The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a not-for-profit, international membership organisation that is working to transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm. To do this, we have united stakeholders from all sectors of the palm oil supply chain and civil society to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil production and procurement.

Since its inception in 2004, RSPO has enjoyed rapid growth and today has 5,000 members from 101 countries, including oil palm producers, processors, traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks, and non-governmental organisations. Thanks to the commitments and actions of these members, nearly 20% of the global supply of palm oil has already been certified as sustainable.

At RSPO, we believe that a not-for-profit organisation is made successful by the passion, skills, and expertise of its members and staff. They are the ones who drive our organisation to new heights and guide us through the next phase of our development.

Reporting to the Director, Stakeholder Engagement & Communications, the Head of Government Affairs is responsible for creating, implementing, and evaluating an effective global public affairs strategy that will increase the RSPO’s engagements with governments across the globe, with a focus on key markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, India, China, the European Union, and the United States.

As a multi-stakeholder organization, the RSPO relies on creating interconnectivity between civil society, business and governments to reach its vision to make sustainable palm oil the norm, driving transformation across the sector as a whole and ensuring that impacts are delivered at scale. The Head of Government Affairs helps to foster these ties at a multinational, national and regional level to increase the understanding of the RSPO’s activities, engage policy makers in RSPO’s work, position the RSPO in relevant policies and debates to increase the uptake of certified sustainable palm oil.

Internally, the position works closely with the experts from other divisions, and within regional and national teams, especially to reach a larger share of the commercial sustainable palm oil market.


The location of this role is Malaysia or Indonesia.



The Head of Government Affairs establishes and leads a global team responsible for the RSPO’s public affairs activities.

Duties include but will not be limited to the following:

  1. Design and implement a global public affairs strategy that defines the interaction with national/state governments, government agencies and respective associations in line with the objectives of RSPO’s Theory of Change and the Operational Plan;

  2. Build and lead a global Government Relations Unit to develop external policy communications and advocacy strategies for global policy makers and government entities to be perceived and respected as credible tool for businesses to do due diligence on halting deforestation and human rights violation in the palm sector;

  3. Develop and deliver regional and national advocacy plans: Set goals, objectives, activities, and metrics for Government relations in line with the RSPO’s 5-year Operational Plan;

  4. Work closely with the Market Heads on the development and the implementation of the national advocacy plans and policy reforms;

  5. Work closely with the Stakeholder Engagement and the Marketing & Communications teams to develop external policy communications as it relates to key stakeholder groups;

  6. Work with other Divisions and teams across the RSPO globally to support their objectives;

  7. Work with the Standard Development Division to further develop the Jurisdictional Approach towards certification and engage governments in these initiatives;

  8. When required, hire and manage external agency support;

  9. Work with members to maximise the impact of the efforts of the RSPO and to coordinate RSPO’s work with theirs;

  10. Build and maintain political and industry relationships;

  11. Reach out to International Policy makers (i.e. UN agencies) to influence policy targets and messaging;

  12. Manage the unit’s budget: set targets, track expenses, and oversee external contracts with vendors;

  13. Engage and/or collaborate with other credible organisations that influence government policies/green public procurements, for example ISEAL and its members.

  14. Evaluate progress on government engagement strategy, seek out best practices;

  15. Keep abreast of relevant policy developments and conduct research if needed.

Apart from the duties stated above, to perform any duty or duties reasonably assigned.



The Head of Government Affairs must have at least 10 years of working experience in government affairs, preferably in a leadership role within international multicultural organisations (commercial or non-profit). The ability to take knowledge and link governments and policy influencers with the technical resources and messages needed is critical.



  • A Bachelor’s Degree in the field of Political Science or any related majors.

  • A minimum of ten (10) years of working experience in a mid-management role specifically in government affairs.


  • High proficiency in English with good communication skills, writing ability and the capability to establish cooperation and rapport with internal and external parties in different regions;

  • Knowledge of monitoring platforms and information services focused on global policy;

  • Familiar with sustainability issues in palm oil/forestry or any other commodities;

  • Proficiency in MS Office applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint).


  • Strong personal network in politics and government agencies;

  • Experience in a global environment working with varying governments and government agencies;

  • Experienced with the policymaking process with a strong record of leading and delivering effective results;

  • Proven management and leadership skills, including evidence of crafting and successfully executing significant government relations campaigns;

  • A skilled internal and external relationship builder, with the ability to construct and maintain strong networks of policy influence within the industry and governing institutions;

  • Effective public speaking and presentation skills;

  • Conscientious and willing to take responsibility;

  • Experience integrating public policy with organisation or business strategy;

  • High integrity and a good team player.


  • Highly collaborative style;

  • Experience in developing and implementing communications strategies;

  • Excellent writing/editing and verbal communication skills;

  • A strong track record as an implementer who thrives on managing a variety of key initiatives concurrently;

  • Relationship builder with the flexibility and finesse to “manage by influence”;

  • High energy, maturity, and leadership with the ability to serve as a unifying force and to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels;

  • Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, board members, RSPO members, stakeholders and other supporters;

  • Self-starter, able to work independently, and enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives.


Your commitment and passion to drive innovation will be rewarded with an opportunity to work in an international multi-stakeholder organisation, where making a difference to People, Planet and Prosperity is not just a statement, but what we passionately believe in.

Operating within a dynamic and fast-paced environment, you will enjoy functioning within a role that offers the opportunity to broaden your skill set and develop your capabilities.


Qualified applicants are invited to send in their updated CV giving comprehensive details of educational background, work experience, and related achievements to [email protected]. Please state "Job Application – Head, Government Affairs" in your email subject line.

**RSPO is an equal opportunity employer. Due to the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

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As an organisation

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