Hiring: Coalition Director – National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is seeking an energetic, passionate, experienced and collaborative Coalition Director to provide executive level leadership to NSAC, its staff, governing body, and membership.  The Coalition Director must be deeply committed to serving the sustainable agriculture movement’s policy and grassroots work and to becoming an integral part of our high-performing, passionate, and diverse team.  The Coalition Director is a full-time, salaried position and is based in Washington, DC.

NSAC is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.  For 30 years, NSAC’s stellar track record of policy accomplishments has been guided by a vision of agriculture where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities.  Racial equity – an understanding and acknowledgment of historical and ongoing racial inequities and a commitment to actions challenging those inequities – is a core NSAC tenet, and we seek to embed it in our structure, analysis, policy development, and advocacy.

The Coalition Director works with NSAC’s governing body, the Organizational Council (OC), membership, and staff to set and implement strategies to achieve the vision of its membership and to shepherd it into the future, and is responsible for the organization’s consistent progress in meeting its mission-driven goals and fiscal objectives.


The position requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture, Sustainability, Environmental Studies, Business Management, Public Policy, or related field, plus a minimum of 10 years of professional organizational or program management experience. Applicants must have successful experience in the nonprofit sector and working with foundation and government funders at the senior level.  The position also requires a proven track record of successful strategic planning and delivering superior results implementing such plans.  Preference will be given to applicants with background and experience in sustainable agriculture and food systems.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

A thorough understanding of non-profit organizational structure from governing body to staff roles and appreciation for NSAC’s unique organizational structure;

  • Extensive experience with preparing and managing budgets, forecasting, and ensuring sustainable, diverse funding streams;
  • Proven success in fundraising, through foundation and government grants, major gifts, planned giving, and other strategies;
  • Exceptional capacity for managing and leading people, including developing and empowering leaders, cultivating initiative, team-building, and positioning people to succeed;
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Experience working with global majority communities, and an understanding of how racial inequality impacts American agriculture and politics;
  • Demonstrates and models a strong work ethic, flexibility, adaptability and commitment to fostering a positive work environment and connecting to staff both on the individual and team levels;
  • A thorough understanding of financial management, and broad experience with a full range of business functions and systems, including strategic development and planning, budgeting, information technology and human resources;
  • Readiness to establish accountability structures and a culture of accountability;
  • Ability to think strategically and provide vision to NSAC’s organizational planning;
  • Knowledge of local, state and national political landscapes including funding, public policy, pragmatic collaborations, and best practices;
  • Proven success in roles requiring execution of multiple tasks while responding to multiple priorities, as well as ability to work with efficiency, flexibility and good humor; and
  • Being a self-starter with spark, imagination, and creativity, who also remains focused in the face of pressure, unintimidated by tasks, timelines and limitations.


The Coalition Director will directly lead certain functions and oversee others.

They will directly:

  • Administer and work closely with the Organizational Council (OC), facilitating communications between the OC and staff;
  • Coordinate strategic planning efforts with the OC and oversee implementation of that plan;
  • Provide direction to staff, establishing staff positions, work expectations, and compensation;
  • Recruit a diverse and skilled staff, including but not limited to leading efforts to advance racial and gender equity and inclusion within NSAC staff;
  • Hire, terminate, fire, and provide annual performance evaluation of all staff, supporting staff in meeting their job expectations and addressing any shortfalls;
  • Cultivate a work environment that attracts and retains quality employees;
  • Apply an equity lens to all work, and strive to advance racial equity both within the coalition’s internal processes and through its external campaigns and policy goals;
  • Ensure compliance with all relevant employment laws, NSAC’s employment policies, and policies of our fiscal sponsor, the Center for Rural Affairs;
  • Oversee development of annual budgets and work with NSAC’s fiscal sponsor to assure that funds are used effectively and in accordance with organizational and legal guidelines;
  • Prospect for new funders;
  • Management and use of the NSAC Diversity Fund, including leading fundraising activities and strategies for it and aligning strategies for its use with the Diversity Committee; and
  • Speak publicly and represent NSAC at meetings, conferences, symposia, etc.;

The Coalition Director will have oversight responsibility for these functions:

  • Successful planning for NSAC member meetings;
  • Ensuring coordination between staff, including regular staff meetings and on-boarding of new staff;
  • Organization-wide effort to advance racial equity and inclusion within NSAC and the sustainable agriculture community;
  • Ongoing membership recruitment, membership services, and members’ capacity for policy support, including recruitment and cultivation for the new Allied Membership category;
  • Submission of funding proposals and reports;
  • Grant writing and fundraising efforts;
  • Organizational message development, printing, and communications strategy, including grassroots communications and on-line presence;
  • Relationship-building with stakeholders, including member groups, allies, trade groups, Hill staff, legislators, funders, thought leaders and others;
  • Smooth-functioning and member-leadership of NSAC’s Issue Committees, Policy Council, and Grassroots Council; and
  • Research on developments in sustainable agriculture as well as policy perspectives, options, threats, and opportunities.

Salary and Benefits

NSAC offers competitive non-profit salary and benefits.  Salary will be dependent on qualifications and experience, within the range of $95,000 to $110,000. Excellent benefits include generous vacation and other time-off policy, health, dental, and long-term disability insurance, contributions after two years in a retirement plan, financial support for professional and personal development, and a pleasant, collaborative, professional working environment.

Application Process

Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is identified. Early applications are encouraged, and applications will be considered as they are received. All persons interested in being considered for the position must submit a resume, a recent writing sample, and a cover letter highlighting their experience and skills relevant to the listed qualifications, 3-5 references (whom we will not contact until after a final interview), as well as explanations of why you left any other position in the last ten years.  More information about NSAC can be accessed by visiting our website at

Please use this form to complete and submit application materials.

NSAC is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce and strongly encourages applications from groups that have been historically under-represented, including but not limited to women and people of color.  Please also see NSAC’s Statement on Racial Equity. NSAC makes hiring decisions without regard to gender, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class.

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