North American Plant Protection Organization technical director position open

Application open period: April 15 -May 06, 2016 Job Opportunity


Highly qualified candidates are invited to submit applications for the position ofTechnical Director (TD) for the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO). NAPPO is the Regional Plant Protection Organization (RPPO) for North America (Canada, United States, Mexico), created under the authority of Article IX of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. NAPPO operates according to a Cooperative Agreement signed by representatives of Canada, the United States and Mexico on October 13th, 1976, in order to promote and secure the field of plant protection. Accordingly, NAPPO is accountable to the Senior Plant Health Officials in the NAPPO member countries. The NAPPO Secretariat is located in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America.

NAPPOs objectives are to:

  • encourage and facilitate cooperative efforts among the member countries to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of quarantine pests and limit the economic impact of regulated non-quarantine pests in North America;
  • facilitate and promote safe international trade in plants, plant products and other regulated articles; and
  • encourage and participate in similar hemispheric and global cooperative efforts.

These NAPPO activities are intended to help create a scientifically sound and consistent regulatory framework for commerce involving plants and plant products within and beyond the North American region. NAPPO carries out the following functions on a regional, hemispheric and global basis:

On a regional level, NAPPO:

  • Develops and adopts regional plant protection standards to harmonize the phytosanitary measures of its member countries in order to facilitate the safe movement of plants, plant products and other regulated articles into and within the NAPPO region;
  • Provides a forum for government and industry to discuss phytosanitary issues of concern to North America;
  • Supports the work of the North American Free Trade Agreement Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Committee;
  • Harmonizes plant protection activities in the NAPPO region;
  • Encourages and facilitates training and capacity development of NAPPO stakeholders towards implementation of NAPPO regional plant health standards as well as international plant health standards;
  • Encourages appropriate organizations to engage in research towards common NAPPO pest concerns; and
  • Provides a technical dispute settlement venue for its member countries.

On a hemispheric level, NAPPO:

  1. Encourages coordinated phytosanitary approaches through active participation in the Inter-American Coordinating Group in Plant Protection (GICSV, according to the Spanish acronym);
  2. Collaborates with other RPPOs and international organizations to implement the provisions of the IPPC and its International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs);
  3. Encourages dialogue on phytosanitary issues to promote common interests;
  4. Assists in the development and delivery of training and technical assistance programs to facilitate the implementation the provisions of the IPPC and its ISPMs, as well as NAPPO regional plant health standards; and
  5. Provides leadership and technical support, where possible, to developing countries in order to strengthen their plant protection systems.

On a global level, NAPPO: a) Supports the IPPC Secretariat and the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) by assisting in the development of ISPMs and other activities agreed to in the Convention; b) Exchanges technical information with other RPPOs and the IPPC Secretariat, concerning allaspects of plant protection; c) Collaborates in other international activities and initiatives in support of plant protection or phytosanitary priorities; and d) Actively participates in the annual Technical Consultation of RPPOs and other appropriate fora.


Duties. The NAPPO Technical Director …

  • Is a key member of the NAPPO Secretariat
  • Provides scientific and technical support to the NAPPO Executive Director;
  • Is a key member of the NAPPO Advisory and Management Committee (AMC);
  • In cooperation with the Executive Director, provides leadership as well as scientific and technical support to NAPPO Expert Groups (EGs);
  • In cooperation with the Executive Assistant, manages the NAPPO EGs on behalf of the NAPPO
  • Secretariat;
  • When needed, serves as interim Chairperson for EGs;
  • Prepares meeting reports and agendas;
  • Participates in the preparation of discussion documents and concept papers on regional and international phytosanitary issues critical to North America;
  • Participates in the development of NAPPO regional plant health standards;
  • Proofreads all NAPPO documents for technical and linguistic consistency;
  • Develops documents and directives that facilitate standardization of NAPPO procedures;
  • Organizes, coordinates and participates in regional and international phytosanitary events, as appropriate;
  • When needed, represents NAPPO at various international fora;
  • Coordinates the preparation of and contributes to the NAPPO Newsletter;
  • Cultivates and maintains a network of plant protection contacts, within the region and internationally;
  • Translates regional and international phytosanitary standards, phytosanitary alert notices and other information, as required;
  • Conducts consecutive interpretation in English and Spanish at meetings, as required;
  • Manages the Secretariat in the Executive Director’s absence;
  • Performs other related duties, as required;

Knowledge, skills and abilities. The NAPPO Technical Director will have …

  • Good knowledge of the mission and activities of NAPPO and other international and regional plant protection organizations, such as the IPPC, EPPO, NEPPO, IICA, COSAVE, OIRSA, CAN, etc;
  • Good knowledge of other related international Agreements and Conventions (WTO-SPS, CBD etc.);
  • At least three years of work experience in a National (or State) Plant Protection Organization and five years of total work experience dealing with plant protection issues;
  • Good understanding of the key functional areas of a National (or State) Plant Protection Organization such as pest risk analysis, pest risk management, phytosanitary treatments, pest identification, phytosanitary legislation and phytosanitary regulations,
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Ability to work effectively with people from diverse cultures, backgrounds and nationalities;
  • Demonstrated tact, discretion, creativity, flexibility and drive; and
  • Willingness to travel internationally.

Successful candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Advanced university degree (Masters, Doctorate) in a field directly related to one (or more) of the following areas: agronomy, biology, plant protection, plant pathology, entomology;
  • Knowledge and understanding of regulatory plant protection and of the phytosanitary principles for the protection of plants and the application of phytosanitary measures in international trade;
  • Experience working in an international and cross-cultural context;
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and organizational skills; and
  • Proven networking, and team-building skills.

Highly qualified candidates will also have:

  • Fluency in English and Spanish or willingness to learn and master the second language;
  • Practical experience with NAPPO, the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) standard setting activities and the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles;
  • Ability to facilitate discussions on contentious issues;
  • Demonstrated tact and diplomacy skills;
  • Ability to work effectively with people of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds;
  • Excellent computer and word processing skills including the management of webinars and conference calls.

Competitive Process

  • The Technical Director position is a 3-year appointment, renewable for additional 3-year periods.
  • The Technical Director will be subject to yearly performance evaluations by the Executive Director. Candidates will be initially screened based on their 1-page statement of suitability and interest and their curriculum vitae.
  • After references are consulted, a short-list of candidates will be interviewed for the position by the Executive Director.
  • The interview and selection process will be conducted by the Executive Director, in consultation with the NAPPO Executive Committee (EC).
  • The salary range is between 85,000-105,000 (U.S. dollars), plus 10% contribution by NAPPO to the employee’s retirement fund.
  • Relocation expenses can be negotiated.
  • Ideally, candidates must be able to work in the United States.

To apply for this position:

Interested candidates should submit a resume (or equivalent such as a curriculum vita), a 1-page statement of interest and suitability, and list of 3 references. Applications for this position should be sent electronically to Ms. Sofia Baez, NAPPO Executive Assistant at For questions or additional information regarding this position contact Dr. Stephanie Bloem, NAPPO Executive Director ( All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Please note – if you work for the USDA-APHIS-PPQ and are interested in applying for the position of NAPPO Technical Director, you may be able to qualify for a detail to the NAPPO Secretariat via an IPA, subject to approval. The Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Mobility Program provides for the temporary assignment of personnel between the federal government and other eligible organizations. IPA assignees are usually detailed from USDA and remain on their home organization’s payroll. The initial IPA assignment may be approved for up to two (2) years with extensions for an additional two (2) years, not to exceed four continuous years

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