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Chair of the Global Commons Alliance

Global Commons Alliance (GCA)
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Jul 21, 2022

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Position Type
Environment, International
Employment Type
Part Time
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Job Title: Chair of the Global Commons Alliance

Location: Flexible global location

Remuneration (1-2 days per week): $60,000 or higher depending on time allocated and level of experience.

Who we are

The Global Commons Alliance (GCA) formed to catalyse urgent action at an unprecedented scale to protect and restore the Global Commons - the natural resources we all need to survive, thrive, and prosper (e.g., land, oceans, freshwater, climate, biodiversity). The mission of the GCA is to empower citizens, companies, and countries to become good stewards of the Global Commons and support the future stability of the planet.

The GCA has three priorities. The first is to create a mindset shift by mainstreaming a scientific understanding of humanity's critical dependence on the Global Commons, the existential threat posed by its tipping points, and develop safe and just guardrails for people and planet. The second is creating mechanisms for action to scale the adoption and implementation of science-based targets for the Global Commons amongst companies and cities, including through engagement with governments. The third is to deepen and expand systemic approaches to solve these challenges by facilitating convergence of key actors to steward the Global Commons through research, data, tools, and facilitation at local and global levels

The Alliance comprises about seventy partner organisations who share this vision of progress. Five core components hold responsibility for implementing the priorities working with these other partners. These core components are the Earth Commission, the Science Based Targets Network, Earth HQ, the Systems Change Lab, and a new Accountability Accelerator. These are resourced through funding provided by philanthropy and other partners.

Five attributes make the GCA unique:

  • We advance the scientific understanding of the value and limits of the Global Commons for a stable planet
  • We advocate a bold and science-based vision of a safe and just corridor and the urgent systemic action required
  • We enable deep collaboration between diverse actors to catalyse transformation of our socio-economic systems
  • We innovate the essential products and services to empower others to become effective stewards of the global commons
  • We are experimental and entrepreneurial in response to the urgency and dynamism of the emergency.

Following an in-depth strategic review process in Q4 2021, the GCA decided to evolve its governance structure and to constitute a new Steering Committee as the central governance body, providing guidance, support, and oversight on achieving progress against mission, priorities, and initiatives. The GCA Steering Committee as a decision-making body has a maximum of 14 seats, including the Chair, a representative of each of the 5 components’ Advisory Councils/Boards, 2 representatives of the Investor Collaborative, and 4 representatives selected from a group of Key Partners who have dedicated over time either financial or human resources to the GCA.

The Steering Committee:

  1. Serves, through its individual members, as custodians of the whole GCA strategy rather than representing their respective institutions;
  2. Guides programmatic, operational and policy priorities and positions. 
  3. Supports the GCA to develop and thrive through financial and non-financial support;
  4. Helps ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion as an underpinning principle;
  5. Oversees and supports the work of the GCA Coordination Team; and
  6. Provides a ‘mediator’ function where necessary. 

The Steering Committee Chair is the GCA Coordinator’s manager and a central figure in the governance of the overall effort.

Terms of Reference

The Steering Committee Chair is selected and appointed by the Steering Committee for an initial period of 2 years. S/he may be re-appointed at the end of a term. The Steering Committee Chair is a leadership role and is responsible for the following: 

  • Take a leading role in designing and supporting GCA’s vision and mission 
  • Manage Steering Committee meetings to ensure that they function effectively, interact with staff and partners optimally and fulfil all their duties 
  • Optimise the relationship between the Steering Committee and Coordination Team. Reflect any concerns staff have regarding the Steering Committee and any concerns of the Steering Committee to the staff/GCA Coordinator 
  • Ensure that Chair, Committee and GCA Coordinator succession is planned as part of good governance 
  • Annually ensure that the Steering Committee reviews governance that relates to its own structure, role, and relationship to staff and GCA Components.
  • Facilitate the development of appropriate performance monitoring models for evaluating the performance of the Steering Committee and its committees. 
  • In consultation with whole Steering Committee, prepare an annual performance review of the GCA Coordinator.  
  • With the GCA Coordinator, act as GCA spokesperson to donors, the media, government, and other organisations 

Role Requirements

The ideal candidate will be a highly experienced, professional, and respected change maker with over 15 years of experience working within the fields of science, government, business, and/or civil society. They will have demonstrated success working with the complexities of Alliances and the governance structures needed to bind them and make them effective. The candidate will be able to represent the GCA effectively with donors, the media, staff, and Alliance members.

How to Apply

To apply for the post, please send a letter of application stating the skills and approach you would bring to the role, along with your CV/resume in English to Zoe Oldham at Please put GCA Chair in the subject line and let us know where you saw this exciting role.

The deadline for application is Sunday 30th January 2022

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