Economic Policy Officer Agri-Tech Kentucky

The Netherlands Consulate General in Chicago is looking for an Economic Policy Officer dedicated specifically to the development of the Kentucky Agri-Tech Ecosystem partnership between the Netherlands and the commonwealth of Kentucky; ‘Let’s grow together’. 

Applications, consisting of a cover letter and a resume, should be addressed to Jeroen Beekman, Email: jeroen.beekman@minbuza.nl before February 6, 2023.

The ideal candidate possesses a thorough understanding of business development and the (local) political climate in Kentucky c.q. the United States. He or she has a strong relevant network (affinity with the Agri-sector), both in the Netherlands and Kentucky. The preferred candidate will work in Kentucky, with home as the main office, in his/her role as the principal advisor to the Netherlands’ Consulate General in Chicago. The main responsibility of the (locally based) Economic Policy Officer is to act as intermediary between the relevant local public, private and knowledge partners with the objective to strengthen and expand the current consortium, which aims at realizing an Agri Tech Ecosystem, based on Dutch knowledge and techniques, in Kentucky. Detailed information can be found in the attached job profile. For more information on the Kentucky Agri-tech collaboration, see: https://letsgrowtogether.tech.

The Netherlands Consulate General in Chicago supports Dutch companies in the US market, particularly focused on helping small-and-medium-sized Dutch enterprises grow their business in the Midwest. The Consulate General provides market information, identifies opportunities and connects interested parties in the public and private sector. The Consulate General has a small team of highly motivated staff. Each staff member functions with a large degree of independence, with collective responsibility for results. Reporting lines are short, and the atmosphere is informal.

For more information, contact:

Deputy Consul General Jeroen Beekman, tel. +1 (312)-504-8472, and/or Consul General Bart Twaalfhoven, tel. +1 (312) 208-2498.

Applications, consisting of a cover letter and a resume, should be addressed to: Consulate General of the Netherlands in Chicago

Attn. Jeroen Beekman. Email: jeroen.beekman@minbuza.nl 

Application deadline: January 22nd, 2023         

Starting date: no later than April 1st, 2023.

Indicative monthly gross salary: $ 6,770 (based on a fulltime workweek according to salaries table CG Chicago, pay scale 8, step 0).

401K Plan is offered. Health/Dental/Vision is provided on a 72-28 Employer-Employee basis. The position will be offered on full-time basis for a two-year period (with a 2-month probation period).

The Netherlands Consulate General in Chicago embraces equal opportunities for all and therefore welcomes applications from all qualified persons regardless of race, sex, religion, age, or disability.

*This vacancy is open to internal (local employees and partners of officials posted to a Mission in the US)  and external candidates. If a local employee and a partner of an official posted to a Mission are equally qualified, the local employee shall be given priority. Furthermore, if a local employee and an external candidate are equally qualified , the local employee shall be given priority.       

**As per US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), employers in the US are required to ensure that all employees have the legal right to work in the US. Under US State Department requirements, the embassy and our consulates may only employ, as non-diplomatic staff, persons who are US citizens, US Green Card holders or “A”visa holders. There is a max term for A2 visa holders of 5 years, the Netherlands Embassy / Consulate General cannot sponsor any work permits for family members

Job profile

Date: December 6th, 2022

BASIC DETAILS

Job title                                                :          Economic Policy Officer

Mission                                                 :          Chicago

Job level                                               :          scale 8

Number of hours per week                   :           40

A. SPECIFIC INFORMATION

The Netherlands Consulate General in Chicago is looking for an economic policy officer focused on Agri-tech Kentucky. Having a thorough understanding of business development and the ins and outs of doing business in the US, particularly in Kentucky, the policy officer will be dedicated specifically to the development of the Kentucky Agri-Tech Ecosystem partnership between the Netherlands and the commonwealth of Kentucky. This position requires in state travel and working from home.

On June 24th, 2020 a Collaboration Agreement was signed between 17 private and public companies, universities and government representatives from both the United States and the Netherlands with the ambition to establish a Controlled Environment Agriculture ecosystem in Kentucky by using Dutch Agri-tech knowledge, products and services. The goal of this public-private collaboration is to capitalize on the Dutch Agri-tech sector for Controlled Environment Agri-tech opportunities in the US, specifically in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. There are two main purposes for this collaboration. On one hand, by 2030, the Dutch Agri-tech will significantly grow their export business and investment potential in the US. On the other hand, this will create a sustainable and healthy food production system that will provide sustainable jobs, as well as access to more local, fresh, nutritious and affordable food to the people in Kentucky, and across the US.

The strong interest in a developing Agri-tech ecosystem in Kentucky sprouted in 2019 when AppHarvest began the construction of its first 60-acre facility in Morehead, Kentucky. The facility was built by primarily using Dutch technologies from companies like Dalsem, Signify and Priva. This project received strong support from the commonwealth of Kentucky and the Dutch Government.

In order to contribute to a sustainable and scalable Agri-tech growing business, there is a need to create an entire ecosystem, accessible for all kinds of smaller and bigger food producing companies in the value chain. Eventually, an innovative Agri-tech ecosystem needs everyone's support.

The collaboration between the Netherlands and Kentucky has reached its next phase of development. With the ambition to create a local Agri-tech ecosystem, based on our Dutch ecosystem and clustering approach, it is necessary to become more inclusive.

Broadening the collaboration by adding new public, private and knowledge partners; creating more local (market) opportunities for Dutch and Kentucky businesses and knowledge institutes is both a logical and necessary step in order to create and embed the local Agri-tech ecosystem.

We are looking for a local expert with knowledge of Dutch Agri-tech opportunities – rooted in Kentucky culture, who can be a connecting, bipartisan representative, in the growth process of the collaboration. It is important the policy officer serves the objectives of the Collaboration Agreement with the goal of supporting these objectives on behalf of the public, private, business and knowledge consortium partners.

B. RESULT AREAS AND RELATED DUTIES

1. Create sustainable bipartisan political support for the Agri-Tech Ecosystem in Kentucky

-           Identify (new) relevant authorities (national, regional, local), organizations (branch, research and knowledge institutes, universities) and commercial parties (business partners, banks and other financial institutions) to help further develop the ecosystem.

-           Work closely together with the local universities and relevant faculties that focus on knowledge transfer between them and the Dutch knowledge partners in the consortium (e.g., by help setting up student and staff exchanges).

-           Coordinate and convene regular stakeholder meetings together with the local consortium partners (i.e., KHC, UK, KDA, etc.) to keep the Consortium a priority across agencies/organizations.

-           Identify relevant developments - such as smaller grants awarded for Ag Tech initiatives, or new agri-tech companies setting up business - and translate them into opportunities for the further development of the Agri-tech ecosystem.

2. Create a strong and well-functioning network of relations, both within the jurisdiction and in The Netherlands, that will facilitate and enable the achievement of economic and trade objectives.

Play a strong role in supporting the realization of a local Horti Center, by connecting Kentucky with the right knowledge and partners in the Netherlands, promoting the Horti Center among Dutch companies and help setting up operations.

  • Help (new) Dutch consortium members (companies, educational institutes) set up business in Kentucky; Identify and provide relevant policies, legislation, and regulations (local, regional and national) for the Dutch sector and the consortium, related to collaboration agreement objectives; Communicating goals, objectives, value, and outcomes of the Consortium to the industry and general public and help communicate protected Agri-tech/CEA story (social media, meetings, blogs, etc.)
  • Visiting companies and relevant other organizations in Kentucky and, if needed, the Netherlands.
  • Regular visits to fairs, exhibitions, conventions, etc.\Responsible for the general business contacts like trade organizations and service providers.

3. Contribute to the general functioning of the Consulate General Chicago.

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C. WORK ENVIRONMENT

The Consulate General in Chicago is a small mission representing the Netherlands in the Midwest with 3 expatriate and 10 local employees. Currently, 3 senior policy officers support the CG and the Deputy CG in the economic team; the economic team is regularly supported by trainees and interns. The economic team cooperates with the 4 employees of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency. 2 officers are in charge of consular and general affairs.

