Grassroots Director

Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2020
 Full Time
 Large scale
 Business Management
 Farming Practices

Position Description

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is seeking an experienced, strategic and collaborative grassroots leader to support and empower our 130+ member grassroots coalition. The successful candidate will be deeply committed to serving the sustainable agriculture movement and its federal policy work, skilled in grassroots campaign strategies and collaborative long-term power building approaches, an exemplary manager, and have demonstrated experience centering equity and justice in their work.

The Organization

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 over 30 years, we have organized and advocated together for federal policies that foster a better food & farm system. Whether that looks like creating new federal programs that invest in critical research and infrastructure or reforming policies that have inequitable impacts, we do the long-term work to identify issues, develop solutions, and campaign to win. By bringing grassroots perspectives to DC tables normally dominated by big business, NSAC gives voice to sustainable and organic farmers and community changemakers, building the power and success of the broader movement. Racial justice – an understanding and acknowledgment of historical and ongoing racial inequities and a commitment to actions challenging those inequities – is a tenet we seek to embed in our structure, analysis, policy development, and advocacy. 

The Position

The Grassroots Director plans and implements winning campaigns to: build grassroots power, achieve NSAC’s policy goals, and advance racial equity in agriculture and food systems. They also support capacity building efforts for coalition members, collaborate on communications and messaging, staff the Grassroots Council, and manage the grassroots team. The Grassroots Director shares in the leadership of the organization with the Coalition Director, to whom the Grassroots Director reports, along with the Policy Director. The Grassroots Director is a full-time, salaried position based in our Washington, DC office.

Required Qualifications

  • An understanding of sustainable food and agriculture issues and passion for NSAC’s mission
  • 5+ years of grassroots organizing experience, preferably leading federal policy advocacy campaigns or commensurate experience at the state, regional, or community level
  • An understanding of and demonstrated deep commitment to grassroots movement building principles and working in multi-racial coalition spaces
  • Demonstrated understanding of how racial equity intersects with agriculture and food systems and experience designing and implementing grassroots strategies informed by these intersections
  • Experience developing strategies to both push for incremental change and advance visionary long-term goals
  • Enthusiasm for and experience in cultivating lasting relationships and accountable partnerships with a diverse body of stakeholders and decision makers
  • Strong project management skills, capable of planning, prioritizing, troubleshooting, and evaluating efforts in an ongoing manner
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and public speaking skills, including distilling complex material for lay audiences
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, including the ability to listen well, build trust, and model healthy conflict resolution
  • A strong team player and leader oriented toward collaboration, shared success, accountability, and learning, preferably including experience in a supervisory role
  • Willingness to work within a demanding congressional schedule and meet fast-paced deadlines
  • Willingness to travel domestically several times per year

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with large, multi-organization grassroots coalitions or networks with diverse membership
  • Experience cultivating donor and foundation relationships and crafting development language for grassroots capacity building efforts and campaigns
  • Experience and training as a facilitator to develop consensus among diverse stakeholders
  • Experience with long-term strategic planning as well as annual planning and priority setting
  • Experience with online advocacy tools and CRMs (EveryAction, etc)
  • Cross-cultural communication skills, including but not limited to fluency in a language other than English
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