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JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Manager – Policy & Standards

Are you excited by the idea of working with one of the world’s most trusted and influential conservation organizations, operating around the world to protect forests for all, forever?

The Forest Stewardship Council U.S. office is seeking a dynamic team member for a full-time position, based at our Minneapolis headquarters, to develop and support FSC’s policies and standards in the United States as well as inform and influence FSC’s global policy development.

In 1994, an international group of leaders in business, human rights, and the environment came together with a vision of harnessing the power of the marketplace to reward the stewardship of forests, one of the world’s most vital and threatened ecosystems. Together they formed the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), setting standards for responsible forest management and developing a certification system so that consumers of forest products could directly contribute to the health of forests and forest communities.

For 25 years, through its uniquely-trusted forest management and chain of custody certification standards, FSC has been advancing responsible forest management around the world, across all forest product industries. FSC-certified products are available at all major U.S. retailers, with over 38,000 companies certified globally. Approximately 160 million acres of forestland are FSC certified in North America, with 480 million acres certified worldwide.

FSC US is the largest national office of the Forest Stewardship Council, and is witnessing a dramatic increase in demand for FSC-certified materials and products.

Reporting to the Director of Science and Certification, the Manager for Policy & Standards will:

1. Lead FSC members and stakeholders in the development of forest management standards and other normative documents* for the US to ensure that they are accessible to the diversity of landowners and companies in the US and effective in achieving FSC’s stewardship goals.

  • Evaluate effectiveness of existing standards and recommend and manage revision processes, including organization of working groups, draft standards development, public consultations, field tests and approval processes.
  • Engage FSC members, certificate holders, certification bodies (auditors) and other stakeholders through in-person and virtual meetings, focus groups and online tools.
  • Advocate in global conversations for effective and coherent global policies.

2. Monitor implementation of FSC’s normative requirements for the US to ensure effectiveness of their application and inform future revisions.

  • Develop metrics and measures with assistance from technical experts.
  • Create dashboards and other tools to convey results to internal and external audiences.
  • Cultivate partnerships to support monitoring.

3. Provide technical support to existing and prospective certificate holders on application of FSC’s normative requirements for the US.

  • Develop educational tools to support conformance to standards, in cooporation with FSC US marketing and communications personnel.
  • Support FSC’s business development efforts by providing direct technical assistance to prospective and current certificate holders.
  • Develop standard interpretations as needed for consistent application.

4. Support emerging FSC initiatives, such as Ecosystem Services, Risk-Based Approaches, New Approaches for Smallholders and others.

5. Represent FSC at meetings, conferences, and other events.

Basic Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in an applicable environmental or forest science, management or policy program plus at least 3 years experience in a relevant professional role or Bachelor’s degree plus 5-8 years experience in a relevant professional role.
  • Willingness and capacity to learn and master the latest science.
  • A passion for forest conservation that provides environmental, economic and social benefits.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office software suite.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Prior experience with forest certification or other standards-based systems.
  • Knowledge of FSC’s normative framework.
  • Ability to appreciate and balance diverse and often conflicting perspectives, while identifying common ground and steering stakeholder groups toward agreed outcomes.
  • Knowledge of the range of forest management techniques used throughout the US, potential effects of forest management on environmental and social values, and the spectrum of threats to forest systems.


  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; able to adapt as needed to different audiences
  • Strategic and analytical, but creative mindset; seeks innovative solutions to complex challenges
  • Proven organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Time management skills; meets deadlines while balancing multiple priorities
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently, but also a committed team player
  • Outgoing and positive attitude
  • Able to travel up to 10-15% as required (mostly domestic, occasionally international)

Compensation commensurate with experience. FSC US maintains a highly competitive benefits package including health and dental insurance, paid leave, retirement savings with matching contributions, and a flexible working schedule.

Please email your resume and cover letter to Maggie Abel at

  • Please reference “FSC US Manager – Policy & Standards” in the subject line.
  • Resume attachments should be named in the following format: “LastName, FirstName – Resume.”

* FSC US develops and maintains two normative documents specific to forest management and chain of custody certification in the United States. The FSC US Forest Management Standard is one of the world’s most respected forest management standards – and is available to the myriad US landowner types, from the smallest family woodland owners, to large private corporations, state agencies and the US Forest Service. This standard is currently under revision, with an anticipated completion date in 2021. The FSC Controlled Wood US National Risk Assessment (US NRA) identifies areas of risk to key forest values and appropriate mitigation approaches for companies that wish to incorporate non-certified forest materials into their FSC Mix products. The recently approved US NRA is innovative in its landscape approach to risk identification and mitigation, and reliance on collaboration between industry and environmental partners. Both of these documents are essential for maintaining the effectiveness and credibility of the FSC system in the US.