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At the intersection of food, soil, climate, farming and water.

Executive Director of Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

Position Announcement:  Executive Director of Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

Title: Executive Director
Date Available: January 2017
Reports to: Board of Directors of Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

Position Description: For over 30 years, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) has been a leading innovator in the movement for profitable, environmentally sound, and socially responsible agriculture. Michael Fields Agricultural Institute carries out its mission to cultivate the ecological, social, economic, and spiritual vitality of food and farming systems through research, education, and policy. We believe that responsible food and farming systems can help solve some of the most pressing environmental and societal problems of the 21st century. Headquartered in East Troy, Wisconsin, MFAI is strategically located between Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois.

The Board of Directors of MFAI is seeking a dynamic Executive Director to shepherd this $1.2M nonprofit institute into the future. This position reports directly to the Board of Directors, and is responsible for the organization’s consistent progress in meeting its mission driven goals and fiscal objectives.

Executive Director Profile:
Personality: The right candidate will have an innovative and aggressive approach to organizational and financial growth management with a strong mastery of donor development and fundraising. They will be committed to sustainable and organic agriculture food systems and excellent at articulating and communicating the mission, values and needs of the organization. They will be able to inspire staff and partners and work closely with the board. They will be well respected and well connected regionally and nationally and comfortable with keeping up with best practices in sustainable agriculture and the not for profit world.

Specific Job Skills and Experience: At least 5 years in leadership roles, 5 years of experience in appropriate fields. Experience in a non-profit organization preferred, especially in fund development and financial management roles. Prefer master’s degree or higher. Prefer farming experience and familiarity with organic and biodynamic agriculture. Excellent written, oral, and technical communication skills. Good people-management and administrative skills.

Pay and benefits will be commensurate with experience. If a move of over 500 miles is involved a moving allowance will be considered.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
Program Development:
1. Assure that the organization has a long-term strategy to achieve its mission and makes consistent progress toward these goals.
2. Provide leadership and support in program development in all program areas.
3. Provide leadership in fund development and financial management.
4. Work closely with the Board of Directors to establish long term goals and strategy, and assure that the Board is informed of immediate goals, and progress in program development.
5. Maintain a working knowledge of developments, new thinking, and trends in the fields of biodynamic, organic, and sustainable food systems.
6. Maintain records and documents and comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Communication:
7. Represent the organization and its philosophy to the public, to other organizations, and to official agencies.
8. Publicize the work of Michael Fields, its goals and its programs within the profession and the wider lay community.
9. Establish good working relationships and cooperative arrangements with the community and with other organizations.
10. See that the board is kept fully informed of the condition of the organization and all important aspects affecting its well-being. Respond to board requests in a complete and timely manner.
11. Keep program directors and staff appropriately apprised of significant changes within the organization, and within the agriculture and environmental fields.

Staff:
12. Be responsible for recruitment, employment and release of all personnel, both paid and volunteer.
13. Maintain a work environment that attracts, motivates, and keeps quality employees.
14. Facilitate staff development and assist program staff in professional advancement.
15. Ensure that job descriptions are developed and updated, that annual performance evaluations are performed, and that these personnel matters are recorded and securely maintained.
16. Ensure that an effective management team is in place with regular communication and consultation.
17. Promote participation by volunteers in all areas of the organization’s work.

Finance:
18. Ensure that adequate funds are available to accomplish the organization’s goals.
19. Develop a working budget with the financial officer.
20. Oversee fund development efforts and develop fundraising opportunities in partnership with the board.
21. Maintain up to date financial records and distribute timely, accurate, and useful financial reports for the board and for appropriate members of the staff.
22. Provide accurate financial information in a timely manner to program staff for documentation in their funding support opportunities.
23. Apprise the board of directors of the organization’s current financial status on a regular basis and immediately at times of unforeseen opportunities or crises.
24. Prepare, with the financial officer, all necessary documents for an annual audit.
25. Submit necessary reports to federal, state, and local agencies.

How to Apply:
Send cover letter, resume, salary expectations and contact information for three references to:
Birl Lowery, President of Board at MFAI-Board@michaelfields.org .