The geographic jurisdiction of the mission extends to the 13 states of the Midwest. In this jurisdiction, the Consulate General is supported by 6 honorary consuls. The mission is part of a broader network in the US, consisting of the Embassy in Washington DC, 5 Consulates General in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami and Atlanta as well as Netherlands Business Support Offices in Houston and L.A.

The role of the Consulate General is primarily focused on economic diplomacy, trade and investment promotion. Consular support to Dutch citizens, cultural and political as well as public diplomacy work are also relevant tasks. In view of the small size of the mission, local employees function with a large degree of independence. They are responsible for the development and implementation of policies in their priority area(s) and are held accountable for the results they achieve. As the mission is small, staff members will have to provide back up for each other; flexibility and cooperation are necessities. The atmosphere is friendly, supportive and informal.

Candidates residing in the US need a valid working permit. Non-resident candidates can obtain an A-2 visa. This visa will permit the candidate to work for a maximum of 5 years in the USA and is linked to the assignment in the Consulate Genral. The partner or other family of the A-2 visa holder (if any) will not be able to obtain a work permit in the USA.

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D. JOB REQUIREMENTS

Knowledge and areas of experience

  • Academic level (MSc, MBA or similar) relevant to the economic activities of the mission.
  • At least 3-5 years working experience, preferably in the public and private sector.
  • Fluency in English
  • A thorough knowledge of the American market (with a focus on Kentucky) and of the opportunities the Kentucky market offers for Netherlands’ business
  • Knowledge of the Kentucky political and economic institutional environment
  • Knowledge of Agri-Food and tech industries
  • Preferably knowledge of the Dutch business ecosystem, economy, market and institutions, specifically in the Agri-food and tech industries.

This position requires you to work with substantial autonomy from Kentucky. You have to consult regularly with the Consul General and the Deputy Consul General and also work together in close collaboration with the colleagues of NL Works and the Dutch Embassy and the Honorary Consuls. The Economic Policy Officer is expected to have a high level of independence in order to manage multiple ongoing issues and to have an understanding of knowledge intensive matters with a limited amount of supervision and excellent follow-up. In the mentioned areas of responsibility, the candidate should be able to formulate strategies and policies leading to concrete results. The Consulate General is looking for a creative, pragmatic, and result oriented person. You are not only a team player and value a positive team spirit, but we also expect you to take initiatives to actively advance the objectives of the Consulate General in your area of responsibility. The position requires solid written and verbal communication skills and the ability to use these skills for analytical and policy-oriented reporting. The position also requires the demonstrated ability to solve business problems quickly and creatively. You are hands-on and with a positive attitude and know how to get people on board.

You understand entrepreneurs and know how to speak their language and you have a good understanding of the role of the government. You are a networker and easy in connecting people. You have strong analytical skills and a good sense for spotting opportunities and translating them into concrete actions. You are familiar with the use of social media, and willing to work occasional evenings and weekends; some travel required.

Specific competences

  • Analytical skills
  • Flexibility
  • Initiative
  • Integrity
  • Creativity
  • Vision
  • Networking
  • Organizational sensitivity
  • Result oriented
  • Cooperation

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E. FRAMEWORK

  • The policy officer is primarily responsible for advancing the Agri-tech ecosystem collaboration between the Netherlands and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
  • The policy officer is accountable to the Consul General / the Deputy Consul General for effectively helping to develop policy, drawing up, and amending project plans.
  • Ministerial policy guidelines for Consulates general and for Economic Diplomacy, as well as available funding, are of importance when making proposals to improve policy and potential project plans.
  • The Local Economic Policy Officer takes decisions about the quality of the analysis of collected data and the translation of overall ministerial policy frameworks into proposals for specific action by the Consulate general and Embassy.

F. CONTACTS

  • With co-workers on business developments in the priority areas, experiences with business support programs, and policy.
  • With the management and co-workers on the progress of policy development and procedures, including administration and archiving issues;
  • With the relevant Kentuckian and Dutch business communities and Governments;
  • With colleagues at the Embassy in Washington and at other Dutch Consulates General and NBSO, and at the relevant Ministries in The Hague.

For more information, you can contact Deputy Consul General Jeroen Beekman at tel. +1 (312)-504-8472.


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