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Sustainability Science Director
Sustainability Science Director in Washington, DC
Date Posted 03/03/2021
Nonprofit-Senior/Executive Management
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

U.S. Farmers& Ranchers in Action (USFRA) is actively seeking a passionate Sustainability ScienceDirector to deliver USFRA’s mission to connectfarmers and ranchers to food and agriculture stakeholders to co-createsustainable food systems.

TheSustainability Science Director will have several responsibilities, includingbut not limited to (1) serve as lead of USFRA’s Science program and (2) engageand lead our science advisory team. On aday-to-day basis the Sustainability Science Director will work across the agricultureand environmental community to advance thought leadership, facilitate workinggroups, and develop a common fact base for agriculture on the state of science forenvironmental outcomes, carbon modeling, and manage dedicated research grants.This position should work to develop a strategy to identify research needs forthe agriculture community. This position works with many leading scientists,serves as the “go to expert” on several advisory boards, and oversees our jointeffort with FFAR the Ag Climate Partnership.

The SustainabilityScience Director must have a passion for sustainability, the environment, andthe contributions the food and ag sector can make towards a net zero economy. Theideal candidate will have excellent communication skills, can facilitate andlead scientists and multiple working groups, translate science into actionable outcomes for sustainability leaders. Inaddition, be a lifelong learner, committed to being a subject matter expert onsustainability in agriculture and environmental impacts of ag. The ideal leader is a self-starter who seesthe need to bring the agriculture and environmental research community togetherto rapidly advance the science needed to provide better information forstakeholders and farmers. They ideallythrive in working across organizations, forming coalitions to advance themission. The ideal candidate wants to be part of leading the conversation onthe environment and sustainable agriculture and catalyzing leaders towards action.

U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action (USFRA), is a nonprofit, that works with farmer and rancher-led organizations, and food and agricultural partners, with a common vision to further our global sustainable food systems. We believe farmers uniquely contribute to nourishing our planet, people, and natural resources. Our focus is creating a proactive collaboration between the best minds in food, agriculture, science, and technology to co-create solutions that will result in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Learn more at www.usfarmersandranchers.org

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead the USFRA Science program
  • Design and develop strategic plan for key sciencethat is needed in the ag sector to develop key facts and information aboutagriculture’s current contributions to the environment and Ag’s potential ondrawdown
  • Work with FFAR on joint AgClimate partnershipdeveloping long term strategic plan and standing up joint venture. Contributeto scientific and data vision.
  • Represent USFRA and key science advisory boardsand represent the CEO or Sustainability Directors efforts
  • Provide thought leadership and perspectives onsustainability and climate issues, developments, and opportunities providingblogs, formal comments, presentations on key topics, participation in advisoryboards
  • Collaborate and provide sustainability andenvironmental content and perspective across the organization and acrossexternal organizations. Be the expert scienceadvisor.
  • Oversight of key strategic alliancepartnerships
  • Manage and work with Science advisory councilto annually develop a series of FAQs, Facts, Science Reports to serve as aresources for the ag and food community at large. Collaborate with the best scientists to translateinformation and ensure it is usable and actionable by stakeholders. Occasionallyas needed provide scientific response to inquiries or provide comments to othercoalition, stakeholder efforts
  • Manage grant process for science grants,applications, reports and final reports
  • Provide strategic and long term focus fordesign and support of programs and initiatives. Including strategy, project management,financial accounting and resource management for the department.
  • Engage colleagues internal and external inauthentic relationships to advance the mission and vision of USFRA
  • Provide leadership in an environment of changeand high-level focus
  • Work closely with Communications Director, Directorof Sustainability, Business Development team and CEO on delivering USFRAmission


  • Communicatestrategically to simplify complex ideas through the lens of stakeholders
  • Be a genuine thought leaderin the environmental sciences and agriculture sector. The ideal lifelong learner will stay up todate on current environmental topics and adapt and lead strategy with a groupof world class science advisory council members
  • In-depth understandingof sustainability and climate issues and movement
  • High analytical skillssets, exceptional verbal and written communications skills with senior leaders,stakeholdersand partner organizations
  • Ability to develop white papers as a result ofscience advisory council outcomes.
  • Design and facilitation of external meetingsand forums
  • One on one engagement skills
  • Ability to leverage internal and externalresources
  • Strong project management capabilities (scope,resources (financial and human), and time management, with choice pointmanagement and goal orientation
  • Self-Starter with an entrepreneurial spirit whohas the ability to navigate ambiguity to achieve results
  • Proven results in meetingdeadlines consistently
  • Flexible and able to work in astart-up environment.
  • Consummate collaborator andadept at working across multiple teams both internally and externally
  • Ability to take direction andchannel it into progressive work
  • Ability to excel in internaland external environments.
  • Comfortable in a fast-pacedenvironment and able to manage multiple projects


  • 10 years leading sustainability or scienceprograms
  • 5+ years leading engagement or outreachprograms
  • Ideal background: consultancy, NGO, think tank,or policy organization
  • Experience in the field of environmental science, climatechange, agriculture
  • Proven program and team leadership
  • Strong written and verbalcommunication and presentation skills; including experience writing technicalreports or white papers
  • Strong organizational skills,including attention to detail and multitasking skills
  • Strong working knowledge ofMicrosoft Office suite and Adobe Professional
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Comfortable with emailbuilding and communications websites such as Constant Contact and SalesforceMarketing cloud
  • Working knowledge of Zoom,SharePoint, Box, CRMs, Salesforce and Monday.com is a plus


Phone calls will not be accepted. Contact from recruitment agencies will also not be accepted.


This position will require 20% domestic travel throughout the year. Currently travel is on hold due to COVID.

ADA Specifications

This is a largely sedentary position that requires the ability to speak, hear, see and lift small objects up to 20 lbs.

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