The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) seeks an Executive Director

22 Feb

Location: Washington, D.C.

Deadline for Applications: March 12, 2010

Pay: Based on Experience

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is a national alliance of family farm, food, conservation, rural, and urban organizations that together take common positions on federal agriculture and food policies, and support grassroots efforts to win long-term policy change.  Job location is NSAC’s DC office on Capitol Hill.

NSAC’s Executive Director provides the leadership to implement the strategic vision and coordinates all aspects of the Coalition’s work.  The Executive Director promotes the mission of NSAC through a wide variety of public engagements and through overseeing efficient and responsible use of organizational resources as well as the implementation of priorities and objectives established by the organization’s Organizational Council, Policy Council, and Grassroots Council.  The ED is legally an employee of the Center for Rural Affairs, which currently serves as NSAC’s fiscal sponsor.

Qualifications Overview

An understanding and passion for sustainable agriculture, including family farm livelihood, farm conservation and environment, rural development, and food systems issues; a minimum of three years experience managing personnel, grant-writing, fundraising, budgeting, and planning; excellent written and verbal communications and public speaking skills, and experience with print, radio, and online media; knowledge of the federal policy-making process and experience directing grassroots advocacy campaign strategies; strong leadership and team building skills; experience with grassroots organizations and large, multi-organization coalitions is strongly desired.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities of NSAC Executive Director


  • Administers NSAC’s Organizational Council (governing body).
  • Facilitates communications between staff and Organizational Council.
  • Oversees Organizational Council elections.
  • Works with NSAC’s fiscal sponsor in fulfilling legal and fiduciary responsibilities.

Personnel Management

  • Manages six full-time employees and seasonal interns and assures staff activities are in accord with directives established by the Organizational Council, Policy Council and Grassroots Council.
  • Develops staff descriptions and work plans and oversees staffing including hiring, firing, and regular performance evaluation of all staff.

Finances and Development

  • Directs development of annual budgets, fundraising efforts (including cultivating and meeting with donors), and grant writing and reporting, with assistance from NSAC’s Development Director.
  • Assures that organization funds are used effectively in accordance with organizational and legal guidelines.
  • Oversees the relationship with the fiscal sponsor, with assistance from NSAC’s Development Director.

Communications and Grassroots Organizing and Outreach

  • Coordinates overall organizational message development and communications strategy.
  • Assists the Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator to oversee the Grassroots Council and provides oversight of NSAC’s short and long-term policy campaign strategies and coordination.
  • Oversees ongoing membership recruitment and membership services.
  • Oversees grassroots communications including action alerts, blog posts, email bulletins, and position papers.
  • Speaks and represents NSAC at meetings, conferences, symposia, and other public settings.

Democratic Process and Planning

  • Leads strategic planning activities for the Coalition and staff.
  • Provides primary oversight for the membership’s organizational operation of councils and committees.

Policy Advocacy

  • Researches and stays abreast of developments in sustainable agriculture as well as policy perspectives, options, threats, and opportunities.
  • Oversees policy development, priority setting, and advocacy strategies, with assistance from NSAC’s Policy Director.
  • Represents NSAC before policy makers, in coordination with Policy Director and policy staff and assists with policy development and outreach on an as needed basis.


The Executive Director reports to the Organizational Council.


  • Understanding and passion for sustainable agriculture (graduate-level degree in agriculture or environmental science or public policy strongly preferred).
  • Three years minimum experience managing personnel, budgeting, grant-writing, fundraising, and strategic planning.
  • Excellent written and verbal and public speaking skills; and experience with print, radio, and online media.
  • Knowledge of agricultural policy, federal policy-making process.
  • Experience leading grassroots advocacy campaign strategies.
  • Strong leadership and team-building skills.
  • Experience with grassroots organizations, coalitions, and strategic campaign management and messaging strongly desired.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary will depend on experience and qualifications.  NSAC offers an excellent employer paid benefits package and a lively and collaborative work environment.


Send resume, cover letter, writing sample, and the names of three references to Brad Redlin (NSAC Organizational Council Chair) at by March 12, 2010.

The Center for Rural Affairs is NSAC’s fiscal agent and is an equal opportunity employer.  We actively encourage women and people of color to apply for this position and all positions at NSAC.

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