Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Food Project: Executive Director, Lincoln- MA


Position: Executive Director
Organization: The Food Project
Location: Lincoln, MA
Summary:The Food Project seeks a passionate, energetic, and highly skilled Executive Director to lead a pioneering organization that engages youth and communities in personal and social change through programs advancing food justice and promoting sustainable agriculture. The Executive Director will lead an organization with 23 years of history, a talented staff, a national reputation, a deep and wide network of supporters and volunteers, and a proven ability to achieve substantial and measurable results.

The Executive Director will provide strategic vision that will remain true to the mission and culture of this highly effective organization. Strong candidates will bring a deep and authentic passion for The Food Project’s work at the intersection of food, youth, and community, exceptional communication and leadership skills, a track record of fundraising success, and a commitment to the organization’s core operating principles:
  • All people have a right to healthy, affordable food.
  • Youth and adult partnerships are at the heart of our best work.
  • We are stewards of land, culture, and community - and they, in turn, sustain us.
  • We take responsibility for working to create a just food system.
  • Our diversity of experiences, backgrounds, and points of view is our strength.
  • True learning is reciprocal and requires transparency, humility, and bold action.
  • Innovations at the local level are the key to creating transformation over time.
  • This is hard work: it is vital to leave time for reflection and fun.
Responsibilities:The Executive Director will be responsible for the following areas:Vision and Strategy

  • Ensure that The Food Project’s mission and vision are fully articulated and shared by a wide range of internal and external stakeholders
  • Ensure the execution of The Food Project’s short and long-term strategic plans
  • Collaborate closely with the Board of Trustees and staff to continually hone and implement a vision and plan of action for increased impact, long-term growth, and sustainability
  • Maintain and deepen The Food Project's strong organizational culture and values, in particular its commitment to inclusion and equity 
Fundraising and External Communications

  • Drive the overall fundraising strategy, developing and executing a development effort that ensures a sustainable and varied funding stream, in conjunction with the Director of Development and External Communications and the Board of Trustees
  • Cultivate and steward relationships with individual and institutional funders
  • Serve as the face of The Food Project nationally, regionally, and locally; speaking, writing, and advocating on behalf of the mission and vision
  • Build on The Food Project’s national reputation as a pioneer in integrating community engagement and change with youth development and sustainable farming in order to raise visibility and attract new supporters
  • Deepen and strengthen existing partnerships with community, governmental, and corporate organizations, and work to cultivate new partners
Financial Management

  • Oversee the development and monitoring of the annual budget (currently $3 million) and long-range financial projections to guide and support The Food Project as it works to fulfill its mission, reporting to the board regularly
  • Ensure that expenditures reflect priorities and are appropriate given available resources
  • Working with the Director of Finance, develop reporting tools to facilitate sound financial management and oversight
Organizational Leadership
  • Overall management of and leadership to 30+ staff members across two regions (Greater Boston and the North Shore) in three offices (Lincoln, Boston, and Lynn)
  • Serve as an inspiring and motivational leader to a highly skilled, diverse, and committed group of staff, youth, and external supporters
  • Directly supervise, mentor, and coach senior staff, including Director of Programming and Institutional Learning, Greater Boston Regional Director, North Shore Regional Director, Director of Development & External Communications, and Director of Finance, Human Resources, and Operations
  • Ensure inclusive, transparent, and regular communication with all staff about organizational activities and priorities
  • Manage and strengthen culturally appropriate staff hiring and training processes that lead to deep engagement and accountability as well as personal and professional growth at all levels of the organization
  • Lead and model the organization’s commitment to honest and constructive feedback, both formally and informally, as a means of achieving organizational and personal growth and excellence
  • Pursue the use of data-driven information to evaluate programs, advance best practices, and ensure impact of the organization’s work 
Board of Trustees
  • Collaborate with the Board to ensure fidelity to organizational mission and execution of strategy
  • Work as a partner with Board leadership to continually strengthen governance practices and Board composition
  • Develop and present recommendations to the Board for annual business plans and budgets
  • Provide regular updates to the Board on the status of program operations and finances
  • Work closely with the Board to ensure compliance with bylaws, policies, and directives

  • Strong candidates will offer the following skills and experiences:
  • At least 7 years of management experience in a complex, multifaceted social change organization
  • A track record of high-level strategic planning and decision-making
  • Proven track record of fundraising success with both public and private funds, a well-developed network of relevant contacts preferred
  • Strong operational and financial management skills, including the ability to manage a complex, multi-site organization and $3 million budget
  • Passion for The Food Project’s work at the intersection of youth, food, and community
  • The ability to be an inspirational leader who can bring a diverse audience together around a vision and common goals
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to connect with the full spectrum of stakeholders integral to The Food Project, including parents, youth, funders, staff, and community partners
  • Effective partnership building skills, in particular the ability to forge strong relationships with community groups and residents
  • Experience working closely with a Board of Trustees on governance, organizational development, strategic planning, and fundraising initiatives
  • Collaborative management style, including the ability to solicit input and feedback from a wide range of stakeholders and to make informed decisions and judgments
Additionally, strong candidates will also offer the following core personal characteristics and values:
  • A deep personal and professional commitment to racial and economic justice
  • A sense of maturity, humility, and professionalism
  • The ability to build trusting relationships based on honesty and respect
  • A desire to work with passionate, committed colleagues who believe in their work, value their relationships, and appreciate the importance of reflection and fun
  • A proven commitment to youth empowerment and leader development

Compensation and Benefits:
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

To Apply:The Food Project has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Molly Brennan at

The Food Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to creating an inclusive organization. We actively seek a diverse pool of candidates, including people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ applicants.

About The Food Project:
The Food Project’s mission is to create a thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system. Our community produces healthy food for residents of the city and suburbs, provides youth leadership opportunities, and inspires and supports others to create change in their own communities.

To fulfill this mission, we blend youth development, community food access, and sustainable agriculture into a synergistic model to achieve multiple, intertwining goals.

Each year, a diverse group of approximately 120 youth leaders from the cities of Boston and Lynn and their surrounding communities to work closely with one another in year-round activities as they grow and distribute healthy food, gaining leadership skills and learning about social justice, agriculture, diversity, and anti-oppression. The Food Project offers one of the very few paid jobs that provide meaningful experiences for high school-age students and helps them understand the complexities of the food system. They partner with Food Project adult staff and members of the community to make real-time impact on the local food system and change it for the better. Farms provide the foundation for this work, from our 70+ acres of urban and suburban farmland to our 10,000 square-foot greenhouse in Roxbury. With the help of 3,000+ volunteers, The Food Project’s youth and staff grow more than 250,000 pounds of fresh produce each year.

The Food Project has pioneered a regional model for the production and distribution of fresh, healthy produce to address the inequities of food access in underserved communities. We are the largest regional farming and food access organization in Massachusetts. We believe that urban farming is important but that it alone will not provide enough healthy food to meet the needs of local residents.

The Food Project is also a resource center for organizations and individuals worldwide. We provide unique capacity building for organizations and educators who learn from The Food Project’s expertise through materials, youth training, and professional development opportunities. Even projects completely unrelated to farming draw on our methods for building inspired, diverse, and productive youth communities.

For more information, visit
About Koya Leadership Partners:
Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained search and consulting firm that works exclusively with non-profits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit