Remote, in the United States

Senior Director, Programs, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders

The Organization – Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) is a philanthropy-supporting organization (PSO) that amplifies the impact of philanthropic and investment communities in support of just and sustainable agriculture and food systems. Established in the late 1990s and staffed since 2003, SAFSF has evolved into a vibrant network of approximately 100 organizational members from the philanthropic and investment sectors whose work spans a broad range of issues and strategies as well as a wide geographic range—domestic and international. Our vision is that all resources invested in food and agriculture systems enhance our collective wellbeing. Our core values of collaboration, equity, respect, stewardship, and integrity drive our organization on a daily basis. We use these values to guide our decision-making process in all our work, from developing programs and hiring new staff to choosing caterers, vendors, and venues.

SAFSF recognizes that a diversity of perspectives, lived experiences, and professional and personal skills among our staff, leadership, and membership is critical to our success as an organization. We are a dynamic organization that values creativity and innovative thinking and fosters strong teamwork based on mutual respect. SAFSF is at an exciting transition time; our founding Executive Director is retiring after 20 years with the organization. The staff is grateful to the leadership provided over the last two decades and is excited about the opportunities new leadership and growth will provide.

Position Overview

A new role, the Senior Director of Programs will provide proactive and strategic leadership, management, and guidance for SAFSF’s external-facing content, programs, and activities with members, prospective members, the philanthropic and investment communities, peer organizations, and the sustainable agriculture, food, and fiber sector. The Senior Director will coordinate program development across the complex and layered set of agricultural and food systems issues in our network, working closely with staff across all SAFSF teams. The Senior Director will serve as an advocate, systems change maker, and external spokesperson for just and sustainable agriculture, food, and fiber systems change. The Senior Director plays a key role in ensuring that equity is centered in SAFSF’s programs and activities and in their supervision of staff and leadership role for the organization.

All SAFSF employees work remotely; candidates may live anywhere within the United States.

Core Duties and Responsibilities

  • Vision and Leadership
    • Design effective strategies, realistic goals, and performance measures to reach SAFSF strategic program goals.
    • Oversee and guide education and engagement campaigns for funders to deepen their understanding, build their capacity, and align around priority issue areas (which currently include land access, climate change, and consolidation/concentration in our sector) and funding strategies.
    • Conceptualize, guide, and support efforts to generate and develop programs, research, reports, and tools.
    • Foster greater learning, appreciation, and strategies for funders in relation to equity and social justice in agriculture, food, and fiber systems.
    • Stay abreast of developments in relevant policies, practices, and strategies, at the national, tribal, state, and local levels.
    • Lead the development and management of effective working relationships with key partners in philanthropic, investor, non-profit, business, and peer organizations.
  • Management
    • Supervise and manage program staff.
    • Provide mentorship and develop staff capacity and skills.
    • Contribute as a senior leader to building an equitable and inclusive organizational culture and implementing practices that foster inclusion and enable all staff to thrive and contribute fully.
    • Participate in organizational hiring and budgeting decisions, where applicable.
  • Fundraising
    • Contribute to the identification of fundraising opportunities and engage in efforts to secure and retain funding.
    • Contribute to grant proposal development and reporting as applicable.
  • Representing SAFSF and Relationship Management
    • Serve as the primary contact for network members engaging in program development.
    • Manage or oversee program/advisory committees as needed.
    • Represent SAFSF in a variety of capacities, including speaking engagements, written presentations and correspondence, participation in conferences and meetings and serving as a spokesperson with the media as requested.
    • Contribute to a positive and respected reputation for SAFSF.

Required Qualifications

  • 7-10 years of relevant work experience: Demonstrable experience in leading the development of broad issues and concepts into engaging, effective, and relevant programmatic content for a professional audience.
  • Program development: Proven experience leading program development in a team environment, including issue analysis, program design, development and implementation of strategies that engage learning and alignment of constituents, and create change towards an organizational mission and vision.
  • Agriculture and food systems knowledge: Broad understanding of current ag/food system and relevant strategies for systems change in the U.S. context.
  • Network leadership: Ability to connect and build alliances among a wide range of players including funders, non-profit and business organizations, and peer PSOs. Previous experience working in collaborative efforts that relied on clear communication, and strong, values-driven relationship building.
  • Facilitation: Strong facilitation skills for both in-person and virtual meetings.
  • Experience applying a racial/social justice lens: Ability and comfort in discussing race, class, gender, and other forms of structural bias in U.S. agriculture, food, and fiber systems. Ability to analyze programs and SAFSF events and activities for impact on disadvantaged communities and incorporate changes where necessary to make our internal and external facing work more equitable.
  • Project management: Ability to provide strong leadership and vision for individual and collective work; manage multiple projects simultaneously; work within a team/collaborative staff environment; plan backwards and anticipate obstacles; identify and involve stakeholders appropriately; use resources wisely.
  • Management: Exceptional leadership and management skills; a collaborative management style that centers equity and inclusion; a successful track record of drawing on the talents of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences; and a commitment to staff development.
  • Fundraising: Willingness to engage in fundraising activities.
  • Communications: Excellent writing and public speaking skills; ability to communicate in clear and compelling ways to a wide range of stakeholders about cross-cutting issues.

Additional Preferred Skills / Qualifications

  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, and a high level of discretion and confidentiality for both business and personal affairs.
  • Active/current connections with agriculture and food systems networks.
  • Experience with a customer relationship management (CRM) database such as Salesforce.
  • Experience with project management software such as Wrike or Asana.
  • Prior event/convening planning experience.
  • Prior fundraising experience.
  • Familiarity with the role philanthropy plays in the broader social context. Previous experience working for or directly with a philanthropic organization is not required.

Basic Work Requirements

Fluency in English. Solid professional competence with the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Google Office suite (Docs, Slides, Sheets, Calendar), Zoom and other virtual platforms, as well as email and instant messaging platforms. Ability to work remotely and virtually, including scheduling to accommodate a staff and network distributed across all U.S. time zones. Willingness to travel within the U.S. up to several times per year.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time, exempt, permanent, remote position with a starting salary range $97,000-$114,000. SAFSF offers an excellent benefits package, which currently includes automatic contribution (which is a flat amount for all participating employees, calculated as 5% of total gross income for all employees divided by the total number of employees for that pay period, as well as a dollar-for-dollar matching (up to 3%) retirement contribution, medical, vision, dental, and prescription insurance (100% paid by SAFSF for employee and children). In addition, SAFSF provides health and fitness, internet, and cell phone reimbursements. Paid time off includes 9 federal holidays plus the day after Thanksgiving, half-day Fridays, the last week of the year (December 25-January 1), accrued vacation, and sick time. SAFSF has an entirely remote workforce.

How To Apply

All interested applicants must apply online at  We encourage interested applicants to submit their application and materials by Friday, November 17, 2023. The position will remain open until filled. Applicants must upload a cover letter and resume to complete the application. The cover letter must explain why you think SAFSF is an organization you’d like to work with and how your previous experiences and skills position you  for success in this role.

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