Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Policy Director - California Certified Organic Farmers (Santa Cruz, CA)

Policy Director
California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)
Santa Cruz, California

Since 1973, CCOF has been widely recognized as one of the nation’s top organic certifiers. Today, CCOF is the only full service organic certification and trade association supporting the growth of organic food and agriculture through its mission: certifying, educating, advocating and promoting organic. CCOF providespremier organic certification programs and trade association benefits to farms, processors, private labelers, retailers, restaurants, brokers, and supporting members including individuals, suppliers and service providers. CCOF currently certifies more than 2,600 organic food and agriculture operations covering 2,000,000 acres in 34 states and 3 countries.  For more information about CCOF, please visit www.ccof.org.

The Policy Director is a full-time, exempt employee based in Santa Cruz, CA.  The Director will have one of the most rewarding and visible leadership opportunities in the organic field, as CCOF continues toward its vision of being the leading voice for organic. The Director will hold a pivotal position in updating and implementing CCOF’s current five-year strategic plan (2011-2015). This plan currently directs CCOF to focus our energies and resources on (1) Ensuring the long-term relevance of organic as the premier eco-label, and (2) Growing CCOF to ensure the longevity, vitality and prominence of the organization. 
The Ideal Candidate
CCOF is seeking a skilled and experienced manager of people, programs and projects. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 5 years’ experience in policy/advocacy/regulatory affairs in a membership-based nonprofit environment.   The ideal candidate will have a deep knowledge and understanding of organic food and agriculture, certification and non-profit management.  An unbending commitment to CCOF’s mission and to organic as the premier eco-label are preconditions. He/she will be a big-picture thinker who is decisive and pragmatic. He/she will work collaboratively with staff, board, committees and other organizations.
Essential Qualifications, Skills and Experience:  
The ideal candidate will have the following:
  • Minimum of five years policy/advocacy/regulatory experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in Government or related field
  • Significant management skills, including leadership, team-building and staff supervision, motivation and development
  • Ability to set team priorities and organize, monitor and track departmental activities and projects to ensure completion of strategic goals and objectives
  • Ability to think strategically and develop and implement plans in line with organizational goals and objectives
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated comfort and skill in supplying a public voice for an organization
  • Unbending commitment to the organic sector and the benefits of organic food and agriculture
  • Knowledge of organic certification is highly desired
  • Proven ability to work in a dynamic environment with various stakeholders, sometimes possessing strong and conflicting opinions
  • Willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done
Hiring Process 
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  Interested applicants please submit the following:
  • Cover letter summarizing your interest in CCOF and the position, qualifications and compensation requirements
  • Current resume
  • List of three professional references
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Submit all materials to employment@ccof.org 
CCOF takes pride in offering competitive salaries and excellent benefits. The Policy Director’s compensation package will be based on qualifications and experience.
Job Responsibilities
The Director of Policy leads, manages, and oversees all local, state, federal and international policy and regulatory activities of CCOF Inc.  The Director reports to the Executive Director/CEO.
Leadership and Management
  • Lead, manage, motivate and ensure the engagement of CCOF members in policy matters and organizational activities working with the Outreach and Policy Specialist
  • Develop and coordinate all CCOF policy initiatives, including local, state, federal and international policies impacting organic certification and other CCOF policy priorities  
  • Serve as a member of the Management Team
  • Working with the Executive Director, create and implement the annual work plan and budget for Policy/Advocacy department
  • Lead and coordinate CCOF comments on regulatory matters pertaining to organic, including those related to the National Organic Standards Board, National Organic Program and other federal and state agencies
  • Staff the CCOF Government Affairs Committee (GAC).  Work with the Outreach and Policy Specialist and committee chair to develop agenda, facilitate meetings and distribute minutes
  • Attend CCOF Inc. Board of Directors meetings and report on departmental work
  • Responsible for informing legislative and regulatory bodies in California and Washington DC about the work CCOF does in the organic policy arena
  • Responsible for supervising the Outreach and Policy Specialist, Policy Specialist, Policy Assistant, and contractors and interns as needed 
  • Represent CCOF Inc. on state, federal, international policy issues.  Work with local, state, federal and international bodies to communicate our policy platform and message 
  • Develop, manage and implement CCOF’s policy work in the organic sector including but not limited to: US Congress, National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), Organic Trade Association (OTA), National Organic Program (NOP), California State Organic Program (SOP), the California Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board and the AB 856 Implementation Subcommittee, and other appropriate international, federal, state and local bodies
  • Advise Executive Director, Government Affairs Committee and Board on all policy issues related to organic certification and related organic issues, and on other high priority agriculture and/or food system issues that have a unique/significant impact on our members
  • Evaluate governmental agency performance in organics, recommend actions that CCOF should take in order to ensure that agency performance supports the organic industry integrity and value system
  • Represent CCOF on the Steering Committee of the California Climate and Agricultural Network (CalCAN) and ensure that CCOF fulfills its contractual commitments to the CalCAN coalition
  • Work with Executive Director, Board and Government Affairs Committee, to effectively advocate for CCOF’s interest and members’ interests 
  • Write policy content for the CCOF website, blog, magazine, e-newsletter, action alerts and other publications as well as for grant applications and other uses as required
  • Coordinate CCOF involvement in legislative activities including but not limited to CCOF representation at meetings, in hearings, with written and/or verbal testimony, with written comments.  Recruit and train CCOF member volunteers to work on same
  • Represent CCOF on committees, task forces, at conferences and seminars, as appropriate.  Work with the Executive Director, Development Manager, and other staff on agenda development for CCOF annual convention
  • Draft, edit and distribute reports, position statements, correspondence and public comments as well as articles and alerts for CCOF publications and website
  • Represent CCOF at strategic stakeholder meetings
  • Organize tours as requested for elected officials and regulatory agency staff to educate them on organic practices and standards 
Direct Reports
  • Outreach and Policy Specialist
  • Policy Specialist (part-time)
  • Policy Assistant (part-time)