National Farm to School Network

Executive Director

Apply toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Return to Postings
Posted On: Sunday, 25th November 2018
Location: Washington, DC
110 Maryland Ave. NE, Suite 209 Washington, DC 20002
Job Type:
Full Time

Job Description:

About the National Farm to School Network:

The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) is an information, advocacy and networking hub for communities working to bring local food sourcing and food and agriculture education (including school gardens) into all schools and early care and education (ECE) settings. Farm to school creates opportunities for children and families to make informed food choices, while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities. NFSN has provided vision, leadership and support at the state and national levels to connect and expand the farm to school movement since its establishment in 2007. Our network includes national staff, more than 200 Core and Supporting Partners in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. Territories, an advisory board and thousands of farm to school supporters. NFSN’s tagline “Growing Stronger Together” reinforces an organizational approach and belief that robust movement building is possible only when we work collaboratively across sectors and locations.


Position Summary:

NFSN is seeking a dynamic, values-driven and collaborative leader as Executive Director. The Executive Director leads innovation and strategic growth toward accomplishing the mission of the organization. In partnership with the NFSN Advisory Board, Core and Supporting Partners and national staff, the Executive Director is responsible for implementation of the NFSN strategic plan through organizational programming and operations, ensuring long term financial sustainability and advancement of the farm to school movement. Responsible for shaping the vision and future direction of the organization, the Executive Director will seek opportunities for expanding partnerships and funders and for scaling up impact so that farm to school and ECE are a norm in all communities across the U.S. The ideal candidate will possess a commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, access and belonging, as demonstrated through career, educational and life experience. The position reports directly to the NFSN Advisory Board. Location is flexible (anywhere within the U.S., with preference for proximity to Washington, D.C.). Estimated start date is April 2019.


Position Responsibilities:

Organizational Leadership

  • Articulate and promote a clear strategy and vision for farm to school and NFSN’s role in advancing the movement.
  • Set annual organizational goals to accomplish vision and guide staff, Advisory Board and Partners in navigating growth and innovation opportunities.
  • Ensure the effective implementation of NFSN’s three core functions: information services, networking opportunities, and policy advocacy for farm to school stakeholders.
  • Embed values of equity, diversity, access and belonging across policies and procedures of both organizational systems and program implementation; champion the importance and value of a diverse and inclusive environment in the farm to school movement.
  • Lead and manage the NFSN Leadership Team with a focus on creating leadership opportunities for staff, integration across teams and function areas, and addressing organizational feedback.
  • Serve as the Project Director for Tides: Ensure compliance on rules and regulations, assess potential risks related to new organizational initiatives, and take action on all notices and changes in project procedures.

Financial Oversight and Fundraising

  • Review and approve organizational annual operating budget to successfully carry out organizational mission, activities, and commitment to diversity, equity, access and belonging.
  • Oversee all financial and fundraising activities to ensure long-term financial stability for NFSN; report on status of financial health and revenue planning to Advisory Board, and take proactive action with planning for cash flow or revenue gaps.
  • Maintain and cultivate relationships with existing and new funders; advise the Development Director on fundraising strategies for diversifying revenue streams; contribute to prospecting, grant writing, proposal submissions and reporting.
  • Maintain a culture of philanthropy, both for staff and Advisory Board members.

Staff and Advisory Board Engagement

  • Set the tone for appropriate work standards, ensure an equitable and healthy work environment, and foster a spirit of collaboration, trust, and team building within NFSN staff.
  • Supervise senior directors, providing clear direction through work plans and accountability measures; conduct regular communication and check-ins to problem-solve bottlenecks and plan for growth.
  • Develop and nurture a strong Advisory Board to inform and guide good decision-making for NFSN’s current and future direction. Support Advisory Board meetings and committees, and maintain frequent and regular communications.

Partnership and Outreach

  • Maintain an open line of communication with network stakeholders; listen and incorporate feedback in strategic decisions.
  • Seek out and facilitate new partnerships and collaborations to promote and strengthen NFSN’s mission. Ensure demographic and geographic diversity in the network’s partnerships and communities engaged.
  • Guide development and implementation of successful promotion and outreach strategies to raise NFSN’s profile and expand membership, including the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, and the annual National Farm to School Month campaign.
  • Develop a public presence in the farm to school movement to represent NFSN through speaking engagements, social media, and traditional media channels.


Position Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in public health, nutrition, agriculture, nonprofit management, public administration or related fields, or five years equivalent work experience, plus;
  • Minimum of seven years in a senior management position, including experience with the following: Program ideation and development, Policy advocacy at the local, state or federal levels. Fundraising and donor relationship management, Financial planning and budgeting, Staff management including performance reviews, Interacting with and incorporating perspectives from a diverse set of stakeholders, including groups most impacted by systemic inequities, communities of color, farmer-focused organizations, school food service professionals, corporations, government agencies, and policy makers

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge or experience in food systems, farm to school and ECE, child nutrition, food and agriculture, public health, and education
  • Skilled collaborator and facilitator, able to successfully work with NFSN staff, Core and Supporting Partners, Advisory Board, and national partners
  • Proven entrepreneurial skills
  • Strong content knowledge in racial and social equity principles and capacity to apply and advance equity in farm to school; experience considering the impacts of the work on multiple communities, including communities of color, in technical analysis
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills, including for public speaking and addressing media
  • Strategic, systems thinker
  • Self starter with excellent time management and organizational skills
  • Passion and interest in NFSN’s mission and activities
  • Comfortable working under pressure, deadlines and competing priorities
  • Ability to travel as needed, 8-12 trips per year



This is a full-time (40 hours per week), exempt position that includes benefits. Salary range is $100,000 - $125,000 and is commensurate with experience. NFSN/Tides offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package.


To Apply:

please visit The deadline to apply is January 7, 2019. Qualified candidates will be contacted by phone or email. National Farm to School Network may conduct reference checks and skills assessments for final candidates. Applications must include the following to be considered:

  • Cover letter, resume and three professional references
  • Short answer (500 word limit): Please describe your vision for the future of farm to school and ECE. Where do you see the movement in 10 years and what are the points of innovation?


National Farm to School Network, a project of Tides, is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance. Applicants from groups most impacted by systemic inequities, including people of color, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

Powered by JobGrok