Director, North America Agriculture Program
JOB DESCRIPTIONNorth America Agriculture Director (47601)Location flexible within the USA, near major airport SUMMARYThe North America Agriculture Director leads the design and implementation of a strategic, regional approach to influencing how society provides food and water sustainably, within and from North America for local, regional and global results for both people and nature. Currently, we have two priority strategies within North America Agriculture: “Soil Health and Nutrients” and “Sustainable Grazing”. The Agriculture Director will provide strategic leadership and support across all aspects of these priorities, which encompasses complex cross-border projects and partnerships to sustainably intensify agricultural production while safeguarding lands and waters. The North America Agriculture Program has strong momentum. Recent successes include the development of commodity sourcing principles being piloted through three corporate partnerships within the agricultural supply chain, the certification of more than 3 million acres across the Midwest through the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program, and the expansion of Soil Health Partnership demonstration sites by 30 farms in the last year bringing our total to 141 sites in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. These successes signal how important this moment in time is for our work to provide food and water sustainably. ABOUT USFounded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONSThe essential functions of this role include: 1) developing and communicating strategy that leads to transformational change in agriculture; 2) creating strong internal alignment to effectively execute projects that drive this strategy at national and regional scales; 3) building partnerships with farmers and ranchers, government agencies, agribusinesses, food and beverage companies, and others; and 4) developing financial resources from public agencies, corporations, private foundations and individuals. Given the complexity of this work, the director is challenged to create a dynamic, learning organization that aligns, acts quickly and adjusts often. Theories of transformational change and priority strategies are developed through an “innovation pipeline” subject to semi-annual management reviews conducted by TNC Senior Leaders. Public policy and funding, particularly within the Farm Bill, plays a key role in many strategies. The Director collaborates with the US Government Relations Team and staff across the region to influence public policies and direct resources to TNC priorities. The Director also works closely with the TNC Corporate Engagement Team to engage agribusinesses, retailers and farmer groups to develop agricultural supply chains that drive improved soil health and nutrient management, and protect land and water and other natural resources, while supporting healthy and profitable production of food, fiber, and other agricultural products sufficient to meet demands from a growing global population. The Director manages a team of about a dozen staff and influences the direction of several hundred staff in an integrated approach to transform agriculture in North America. The Director assesses legal, financial, reputational, and policy risks on a variety of issues related to program development, public policy, and external partnerships. The Director collaborates in the design of a “HUB” internal data management system to assess internal alignment and track overall progress, and ensures that programmatic commitments, financial standards and legal requirements are met. The position requires frequent travel domestically; international travel and evening/weekend hours are necessary at times. The Director will be supervised by the North America Agriculture Committee Chair and work closely with North American Leadership Team and other Senior Leaders that serve as members of the Agriculture Steering Committee to advance these strategies. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONSBA/BS degree and 15 years experience in agriculture, business, or conservation, or equivalent combination of education and experience.Experience directing and managing a major program or complex project of strategic importance at a regional or national scale.Fundraising experience, including identifying donor prospects and donor cultivation.Experience leading, motivating, setting objectives and managing performance. Experience working with highly effective, multi-disciplinary teams and meeting deadlines.Experience responding to and leveraging current trends and practices in agriculture and conservation in North America.Experience developing partnerships with private sector entities and/or government agencies. Extensive networking skills with high-level contacts, and creating shared vision with partners.Willingness and ability to travel frequently domestically and/or internationally and to work evenings/weekends as necessary.Communicating clearly via written, spoken and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.Demonstrated leadership and visionary qualities and ability to work effectively with and through others in a decentralized and geographically dispersed organization. PREFFERED QUALIFICATIONSMaster’s degree.Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.Experience developing practical applications of scientific concepts and technical innovations for conservation purposes.Experience delivering practical, adaptable products and services to customers.Knowledge of politics and society with respect to environmental affairs.Politically savvy. This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.Apply for this job.