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Job Detail: Associate Director


The University of Vermont (UVM) seeks an Associate Director for the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. With funding from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Northeast SARE administers six competitive grant programs offered to farmers, researchers, educators, nonprofit staff, graduate students and others in the 12 Northeast states and D.C., with a current annual budget of $8.3 million. The program has been hosted by UVM since its start in 1988. See for more information about the program. The Associate Director is a member of Northeast SARE’s leadership team and works closely with the Director; the Professional Development Program (PDP) Coordinator; and the Administrative Council, Northeast SARE’s governing body. This position reports to the Director and supervises a staff of 5 program and administrative professionals. This is a 12-month, full-time professional staff position with full benefits package provided by UVM, housed in the South Burlington office of University of Vermont Extension. The position is available on or about Jan. 2, 2020. The University of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Applications from women, veterans, individuals with disabilities and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Position Responsibilities: 

The Associate Director acts as Northeast SARE’s chief operating officer, tasked with overseeing the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the program. Specific duties and responsibilities of the position including the following.

  •  Supervise, support and evaluate SARE staff at the University of Vermont. 
  • Oversee the application and review processes for Northeast SARE’s three large grant programs including organizing the review teams and review panel meetings, collating review panel results and compiling feedback from reviewers to applicants for these grants. 
  • Support applicants and grantees in successfully engaging with SARE grant programs.
  • Support the Administrative Council by developing meeting plans, policy proposals, budget presentations, and grant program information, in collaboration with the Director. 
  • Work with staff to assure timely implementation of all phases of grant application, award, and reporting procedures for all Northeast SARE’s grant programs. Provide support on technical aspects of funded projects. Ensure the program complies with UVM and USDA policy. 
  • Manage the Technical Committee, who (along with Administrative Council members) serve as grant reviewers. Direct Technical Committee recruitment, orientation and, with input from grant coordinators, assignment to grant program review teams. 
  • Work with the Financial Specialist to prepare, present and manage a comprehensive annual budget. 
  • Work with the Director and PDP Coordinator with analysis and critical thinking about policies, procedures, and best practices for grant-making. 
  • Provide the national SARE office with input on national issues such as the functioning of the on-line grants management system, program evaluation, and engaging diverse audiences.
  • Support the SARE national information office (SARE Outreach) by providing data and information as requested about projects and programs in the Northeast. 
  • Keep informed of, and assure compliance with, UVM and USDA policies and procedures. 
  • Represent Northeast SARE to outside organizations.

Position Qualifications: 

  •  Master’s Degree in a discipline related to sustainable agriculture. 
  • Three years of program management experience related to this position. 
  • Knowledge of sustainable agriculture principles and practices. 
  • An understanding of economic, environmental and social issues affecting farmers. 
  • Familiarity with the land‐grant system, USDA programs, and Cooperative Extension. 
  • An understanding of grants management, project management, and program evaluation. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. 
  • Experience successfully supervising, evaluating and supporting staff. 
  • Experience managing complex budgets. 
  • Ability to engage with a wide range of stakeholders representing diverse interests and perspectives, including farmers, scientists, agricultural service providers, and administration.

To Apply: 

Application deadline: September 15, 2019. Complete an application at and upload a single pdf file containing the supporting documents described below. Applications that do not provide supporting documentation will not be reviewed. Required: Supporting Documentation – please upload the items below as a single pdf file. 1. Cover letter. Include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail. Describe your interest in the position, your relevant qualifications and experience. Provide an overview of your perspective on agricultural sustainability and on the SARE program. Two pages maximum. 2. Statement of administrative approach for effective grant-making. Describe your understanding of the components of an effective grants program and how you would work to engage various stakeholder to assure the Northeast SARE program is successful. One-page maximum. 3. Description of your experience with grants. Describe the type of grants you have applied for, grants you have received and managed, grant programs you have served as a reviewer for, and your experience with grant management systems. Describe any direct involvement you have had with SARE grants. One-page maximum. 4. Description of your supervisory approach. Explain your approach to supervising people, specifically with regard to how you would work with and support the success of SARE staff at UVM. Describe your previous experiences as a supervisor. One-page maximum. 5. Letters of support for your application. A total of three letters may be submitted. Due to conflicts of interest, letters are not permitted from Northeast SARE staff, state coordinators and Administrative Council members. Questions about the position may be directed to

About the job

Location South Burlington, VT
Field Administrative
Time Full-time
Date 21 July 2019

About the company

Company name Northeast SARE
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