Identify, recommend, and cultivate professional relationships with U.S. Native American communities and Tribal Nations and/or Non-Governmental Organizations to gauge interest in learning exchange programs with LAC Indigenous groups.
● Identify, recommend, and cultivate professional relationships with USG agencies, departments, and other stakeholders relevant to U.S. Native American communities to develop the Pilot Exchange.
● In coordination with IAF staff, identify, recommend, and engage IAF grantee Indigenous groups to gauge interest in learning exchange programs with LAC.
● Analyze, synthesize, and report findings based on both internal and external consultations.
● Develop detailed goals and objectives of the Pilot Exchange based on feedback from both internal and external consultations.
● Build a framework of the Pilot Exchange based on research and consultations, developing dynamic thematic focus areas for the learning exchanges.
● Identify subject matter experts that align with relevant topical areas, identify key stakeholders that may be valuable Pilot Exchange consultants throughout Pilot Exchange development and execution.
b. Coordinates Pilot Exchange activities and opportunities. (30%)
● Based on this research, consultation and networking and in coordination with IAF staff, support the execution of engagement and learning activities to benefit and meet the desired needs of U.S. Native American communities, Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities in LAC..
● Facilitate biweekly planning and coordination meetings with IAF staff and provide guidance.
● Draft strategic planning documents, briefs and read-ahead materials for key meetings and exchanges, and correspondence to key stakeholders.
● Moderate and/or facilitate discussions with professional staff from diverse cultural, professional, and educational backgrounds.
● Create and populate a database of U.S. Native American and LAC Indigenous community contacts to identify groups/individuals, planned events, and outcomes.
● Following exchanges, document and analyze lessons learned to develop next steps and inform future activities.
● Based on agency needs and in coordination with IAF staff, develop written resources that document the Pilot Exchange (such as but not limited to, it’s development, goals and objectives, key stakeholders, lessons learned, areas of strengths/weaknesses, future
areas of emphasis, etc.).
c. Advises agency stakeholders on the implementation of the Pilot Exchange. (10%)
d. Other tasks as assigned by the Managing Director of External Affairs. (10%)
1. Extensive knowledge of the varied and distinct Native American communities and Tribal Nations, including the ability to forge productive working relationships, familiarity with the leadership structure of various Tribal Nations, and established relationships with Tribal Nation leaders.
2. Demonstrated knowledge (or experience) of the USG agencies, departments, and other stakeholders relevant to the varied U.S. Native American communities and Tribal Nations.
3. Demonstrated experience planning, developing, convening, and facilitating meetings, seminars, webinars, and/or roundtable discussions with various communities and stakeholders, often involving a large number of participants and covering complex and nuanced topics.
4. Demonstrated experience working with stakeholders from diverse cultural, economic, professional, and educational backgrounds.
5. Demonstrated project management experience.
6. Demonstrated writing skills addressing culturally and educationally diverse audiences.
7. Experience with analysis, research and applying criteria to tasks.
8. Experience using standard office platforms and software – Google workspace, Docs, Sheets, etc. Excel, Word, etc.
1. Experience managing technical, cultural, or educational exchange programs.
2. Experience using and implementing database software.
3. Intermediate reading and speaking Spanish ability.
4. Experience leading and convening meetings in virtual settings and with virtual technology platforms.
This will be a direct-hire, (up to) full-time appointment to a federal government position, beginning in November 2021, for one year. Reappointment may be granted for an (1) additional year (through November 2022). During the term, the Appointee will need to coordinate outside activities with IAF’s office of general counsel.
The IAF offices are in Washington, D.C., however, at least initially most work can be conducted virtually. This may change at a later point if the agency determines that in-person work is safe and feasible. Successful completion of a U.S. government security certification will be required prior to
start. Salary will be commensurate with experience, and will be within the GS-13 to GS-14 range. If full time, health and other benefits may be offered as part of this appointment.
Interested candidates should send a resume, three references, and cover letter c/o Edward Gracia (EGracia@iaf.gov), subject line: IAF Native American-Indigenous Initiative Appointee, by close of business October 18, 2021. Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis.
About Inter-American Foundation
The Inter-American Foundation is a U.S. federal agency that supports grassroots development in Latin America and the Caribbean. We’re planning to launch an initiative with Latin American/Caribbean Indigenous groups and U.S. Native American groups to design and carry out an exchange program for their mutual benefit some time within the next 6–18 months.
We’re looking for an appointee to take the lead in getting this program off the ground. We hope to find someone with strong project management and communication skills who has experience coordinating events with U.S. Native American groups and Tribal Nations, to complement our staff’s experience in carrying out exchanges in Latin America and the Caribbean.