Chief Human Resources Officer

Company: Root Capital

Locations: , Remote; , Multi; Cambridge, MA

Job Function: Human Resources


About Root Capital
Root Capital is an NGO founded 24 years ago with a mission to support the growth of agricultural enterprises so they can transform rural communities. These businesses, from farmer cooperatives and associations to local processors and millers, purchase crops such as coffee, cocoa, nuts, or grains from smallholder farmers and in most cases export to global markets. With growth, they become engines of impact that can raise incomes, create jobs, empower women and young people, and preserve vulnerable ecosystems.

Root Capital supplies these businesses with vital resources: access to capital, trade and technical partners, financial, management and other forms of capacity building training, and advice and support to enhance bankability, gender equity and opportunity, climate resilience, and youth employment. Root Capital works in hard-to-serve geographies where others don’t go and serves clients whom the local financial institutions are reluctant to support. To date, Root Capital has loaned over $1.8 billion to improve the lives of over ten million people in farming communities.

Root Capital has been a widely recognized pioneer in areas like bankability and access to finance and gender equity, and is building on this success to enhance its focus on climate resilience and youth employment. Root Capital takes pride in its rigorous monitoring and evaluation of projects, in learning from its experience, and in proactively seeking the input of its clients and counterparts to remain “big enough to matter, small enough to act” with agility and creativity.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Root Capital currently works in over 15 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, and has associated offices in Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Senegal, and Kenya. Root Capital’s global staff is 145 and growing rapidly to address our ambitious 5-year strategy to both broaden and deepen our reach in our target agricultural communities.


About the Opportunity
Root Capital has grown significantly since its beginnings, and is in the midst of an ambitious plan for growth and innovation that will require some shifts in how we do business, such as a broader distribution of authority to leaders in the regions where we work. The Chief Human Resources Officer will be at the center of these conversations, overseeing a strong, dedicated team of seven HR professionals based in Latin America, Africa, and the United States who will drive our growth from 145 to 200 employees in 2023, and ensure we have the systems to support the team.

This position represents an evolution of previous roles leading this function, and has been designed with the input of key stakeholders including the entire global HR team. The CHRO reports to the COO.


The Chief Human Resources Officer will oversee the full scope of HR responsibilities, with a primary focus on leading the HR strategy and serving as a partner to define and implement goals across Root Capital. Through their management of the global HR team, the CHRO will tap into the strengths of team members and consultants to lead efforts to improve processes and systems that ultimately will strengthen the organizational culture.

Strategy and Leadership

  • Advisor and strong advocate to the senior leadership team

  • Communicate the value and purpose of HR to the organization

  • Strategic staffing oversight and consultation

  • Deep involvement in budgeting and planning processes

Organizational Culture

  • Strengthen the organizational culture for a virtual, dispersed team

  • Drive efforts to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB)

  • Own internal communication and change management efforts

HR Team Leadership and Collaboration

  • Oversee the high-level operations and coordination across the entire HR team; directly supervise three regional HR managers (Latin America, Africa, US)

  • Connect the HR team with organizational efforts, facilitating communication in both directions

  • Advocate for the needs of the HR team to support their efforts to achieve organizational goals

  • Facilitate collaboration and connection with other departments

  • Own the oversight of administrative support globally, while determining a long-term plan for where these roles should be housed

Learning and Professional Development

  • Oversee the development of defined career pathways and opportunities for growth

  • Management and supervisory training, coaching, and support

  • Strengthen resources for delivering training: Learning Management System and other platforms, certifications, virtual and in-person options

  • Collaborate with individual teams for specific learning needs, and with IT to create additional efficiencies

Improve Core HR Systems and Processes
Engage internal HR leaders and identify additional resources needed to strengthen:

  • Compensation and benefits; payroll

  • Technology solutions, including HRIS

  • Recruiting

  • Performance management

  • Employee relations

  • Compliance


Given the intersection of entrepreneurial thinking and growth that requires both consistency and flexibility, Root Capital is seeking an experienced HR leader who brings the following qualities:

  1. Strategic thinking, planning, and executive leadership experience. This person has worked within nonprofits or international NGOs of similar size, with a long enough tenure at the executive level (3-5 years) to have seen strategies through to completion. They effectively lead strategic conversations about talent and culture with senior leaders, helping them weigh the outcomes of different decisions and understand the reality of implementing growth strategies. They can see gaps and quickly identify solutions to fill them, understand the dynamics of urgency and fast growth, and facilitate multi-year planning to move things forward.

  2. Exceptional skill in sharing the value of HR. A candidate who can translate to others what the heart of HR truly is – not about the tactics and mechanics and jargon, but about the strategy and human-centered thinking that is essential to the success of any organization. They advocate for deep collaboration across functions to ensure colleagues understand the interconnectedness of HR with all the goals of the organization.

  3. Deep knowledge of the full breadth of HR with a human-centered approach. This is someone who has spent 10+ years in HR generalist roles and touched all aspects of HR, with increasing responsibilities over time. They may have pursued a SHRM certification and can derive confidence from that knowledge base, but they ultimately value human solutions over unnecessarily complex and rule-based approaches. This is a person who understands the value of clear communication and expectations, and is effective in facilitating honest dialogue.

  4. Cross-cultural experience and fully bilingual in Spanish and English. This is someone who has spent time living, working, or studying with people from many countries and within diverse communities, and has gained an understanding that no single approach resonates for every culture. They demonstrate curiosity, empathy, and tact. Professional-level fluency in Spanish and English is required.

  5. Thrives in fast-growing and entrepreneurial environments. The ideal candidate is someone who gets energy and excitement being in organizations where processes are still being built – and is creative in thinking about how to build flexible processes and systems that serve and support growth, while also creating more consistency and sustainability.

  6. Partnership orientation. This person has exceptional listening skills, and approaches colleagues with a partnership mindset, working together to identify common needs and design effective solutions, and ultimately to build the capacity of those around them. They demonstrate respect for the foundation that has already been built, and engage team members with positive energy to create the next iteration.

  7. Built a strong culture in virtual settings, especially with a global focus. This is someone who has found ways to thrive and lead in dispersed teams, and has developed creative ways of building a sense of team across regions, time zones, and cultures.

Compensation and Benefits

Location: Remote, based in the US, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, or Peru
Salary: $190-220K / yr for applicants based in the United States. Compensation for candidates based outside the United States would be based on local currency pay grades and associated salary ranges determined separately for each country in which Root Capital operates.

How to Apply

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