Vacancy - Senior Policy Officer Panama

Vacancy - Senior Policy Officer Panama


The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is looking for an experienced Senior Policy Officer. You will be responsible for the analysis and promotion of the Dutch economic and trade interests in Panama and Latin America. You will work 50 percent of your time for the regional business development team and 50 percent for the team of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Panama. You act as an important and trustworthy adviser for companies from the Kingdom of the Netherlands wanting to enter or work within these markets. You will inform the Dutch private sector on the opportunities, requirements, and risks of doing businesses in Panama and the wider region. To achieve this, you regularly analyse the different sectors (Panama and regional) and convert these into strategic plans.

You will build and maintain a relevant and professional high-impact network within the private and public sector; organize PR activities to promote the Dutch private sector in Panama and the region (trade fairs, seminars, social media campaigns) and interpret and share relevant Dutch policy and knowledge. You are up to speed on key issues and new developments in the business and political climate, policy, or regulations (opportunities, business culture, key players). You have both a hands-on mentality and analytical capacity to conduct thorough analyses of the various economic sectors. Good writing skills and practical skills regarding social media and Windows computer programmes are indispensable. You will work in a diverse and dynamic team.


  • You will work fulltime, 40 hours a week. Occasionally, after hours work in evenings is required.
  • The office has a flexible working environment (you decide when and where, in consultation with your manager)
  • Competitive salary, minimum 4106,00 USD/month (13 months)
  • Attractive fringe benefits


  • You are well informed on economic and market developments in Panama and the region which allows you to identify business opportunities for Dutch businesses. This means that you have a strong network, attend relevant seminars, meetings, Chamber of Commerce activities, and other network events.
  • You are the primary source of information within the embassy on doing business in Panama and the region (in certain sectors). This means you have knowledge of locally applicable regulations and procedures relevant for Dutch companies seeking to develop commercial activities in Panama and the region.
  • You are responsible for achieving the objectives as stated in the annual plan regarding your sectors in a pro-active manner.
  • You are responsible for analyses of your sectors and keeping the associated reports up to date and with your analysis you will contribute to mid- and long-term strategic planning of the embassy.
  • You present and carry out plans for individual activities/promotional projects.
  • You are responsible for communication with and informing of stakeholders
  • You are a point of contact for RVO (Dutch trade promotion organization) regarding incoming trade queries and responsible for answering those questions.  
  • You will plan and organize (digital) programs for visiting companies and Dutch public authorities.
  • You will assist in any other RBD and/ or embassy activity if and when needed.


  • You will work for the regional business development team and for the economic policy team of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Panama. You will work under joined supervision of Regional Business Developer based in Lima, Peru and the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy in Panama. The Deputy Head of Mission acts as line-manager and is responsible for your overall performance and evaluation.
  • The embassy is working along a set of priority sectors: maritime and logistics, resilient cities (comprised of water, circular economy, and mobility), agro-logistics and agro-innovation, human rights. Public diplomacy is cross cutting. The regional business development team focusses on maritime and port development and resilient cities.
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  • The main Dutch businesses in Panama and the region
  • Stakeholders in the Panamanian and regional business community, national government institutions and regional/ international organisations.
  • Stakeholders in non-government organisations.
  • Holland House Panama
  • Counterparts in government institutions in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and in the business community in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
  • Counterparts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands.
  • Other embassies or consulates present in Panama.


  • Knowledge of local business community, relevant governmental bodies, influential within Panama’s business network, and the various links between these.
  • Knowledge of local markets, new developments, and trends.
  • Knowledge of the local rules and regulations relevant for Dutch businesses.
  • Interested in and/or affinity with the Dutch trade policy.
  • Knowledge of the political and economic situation of Panama and its position in the region.
  • Skilled in all relevant IT use: Windows-driven MS Office programs such as Word and Excel, Outlook, and social media.
  • Strong proven organizational skills.
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills in both Spanish and English.
  • Essential: skilled in external communication, both orally and in writing in professional Spanish and English language. Knowledge of Dutch is an asset.
  • Essential: given the small size of our team we are seeking a true multitasker who is willing to take on tasks also out of the context of the formal job description.  


  • Integrity
  • Initiative
  • Customer oriented
  • Quality oriented
  • Planning and organizing
  • Cooperation
  • Networking
  • Analytical


  • University graduate, Masters Level
  • Several years of relevant working experience
  • Fluent in professional English and Spanish (written and spoken), knowledge of Dutch is an asset
  • Affinity with commercial and economic work
  • Experience with commercial work and economic-political analyses
  • Work experience in private sector appreciated
  • Excellent computer skills (Windows, Office, Outlook)
  • Excellent communicator


You have considerable seniority and can work largely independently but you always keep in mind you are part of the team. You are a team player, you are friendly, social, and empathic and you are flexible in helping others. You have good communicative skills; you keep oversight and work pro-actively. You make connections and know how to use them, with a good sense of political relations, interest, changing context and integrity. You are calm under pressure and respects deadlines. You have good strategic skills, you are not afraid to give a clear advice and/or opinion to the management. You confront problems heads on, supported by your sense of humour and perspective.


The Kingdom of the Netherlands has been represented in Panama since December 2011. The Embassy is based in Oceania Business Plaza, in the business centre of Panama.

The Embassy team exists of the management (Ambassador, dep. Head of Mission), the management assistant, a migration (ILO) and police attaché, two economic policy officers, an operational manager, a part-time consular / internal affairs assistant, a part-time assistant ILO / police, a driver / internal affairs assistant and one intern. Furthermore, a cleaning lady and a security guard, both externally hired.


If you are interested in applying, please send your CV, motivation letter in English and 2 references (included in CV) by August 16 2021 to:

Ilse Smits

Head of Mission Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy in Panama

T (+507) 280 6660